Automatic dust collection

bbrown

Bill
User
I'm finally looking to get a serious dust collection system installed. There's been a few recent threads of interest. I'm wondering if any folks have automated their systems (Dust collector turns on and blast gate opens when the machine is turned on) and what might be recommended for a non-electrician like myself.
There are a few automatic blast gate systems such as the iVAC but they are over $150-275 for each tool .....https://shop.ivacswitch.com/

Found this one too......https://grngate.com/product-pricing/ which looks good and maybe even user-friendly. $500 just to get the starter system.

The Artuino home-made systems seem too difficult for me.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
Contact Alan in Little Washington here for details on his automated system. He has an excellent system.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I should get the parts from Amazon today for my automation. I think it was a little under $40. I will use low voltage switches meant for a security system on each blast gate to turn on the DC when I open the blast gate for that tool - and shut the DC off when the gate closes. A little 12V power supply will run the signal for the switches to flip a relay which will turn the DC on and off. I'll try and post details when I have it done - should be next week some time. I will have to run little wires to each blast gate so that may add some cost, not sure how much little wire I have. I only need something like you use for sensors on garage doors or for a door bell, should be pretty cheap and I think I have some.
 

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
Maybe @Jeremy Scuteri can chime in with his automation system. If I remember correctly from the shop tour, he built it himself and involves what amounts to a doorbell button at each tool to turn on the dust collector and route the blast gates to that tool. He's an electrical engineer, so it might be more complicated to make than you are looking for, but it was impressive.
 

creasman

Jim
User
I have homemade blast gates on my system. I use low voltage switches powered by a door bell transformer (12v, I think) to start the system. Whenever a gate is opened it makes the low voltage connection that triggers a solenoid switch on the unit. The solenoid switch is what controls the 240v power supply to the dust collection. If I remember correctly I ordered the transformer and solenoid switch from Grainger's. I had the door bell wire already. That's about all you'll need to get it wired. My gate switches are just a piece of metal that bridge the connection whenever the gate is fully opened.

There are solutions that open the gate and turn on the system whenever the target machine is powered up. That's the next level. Personally, I'm fine with what I have. I sort of like having the system come on independently of the machine, and only when the gate is opened.
 

Charlie

Charlie
Corporate Member
My table saw, radial arm saw, belt/disc sander, (2) bandsaws, planer, miter saw, lathe and drill press all have individual blowers or vacuums which start when the machine starts. All other equipment, drum & edge sanders, 20" disc sander, jointer, shaper, router table, work bench have ducting with a slide gate connected to a common blower which is remote started (3 remotes so one is always within arms reach). When I go to a machine I open the slide gate, push the blower remote start and go to work. When finished I close the slide gate, therefore all slide gates are always closed except when in use.
I also transport all dust/shavings outside, so I really just "transport" everything. No filters to clean, no bags or drums to empty.
It works for me.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
I have manual blast gates, but DC is controled by a current sensor mounted in panel box. Machine turns on, so does DC. Machine turns off, ten seconds later DC turns off. This is based upon an article in Aug 2000 FWW, to which I added a delay on break timer. Everything is mounted in panel box. Sensor is from SSAC, which isn't the cheapest.
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I sent a PM to Bill, but if anyone else is interested in my fully automatic system with electro-pneumatic blast gates search the archives. It is still working great, almost 12 years later! :) There are multiple posts containing most of the info. I got two pages of results searching using "autogates." Unfortunately, there are no photos- the links are broken- happened sometime during one of many NCWW forum software migrations :(. I still haven't fully figured out how the photo albums work, but my home made cyclone album https://ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php?media/albums/homemade-cyclone.808/ has many of them, the remainder are in my general photo bucket ("media"?) on pages 40 - 45. Much of the same stuff is likely also on Sawmill Creek, though believe you must be a contributor to see photos now. There was a great video I shot and uploaded to the American Woodworker website back then, but that died with the magazine and they didn't convey when PopWW took the AWW materials. Anyway here are some links to posts (w/o photos):

Here are some threads from 2008:
https://ncwoodworker.net/forums/index.php?threads/auto-blastgate-working-prototype-w-pics.13113/#post-132232
This one I was much farther along. I updated it when I added current sensor switches at the outlets:
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
Maybe @Jeremy Scuteri can chime in with his automation system. If I remember correctly from the shop tour, he built it himself and involves what amounts to a doorbell button at each tool to turn on the dust collector and route the blast gates to that tool. He's an electrical engineer, so it might be more complicated to make than you are looking for, but it was impressive.
The only thing my system does is allow me to have a whole bunch of inexpensive buttons around the shop that turn the dust collector on and off. I still have to manually open and close blast gates. Automated gates would be really cool.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I got the stuff to wire up my gates (LV) but I decided to try something different. I ordered a cheap remote control unit that a reviewer says works well for him with the same DC I have (2hp HF). It was less than $20. If that works, I may not go to the trouble of creating my relay setup. I only have three blast gates and will probably add no more than 2 more (I use flexible hoses to connect multiple machines from one drop). So wiring each gate is not a huge deal but I didn't do it before I installed them so it will be more difficult now.
 

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