vacuuming saw dust while sawing... adapter?

Hi everyone, I have a central-vac system in the new house, and I’m hoping to take advantage of it in the workshop when I do some home projects. I want to connect it to my chop saw’s dust outlet to mitigate as much dust accumulation as possible. I was able to gaff-tape it into place and it works ok, but surely there’s an (off-the-shelf) adapter for this application. Isn’t there?

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You want to be a little bit careful here, in that dust collection systems can kick up static electricity and sparks and powdery flammable stuff is a bad combination. Most shop systems contain grounding wires for this reason.

I’m also a bit doubtful that a whole house vacuum system is designed to carry the kind of volume of sawdust you’d see from a shop. You’d probably be constantly emptying it.

What’s the diameter of the two pieces you want to connect? On Amazon I can find, for instance, a 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" vacuum hose adapter.

I agree with Finagle, for a small shop without a woodworking dust collector I think you’d be better off hooking up your Shopvac to your miter saw. There are tons of adapters available online and duct tape is good for fine-tuning the fit.

One good source is

Using a ShopVac right by your saw allows you to use a short hose and so you avoid the suction loss that a longer hose and all that tubing to your central vac has.

I have a dust collector but for smaller tools I use my vac with an iVac switch (automatically powers the vacuum on/off when the tool is triggered, it’s a huge help). I recently added a Dust Deputy (small cyclone separator) which takes care of the vast majority of the particles, very little makes it to the vacuum filter.

Convenience and power aside, I’d be nervous about running a lot of sawdust into a home central vacuum, static buildup and fire danger as Finagle mentioned.

While I am impressed by the Tim Allenishness of your design, I have to second the shop vac idea.

Go to the Home Depot or Lowes and look through the PVC pipe fittings. There are adapters of a variety of sizes. I have a big dust collector for woodworking but all the tools have different fittings. Sometimes I just have to use duct tape to tape the hose to a fitting that fits the tool if needed, or for my old miter saw I taped a short section of exhaust hose to the saw and put a joining fitting on the other end that matched the hose.

Make sure you have adequate ventilation anyway, the smallest sawdust particles are the worst for your lungs and can escape any vacuum system.

I measured the outlet on the saw. Well, I didn’t actually measure it, but I *forced *one of my shop vac’s (2.5”) attachments onto the outlet and it fit well.

Just of note is that I’m a lowly homeowner. I’ll probably make ~50 cuts a year. If a large project came-up, I’d do best to put the saw outside to keep all the (fine, as noted TriPolar) dust out of the basement.

I didn’t realize the potential danger I was setting myself up for so I appreciate the warnings. I’m familiar with explosive dusts but didn’t consider the hazard in my situation. I’ll look to using the shop vac. The link that **Valgard **sent seems to be exactly what I was looking for. That being said…

This is probably the route I’ll take. I’ve got access to yards of hoses, plastics, etc. I was just curious what was out there. Often a production part just makes things simpler. Though, not always. Thanks again for all the input !

When connecting vacuum hoses like this, Flexible PVC Couplings are very useful. They can be used to connect pipes of different diameters.

To have the shop-vac start when you start the saw, get a power strip with a switch and plug both the saw and vacuum into the strip. Put the strip on your workbench where you can easily reach it. Leave the shop-vac switch on. When you go to make a cut, turn the power strip on and the vacuum will start up. Make your cut and then flip the switch off to turn off the vacuum (and power to the saw). Make sure your power strip can handle the load of both tools.

Now we’re talking :slight_smile:

If you want the whole world of PVC fittings, check this out. I have purchased many things from them. They have fittings so odd and cool you will buy one just to plan a project around:

Here are some neat ones:


Wow. I mean, wow. Another example of reality being stranger than fiction. Thanks for the very interesting link, Dennis. The bolding is mine… bolded for truth!

Those adaptors, Fernco couplers is a common name based on a manufacturer, may be difficult to seal on flexible hoses if you want them to be removable but there are a number of sealant products that will take care of that. They make great long lasting plumbing repairs for drain pipes, if you have an old house to maintain you wouldn’t want to live without them.

I kind of assumed your central-vac system already had a HEPA filter but if not it would be a good idea. Usually when I’m done working I’ll run the collector with the inlet open for a while just to clear the air, it’s got a big 5" inlet so it really does a good job, but for ultimate safety you should really have a system that vents to outside because of the ultra-fine dust. Now if you go on woodworking forums you’ll see that many people don’t think there’s much danger for home woodworkers because of the relatively low exposure, and there are fine dust particles in the air just about anywhere, none of us can escape that.

There are also doohickeys that I can’t find online at the moment that allow you to put a canister like a trash can in the path before the dust collector to that just catches the large particles and even trash you suck up so you aren’t filling your vacuum bag rapidly. And if you use your shopvac you can also run a hose from the outlet out of the house. It will make more noise but I did that when sanding drywall in my old house and it was well worth it.

There is a lot of “fact” about the static buildup of dust collectors and there is exactly as much “fact” about that lack of static buildup of dust collectors in a work shop. I tend to lean to the lack of static buildup side, especially with the dangers of explosion, which I assume is as plausible as your cell phone blowing up the gas station should you take a call, possibly one in 95 million billion, but not likely.

More pertinant, a home central vac isn’t really meant for a lot of heavy duty dust collection that wood working can generate. The recommendations to use a shop vac are great, and duck/duct/whatever tape is a great sealer.

…you’ll find that their Shop Vac accessories section has adapters specifically for upsizing or downsizing connections between your Vac and your tool – whether that’s a table saw or an orbital palm-sander. Sears, Orchard Supply, and many other stores that sell shop stuff will have similar collections. You could also go so far as to mount PVC to walls, rafters, workbench undersides, et cetera and connect it to the Vac or DC (dust collector) with T’s and elbows and blast gates and so on. But it sounds like you’re not quite that (lost?) deep into woodworking (yet?) so I wouldn’t recommend investigating the options at Rockler or Woodcraft. Those specialty DC parts can get pricey.

And note that your DC/Vac system is still no substitute for a dust mask (or, better yet, a dust/mist filter). But, of course, you’ll be using all of the standard protections, anyway, right?

Happy buzzing!