Supporting Traveling Dust Collection Ducts

      Here's a good look at several shop-rigged solutions for bringing dust collection ducting to CNC equipment under low ceilings, with freedom to match the equipment's travel. August 15, 2011

We have a low ceiling height in the location we would like to install our CNC router. Can anyone offer tips on how to deal with the flex hose?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor J:
How low?

From contributor M:
We used a straight pipe attached to a swivel to come straight out the front. Used a horizontal stationary PVC pipe to support the duct as it moved left - right with the machine along the x axis.

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From contributor P:
Contributor M, it's guys like you who make this site so invaluable. I have had more problems solved by guys just like you. Good solution.

From the original questioner:
Ceiling is 8'4" clear.

Contributor M, that looks great! That is a great idea and may work in my situation. I'll give it a try. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond!

Contributor J, damn straight! This is the sort of thing you can't find in a book. You need someone with experience who is willing to share.

From contributor S:
Where did you get the swivel connection from?

From contributor M:
All parts were purchased through a local industrial ventilation supplier (, including the booster fan downstream from the swivel. There is nothing custom on the system pictured.

From contributor E:
What size duct is that?

From contributor T:
You might also take a look at zipper ducts. They are made for just such an application.

From the original questioner:
That looks like it would work well in combination with contributor M's swivel setup. I might be able to eliminate any flex pipe. Have you used the zipper duct? I have never seen this before!

From contributor T:
One of my friends has this in his shop, and it works well.

From contributor A:
We had our router in an area that had a really low ceiling. Our solution was to install a couple sections of heavy duty pocket door tracks and a bearing car that ran the length of the router. It held the flex line up and traveled real easy with the router gantry.

Our ceiling was much lower than the picture posted, say nine foot max, and we had a 5 x 16' router stuffed in this area with the gantry running the full 16' length. From what I recall, the collection line came in mid machine off to the side and the track ran down the length of the machine centered. It didn't take a lot of sag to allow the line to reach full range and a strategically placed bungee kept the hose clear of all moving components.

From contributor D:
My track is a by-pass closet door track with trolley and bungee. My ceiling is just over 9'. It's been working great for the past 3 years.

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From contributor A:
That's similar to what we had.

From the original questioner:
I am going to try that; I think it will work well. I think in combination with contributor M's idea, this is a low cost solution to my problem. Thank you for taking the time to help me with this.

From contributor K:
I do not believe you ever mentioned what type of CNC you have. Everything depends on whether it is a moving table or gantry. I have a moving table so I cut a hole in the ceiling and made an 8" wide triangle lined with HDPE. My hose is fixed at the top and swings back and forth like a pendulum. Working like a charm since 2002.

From the original questioner:
Our router is the same as contributor D's except 2 feet wider and longer, so the extra flex tube is a concern. I think the swivel ell with support for the tube and the track to support the flex will do it. I should have mentioned it was a gantry style. As you say, it makes a big difference.

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