Dust collection is one of those items in the shop that once you have it you will never want to be without it again. This was my feeling while moving into the new shop and it was one of the tools that I was most adamant about getting my hands on. While I do have a small dust collection system in the small shop it is not large enough to be able to run all of my tools. With things coming up like the miter saw station and the router table carts I know that adding more dust collection would be essential. Especally for the i2R cnc. I know that this machine would kick up a lot of dust and I really love getting to use it so having dust collection hooked up on that particular machine is a must have. With that in mind I got my hands on the 3/4hp Dust Right Dust collection system from rockler.com.
I wanted to come up with a system that would work well with the cnc and could be a modular system and be used for more things as well around the shop. The Dust Right system would be perfect for this. To make things even better the installation was straight forward and easy to complete.
Start off by measuring the distance between the studs of your wall. I am installing the system onto a wall that is not yet completed but this process is pretty much the same as you need to mount the the dust collection system onto studs of the wall to properly support the weight. Once you have the distance between the two studs you will be using to mount the system cut a piece of 2×4 or strong lumbar to give yourself a strong base to mount the system to. I went with some eight quarter oak that I had laying around. Cut the lumber into two pieces of equal length.
Take the two equal length pieces and pre-drill them for screws. I went with 3 inch wood screws to mount the boards into place. Attach the first board at the top where you would like the dust collection to sit. This will determine the height off of the ground in witch the blower and collection bag will be from the ground. Mount the top board using the screws and pre-drilled holes as mentioned before. Using a small level to ensure that the board is level with the ground is also a good idea. Firmly secure the board into place as this will hold the weight of the dust collection system. With the top board in place measure around 8 inchs down from the center of the top board and this will be the position of the bottom mounting board. Mount the bottom board the same ways as the top. Securing it firmly to the studs of the wall.
After you have both board completely secured onto the wall you need to mount the top mounting bracket for the system. I found it was easiest to use a small level to mark a line on the top board where the bracket would be mounted. Also try to center the bracket within the board. This would give me a level marker to help install the top bracket. With the line marked place the bracket onto the line and place the same level onto the top of the bracket to ensure it is completely level. With the bracket level drill three 1/8 inch holes one into each of the corresponding holes in the bracket. After drill all three holes mount the bracket using the supplies screws from the kit.
Now it is time to assemble the dust collection blower. Start by mounting the U-shaped bracket onto the dust collection blower using 4 of the supplied bolts that came with the assembly. The bracket has 4 threaded holes that will line up with the holes on the back of the blower. Start all 4 bolts by hand then use a wrench or socket to completely tighten the bolts down. After all 4 bolts are tightened down install the large backing plate to the U-shaped bracket just like with the previous bracket the backing plate has 4 threaded holes that will line up with the holes on the U-shaped bracket. Make sure to alight the backing plate were the upper lip containing the internal side stops will be facing up as you set the blower onto the wall. With the bracket properly aligned install the 4 supplied bolts and firmly tighten them to hold the plate in place. Now attach the handle to the blower using the two supplied phillips head screws. Make sure not to over tighten the screws or to strip them out.
To mount the dust collection blower on to the wall simply lift the blower into place and the upper lip of the backing plate will slide over the upper edge of the mounting bracket attacked to the wall. There are two small side stop on the inner edge of the backing plate this is to prevent you from placing the blower to far to one side or the other of the mounting bracket. I found it helpful to mark to small pencil marks on the backing plate indicating where the stops were to help me guide the blower properly onto the mounting bracket. Once you have the blower mounted onto the bracket I also used a small hammer to tap the top of the backing plate to ensure it is fully and properly seated. The bottom of the backing plate rests against the lower board that was mounted earlier to help support the weight. Once the blower is in place you can run an mount your hoses. Make sure to completely tighten the hose clamps down that secure the hose to the blower. Also I would suggest using the Rockler dust right hoses and clamps they work well with the Dust Right system and hold securely to the blower with no problems.
To mount the collection bag on the blower. Start by installing the foam strip around the lip of the exhaust port of the blower. Once the foam strip is installed place the collection bag over the foam strip and use the string on the bag to hold into place. Loop the supplied steel clamp around the bag and clip it into place. Make sure to have the clamp tight enough to not allow the bag to slip off of the exhaust port of the blower.
To test the system I that I would be using I was going to be running the i2R-8 cnc an making a cut on a piece of oak board that I know would create a good bit of dust. I loaded up a 60 deg vee bit from bitsbits.com and clamped down the material. I honestly was not sure how well this was going to work the cnc dust boot at the boot only accepts a 2 inch hose fitting and I knew it was going to be a constriction point going from a 4 inch hose with the Dust Right system down to a 2 inch. Only way to find out was to turn it on and see how well it would do.
After letting the cut run I was surprised as how well the system picked up the dust and how much air flow was coming through the dust boot. It cleaned up most of the larger dust as well as picked up almost all of the finer dust particles. Another surprising asspect was how quiet that the dust collection really was while it was running. I expected it to be much louder but it is a very tolerable noise level. While I would still recommend hearing protection it is comfortable and can be talked over without shouting if needed.
Well there it is guys the Dust Right Dust Collection system from Rockler Woodworking. If you want to take a look at this system head over to rockler.com and check them out I highly recommend the Dust Right Dust Collection System. Over the next few weeks I will also be expanding the dust collection set up to more tools. I will also be putting the dust collection through its paces and coming back to do a more concise review. I have a feeling though that it will preform just as well as it has so far. So thank you guys for reading and I will see you on the next one.