View Full Version : My CarveWright Automatic Dust Collector

11-02-2013, 09:37 PM
I want to share with everyone a little device I built for my dust collector connected to the CW that has made carving more convenient. This article may be a little long but please bear with it.

The truth is you need some sort of dust collecting system connected to your CW either it be a Jet, Grizzly, Harbor Freight or a Shop-Vac, that keeps the CW dust free and clean while carving. I have found that the CW performs better and the spindle bearings and bit will run cooler as air is drawn through the machine. Then you need some sort of an attachment hood or vent between the CW and the DC in order to suck out the dust. There are many designs that can be mounted in front of the CW, on top, side, bottom or a combination of both front and bottom as I have configured. They are all good attachments; it’s a personal preference as far as I’m concerned.

So, how do you turn on your dust collector?

Do you manually flip the switch when the CW starts carving?

Do you use a remote control?

Do you leave your DC running all the time even when there is nothing to collect?

Do you often leave the CW unattended as I do just to come back and find it stopped half an hour earlier perhaps with a “Check Cut Motor” fault?

What if you didn’t have to do anything with the DC and it would automatically start as your project begins carving and stops after the CW stops.

The little device I built for my DC connected to the CW, I named it the, “IamDave DC Controller”, or DCC for short,is an Automatic Start and Stop Controller that requires no user interaction. There may be something similar to my design for the CW on the market but I have not checked and if so, I am reinventing the wheel. And by the way I have built electronic gadgets since I was in high school so I have decades of parts on hand and I only had to purchase a few special components to build this one and the most expensive part was of all things; the enclosure. The DCC has no microcontroller in it; the control circuit is just a few simple inexpensive electronic components. There are numerous ways to electronically accomplish this but the circuit I designed and have used for some time now has performed flawless for me.

The attached picture is the actual prototype of my, “IamDave DC Controller”. There are no special wiring connections needed like tapping into the CW internal electronics or cut motor circuit.(However, this would have been the easiest way but perhaps LHR would not see it that way.) Simply plug the DCC into a 120VAC 20amp outlet, mine is a GFIC for safety as should be used with any power tool. Plug the CW into the CW 120VAC receptacle and the DC into the DC 120VAC receptacle. That’s it! That is all the connections needed to Automatically Start and Stop the DC. No tapping into the CW electronics. Prior to use there is a simple one time calibration procedure performed that takes only a few minutes and once set I have never adjusted it again.

When carving a project I often leave my CW unattended. (Do this at your own risk according to the Forums.) I normally do not have a lot of free time so I often design a project at night and set the machine up the next day after I get home from work. While the CW is carving I will move on to other things that need to be done around the house. Now I can do projects much faster by not second guessing or continuously checking if the CW has stopped for a bit change or has completed the carving project. Now I know for sure when the CW and DC are both quiet, attention is required. A remote pager device could easily be added to the DCC to notify you when the CW has finished or is waiting to change a bit. In the past it was often hard for me to distinguish if the CW had stopped while the DC was still running.

Thank you CarveWright community for letting me share my DCC project. Like I said earlier there may be something similar to my design for the CW on the market and if so, I am reinventing the wheel. It would be really neat if perhaps in the future LHR would simply program this in the controller code and have an external output relay contact available to do the same thing. The simple thing about my, “IamDave DC Controller” is that it will work with existing CarveWright machines in use today with no modifications to the machine.

DCC Sequence of Operation:

· Plug DCC into power 120VAC outlet.
· Plug CW into receptacle.
· Plug DC into receptacle and set DC power switch to ON position.
· (Once all are plugged in there is no need to unplug them from the DCC.)

· Load your CW project.
· DC will not start when bits are loaded and the cut motor briefly turns on.
· Project starts, cut motor running, the DC automatically turns on 15 seconds later.
· CW cut motor stops for a bit change or the project is complete, the DC stops after 25 seconds.

Some might be thinking I should spend more time carving and little less time tinkering with the machine. I can’t help it. I like to see how things work.

Tuscaloosa, AL

11-03-2013, 10:16 AM
Great idea Dave. I use an item called the I-socket. It does the same as what you built and it really does a nice job. There is a thread on here some where that was posted a few years ago. I think I got mine from http://www.acmetools.com and was some where around $40.
Thanks for sharing your idea.

11-03-2013, 03:55 PM
Thanks Dave for your input. Very timely as I am just setting up my dust collection system. Also thanks to Jerry for the link. I just placed my order.

11-03-2013, 06:17 PM
Thanks CarverJerry,

I looked at this I-socket and it is similar to the one I built. I did a little research and found this product turns on the DC when the load reaches about 5.2 amps which is perfect with the CW cut motor running with no load around 6.0 amps.

Anyway my reinvented wheel works for me. The evening I spent building my circuit I could have spent carving and purchased the $40 one.


11-03-2013, 07:20 PM
If you use the iSocket I recommend that you use a Wall Wort little Radio Shack transformer to activate a heavy RELAY. The weakness to the iSocket is the little transistor on off switch that is very similar to the Cut Motor on off Q1 Transistor. In the iSocket they mount the Transistor or SCR or TRIAC to a metal heat sink to keep it cool. As a Shop Vac can draw a lot of current.

Using a Relay lets you operate a 220 volt Dust collector too... or 115 VAC.

I have tested my iSwitch and it does work well... I like that it shuts down the dust collector a short time after the Cut Motor shuts down.

Nice project,


I only see ONE down side to this iSocket... Last winter my 115 VAC Dust Collector... I pressed the start switch and it just HUMMED... NO START... I was right on top of it and turned it off... BUT had I left it HUM.... Could have been bad.... The START CAPACITOR had gone bad.... Had to replace the Start Cap....

11-03-2013, 08:28 PM
Here is the i_vac switch that is setup really well...


Lot of great features.

Amazon has the best price and this item has Free Shipping...

11-03-2013, 08:50 PM
I too have the I socket and have been using mine for quite a few years. I bought mine at Rockler and it works great. However, I was thinking about the CW and how it has in OPTIONS that it can be set to turn off after so many minutes when motor stops running. It would be great if that could be integrated to work with a A/C socket that could be added to the back of the CW or something. Then this would serve the same purpose of the ISocket switch, but would just be built in to the CW. Just some food for thought.

11-04-2013, 07:53 AM
Sears makes a similar system ( $16 at the time ) that didn't seem to work to well for the carvewright but worked great for everything else. I have it on my table saw, band saw and spindle sander with two SHOPFOX downdraft sanding stations.

11-04-2013, 03:30 PM
AL is right, the i-socket's output capacity could easily be increased by driving a relay or contactor from it's output.

MY DC Controller has an output load capacity of 30 amps at 120VAC if connected to a 30 amp breaker. Likely the i-socket uses a solid state triac output and I use a commmon inexpensive appliance /HVCA relay rated 30 amps at 220VAC.

I just like automated stuff.


11-04-2013, 05:48 PM
30 Amp HVAC Relay... "I LIKE IT !!!!"

Good Job !!!!


11-04-2013, 05:59 PM
Is there a way to do this when either or both of 2 machines are used and to slide the blast gates as needed?

11-04-2013, 06:03 PM
Is the delay long enough that the DC isn't starting and stopping every minute or two during bit check setup, etc?
The was the problem with the sears model. It was starting and stopping about a dozen times per project.

11-04-2013, 07:03 PM

I like the way you think controlling the DC with 2 CW's. Yes it is possible and could also cycle a blast gate.

One solution with i-socket you would need 2 and a couple of external relays. I would draw you a diagram but I'm on my smart phone. I'll post one from my PC later on.

My circuit does not constantly cycle the DC like during bit change

The relay I used is a Potter & Brumfield T9AP1P52-12-ND, about $5 You can get these in different coil voltages like above is 12vdc or in a HVAC may be a 24vdc coil. Contacts are 30amps at 277vac.

I like the way you guys think.


11-05-2013, 07:28 AM
I have just one machine but I do have an i-socket and automatic blast gate http://forum.carvewright.com/showthread.php?18330-Automatic-blast-gate&highlight=blast+gate. Mine's connected a bit differently, but a pair of blast gates like this, a couple of i-sockets, and a relay could be set up as IamDave said. Commercial electric blast gates are ridiculously expensive - over $400 - but my cheap one has been working quite well.

The i-socket does cycle the DC on and off whenever the cut motor spins during project setup, but for me it's no big deal.

11-05-2013, 01:14 PM
When I designed my circuit the thing that concerned me was for the DC to not momentarily cycle on and off with the cut motor during a project setup. This would be really not be a good ideal if you were using several bits. The inrush current on my DC is greater than 60 amps even though it is for a few miliseconds. Motors normally do not last very long like that.

The automated blast gate from DickB in the above post is really neat. I like that kind of stuff.


11-07-2013, 09:38 PM
Like I said in an earlier post, I use the i-socket for my vacuume. During the set up for the bits and measuring of the board, which I always stand there and watch it, I keep my vacuume turned off. Knowing when tooling is all set up and ready to cut I then turn the vacuume on, so really the only reason I use this i-socket is when the machine turns off and I happen not to be right there my vacuume turns off. There has been times when I leave the machine carving and I go eat dinner, but again my machine is in a small block room by itself which helps with the noise.