For years, I tried to equip my shop with a convenient dust-collection system for multiple machines. First, I engineered a system with seven machines permanently connected. But each time I went to a new machine I had to close and open blast gates. Often I’d leave a gate open by mistake, sapping the performance of the system. I also dreaded the time spent disassembling and cleaning the frequently clogged gates. In my next shop, I hooked up individual machines as needed—no blast gates involved. This was simpler but still took longer than I wanted.

Finally, I built this manifold. It holds—in one place—the open ends of the outlet hoses from five machines. The intake hose from the collector rides a shuttle that lets it connect with any of the outlet hoses. The system is convenient and has the efficiency of a direct connection from machine to collector.

The only moving part is the shuttle, which slides in rabbets. I used a fly cutter to cut the 3-3/4-in.-dia. holes for the hoses, but a standard 4-in. hole saw would work as well.

 quick-change dust-collection manifold

click to enlarge

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September 21, 2012