Dust Collection, Lumber Rack, and Cabinets

So here’s the latest from the new/old shop. Its been a crazy couple weeks!

Lumber Rack

Once my tools were pretty much in place, I turned my attention to the lumber rack. Being made from 2x4s and ply, it was a project that really wouldn’t require much from the big tools, which still didn’t have proper dust collection set up. Just about everything was done with a circular saw and a drill. The lumber rack project was filmed and will be released as a video this month.

The inspiration for this project came from a couple different sources. In fact, when Googling for ideas, it was our own forum that proved to yield the most useful information. Go figure! Chet’s rack in this thread was very helpful for the initial concept of a wall rack with a plywood cart nested underneath. The plywood cart itself was inspired by Aaron’s design here. In both cases, I simply adapted the designs to my own needs and preferences.

Here are a few details for you. The vertical uprights are bolted into the 2×4 studs inside the wall using Spax screws and lag bolts. The bracket supports are then screwed to the vertical uprights and are considered semi-permanent. I can move them, but not without removing a bunch of screws. The plywood cart is capable of handling numerous full-size sheets as well as small cutoffs. There are two large casters on the left side and the right side is hinged. This allows me to swing the cart out into the room for easy access. The remaining space is occupied by a metal shelf which will hold random solid wood scraps. Of course, the entire unit is positioned right by the front door of the shop, exactly where you’d want it for good material workflow.

Dust Collection

The dust collection was quite an undertaking due to the 16′ ceiling. I still have painful memories of installing 6″ sewer and drain pipe years ago. Fortunately, metal pipe makes this process quite a bit easier. I have to confess that what you see here is actually my second attempt. Initially, I had the dust collection going across the center of the power tool nook. My initial thoughts were to take the shortest route possible. This required me to send out two branches just a few feet from the inlet. The problem with that is the fact that the junction of these branches is now only about 8 feet above the ground. This looked like doodie on a stick. So I decided to take the longer route along the wall, giving the pipe plenty of time to incline before it branches out into the open space. This gives me a lot more head room and looks so much better than before. And you see that big old blast gate up there? That closes off a whole branch of the system and will eventually have a nifty stick hanging from it so I can easily open and close it without a ladder. FYI, all parts and fittings were purchased from Penn State Industries.

As you can see, the ClearVue is back once again, with the fine dust exhausting outside. I LOVE not having filters on the system. I also love not having neighbors. You might also notice that the dust collector is no longer installed at the front of the shop. I just couldn’t justify running a bunch of extra pipe for no reason. So now the cyclone is located much closer to the power tools nook.


And finally, the new cabinets are being installed. As of now, I have absolutely no storage in the shop. So there is STUFF just laying around everywhere. Amazing how messy things can be without proper storage. So these are the carcasses for my new lower cabinets. This new wall will eventually have four 36″ cabinets (lower and upper) with a little desk area for the computer. My buddy Ron cut the parts with his CNC, but there was still quite a bit of work to do: edge-banding, drawer construction, base assembly, case assembly, and construction of the top.

I’m having fun, but its a fairly hectic pace. I want to be up and running by mid-April. So lots to do between now and then. Wish me luck!

Category: Shop Journal


  1. Good luck, Marc!

  2. It’s looking good. I just took a trip to Penn State Industries at their co-MLCS Woodworking PA showroom. Great place for dust collection pieces and the employees are super helpful. Hope you are enjoying the process of common construction vs. the sometimes tedious art of woodworking.

  3. Terry McKnight March 31, 2011

    Looking good. You’re working really hard at the moment. Interesting idea with the lumber rack and swing cart.
    Hmmmm….maybe I could do something like that in my shop.

  4. John Dinkeldein March 31, 2011

    Are you making the cabinets yourself?

  5. Dave Manley March 31, 2011

    Marc, I know you direct vented your dust collector out of the shop when you were there before as well. I do not have any neighbors and have thought of doing this as well. Just wondering what does the outside of your house look like from when you did it in the past? Is the siding coated in dust or does it dissipate without making a mess of the outside of your shop?


      Well, I do live in Arizona so there is always dust on everything. But I have never noticed any significant accumulation of dust. The only exception is when I neglect to empty the can and its so full that chips are flying out the chute. :) But that’s all my fault.

      • Just curious about what you do with your wood chips when the can is full. I saw an episode of Good Eats once where he threw together a smoker in a cardboard box and used hard wood chips from a local wood shop as the source of smoke. Thought it was an interesting idea, and economical as well. As long as you can guarantee wood chips and no MDF or plywood in your collector!

      • Mark September 16, 2014

        Why the metal spiral instead of PVC. I hear the metal is more expensive and you really never get an air tight seal. The PVC is cheaper, air tight, but you have to run a grounding wire on each run. I’m just about to make the purchase and wanted your thoughts.

  6. looking good Marc.

    lumber rack turned out nice.

  7. Great job, Marc! Looking forward to more WW episodes in your new setup. All the best from Toronto!

  8. Claude Stewart March 31, 2011

    Hey Marc I had that same wood rack for about 10 years.

  9. I would love to see some details/plans on the cabinets. I have to build some for my shop and I’m sure others would find a shop cabinet post and video to be very interesting!


      I’ll probably release a SketchUp plan for the shop cabinets although I won’t be showing how to build them. I will, however, show the process with the CNC machine and some of the work I have to do to wrap things up once the parts are back in the shop.

  10. Good lord, at the pace you’re moving, you’ll finish before me and I’ve got a five year head start!!

  11. Lori March 31, 2011

    Great lumber storage there Marc!!! You’re doing great…that’s a lot of moving and rearranging, but Oh how nice it will be when you are “done”!!! Is a woodworker EVER done with their shop organization…I think not!!! :-)

  12. Im about to build a lumber storage rack but now I think Ill wait till you release the new video so I can get some ideas on that.

    Those seem like some good looking cabinets. You know what would make a great video? Taking a trip to your buddies shop who has the CNC. Im sure alot of people would enjoy seeing that. Also I would be interested to see the sketchup drawing of the cabinets also. Im still getting settled in my new shop(3 car garage).

    Thanks Marc

  13. Geof Kusch March 31, 2011


    I am also moving into a new shop and am in the situation of having stuff everywhere. How are you going to use the storage in the cabinets? hHow do you determine what to put in drawers, shelves etc. I have a fair amount of peg board in the shop and have lots of tools hanging but want to be able to get as much as possible out of sight.



      Hey Geof. After setting up my shop about 3-4 times now, I have pretty good idea of what type of storage I need: deep drawers vs shallow drawers vs shelves…. But this is only something I know after years of trial and error. I originally thought a bunch of deep drawers would be ideal. Once I had them, I realized they were just invitations for piles of small items to accumulate. So now I use an even mix of drawers and shelves. But this is really a very personal choice based on the stuff I have and how I like to store it. I can certainly give a little tour when its all said and done. But its a little too soon to say where everything is going to go because I really don’t know yet.

  14. Geof Kusch March 31, 2011

    Thanks, Marc. It would be great to have a tour when you are done and see what the insides of the storage look like after you have filled them with treasures.

  15. While one can always ask for MORE (and NOW), I’d give a bit more depth to the sheet goods section. Just baltic birch and bit o’ MDF in various thickness fills up a cart quickly.
    Looks good and should be satisfying place to hang in the near future.
    Rock on.

  16. p.s. my cart is freestanding with wheels all corners, but I mostly use it as you will. Swinging out one end to access. A nice solution for your space.

  17. I need color a lot of color, take a chance….http://marcuscanblog.com/wp-co.....nowHa1.jpg

  18. Will March 31, 2011

    Looking good! I know what you mean about using sewer and drain pipe. I used 4″ schedule 30 (If I recall correctly) and the fittings just are not nearly as tight as I’d like them to be. They’er all glued but I think from time to time that I should wrap them all with metal tape or something. It’ll look awful, but maybe I’ll get better suction and less leakage. Can’t wait to see a walk through video of your new shop. I’m also curious how difficult it is for you to remove the lid of the can on your filter. It looks tight.

  19. Erik March 31, 2011

    Looking great! Did you use the premium or economy class ducting from Penn State Industries?

  20. Tammis March 31, 2011

    Good Luck with your shop!
    Greats. from Estonia

  21. Kent April 1, 2011

    Hey Marc! Lookin great! I have one question. Since I’m in my planning stages of running my duct for my new cyclone, I was wondering why you put a blast gate in the straight section of piping above your mortiser?

  22. Paul April 1, 2011

    I was thinking about using pvc pipe for my dust collection system. I haven’t priced it out yet, but I would think it would be cheaper than metal pipe. Any reason why pvc wouldn’t work well?


      Nope. I used to use PVC. Its just super heavy when doing an overhead installation.

      • Will April 1, 2011

        Did you use schedule 40 previously? I’m using schedule 30 and I’ve found the fittings are not as tight as schedule 40. it’s even cheaper than schedule 40, and lighter, but I wonder if your metal fittings, once taped, provided a tighter seal and thus better suction overall.

  23. Eric R April 1, 2011

    Starting to come together !
    The new/old shop is going to be a beauty !

  24. Rex M April 1, 2011

    Hey Marc, looks really good. Can’t wait to see the rest. I thought you installed AC in your shop? Won’t venting the DC outside exaust all the conditioned air defeating the purpose of the AC or do you have some magic trick to deal with this?


      I do have A/C. But you’d be surprised at how well the room maintains a cool temperature even with the DC on. I have never even noticed a drop in temperature. Its just such a huge volume of air with the 16′ ceilings that the AC has no problem keeping up.

  25. lynxsg April 1, 2011

    Noticed your florescent lighting … I dropped mine on light chains so that the light intensity was greatly increased over various work stations. Also installed full-spectrum daylight tubes to mimic sunlight. The colour rendition is good for finishing considerations.

  26. Grant April 1, 2011

    Hi Marc,
    Since you have such high celings, did you ever consider putting in a raised floor? I’m thinking the kind they put in computer data centers, but you could certainly make one. I realize it would have to be strong to hold your table saw and such. You could hide a lot of the dust collection and electrical under the floor. Just a thot. :)


  27. Tom O'Brien April 1, 2011

    What, no ground on the dust collector? I personnally do not believe in grounding the dust collector, but I would like to know your reasoning.

  28. Gerry Rovner April 2, 2011

    Great job, Marc! Looks like a LOT of work! I’m planning to move my lumber rack from the shop to the outreaches of the garage in the 3rd bay,so your clarity and efforts are really appreciated! I too plan to build cabinets and a desk area for the modified shop, and will look to your build with great interest. Thanks for sharing all of your work!

  29. jHop April 4, 2011

    Making good time. Did you have to plug the old vent hole, or did you just hide it with the new lumber rack?

    I know you’re planning the CNC video for later, but would you say that a CNC is a quality addition to many woodworking shops, or is it more a specialized tool for an established shop?

    One thing I don’t remember you discussing during the first shop update video (haven’t watched the second yet) is a finishing area…Did you address this already or is this an area to work around later?


      I actually closed up the old hole properly: drywall inside and stucco outside. As for the CNC, its tough for me to say. For me personally, I would not want one in my shop. But I sure love knowing a friend that owns one! So in my opinion, it is more specialized than anything else. But I am sure many folks use them as part of their daily woodworking routine.

      And as for finishing, thats still up in the air. The room we built on the patio area turned out to not be the best idea. So I might just continue finishing in the assembly area like I always have. Maybe I’ll build a little knock-down spray booth…..

  30. John Verreault (aka Johnny_Vee) April 4, 2011

    Hey Marc,

    I was wondering why, since you “have no (nearby) neighbours”, you put your dust collector inside the shop? Outside, in a small shed against the shop’s outer wall, would be a lot quieter. You certainly have the space. Just curious.




      A couple reasons John. For one, it would be an eyesore. Second, that side of the shop actually has a driveway that goes along the side of the house. Anything that sticks out too far would just get in the way. And finally, our heat. I would not want that cyclone running outside during our summers. I imagine it could easily get over 150 degrees inside there with the motor running.

      • John Verreault (aka Johnny_Vee) April 6, 2011

        Fair enough. I was just curious.


  31. Eric DeFratis June 15, 2011

    Everything looks good. I was wondering what your opinion on shop made cyclone dust collectors. Are they cheaper to build and worth the effort or are they a big waste of time?


      Hey Eric. I honestly can’t answer that with any sort of accuracy. I haven’t had any experience with shop-made cyclone. But I don’t see why someone wouldn’t be able to make a decent unit at a significant savings, with the right design and execution.

  32. Dave Stanton June 26, 2011

    Hi Marc,
    I stumbled across the wood whisperer a few days back and am hooked! I am sharing the link with my mates as well. I love watching your shop evolution. I have had a couple of shops in garages and I am now in the process of building a new one, so your site is a wealth of information, thank you so much. One difference we have is that in Australia, we don’t call them “shops”, we call them “sheds”, and I don’t conform with the colloquial term either but prefer to call mine the toy room.
    I have 2 questions if you get the time, what gradient fall do the dust extractors need and what size is a good outfeed table for the rear of a table saw?

    • Dave Stanton June 26, 2011

      Forgot to mention that the toy room is 42 x 16 feet with a 20 x 20 feet garage connecting via a 10 feet wide roller door. The garage is for my 8 x 4 tool trailer with gas strut side lift doors and an old 4 wheel drive to pull it around with, nothing else and it only takes a minute to roll these vehicles out and hey presto, a great assembly room.
      Just finished watching another of your videos and may forgo the cyclone and go with a mobile 1 horse Jet. Do they make them to switch on and off on demand in the same way that Festool’s vacs do?


      Thanks for stopping by Dave! And thanks for spreading the word. That is always appreciated! As for an outfeed table, I think bigger is better as long as you have the room. But the minimum size would be whatever will safely support the largest things you push through it. I designed mine so that when you push a 4×8 sheet of plywood through, neither piece has a tendency to fall. But if you don’t have enough room for a table that large, you’ll have to cope with something a little smaller. But just be aware of its limitation on larger cuts. To see what I did, check this video out: http://www.thewoodwhisperer.co.....eed-table/

      • Dave Stanton June 26, 2011

        Brilliant! Just watched your video and was particularly impressed with the adjustable feet system you suggested. Not so much for height adjustment but to keep the timber off the floor a tad. Like many garages, my concrete floor can be damp at times and to be able to have a rubber foot will help with that issue as well of course stopping the table from sliding around. Please thank Nicole for me as well. I dabble with photography and video and appreciate the amount of time that goes into the productions.

Leave a reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Image Map