dust collector port

Working on automation for my dust collector. Came up with this design for the opening/closing port.

It looks like it’ll work. The real part will be cut from laminated melamine so it’s slick on both sides.

I’m still getting some flex in the Z axis, but I think it’s from the length of the axis. When I switched back to the dewalt spindle, I forgot to put another piece of 3/4" MDF on the spoilerboard to raise the bed.

I need to redesign the part just a bit to add microswitches on each side for open/close alarms.


Here’s a short clip of the electronics doing their work. Once I finish the housing, I’ll get a better video of it in action.


I like it! Fancy gates oled even…jealous.

Yup. The OLED version of the board is only a buck or two more than the non-OLED.

It does make it a pain to figure out which pins you can use on the board and which you can’t. The final version may not have the OLED on it. Once everything is mounted in a case, you won’t be able to easily see it. It is useful for debugging without a computer, though.

Just printing the current ip and uptime has been pretty useful to me. Whenever my router reboots, it seems to have trouble reconnecting.

The IP has been a godsend. It makes debugging flask API calls amazingly simpler.

The one thing I still need to figure out is that this current setup won’t work well for a miter saw. The current blast gate takes almost 30 seconds to open/close with the stepper motor I have on it. For a table saw, planer, belt sander, etc… that’s not too bad as I typically can turn the saw on and then take that time to plan/verify my cut before I make it. On the miter saw, a 30 second delay every time I turn on the saw would suck.

What I think I’m going to do is have it set up so that when a blast gate is opened, it stays open until the next device is turned on. Then the last device can close while the new one is opening. I’m thinking I can easily do this by sending an ‘on’, ‘ready’, and ‘off’ command instead of just ‘on’ and ‘off’. Have all the devices subscribe to the same topic subtree. When any device goes ‘on’, all the other devices can check to see if their currently open. Then when the device is fully open, send the ‘ready’ command for the DC to turn on.

Yeah, keeping the last one on will save them a lot of wear too, since they won’t be closing just to open again.

You could also add another simple switch to the miter stand. When you’re setting up your cut, you click it, and the gates will start switching around and then the DC will be ready to turn on when you start the saw.

What kind of DC do you have on the MS? Mine throws dust everywhere.

None yet. That’s a future endeavor.

I just picked up the dust collector two weeks ago. So far the only two tools I have modified are the table saw and the band saw. I just got a new dust port for the planer over the weekend and tested that out, but I don’t have it plumbed to the rest of the system yet.

I’m taking Friday off for my birthday and plan on modifying the DC with a cyclone that day. Then I’ll spend the rest of the day adding in some Y’s and more cheap blast gates to get some of the other tools plumbed. Right now I’m plumbing everything with flex line. Once I get the rest of the shop emptied out, I’ll figure out the final resting places of the tools and run hard-lines to them.

I just installed this on a little esp8266 relay. It is pretty rock solid. I see there are some configuration setting for steppers. Makes me wonder if you could use this on your dust port:

That’s pretty interesting. My code is pretty solid at this point. Now I just need to build some circuits and finish the hardware.

Would love to see what you end up with for your system! I have had ideas of blast gates all attached to ESP32’s that communicate back to a big relay controlling the dust collector. Currently the only automatic dust collection is on my miter saw but that’s really just an iVac with a shopvac hooked to the dust collector port on the saw (did need to 3D print a big ish 90 degree bend for it, which took more iterations than I am proud of, lol).

Anyway, pics/description of what you’re working on would be super appreciated! I really want to start messing around with more electronics stuff like this, just don’t have work experience or anything to apply (I’m a chemical engineer who likes woodworking and 3D printing…).

I’ll try to get back to this at some point.

RIght now, the dust collector is so quiet compared to the old shop vac, that I tend to just leave it on all the time. The manual dust ports are almost all zip tied so that they’re real close to the on/off switch for each machine.

I did work on designing the housing for the dust port. It should just fit on the print bed for my 3d printer. The project as a whole has fizzled out for now due to more urgent matters.

Wow what size is your dust collector? I have the harbor freight unit and there’s no way I’d want to leave that on if I’m in my shop unless I’m already running a saw.

And definitely understand that things come up… I just saw that it looked like you were doing what my grand idea was/is and I’d like to see your approach!

Believe it or not, I’m running the HF dust collector also.

I have mine setup as a two stage using a cyclone separator. The low hum of the dust collector is a lot quieter than the high pitched squeal my old shop vac made. I also have the dust collector stuck in the corner of a 1300sq/ft insulated shop. The insulated plywood walls help keep the sound from bouncing around.

I do typically have hearing protection on while I’m out there too. If you don’t wear hearing protection in the shop, I’d recommend finding a good comfy pair that you don’t mind the feel of. Some of them out there have bluetooth in them, so you can listen to music while you work.

Well alright then! While your large dust deputy has me drooling a touch (I’m using the pseudo baffle that came with the machine that you have your dust bag on over a trash can as my initial separation) I am impressed that you just leave it on all the time still (even if mostly).

Dust collector >>>>> shop vac for sure as far as noise is concerned, no doubt there.

99% of the time when I am using a saw I use hearing protection (one quick one on the miter saw or something I may skip… Oh well… Maybe I will regret that later). But really that is only when I’m using a saw. I feel like most of my time in the shop is spent not actively running something noisy or requiring dust collection, so that is where my comments originated.

That does lead to the fact that I could certainly do better with always attaching my hand held power tools to dust collection… Another thing I should work to be better with.

I understand.

I think I’ve just gotten used to having the hearing protection on. I even noticed the other day I still had them one while hand sanding a project :confused: I want to get a nice set of hearing protection with bluetooth so I can listen to music. I’m used to wearing headphones at work a lot to drown out noisy cubicles, so maybe that helps too.

I will say that a quick cut on the miter saw and I won’t put the hearing protection on either.

Another thing I’ve noticed is it’s quieter in the shop when I have all the doors open. It gives the noise some place to go. You could try building a false-wall around your dust collector. That would force the noise up into the ceiling. If you got some stick-on carpet flooring tiles and put them on the ceiling above the dust collector, it could help deaden the sound.

I’ve done some speaker design and home theater work in the past and am always looking to ways to kill sounds. I started dealing with tinnitus when I was in my early 30’s due to dumb decisions in my earlier days regarding noise. (Harley’s, open exhaust on boats, large speakers in small truck cabs)

I’ll keep this updated if I start making progress again.

I bought some of these about 6 months ago. They have BT and you can also hear people talking to you, but it kills loud noises. I like that these are mean for shooting, because the hardest part is dampening during high dynamic range, and I can’t imagine a faster pop than a gunshot.


What good are they if people can still talk to you? Pffft…


I use the Peltor over-ear at the gun range. They’re not bluetooth. I haven’t tried them in the shop yet, but keep meaning too.

I have always used fairly inexpensive over ear (I think my current is mPow off amazon). I like the one you suggested Jeff except that I think I wouldn’t like the buds after a while. Normally buds will give me a headache after a long wearing session