A proper dust collection system is what separates good workshops from great ones. A well thought-out system will provide a safer work environment and you'll spend less time cleaning and more time building.
In the above video, Steve Maxwell takes us through his woodworking shop and shares his tips for setting up an effective dust collection system. His system consists of a main dust collector, ambient air purifier and ductwork that connects everything.
A larger workshop with multiple woodworking tools such as a thickness planer, router and table saw requires a near-industrial approach. A smaller workshop that would typically be seen in a garage can get away with a workshop vac or smaller dust collector.
Buying a dust collection system is easy -- determining your layout and design is the hard part. Adding a dust collector can make an already tight space even tighter, so you may need to reconsider the location of all of your tools as well as possibly purge tools that you hardly ever use (yeah right!).
A leak-free vacuum system is the primary goal. Go with spiral rigid duct tubing which is more durable and and clear polyurethane flex hose which allows you to seek any blockages. Test your system by closing all of the blast gates and turn the system on. It should not puff up like a balloon like it would when a blast gate is open.
Our favourite tip from Steve's video is his recommendation of a floor sweep. Run tubing to the floor and attach the floor sweep to the ground. Then just sweep any extra sawdust into the vacuum without having to use a dustpan.
Dust Collection System [YouTube]