A wise investment - Help for the small shop

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“I learned that I had too much run on my other system, which was junk, and I had a sharp 90-degree [turn] in the run,” says Langley.

The engineers from JDS came along and helped Langley. He says the first thing that sold him on the cyclone was its compactness, and the second thing was the ease of getting the dust collection barrel out. The system works well, and his employees love it, he says.

“We kept the piping from the old system. I zoned the shop and took two pieces of equipment off the cyclone that were too far away and bought the 1.5-hp Dust Force bag unit for the other two pieces of equipment,” says Langley.

“My suggestion for woodworkers purchasing a system would be to sit down with whoever you purchase your dust collection system from and get the proper layout for the piping. If the company doesn’t offer that service, then you don’t want to deal with them.”

John McConnegly, owner of JDS, acknowledges that dust collection is a confusing topic for some individuals. He says companies like his, which are dedicated to the field of dust collection systems, are familiar with how air moves and can successfully create a proper system for those uninitiated to the engineering behind it all.

JDS offers a range of systems from small portable machines to other products that can be incorporated into a central system. The central systems, ideal for furniture makers and cabinetmakers wanting connections to several machines, have become increasingly popular for larger cabinet manufacturers, according to McConnegly.

“With several central collection units in designated zoned work stations, a.k.a. ‘cells’, within a manufacturing facility, the shops can avoid running an enormous machine on the roof all day long when half of the machines in the shop aren’t even running,” says McConnegly.

Help for the small shop
Thomas MacDonald, of Thomas MacDonald Fine Furniture in Canton, Mass., works alone, but still needs proper dust collection in order to work on his period-style pieces.

Prior to getting his 3-hp Pro dust collection system from Onieda Air Systems, MacDonald had a portable system with two bags that he dragged around from machine to machine. He says the process was frustrating and that the collector didn’t work well. His health and work quality were his primary concerns.

“I found myself cleaning all of the time. Dust gets everywhere. I contacted Oneida to better manage the dust in my shop,” says MacDonald, “Now, instead of me having to clean my shop as often, this picks up most of the dust.”

Oneida gave MacDonald a schematic about how the new system would work, as it is now hooked up to his two joiners, table saw, thickness planer and band saw. The process eliminated the guesswork for MacDonald.

“I’m sure I could have done something on my own, but it wouldn’t have been as efficient as what I have now. These guys do it for a living,” says MacDonald, who would definitely recommend other woodworkers take the same route.

“Guys like us, we think we can do everything, but I’m glad that I went to the experts — there are all sorts of direction changes on this piping, and the portals range from 4" to 8" in diameter assuring there is proper air flow from each machine. That’s something I wouldn’t really have considered.”

Oneida’s president Robert Witter says industry trends show that woodworkers are moving toward more sophisticated dust collection equipment, rather than standard bag collectors.