Blast Gates (2004)
When I first installed my dust collection system I purchased and used 4Ē and 6Ē plastic blast gates from Grizzly. They were cheap and readily available, and at the time when I was running PVC pipe and flex hose and making dust hoods the blast gates allowed me to get the system up and running without spending time putzing around with shop-made gates.
After using the plastic gates for a few months I knew it was time to replace them with something better. They worked OK, but their design didnít allow cleaning out of the slide gate, so when the inevitable dust got clogged in the gate I had to dissassemble the ductwork to clean it out. If I didnít clean the plugged gates I couldnít close them fully, and this added up to a significant amount of leakage for the system as a whole.
So I searched the web for shop made blast gates and settled on a couple designs. I settled on this gate design for the majority of my system because the slide gate is removable and is self-cleaning when stroked. The plans for this are available on-line at this website.
I also built a couple of these blast gates modeled after Terry Hatfieldís design. They also allow cleaning, but since the slider doesnít pass completely through the body you have to remove the slider and clean out the slot with a stiff wire. The nice thing about this design is you donít need as much space to operate these gates since the slider doesnít pass completely through the body. I used a few of this style for areas where I didnít have much room to operate the first design. I didnít use a starter flange like Terry recommends, instead I glued the PVC pipe directly to the hole in the ply with poly glue. That has worked well for me.
Overall these gates are much better that the plastic gates I started to use. They are a bit larger, but there is virtually no leakage and they are very easy to keep from getting plugged.
© Copyright 2006 Chris Billman