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Thread: Automatic Blast Gates

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Automatic Blast Gates

    Well, I haven't been here for a long time and have been away from my woodworking for a while. Life happens sometimes.
    Anyway, I'm finally finishing up my shop and am about to pull the trigger on my ductwork and auto gate system. It seems that Ecogate has eliminated its "economy" gate system, and the only reasonably priced systems now are GrnGate, and iVac systems.
    I would like to make sure that there is not a third alternative available other than making my own that I should be considering, and which of the two aforementioned systems are preferable over the other.

    My ducting will be 6" to within close proximity of my tools, and the necked down to 4" so I plan to use 4" gates.

    thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    Jonathan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    A friend of mine bought a bunch of small microswitches from McMaster. He wired them, using garage door opener wire, to a relay controlling his vacuum system. Now, everytime he opens a blast gate the dust collector starts up. A really cheap and simple system.
    Wood'N'Scout

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Similar to Steve's post. Might give you some ideas. http://www.iliketomakestuff.com/automated-blast-gates/

  4. #4
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    I tried auto gates at one point and found them temperamental at best. Perhaps it was the brand I tried or maybe they have improved over the years. Today I use Penn State Ind Multi Switch starter and very inexpensive light switches mounted on inexpensive gates. Very reliable.

    http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LRMSETHD.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Li View Post
    Similar to Steve's post. Might give you some ideas. http://www.iliketomakestuff.com/automated-blast-gates/
    I might be missing something here. Please correct me if I'm wrong. That system looked like a pain to setup and use. The controls for the dust collector and blast gates were centeralized. You have to walk across the shop to turn the dust collection on and open the blast gate then walk back to the tool you want to use. The gate only open about 3/4 limiting your suction.
    If you want to automate. Have the dust collector automagically turn on when when you open a gate or flip a switch at the machine you want to operate.
    Seams the guy in the video spent a lot of money to complicate his system, limit his suction and get exersize walking back and forth.
    Last edited by Curtis Myers; 01-31-2015 at 10:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    Well, after some more reading, I am considering moving up to an 8" trunk and 6" drops to the machines. Therefore will also move up to 6" gates. I don't have time to make my own auto gates so will either have to go with micro switches and a long ranger, or cough up substantial bucks for iVac 6" gates. Hmmmmm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    Despite having some gates in less than perfect locations for hand operation, they still haven't annoyed me enough to do something about it. Bear in mind that I am the type of guy that will stop mid-project to change something if it is bugging me enough. Sure automated gates and collectors are cool but, the price still keeps me in check and I'm not a cheapskate. The value versus cost balance just isn't there for me ;-) That's just me.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Despite having some gates in less than perfect locations for hand operation, they still haven't annoyed me enough to do something about it. Bear in mind that I am the type of guy that will stop mid-project to change something if it is bugging me enough. Sure automated gates and collectors are cool but, the price still keeps me in check and I'm not a cheapskate. The value versus cost balance just isn't there for me ;-) That's just me.
    Agreed. I have gone down the path of researching fully automated DC systems for my shop. Such a cool idea. But when I tally up the cost, it shocks me back into the reality that pushing a button on a remote to turn on the DC and manually closing and opening blast gates really isn't that hard. ;-)

    If I had no better alternative uses of my disposable income, then yeah, I guess I'd do it. That math changes for commercial shops of course (tax deductions and efficiency concerns), which is why I think the off the shelf automated blast gates are generally marketed to commercial shops.

  9. #9
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    What I have yet to follow is why the pre-made gates are so many many times more expensive than DIY. The GrnTech works by incorporating a pivoting slide gate (opposed to linear as usually seen), a small DC motor, and a pair of limit switches. Not rocket science, not real expensive.

  10. #10
    Seems to me to it would be better to have an on/off remote for the dust collector. Opening and closing the gates as your at the tool?. This isn't always convenient. Seems to operate somewhat like my sprinkler system on the house or similiar...

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