This past year I have been reorganizing my shop … like I always wanted and never had time for.
I have learned two important things:
- If my tools are hung where I can see them there is a better chance that I use them, return them to their assigned place and don’t buy duplicates. note: I use french cleat walls and I have been very impressed with how easy they are to build and use.
2. If my vacuum system is easy to turn on and adjust the gates I will use it, if not I find an excuse to think “its only a small cut”. The dust builds up!
note: since my shop is in two locations in the basement & garage a central system is not practical. Instead I have used area vacuums with RF switches on them. This includes single vacs for isolated tools.
Now the reason I wrote this.
In one case I have a drill press with a dedicated small vacuum. I find that I forget to turn the vac until I start drilling. Usually I have on hand on the spindle feed and one on the piece so I just finish the hole and am annoyed by the debris the vac was supposed to remove.
I decided to solve this by building a vac control that senses the tools current and then turns on/off the vac.
This build uses these parts that are all packaged in a power box.
- an Arduino nano
- ac current sensor,
- off line 5v switcher
Also, much less expensive than the store bought ones.
If there is interest by others I will go through the effort of documenting what I did and sharing it and the code.
I am thinking about making a version that turns on a vac by monitoring current from multiple tools…