Connecting Benchtop Tools to Dust Collection
Issue: Issue 243
Posted Date: 2/23/2010
Q: I have a small workshop with many benchtop and power hand tools. The problem is being able to connect them to my shop vac to reduce dust. Does anyone make an adapter kit which allows you to connect various different tools to standard shop vac? Currently the only tools that I can attach to my shop vac are my table saw and my benchtop band saw. - Heidi Christy
The "usual suspects" (Rockler, etc.) almost all carry shop vacuum attachment supplies. Most of them, in my experience, "nearly" fit. So, my answer? Improvise! PVC pipe fittings make a great place to find cheap materials to adapt to specific tools when the real thing isn't available. The one adapter I have that really helps me is one that converts common vacuum hose sizes to standard pipe and PVC pipe sizes. This opened up a whole new world for me in my shop. I think I bought it at a local home/builder's supply center. I also use flexible plastic hose sold for sump pumps that I buy at hardware/builder's centers. Don't forget the duct tape!
Along with Tim's suggestions, I would add one additional thought: try to limit the number of tools your vacuum will service to one or two at a time. A vac hose branched off to too many different machines will reduce the vacuum's overall effectiveness. Or, plan out your system so you can close off individual branches with blast gates in order to keep the volume of air sufficient to clear your tools of debris.