201 – Installing Nordfab Ductwork

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After installing the Clear Vue CV1800 cyclone, the next step was to install the Nordfab ductwork. This video shows you how I did the job and how this system works.

History

temecula-dust-collectionOver the years, I have tried a few of the common options out there for ductwork including home store HVAC, sewer & drain PVC, and economy snap-lock pipe. Below on the left you can see my old HVAC ductwork system in my first shop in Temecula, CA. I was running a Penn State Tempest cyclone at the time and didn’t have much ground to cover. The ductwork consisted of the 28 gauge snap-lock HVLP dutwork available at the home stores for a very reasonable price. While fairly thin-walled, I didn’t have any issues with the pipe collapsing and the system worked well enough.

az-shop-ductworkAfter moving to the monster shop in Arizona, I had much more ground to cover and I quickly upgraded to a Clear Vue CV1800. Even back then I considered them to be the best bang for the buck in cyclone dust collection. Most folks who run a Clear Vue utilize 6″ sewer & drain PVC pipe. I found a local source and picked up a bunch of pipe and various fittings. Because the system is PVC, assembling the joints was a piece of cake. Hanging the relatively heavy pipe from a 16 foot high ceiling, however, was a pain in the pooper. In spite of the awkward suspended ductwork and harsh 90 degree angles, the system was serviceable and I had adequate collection at each tool. And no, I did not fear

Fast-forward through several painful shop moves and I finally ended up back in the monster shop, once again challenged with designing a ductwork run that didn’t suck, or actually, on that DOES suck. So I decided to drop a few beans on some better quality metal ductwork from Penn State Industries. I purchase a few boxes of their 26 gauge Economy Snap-Lock Ductwork. Metal ductwork is never quite “fun” and involves self-tapping sheet metal screws, tin snips, aluminum duct tape, and many band-aids. But because the pipe is lighter, it’s much easier to hang. Unfortunately, thanks to my poor design and excessive use of 90 degree angles, the system did not perform well at all. It’s such a bad memory that I don’t even have a picture to share with you. Fortunately, the Dream Shop was in my future and I would have one final chance to do it right.

Doing it Right!

In the new shop, I decided I was done screwing around with ductwork. Not only would I get the stuff that’s incredibly easy to install, I would also enlist the assistance of a professional ductwork designer. Now before you go thinking, “Hey, I can barely afford the ductwork let alone a design service!”, keep in mind that most vendors that sell ductwork will also provide a courtesy design service. I HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of that service and let someone who knows what they are doing help you make the right choices for your shop. Your lungs will thank you.

nordfab-ductworkThe ductwork I used is called Nordfab. It’s a smooth-walled pipe that snaps together end to end using their ingenious clamping system. This means the system can be modified, expanded, or reduced in a matter of seconds by simply unclamping various components. When clamped together, the pipes and fittings form an air-tight seal with no interior obstruction. The video shows you how the system works, in detail.

nordfab-planAn essential part of this process was planning. In order for the design service to work their magic, they needed a tool layout and floor plan that shows the approximate tool locations as well as their port sizes. Without this information, it’s all just guesswork. So take measurements and sketch it out on paper. If you are so inclined, you should consider mocking up your shop in SketchUp like I did. The design service was actually able to overlay the proposed ductwork layout right into my SketchUp file. Feel free to download and check it out.

Pricing

The one single massive gargantuan drawback to Nordfab ductwork is the price. For all of the things it does well, is it any surprise that it also does an incredibly good job of sucking the money out of your wallet? Here’s a rough run-down of some common metal ductwork prices for the sake of comparison.

5′ section of 26 ga Snaplock Pipe (Oneida) – $19.83
5′ section of 26 ga Snaplock (Penn State Industries via 5-pack) – $16
5′ section of 24 ga Spiral Pipe (Oneida) – $21.32
5′ section of 22 ga Nordfab – $33.80

Of course, the straight pipe is probably the least expensive part of any ductwork setup. There are blast gates, wyes, elbows, and flex pipe to consider, and those tend to hurt the most. Even the cheapest ductwork system is going to be a hefty sum. So when you are ready to get serious about quality integral dust collection, make sure you budget appropriately.

Geeky Side Note

A lot of you were concerned after we moved into the new shop that my videos would be continually plagued by horrible audio due to echoes. As promised, the echo was addressed and this video shows an excellent before and after. Listen to the audio at the beginning and then compare that to the audio at the very end. That’s before and after sound treatment. Just thought some of you might be interested in that.

Category: The Shop

Comments

  1. Ben H May 9, 2013

    Re: geeky side note

    That sound treatment is amazing! Is that just a physical change to your shop (dampers or something) or audio hardware improvements as well? And what kind of dampers do you have?

    /geek

    •  

      Purely physical Ben. Using the same recording setup as before. I installed acoustic foam tiles on the ceiling. Probably a little less than 50% ceiling coverage and you can hear the difference it made.

  2. Dave M May 9, 2013

    Thank you. I am at this point in setting up my shop. I have a 5 HP cyclone but need to do the duct work. It is confusing and this was very helpful. Thanks again.

  3. runningwood May 9, 2013

    For some one who has never used the ClearVue or any cyclone for that matter, can you do a short video on maintenance needed, like what gets emptied, cleaning filters, how often etc.

    Thanks

  4. What is the process with the blast gates? Do you go around shutting and opening depending on the machine in use? Cheers

    •  

      Yes, if I can remember. Thankfully, the system is powerful enough that even with multiple blast gates open, it still performs well. But the idea is you close off machines after you use them so only the necessary machines are open during use.

  5. tony May 9, 2013

    hi marc
    great video, did you go thru nordfab directly or thru oneida?
    thank you

  6. Great shot on the jointer! Would’ve been cool to watch it split frame with the stuff going through the cyclone too.

    My dust collection consists of whatever the shop vac can pickup off the floor….but a boy can always dream can’t he?

  7. Peter Durand May 9, 2013

    Great video and information. I wish I had known about it when I had the 7 inch DC spiral pipe installed a number of years ago. To modify after the fact is a pain in the butt…tin snips, sealant (which apparently is more or less permanent), rivets and so on.

    That ducting system is THE way to go.

    Cheers,

    Peter

  8. What’s the point of all the blast gates in and just off of the main line? They seem redundant but I may have just been too creeped out by the way 2d you was staring at me no matter how I moved around the model to see the purpose.

    •  

      I recorded something about the high blast gates and must have accidentally edited it out. Those are there for emergency purposes. Should I ever have a clog or need for a big boost in suction, I can close off entire legs of the system. They stay open most times.

      • Hard to imagine it would make that much of a difference between having a closed gate at the tool vs at the main line. But if you aren’t going the Nordfab route the blast gates are the one component you can actually make yourself out of plywood, and won’t do that annoying rattle the metal ones sometimes like to do.

        •  

          Well, clearly this isn’t my area of expertise, but here’s how I see it. Most of my drops after the ceiling blast gates are about 15 foot runs with a 60 degree elbow, a wye, another 60 degree elbow, another wye, and a 6 ft vertical drop before it hits the next set of blast gates. The line also reduces down from 6″ to 4″ at some point there too. That sounds pretty substantial to me. Not to mention, things like the bandsaws don’t get used all that often. So I can keep those sections completely closed off and have peak performance for the rest of the system. Doesn’t hurt to add them (other than cost), so I figured why not. When it comes to dust collection, in my opinion, overkill is a very good thing.

        • If the gates are all closed at the end of the branch then there isn’t really any airflow in the branch, it’s a dead zone. Sort of like the back of a pickup truck, the air behind the cab is swirling around but it isn’t going anywhere. I don’t know how much the location of the gate affects the pressure loss to the rest of the system from that closed branch. I’m sure it can have some effect but I doubt it’s going to be enough to make any difference if you’ve managed to clog something up. I did a little searching on the subject and all anyone seems to be concerned with is that the blast gate close to the main keeps that branch from having any build up of sawdust from the other branches. You can mostly avoid that though by having your Y’s off anything horizontal also be horizontal, which seems counter-intuitive since you are also trying to minimize the number of bends.

        •  

          In my old setup, it did make a difference. Not in theory, but in reality. Of course my system at the time wasn’t exactly as air tight as it is now but that systems was my frame of reference for the design of this one. Extra blast gates don’t hurt anything by being there. I’ll have to let you know if it has any practical effect on air flow.

        • That’d be good to find out. At this point my DC needs are split between a pretty extensive vacuum system and a really pathetic DC system that is all 4″ flex hose. I’m able to mostly get away with it because everything hooked up to the DC is pretty close to it. Any extensive planing session is always a problem but I keep putting up with it. Leaks were definitely an issue with the vac system until I replaced the horrible plastic gates with shop made ones and got everything sealed up.

          If nothing else, if you move things around and have disconnected some ducts you can just shut off that part of the system and not have to get everything back together before you can use DC in the rest of the shop.

  9. Kurt May 9, 2013

    Rather than trying to screw through the drywall ceiling and into the joists/trusses when screwing your duct hanging straps, you could first screw a line of 1x4s to the ceiling along the line where you want to attach the strapping. When you hang the ducts, screw the duct straps to the 1x4s–no aiming necessary, and you always have wood to screw into.

  10. Fred Benjamin May 9, 2013

    Marc, do you need to worry about grounding the flex pipe to the Nordfab?

  11. Hey Marc,
    I liked the audio without reverb at the end of the video. At first I thought you may have done it in post production (I know this is very difficult) but now I see you blocked it at source with the acoustic foam treatment. Awesome difference.

  12. Hello Marc.

    Nice job :)

    I have one question though.

    Do you earth bond your ductwork? I ask as fibrous media within high airflows can cause quite a lot of static. Although extremely unlikely, static sparks, flammable media, lots of air… Well you get the picture. This is particularly relevant when the ductwork is connected to the tool via plastic flexi pipe, and the body of the extraction unit is plastic.

    A simple fix for piece of mind, that I would highly recommend, is to fit an earth bonding cable from the motor case of your extraction unit ( the motor should already be earth bonded) to the first solid section of metal ducting. I would also recommend fitting earth bonding cables between the tool and the respective metal port. These can be neatly tie wrapped to the plastic flexi duct.

    This will also help in the movement of the media within the duct work as by reducing the static, you reduce ‘clumping’ and therefore reduceblockages.

    Hope this is of help. Thanks for… Well everything you do. :)

    All the best

    Alex.

    •  

      I have looked into it over the years and I came to the conclusion that the risks of not grounding are absolutely minimal. I wouldn’t begrudge someone for grounding if they wanted to, but I don’t feel it is necessary for me. I suppose if I had a big static issue I might do something about it, if only for the sake of comfort. No one likes getting shocked. :)

  13. Danny H. May 10, 2013

    Marc, Thanks for sharing this video on connecting your dust collection system. I considered this type system as well, but in the end the high cost was just more than I was willing to pay. Admittedly it is the nicest and most convenient system on the market. I notice that Grizzly sells this as well. I’m assuming it’s all made by the same Co. The system I used is made from joints and blast gates purchased from The Blast Gate Co., with spiral straight runs being purchased from my local A/C shop I really like their joint tape which seals the joints, but can be taken off easily for expansion or cleaning. I also noticed that the self cleaning blast gates sold by them work really work well and never clog, since there design is different. The gate is designed to go all the way thru the pipe to push out any dust that may settle in the gate grove, which is usually the main problem with blast gates getting stuck open or closed. I know that they wouldn’t mesh up with the Nordfab system , but I’m curious if the ones your using will experience any sticking, since they aren’t designed this way. Keep us posted.

  14. Dust collection is high on my list of shop improvements. First, I need to improve the collection at the tool with some much needed improvements. Then I can attack the ducting, which is the origin of my 2 questions.

    First, I have the benefit of working on the 2nd story of an old barn with full access to the first story. I’m thinking of installing all the ductwork and the CV1800 (hopefully in my near future) on the first floor, minimizing the exposed ductwork, inconvenience and noise. I know you’re on a slab, so this question is for the others on the site. Other than drilling a half dozen 6″ holes in my floor, do you see any drawbacks to a floor installed system (knowing I can access the whole system)?

    Second, you only quickly mention PVC in your past. Other than weight, what was the main reason you eventually went with a metal ducting system?

    Another great video lesson, keep up the great work !
    Erick

    •  

      I think you’ll be happy with an under-floor system, considering the level of access you’ll have. The only other drawback I see is should you decide to move a tool, you might have a hole in the floor to deal with or a compromise in running the duct to the new location.

      As for PVC, it’s a matter of weight and quality. Every joint with PVC adds more resistance than an equivalent joint in Nordfab. I also find PVC looks clunky to my eye. Since this is my final shop, I wanted a system that would be easy to install and super high quality.

    • Chester May 14, 2013

      I also work in the upstairs of the barn and installed an under-floor system a couple of years ago … and … love it. I use only a 1.5 HP system and have never had any issues with clearing the tool, flexhose and ducting of all dust or shavings (assuming, that is, I remember to open the blast-gate). it is great to have the DC on the lower level for noise reduction and the gravity advantage really seems to make a big difference with draw.

  15. paulG May 10, 2013

    Great j0b on the acoustic treatment. Sounds great. I am a professional mixer for television and radio and I approve this!
    A side benefit is that you will experience less fatigue with the acoustic changes you made. Reverberant spaces tax our brain as it makes calculating location, and orientation information, ect very difficult…
    I know there are some heavy-weight engineers on this sight, so I’ll say upfront, I can’t sight the research, just 22 year of experience. You should have more energy at the end of your day! I recommend it for anyone working in reverberant spaces.

  16. Joe Davis May 10, 2013

    I like the norfab but it was super expensive
    I went with a company called the blast gate co.
    http://www.blastgateco.com/
    I did my whole shop with 6″ spiral pipes and custom cut wyes and elbows
    For less than $600
    Good quality but you have seal the joints with duct tape or some other equivalent.
    You can see it in my shop tour

  17. Scott T May 10, 2013

    Great setup Mark. Nordfab is the best investment I’ve made for my basement shop…as I crowd out every square inch with new tools, I’m constantly rearranging and adding drops. My shop air is cleaner than the rest of the house.

    A thought on cost: used Nordfab can be found if you’re patient…it holds value in a Festool fashion. Another company that is compatible (there may be others) is KB Duct Systems out of Greensboro, NC. (KBDuct.com) Their standard duct components aren’t quite as polished (Nordfab laser welds, grinds, polishes…it’s VERY nice looking) but KB is less expensive and every bit as functional. I’ve got components from both manufacturers in my system…they play together well. Like the Nordfab folks, KB’s customer service is first-class.

    • Just install a bunch of the KB Duct Systems ducting. It is not as polished as the Nordfab duct, but is all works the same. The KB duct has welding spatter all over the Y branch, really any piece that is welded has spatter . The 90 degree elbows and main trunk lines look great. Still the stuff is dam expensive. Shipping was over $400 alone. KB shipped me Y splits instead of Y branches. Their customer service was great and immediately shipped out the correct parts.

      Now I’am working on automating the blast gates with pneumatic rams and 110 volt solenoids that open the blast gates when a machine is turned on and close them when the machine is turned off. Not really necessary but a cool gadget.

  18. Bobby May 10, 2013

    You could find a small hvac company that might be willing to do this kind of work as another option. Some of us are woodworkers also and have access to a full metal shop.

  19. Dave May 10, 2013

    Marc,
    Can I assume you turn the DC on by a remote switch?

    Thanks for the video as I save for my DC and system. I like the flexibility of what you installed in case I need to rearrange the shop some day.

  20. Jamie Lennox May 10, 2013

    Awesome video demo, Marc! I plan to also use nordfab…only the best and most easy to work with! Thanks for the info.

    Jamie

  21. Hey Marc,

    I have quite a few questions. Just answer as many as you are willing or until carpal tunnel prevents typing any further:

    1. Do you plan to build a sound closet around your collector? If not, why not?

    2. Did you look into or consider automatic blastgates (either DIY or purchased)? I find myself always having to do “rounds” and close open blastgates on my system but can’t really justify that inconvenience as a reason to invest $100’s per tool, esp as a hobby WW, albeit hopelessly addicted one.

    3. Why Nordfab for your setup? It seems like the major upside to Nordfab would be the modularity of it and mostly pay for itself when moving from one shop to another. In retrospect this would have been a good choice for myself (a newly minted WW addict who is currently in a 2-car garage setup but plans to have a dedicated shop one day and elected to buy top-line tools up front (i.e. Oneida 5hp cyclone). BTW, its honestly like theres a running helicopter in my garage when I turn on my DC. My neighbors probably think I’m a mad scientist.

    4. What is that stuff sitting on top of your dust collection bin? Infrared alarm when full? My dust sentry from oneida is already broken after about 3-4 months with honestly less than 10 hours use. Ugh! Hopefully they will replace it once I get time to contact them.

    •  

      1. Yes.
      2. No. Doesn’t seem worth the effort for me.
      3. Did you watch the video? :) Easy to install, easy to rearrange, no interior obstructions, and super high quality material.
      4. Yeah those are infrared sensors. I have them positioned wrong right now so they are disconnected. But when the tube fills, it sets of either an audible alarm or a light. Saves some serious heartache when the filter stack gets filled with chips.

  22. Great video,looks very similar to the ducting I used in my workshop, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time just down the road from a mill that closed down around 10 years ago so I made a few phone calls and picked up a 7.5 kw woodman cyclone and all the duct I could remove in 36 hours. I was there by 6 am both days until sunset and removed every bit of duct from 8″ down to 3″ flex hose it worked out to be around $2500 worth of duct plus the cyclone all for $175 and some work.
    sometimes ya get lucky…

  23. Lenny G May 11, 2013

    Hey Marc,

    This is a little off topic but when you purchased the Clearvue Cyclone did you have a reason not to purchase the slightly larger CVMax instead of the 1800.

    Thank you

    •  

      The CVMax is really intended for shops that have to run multiple tools at the same time. Being a one-man operation, that’s just more than I really need. So a properly set up CV1800 delivers more than enough air movement for my purposes. I should also mention that mine was a bit of a custom job though. I think they upgraded me to a larger impeller and a larger intake chute to grab a few more CFM

  24. Mike May 11, 2013

    Hey Marc,
    I am currently looking at a new system and had a few questions regarding your system. Did you go with the CV1800 single phase or 3 phase and why? I see that you have the filters but did you leave an option to still vent outside? You may have stated but did you go with 6 or 7 inch for the main run and did your drops follow that same diameter? Did Clear Vue do the ducting diagrams for you or Nordfab? I have read a lot of different stuff on different collectors and other companies claim a 3 hp unit would be enough power for a typical 3 car garage, what are your thoughts regarding a smaller unit with 6 inch mains?
    Thanks for your time and thoughts,
    Mike

    •  

      Single phase because I don’t have 3 phase power. And there’s always an option to vent outside. Just need to get up the courage to punch through a brand new wall. :) My main run starts at 7 then reduces down to 6 after the first 5-6 feet. Everything is 6 up to the drops. Clear Vue did the work for me.

      As for power, it really depends on the unit. HP only tells part of the story when it comes to collection efficiency. Folks who dig into the details of this stuff are looking at actual CFM at each tool for the optimal setup. So personally, I do think a good quality 3HP unit probably has enough CFM to take care of a typical garage setup.

  25. Marc M May 12, 2013

    Marc,

    I like the Nordfab piping, looks solid and I like how it connects, easy to take apart for clogs! Does Nordfab sell hangers with their system? The strapping works I guess but looks terrible! For a guys who does such nice work and just built this big beautiful shop I was surprised at this. Even commercial hangers would have been a better choice (all-thread and tear-drop). I would have been easier to hang as well. Sorry don’t mean to be a critic but I do commercial HVAC/R for a living and see these methods used regularly.
    Keep up the good work! love the site and videos!

    Marc M.
    Cleveland, OH

    •  

      Hangers are easily replaced if better ones ever come across my path. :)

    • John Davidson June 2, 2013

      They must do it better in Ohio than Illinois. I’m a licensed plumber and one of my pet peeves is that most plumbers here use the crappy gray strap to hang plumbing. I have had to fix more than a few problems due to this. Hey Mark, wanna come be an apprentice plumber? ;-)

  26. Jim Record May 12, 2013

    I used Nordfab when I built my shop. What i like is the ability to take it apart to change the hookups.

  27. Andrew Levine May 13, 2013

    I just use PVC S&D pipe from home depot. Man, this looks like a better option, but I can’t justify the expense.

  28. Alan May 13, 2013

    I installed a Nordfab ductwork system 2 years ago and couldn’t be happier. Pricey, as you said, but solid as a rock and trouble-free. Mine’s attached to a 5-HP Oneida cyclone, so thin-walled metal ducting would collapse in seconds. The Nordfab handles it like a dream.

  29. William B May 14, 2013

    Great setup and very informative. Since your like most of us and have probably rearranged your shop quite a few times, would there be any chance of a video in the future of your thought process of why your setup your shop the way you have? What works best for you and why. Thanks for the great videos.

  30. Dan Schmidt May 15, 2013

    Marc – great job; I have a project like this on the horizon. Couple of questions:
    1 – you mentioned you went through ClearVue for the ducting. Were they your design service as well, and where they the ones who added the ducting to your Sketchup dwg?

    2 – for the long vertical drops from the ceiling to the jointer area, is the drop supported in anyway? I’ve always wondered how I would do this, as I can imagine is quite wobbly at the bottom…. Do you find it stiff / strong enough even if you bump the drop w/ a machine?

    • Dan Schmidt July 26, 2013

      Is no one (including Mark) reading these posts?
      I REALLY would appreciate help from someone who has done such a project. Isn’t it a reasonable question?

      •  

        Hi Dan. I would never expect anyone else to answer questions here. They might, but unless it’s a new post it isn’t frequented as much. And unfortunately, since I’m the only person answering questions here, some comments will get lost in the shuffle. To answer your questions, yes, ClearVue did the design and added the ductwork to the drawing. But, I don’t actually know if someone within ClearVue did the work or of they had outside help. I just know they took care of it for me.

        As for vertical drops, you’ll want to secure them in some fashion. I have mine secured to the outfeed table of the table saw. Just some strap material connecting it to the extension wing leg is all it took to stabilize it. hope that helps.

  31. Peter Durand May 19, 2013

    Just curious…is yours the stainless steel ducting or the galvanized? It looks shiny like SS. When I was looking at the prices the galvanized pipe is about half the price.

    Cheers,

    Peter

  32. Brian May 21, 2013

    great info! Can you post some websites that will do the layout for you?

  33. David R May 22, 2013

    Marc,
    I’m a hobbyist with a very small shop (~150 sqft) and a new member of your Guild. I just recently purchased a brand new Oneida 2 hp Super Dust Gorilla and wanted to see about upgrading my ducting. On your recommendation, I contacted NordFab, who referred me to a local dealer, who gave me a quote.

    The price they quoted me is 2.5 times the price I paid for my dust collector! Almost $4,000, for 150 sqft, and that’s before freight and installation! Who in their right mind would pay this amount in my situation? Clearly, this product isn’t appropriate for small, home hobbyists. It’s certainly way out of my league.

    I’ve watched your video (well done as always), and read this entire thread. While you clearly mention that NordFab ducting costs more than some other solutions, I’m not sure you have done justice to what is clearly a major disconnect for small, home-based hobbyists. NordFab is not just expensive, it’s an entirely different class of product, one that isn’t likely to be appropriate for those who aren’t professional woodworkers.

    Even then, I’m not sure why anyone would spend this kind of money on ducts. For the cost of this ducting I could buy a brand new cyclone for each of my large, stationary tools and not worry about ducting. I could also probably suck my shop inside out from the combined CFM’s. That sounds pretty fun now that I think about it. Instead, however, I will probably buy some very cool tools with the money I’m going to save by NOT buying NordFab.

    Wait a second! Actually, that is a wonderful “woodrat” (def: a woodworking rationalization, an argument I create to allow myself to buy woodworking stuff despite all contrary logic). I guess I owe you thanks after all.

    •  

      Hey David. Honestly, I thought I did a pretty good job of preparing people for the price difference. The writeup lays it out clearly and you can see that Nordfab is at least 2x the cost of most other options and that’s just for the straight pipe. I don’t like to speculate on what people can and can’t afford. For many, woodworking is either a hobby or the way they make a living. In both cases, you’ll find people blowing some serious cash on making their shop the best it can be.

      So I certainly don’t expect everyone to be able to afford this product, but I can’t let that stop me from showing it to people. Keep in mind that some of my videos are nothing more than me showing other folks what I’m doing. It’s just a peek into my own shop life and I’m bringing you along for the ride. Case in point, this video was NOT meant to say, “You need to use this product.” Instead my intention was to say, “Here’s a premium product that I am using and here’s why.”

      But hey, if it indirectly results in new tools coming into your shop, then it’s all good! :)

    • gotallie August 8, 2013

      I tried dealing with the Norfab company. They were real unfriendly (polite term used here). I had no luck getting even a price list. They and their dealer were unresponsive.
      I am currently looking for an alternative product.

      •  

        I went through Clear Vue to get my ductwork but that was a special situation. I am honestly not sure who might be a good retailer to go through. I know they probably aren’t used to working with individual woodworkers so perhaps they don’t have the systems in place to provide acceptable customer service. They strike me as a business to business sort of outfit.

  34. Leland May 31, 2013

    Marc,
    I am looking at obtaining some Nordfab ductwork from a wood shop going out of business.
    the have a 10″ going to 8″ then 5″ and then down to 4″ at equipment.
    Question, If I was to get the ClearVue like you did, besides getting a custom adapter, would there be any downside from using this larger ductwork?
    I am in the process of building a new shop and need to also obtain a good DC so your last few video’s have been great.
    thanks,
    Leland

  35. Anne Segura June 5, 2013

    This is great Marc. Thanks a lot for sharing. You make it look so easy to install but I know that it takes quite a lot of time. Glad I have the video as a guide though. I’ll be looking forward for more great posts from you.

  36. Gene June 8, 2013

    Hi Marc,

    Great video as always. I did notice something that I wanted to bring to your attention.
    When you installed the last piece on the ceiling it appears that you should have reversed the pipe prior to installing the elbow. The reason I say that is that your splice should consider the flow of dust and chips. The way you have it currently installed the chips are going to hit the but end of the splice and had you reversed just the section of pipe the chips and dust will flow right past without any potential blockages. But with the strength displayed during your jointer test I really don’t think that is a problem

    Gene

  37. Robert Jones July 16, 2013

    Can you tell us a little more about the acoustic foam tiles you installed on the ceiling? Brand/model? How did you arrive at covering 50% instead of 100%?

    •  

      I went with the Sonex Value Line: http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ.....dwhispe-20

      The decision for 50% came after a discussion with someone at the company. They said in most cases you need about 60% coverage for effective echo cancelation. I figured I could get by with 50%. Honestly, I don’t even know if I truly hit that number. I could be over or under. I just did my best to cover the easy areas with minimal cuts. Bottom line is in a big space, something is better than nothing.

  38. TJIC (http://365bowls.com) November 27, 2013

    Marc,

    Long time fan who hasn’t had much shop time in the last 9 months.

    I’m moving into a new house in ~6 weeks and want to do the dust collection right this time (like you, my first / current set up is a hodge podge of PVC, tight 90 degree bends, and such).

    I was amused when it took me 10 minutes of googling to find the exact sort of product I remember reading about…and I ended up at a Wood Whisperer page that got posted during my forced down time. Small world!

  39. We are a (friendly) Nordfab Dealer in the Philadelphia area. If you have questions or need a quote, gives us a call or email. You can also go to http://www.nordfab.com and find a Dealer closer to your location or download a parts catalog.

  40. Jack January 23, 2014

    Hello Marc, I recently finished installing the Oneida V-3000 system in my shop and had I seen this video first I would have used the Nordfab system instead of the snap together pipe. One comment on your set up was I noticed that your machine dust hoods were the same as mine were originally, that is using the 4″ plastic hoods and attaching them to my older machines that didn’t have dust ports. Recently, I had to good fortune to meet a welder that custom made a 5″ welded port for my 8″Poitras Jointer and he also welded the 6×6″ hood to a custom metal plate that now fits my Powermatic 100 12″ planer. These two modifications made a very significant difference in dust flow and collection efficiency. I can now plane walnut or rosewood with the slightest amount of dust escaping.

    Keep up the good work on your videos I recently finished a rosewood dining table with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal varnish thanks to tips from one of your videos.

    Jack

    •  

      Yeah I have heard of folks getting good results with wider ports. That might be something for me to consider in the future though I’m very happy with the current collection efficiency. But more efficient is more efficient, right? Very cool. And I’m glad to hear the rosewood table turned out well!

      • Jack January 23, 2014

        Mark, I only mentioned it because I had that same plastic 4″ port from Rockler expoxied to a plywood sheet fitted to my jointer dust shoot.

        Replacing the plywood with 16 gauge steel and welding a 5″ nipple eliminated all of the residual dust that came out of different holes between the cast iron base and the jointer bed assembly.

        Eliminating dust in my shop has been my number one priority the past two years and in addition to the Oneida V-3000, I now use Festool power tools with their dust extractor with the Oneida UDD cyclone in series. It’s nice not tracking dust into the house and facing my wife’s rage!

        Jack

  41. Phillip Moore April 22, 2014

    What do you think about using the main dust collector for hand held tools if you have a tiny shop. I’m setting up a 1 car garage dedicated to woodworking. I want to have a proper dust collector for table saw and such, but I also have a few hand power tools some of them Festool. I’m thinking about just having a reducer to connect the long Festool hose in a few places and just plug up as needed. I can’t see much down side of this and it would save my limited floor space for tools instead of rolling shop vacuum (which is what I have now) with dust deputy + shop vac on rolling cart.

    •  

      I know folks who do it, but I haven’t had much luck with it. Full size dust collectors and small dust extractors and shop vacs are quite different in how they pull the air. Dust collectors pull a large volume at a lower velocity. Shop vacs pull a smaller volume of air at a higher velocity. So when you choke down a 4″ line to a small hose appropriate for small tool collection, you really begin to air starve the unit and collection efficiency drops dramatically. So I’m not going to say you can’t do it….make sure you do your homework. But I haven’t had much luck with it myself and shop vac style collection just works better for my purposes.

    • George May 4, 2014

      Phillip,
      That will not work. Your DC will not generate anywhere near the required negative pressure to properly remove dust from your handheld power tools. They are designed for high pressure systems (i.e. Festool dust extractors.) DC impellers are designed for low negative pressures–check out their volume/pressure curves.)
      If you are set on this idea, test it first by making a baffle that fits on the end of your DC hose and connects to your Festool hose and use the tools–you will quickly see that your shop vac/DD combo works much better.
      If you want to lose the mobile shop vac/DD combo, put it in a permanent convenient place and pipe to your tools from there (2 inch electrical PVC conduit works well, and is relatively inexpensive.) Or get a powerful central vac unit and do the same thing.

  42. Jim Barry June 6, 2014

    In looking for Nordfab ducting I found a good array of items available from Rockler. The good news is that they have a $19.99 shipping limit and occasionally (like now) offer 15% discount. It is still not inexpensive but this seems like a good deal.

  43. Tim Erickson November 9, 2014

    Marc, do you have any floor openings? At the community woodshop I use they have openings on the floor where you just sweep your dust over to it and kick it open with your foot and away the dust goes.

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