Why didn’t I think of that?

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It’s amazing how, after considering a woodshop problem for a long time, you find the solution was right in front of you all along.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m getting a shop ceiling. A contractor will do it, but I have a lot of PEX water lines up at the joists, plus some miscellaneous wiring and other things I need to adjust or move before a ceiling can be installed.

While doing all that, I happened to notice a much better way to do the dust-duct run to the stationary machines on the far side of my shop. My current duct run goes in a diagonal from my dust collector closet, hangs under the joists, snakes down the opposite wall, curves around existing drainage pipes and, finally, to a Y-junction between my band saw and jointer. It’s been working fine, but that low-hanging duct has been problematic.

While adjusting a PEX line in the joists, I noticed there was a direct shot from the duct run to my table saw, up inside the joists, and down the other wall that avoids the drainage pipes. Moving the duct to that spot would eliminate three sharp angles and shorten the overall run nearly 10 feet.

Even better, stashing that long run up in the joists gets that duct up and out of the way and, once the ceiling is up, hides it completely. It’ll take some maneuvering to get that duct into the joists (it’ll have to go over both the outgoing and return ducts from the furnace), but if I can thread it through there I’ll not only improve my dust collection efficiency but also make my shop less cluttered in the process. Wish I’d seen that possibility originally, but that’s OK – I’m eager to make the change now.

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