Tool-Controlled Dust Collection
Do you use your dust collector every time you should? Probably not. With this new system, you will—without any extra effort. System 1 from Creative Dust Control is fully automatic. The system consists of a motorized blast gate, a tool module and a vacuum module. It's available for both 110- and 220-volt machines. When a tool is turned on, the System 1 automatically opens the blast gate and turns on your dust collector. When you turn off the tool, your dust collector will also shut off and the blast gate motors will shut. Each tool plugs into the tool module, which connects to the motorized blast gate by telephone cord. Yes, telephone cord! A second telephone cord connects the tool module to the vacuum module. The vacuum module controls the dust collector. Like the tool module, the vacuum module, which the system requires to work, is a plug-and-play system. You'll need one tool module (which includes a 4-in. motorized blast gate) for each tool you want on the system. Multiple tool modules can be daisy-chained, and you can mix and match tool voltages. Each module has a manual override, so you can open the gate and run the collector without the tool running. Connecting three tools to this system costs $275 but means never doing more than turning on a connected tool to make sure your dust collector is running. Hookup is easy. Late in 2004, Creative Dust Control also introduced a nonmotorized blast gate, $10, that can be used independently or with the rest of the system. The gate can be wired directly to the vacuum module so opening and closing the gate turns the vacuum on and off.
Creative Dust Control, (314) 434-1655, www.creativedustcontrol.com, System 1: Vacuum module, V-1, 110-volt, $50; V-2, 220-volt, $50, Tool module with motorized blast gate, TG-1, 110-volt, $75; TG-2, 220-volt, $75.
Blast-Gate-Controlled Dust Collection
JDS and Penn State Industries offer systems that provide less automated, but less expensive, solutions. With either system, when you open a blast gate, the dust collector automatically comes on. Close the gate and the collector shuts off. The systems are nearly identical. Each includes a control box that the dust collector plugs into. The control box is wired to special 4-in. blast gates throughout the shop. Each blast gate contains a low-voltage micro switch that opens and closes along with the gate. You can wire as many blast gates as you need into one control box. As long as one gate is open, the collector will run. The wiring is simple and the instructions are easy to follow. Different control boxes are required for 110-volt and 220-volt dust collectors. Connecting three tools to one of these systems costs $100. You'll need to reach for and open the blast gate each time you run the tool to make sure the collector is on. The JDS Dust Gate start-up kit, $60, includes one dust gate, one 110-volt central control box and 100 ft. of connection wire. An expansion kit, including two gates and another 100 ft. of wire, costs $40. Penn State Industries' Long Ranger kit, $50, includes the control box for a 110-volt dust collector, one 4-in. blast gate and 100 ft. of connection wire. Each additional gate costs $11.