Ask WWGOA: Dust Collection Size

woodworking dust collection system

I’m setting up a new shop and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about dust collection. Now, I’m more confused than I was before doing the research! My shop is about 300 square feet; the third stall in my three car garage. Can you point me in the right direction on dust collection? How large of a system do I need, and what’s the best way to run ductwork?

Submitted by Jason S.

First, on choosing a dust collector. As you have come to realize, the “scientific answer” is complicated, and involves a lot of variables pertaining to the tools involved, the length of runs, duct size, etc. I’d suggest that you work with a vendor that has sales people available with expertise on air flow, so that they can perform these calculations for you and assist with designing your ductwork. Several of the cyclone vendors have people available to assist with that.

If you are trying to set up dust collection on a tight budget, I’d suggest getting a dust collector with a minimum of 2HP, and run 4” ducting with as little flexible ducting as possible. Flexible pipe absolutely crushes your air flow performance, so run hard pipe to as close to the tool as possible, and only use a couple feet of flexible pipe to make it easier to move the tool as needed.

For more information (we promise it’s simple!) on this topic, check out these articles:

D.O.G. Simple Approach for Dust Collection Ducting
Hooking Up Your Tools for Better Dust Collection


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14 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Dust Collection Size”

  1. Richard Harman

    ‬ What 4" flexible pipe with smooth interior pipe can i purchase

  2. Michael Looby

    On the live show tonight, you mentioned using a remote you purchased from Amazon. You also said it was important to use one for 15 amps to use with dust collection. Can you tell me the brand and model number? It also sounded like it would be posted on but I am having trouble finding the info. Can you help? Thanks! Mike

  3. Dean Kaufman

    What is a good router table choice to be able to adjust the router depth from the top of the table? I'm just getting started and want a table that accurately cuts the wood.

  4. darryl

    does a hobby shop dust collection system need to be grounded~4 in pvc with drops

  5. Max

    This is tha most helpful i seen ever

  6. JOE

    I am setting up a new system, that is plenty large enough but I have a question. Why is it that almost all of the videos that I see have the pipes running overhead. It seams like this is fighting gravity making the chips 'climb' the pipes at the beginning of the run from the farthermost points away from the suction source possible. Does this matter or is there a reason for running the pipes overhead instead of along the floor?

  7. Annette

    Has anyone here used a DIY cyclone dust collection with a shop vac? I have a shop the size of a 1 car garage - very limited space. I saw it on Pinterest and wondered how well it really worked before investing in the items needed to go with my shop vac. It's mainly to use with my radial arm saw & router.

  8. Bruce

    I have a question on this line. I have a dedicated 12x24 shop heated and cooled, 10' ceilings. I've been looking at air filtration systems. It makes sense to me,but is it worth the investment. They run just under $200 to over $400.

  9. Jack Burgess

    Jasib, I had the same problem and did not even get adequate information from vendors After I read everthing I could find I came too the conclusion that the MOST economical way was to collect the dust at the SOURCE That led me to NOT use 4" ducting (not room to do it_) small shop I set 21/2 in connectors at each tool with flex hose to source and I use a long flex 21/2 hose to connect at each tool as i use it. Long tube is connected to dump bucket which is then connected to a HD floor vac with a ONE MICRON filter. BUT that was not the key the vac source (whatever you use) must have a outflow exhause connect to the OUTSIDE you cannot imagine what is coming out of the exhaust. It is the unseen 1 microm that we are breathing. Ideal would be to have the collection unit located OUTSIDE but difficult in neighborhoods/ Also installed a small attic fan at one end wall and a vent in my incoming door to keep air flow going Good luck look up the article on line by Bill Pentz will give you a lot of information not published by others


    I am building a small workshop; 15 X 20 feet. Have everything settled except what to floor it with. Have seen several shops in myh woodworking magazines with OSB flooring. Is this a good choice or is there something better. I don't have a lot of $$ to spend so I need something that is duable and won't set me back a bunch.