If you spend a good portion of your time, or maybe even just a fraction of your time, cutting up or sanding down wood, then you don’t need to be told that the sawdust produced from the work can be quite a hassle to clean up. It goes without saying that no one wants to spend hours of their precious time sweeping up sawdust every day and not everyone has the extra funds to dish out for a central dust collection system, which is why so many people are looking for alternative ways to clean up the mounds of sawdust collecting in their shops. If you’re looking for a more efficient, inexpensive way to clean the sawdust off of the floors in your shop or garage, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to discover how easy it can be to thoroughly clean your floor of all that pesky sawdust that is surely keeping you up at night.
Shop vac Dust Collection System
Get Dust Collector Universal Adaptors for Transitions
If you’re looking for a more convenient way to collect sawdust from your shop floors, then you should look into purchasing a universal adaptor. A universal adaptor, which is available at most home improvement stores, is one of the best ways to carefully and quickly transition the dust. The first thing you need to do is purchase a universal adaptor and a vacuum hose for a woodworking dust collection system. Then, using a standard utility knife, cut the universal adaptor to fit the dust port on the tool. You also want to make sure that you cut it to fit the vacuum hose, as well. It’s recommended that a 1-¼ inch hose is the best hose for this kind of job. Of course, you should always keep duct tape handy just in case you come across an odd-size dust port.
Using a Dust Collector Hose
Whether you’re cutting wood or sanding it down, there’s quite a bit of sawdust that can accumulate. As it turns out, using a 1-¼ hose is actually one of the best ways to efficiently remove all of the sawdust being produced from your work. The first thing you need to do is purchase approximately six feet of 1-¼ hose from your local home improvement store. This hose will be directly connected to each of your hand power tools when they’re in use. Using a plastic friction coupling, connect the 1-¼ hose to the standard 2-½ inch vacuum hose. Because the smaller hose is a lot lighter and flexible compared to the larger hose, you don’t have to worry about kinks or drags while you’re working. In fact, you’ll barely even notice the 1-¼ inch hose as you use your saw or sander.
Buy Bench-Top Tools with Dust Ports Whenever You Can
If you’d like to avoid having to adapt a tool all on your own, which can be a little frustrating for the average novice, then purchasing a tool that comes with a dust port could be extremely beneficial to you. A lot of the time you can find bench-top saws and planers that come with dust ports, which can make a huge difference when it comes to controlling the dust in your shop or garage. Luckily, the connections are typically pretty easy to work with, which is, once again, great for the novice carpenter. Most ports are the standard size of 2-½ inches, so all you really need to do is pish the 2-½ inch vacuum hose right into the port.
Make a Permanent Adaptor for Tools
There’s really no need to get innovative every single time you use a different tool. Not only is this time consuming, but it can be unbelievably frustrating to stop what you’re doing to get creative with some sawdust. This is why making your own permanent adaptor can be extremely beneficial. Obviously, it would be nice if manufacturers would standardize their dust ports, but until that happens, you have to get a little imaginative. With that being said, you could save yourself a whole lot of energy and frustration if you would install a permanent adaptor onto your heavily used tools. This way, all you need to do is simply plug in the house and get to work!
Using Remote Controls
There are higher-priced shop vacs that come with a switch that turns the vacuum automatically on as soon as the tool is turned on, but not everyone is able to afford something like that. Luckily, there are several different remote controls that can be used to make life just a little bit easier for yourself.
a. A Foot Switch
It can get a bit tricky using a vacuum to suck up all of that unwanted sawdust accumulating on your garage floor, especially if you’re hands are tied up with something else. With that being said, using a foot switch to hook directly onto your shop vacuum can be a definite game-changer. Instead of having to put your work to the side for a second, all you need to do is step on the foot switch and the vacuum will do the rest of the work.
b. A Wireless Handheld Switch
Another way to make life a little easier on yourself is by purchasing a wireless handheld switch. Using a wireless remote that you can keep in your pocket, you’re able to turn your vacuum on and off from wherever you’re standing. This is extremely convenient if you work in a larger space that causes you to have to move around more often than you’d like.
c. Use a Sensor Switch
One of the most convenient ways to efficiently suck up all of the unwanted sawdust without installing a central system is by using a sensor switch. A sensor switch is capable of sensing when the tool is being turned on and off, causing it to start up the vacuum at the same time. This is a great option for those of you who run a business and need to save all of the time that they can.
Use a Better Filter
If you’re familiar with shop vacs then there is a good chance that you’ve noticed a small cloud of fine dust that blows out of the exhaust every time you turn on your shop vac. Typically, small dust particles fly right through most standard shop vac dust filters. To prevent this from continuously happening, which undoubtedly causes you to spend more time cleaning than you’d like to admit, purchase a high-quality HEPA filter from just about any home improvement store.
Purchase an Overhead Hook
Hoses that are used to collect dust tend to take up a lot of room, especially if you work in a small shop. Not only is this inconvenient if you work in a small space, but it can also be extremely unsafe if you trip over the hose on occasion. If you typically work in one area, you can get rid of some of the clutter and tangle by keeping the hose hung up on a hook. If you work in several areas of your shop, feel free to add a hook onto the ceiling wherever you find yourself working the most.
Use a Portable Dust Hood
While most power tools don’t come with dust ports, which is quite unfortunate, you can position a portable dust collector near the spot where you find yourself working the most. Depending on the system that you purchase, you might have to mess around with different adaptors and metal ducts in order to make the transition to the vacuum hose as smooth and easy as possible.
Install a Whole-Shop Dust System
While this option isn’t exactly the most affordable, it is certainly the most convenient and easy to use, especially if you set up a smaller version of a whole-shop dust collection system yourself. Unfortunately, most people can’t afford to install a top-of-the-line dust system, with the right equipment and tools you can make one of your very own. All you need to do is push the parts together and arrange them as needed, which is extremely helpful when it comes to moving around your shop. If you’re looking to work in several different areas of your shop, all you need to do is add 18 feet of 1-¼ hose and a remote control, and you should be all set.
It goes without saying that no one wants to spend their time cleaning up piles of sawdust, and people surely don’t want to be inhaling sawdust the entire time that they’re working, either. With that being said, if you’re looking for a more efficient way to clean up the sawdust taking up more than enough room on your garage or workshop floors, then take these simple tips and use them to make things a little more convenient for yourself. After all, think about all of the time that you could save when you don’t have to manually sweep up all of the sawdust on your floors anymore. Life is meant to be enjoyed, so give yourself a little more convenience and less stress every once and a while.