Dust Collection, Lumber Rack, and Cabinets

Article - March 31, 2011

So here’s the latest from the new/old shop. Its been a crazy couple weeks!

Lumber Rack

Once my tools were pretty much in place, I turned my attention to the lumber rack. Being made from 2x4s and ply, it was a project that really wouldn’t require much from the big tools, which still didn’t have proper dust collection set up. Just about everything was done with a circular saw and a drill. The lumber rack project was filmed and will be released as a video this month.

The inspiration for this project came from a couple different sources. In fact, when Googling for ideas, it was our own forum that proved to yield the most useful information. Go figure! Chet’s rack in this thread was very helpful for the initial concept of a wall rack with a plywood cart nested underneath. The plywood cart itself was inspired by Aaron’s design here. In both cases, I simply adapted the designs to my own needs and preferences.

Here are a few details for you. The vertical uprights are bolted into the 2×4 studs inside the wall using Spax screws and lag bolts. The bracket supports are then screwed to the vertical uprights and are considered semi-permanent. I can move them, but not without removing a bunch of screws. The plywood cart is capable of handling numerous full-size sheets as well as small cutoffs. There are two large casters on the left side and the right side is hinged. This allows me to swing the cart out into the room for easy access. The remaining space is occupied by a metal shelf which will hold random solid wood scraps. Of course, the entire unit is positioned right by the front door of the shop, exactly where you’d want it for good material workflow.

Dust Collection

The dust collection was quite an undertaking due to the 16′ ceiling. I still have painful memories of installing 6″ sewer and drain pipe years ago. Fortunately, metal pipe makes this process quite a bit easier. I have to confess that what you see here is actually my second attempt. Initially, I had the dust collection going across the center of the power tool nook. My initial thoughts were to take the shortest route possible. This required me to send out two branches just a few feet from the inlet. The problem with that is the fact that the junction of these branches is now only about 8 feet above the ground. This looked like doodie on a stick. So I decided to take the longer route along the wall, giving the pipe plenty of time to incline before it branches out into the open space. This gives me a lot more head room and looks so much better than before. And you see that big old blast gate up there? That closes off a whole branch of the system and will eventually have a nifty stick hanging from it so I can easily open and close it without a ladder. FYI, all parts and fittings were purchased from Penn State Industries.

As you can see, the ClearVue is back once again, with the fine dust exhausting outside. I LOVE not having filters on the system. I also love not having neighbors. You might also notice that the dust collector is no longer installed at the front of the shop. I just couldn’t justify running a bunch of extra pipe for no reason. So now the cyclone is located much closer to the power tools nook.


And finally, the new cabinets are being installed. As of now, I have absolutely no storage in the shop. So there is STUFF just laying around everywhere. Amazing how messy things can be without proper storage. So these are the carcasses for my new lower cabinets. This new wall will eventually have four 36″ cabinets (lower and upper) with a little desk area for the computer. My buddy Ron cut the parts with his CNC, but there was still quite a bit of work to do: edge-banding, drawer construction, base assembly, case assembly, and construction of the top.

I’m having fun, but its a fairly hectic pace. I want to be up and running by mid-April. So lots to do between now and then. Wish me luck!


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