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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:31 am 
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My recent purchase of a new Planer Thicknesser finally pushed me over the edge – yes it’s time to sort out DUST EXTRACTION and filtration.
I did have an old Dyson attached to my Mitre saw, and I thought it was doing a pretty reasonable job of catching the dust, then I started to read up on the subject.
It seems that it’s the tiny dust stuff which does the damage, and I had started to notice that after a dusty day in the workshop Mrs P complained that I was snoring all night! So it was time to invest in decent dust extraction. I have limited space, so am looking for an under bench option with 2 ½” ducting. I also want to filter down to 0.5micron (this seems to be the standard).

Initial thinking was to get a cheap Axminster NV750 (about £240). I nipped into my local store to have a look and after talking to the helpful chap about what I was trying to do he pointed out that the NV750 is a REALLY noisy machine, and I really needed to think about an NVD750 (£340!) additionally the NVD750 is a 4” machine which changes the whole game.

Ok so I then went on-line and did some searching and one name kept appearing – Camvac (camvac.co.uk), who are based in Norfolk. These Vac’s get really good reviews, and is available with both 2 ½” and 4” inlets. It has to be said that their website is not very good, however it does say “Call us now for a FREE consultation.....” so I called them and spoke to their sales chap Philip Griffin, who was really helpful. We discussed my needs, the equipment which would be connected and some options. I got a quote emailed along with some brochures, and set off to my workshop to measure up. It quite quickly became clear that I wanted aGV286 (£170) and a dust collection kit (which is a bunch of pipes and bends to get you going). I also discovered that should I not get enough “suck” from my vac I could replace just the lid part and get a twin motor machine (independently switchable for when you need that extra bit of suck!). some amount of “Heath Robinson” bodging will be required to fit all the power tools as nothing is really standard!

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So I placed an order and a couple of days later a couple of large box’s arrived. Here’s a thing, the 2 ½” pipe can be clipped to the wall with standard guttering downpipe clips.

The installation (thanks to detailed planning) was really fast, other than having to move all manner of things which were now in the way! No glue is required (when in use the vac pulls everything together) which is handy for changes, and additions.

Once the pipe work was installed it was time to start connecting the tools. I had attempted to think through every possible connection option, but when you have a couple of bits in your hand which you thought would fit together you realise what you will be doing for the next few hours!
Some tools come as standard with a single pipe, but really need another (bandsaw needs something under the table and the Saw bench needs something on the top of the blade guard), and I could not find anything suitable, so set to with bits of old vacuum pipe and PVC glue to fabricate some cool tool specific items.

I really struggled to connect my thicknesser and bandsaw as the 2 ½” -> 4” connector was exactly the same size (4”) as the tools. My final solution to this was actually an Axminster 4”-4” connector sawn in half (how cheap am I?)

One tip I picked up from Philip was to route the output from the machine outside, as this decreases the noise significantly. To be honest it’s not that bad anyway, but venting outside cuts it down even more.

I have connected the vac up with a couple of “external” switches – in essence I made a “2way lighting circuit” type arrangement to control the vac – so I can switch it on or off from either side of the workshop, so it’s only on when I need it.

The finished installation works a treat, the vac is really powerful, and grabs a massive amount of sawdust and dust.

What’s not so good, well the messing about to get all your different sized tools connected, but that is a generic issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:45 am 
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The bandsaw (Record 300E) has a 4" extraction hole at the bottom of the case, however much of the dust lands just below the table, and on this machine there is nothing to catch it.

My solution was to create a Y joint from a bunch of bits:

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Starting at the machine Right hand side:
4" joiner from Axminster, sawn in half - this attaches to the 4" -> 2 1/2" adaptor.
Next a 2 1/2" jointer attaches to a Y pipe, tape used as this was a bit wobbly (no problem in use, but it falls out when not in use)
To the left of the Y the flexi pipe is taped on (special connectors are available, but they are loose fitting and need taping on anyway!)
At the top of the Y we have another joiner taped on. then a cut to size tool connector adaptor (you saw off the small bits so you can fit pretty much any pipe quite easily
Lastly the flexit white pipe which routes just under the table, see next picture.

In order to get enough "suck" on the smaller pipe I have inserted a small bit of plastic into the Y which helps drag more air from this side.

Under table
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The flexi pipe is like the stuff they sell in Machine Mart, although (you will love this) mine was a chuck out from a local hospital, it's colonic irrigation pipe (un-used).

This the the perfect set up for this machine, and grabs most of the dust which used to collect under the table.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:49 am 
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Left hand side is the 2 1/2" pipe which is clipped to the wall.
an inline connector attaches a "blast gate", another inline connector then an adaptor

this picture shows the end of a pipework run, and zips off to the slide mitre saw.

The right angle on the top of the blast gate is the thing you pull up to get air to flow through this joint.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:54 am 
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This is a mid -pipe run blast gate (vac is off to the left)

The standard kit came with T shape's which are fine, but the vac pulls the dust so fast some of it tends to over shoot, these Y shapes enable the dust to zip along.

this one is used on the bench for small power tools (sanders etc.)

You can see 3x pipe clips on this picture (the lower one is a different style!)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:59 am 
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this is where the glue comes into play

this is a standard dewalt table saw with a 2 1/2" outlet at the bottom - great, simple. hang on though there is also a blade guard with an extraction (about 38mm).

The black T shape was my home made solution, it's left overs from my old vac glued together to allow a secondary pipe, inside is another bit of plastic to help divert the air from the smaller pipe.
Yes I should have made this a Y shape, but this was one of my first machines, and I didn't know then what you know now!
It works a treat anyway, and I have no more pipe, so it's going to stay as it is!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:03 am 
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I forgot to mantion
The camvac machine is not designed to be on all day, they say it should be turned off for 20 minutes every 2 hours.
Now I prefer to have a nice quiet workshop, so only turn it on when I'm using a machine.

If this was an issue you could get a vac with 2x motors and swap motors every few hours. the extra motor would be used if you had a major extraction job, say a planer thicknesser at the end of a long or complex run, you can turn on the extra motor for this job specifically.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:19 am 
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Ok my vac lives under the bench - that the left vertical pipe.
from this the ducting routes both ways around my workshop.
on the right is where I connect the planer thicknesser.

inside the pipe on the left you can just make out a build up of dust, this is where I was using a tool on the right hand side and some of the dust overshoots and starts to pile up beyond the down pipe.
this is really not an issue. the moment we open a blast gate on the other side this dust vanishes.

I do find that the planer thicknesser T section is usually full of dust if I've been using the bandsaw, but again its soon gone.

The Y connectors do help here, but I don't have any left and it's not a problem


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:22 am 
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this is one of my external 2way switches. I only used external ones as they have a big idiot proof button! and there was room to write VAC on

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this is the machine's on/off button, if you had a twin motor you would have 2 of these, not sure if you have 2x mains leads, I assume not
It's not an NVR type so it's possible to leave it on all the time.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:25 am 
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Here's the planer thicknesser - axminster entry level,
the other half of the 4" axminster connector pipe, a 4-> 2 1/2" connector and a leftover vac pipe

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oops and here is the other end of the tablesaw connector - see earlier post
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:05 am 
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oops, just realised that I bought a GV 336-1 (2 ½” 1x motor), not the 286. Schoolboy error.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:36 pm 
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I realise that it is a long time since your article but I have just come across your very helpful description of your dust extraction set-up.

I am about to fit my own system using a similar Camvac but with twin motors and was wondering how your design is working after 20 months of use.

How efficient are you finding the 2.5 in diameter pipe, especially with the planer/thicknesser?

Are there any changes you would make if you started again?

Thank you for any advice you can give.

John


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Hi john,
The system is still working fine. Every now and again I moan about lack of suck, but this is always because I need to empty the vac. The planer does create a massive amount of waste, so if you are using yours a lot then you might be better off with a bigger bin. The camvac guys will sell you any part, so you could upgrade later if it was an issue.
The other thing I noticed was that the blast gates were getting blocked and not closing fully. The camvac ghuy contacted me after a few months to see how I was getting on, and suggested I cut off the bottom of the gate with a hack saw, which works a treat.

So yes very pleased, and camvac a are so nice to deal with, real old school
Phill



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:49 pm 
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Hi Phil

Thank you your quick reply.

I wasn't so much concerned about the total amount of waste from the planer as to how well the Camvac sucked it through a 2.5 inch diameter pipe without any blockage. I am thinking of a 3 metre straight rigid pipe and a few metres of flexible hose to connect the planer at one end and the Camvac at the other.

I see from your picture of the connection for your planer that you have the blast gate in a horizontal position. Where then is the blockage forming and which part were you advised to cut off?

John


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:36 pm 
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The single motor camvac copes fine with the thicknesser. The buildup is simply due to the sharp angles in my setup. If you wanted to clear it just open another gate and it will vanish.
The build up is hard to explain, but micro dust blocks the blast gate such that you can't close it fully, by chopping off the bottom off the gate the problem goes away. It was a simple job with a hacksaw
I have flipped the upside down gate in the picture, as the thicknesses pipe kept falling out. It really does not matter what angle they are set at in terms of operation.

Phill


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Nice setup. Regarding those gates I have also cut the bottoms of mine and then made some plugs to fill the hole (used some old hardboard place mats lol), made them a snug fit using a hand plane to taper them slightly. When they start to get chips stuck in there they eventually push out the plugs and you know it's time to clean them out :)


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