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Enclosing Contractors' Saw for Dust Collection

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  • #16
    Here's a nice article on the wood magazine website on how to enclose the back of a contractor table saw. I realize many people like step-by-step directions with pictures....this is for you.

    As an added bonus the example they use is a Ridgid.

    Wood Magazine - How to enclose a table saw

    [ 01-16-2003, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: J Reed ]


    • #17
      Out of curiousity, has anyone just built a box to enclose the motor? Seems much simpler than fitting the shroud and belt and allows the blade to tilt. I'm thinking just box in the open legs and tie into a DC/shop vac.


      • #18
        J Reed---nice article---though I think mine comes off and on faster than their design---also, attaching it with velcro is a sawdust magnet---but, it was an article like this that started my juices flowing

        RS Petty---guess you could build a box---it would have to be big enough to allow the motor to travel up and down---I think you'd also have to cut air holes around the motor to keep it from heating up.


        • #19
          Thanks for your thread because it makes me think and search old articles to get me thinking how the 3612 could meet my requirements for a saw. It is everything I'm looking for except dust control. In the issue 63 of ShopNotes is a project on a table saw accessory stand. Building on that and your ideas I'm thinking one could either build a custom cabinet, essentially doing away with the leg set, or box in the back of the contractor saw to provide the dust control I'm looking for. Thanks again.


          • #20
            Update---finished running pipe/hookup so I can connect the dc, without reaching under the saw. The results still appear good---small amount of dust, in the far reaches of the cavity--otherwise pretty clean. I think the only possible improvement would be a more enclosed shroud, around the arbor assembly---the only negative to that type of thing is that you'd have to make sure you ran the dc every time you turned on the saw, otherwise, there would be a quick build-up of sawdust--possible fire hazard.


            • #21
              I just finished a temporary quick fix for my 3612 table saw. I just got a 12" square with 4" collar piece from WoodCraft and then made a plywood border and mounted it under the saw table on the "ledge". I then cut a 5 or 6" piece and put on the backside to help knock down any extra stuff from coming through on that side in the back.

              So far, it works great and my Delta DC keeps the air moving through there. I have been ripping 2x4's and I have just a very, very small tiny pile of sawdust. The amount could fill a small egg.

              I don't see any dust, at least in an amount that is noticeble by just observing by cutting, going out the back. I am guessing that a 100% enclosing is not really neccesarry.

              I do have a question though. I use the zero clerance insert (all the time) and how do you guys catch the dust on top of the table???? It is driving me nuts. That is my true problem.



              • #22
                whizkid---the whole point of the exercise is finding what works , which it sounds like you did. I would say, however, a real test would be cutting a few dados and see how it performed. Using the smaller bottom port, with border, sounds like a good idea.

                The only way you'll ever get the top sawdust is with an overhead blade guard, equipped with a DC port. I wouldn't even consider any other juri-rigged method for safety reasons. The overhead guards are really nice and offer improved safety, but they aren't cheap---I have seen some home made plans floating around though.


                • #23
                  I only use a zero clearance insert when I need it to prevent narrow cutoffs from jamming between the blade and the insert, or to minimize splintering when crosscutting.
                  That helps to keep the table cleaner.


                  • #24
                    Ok folks, I been reading all your posts and well here is what I did. I made a cover for the back from 1/4 in plywood and used velcro to hold it to the back(not a problem w/dust yet). on the bottom I built my own dust cover with shute. This is a v-shaped shute that has a hole at the apex to allow for either a shop vac/dust collector hook up. I stared with a shop vac and it worked fine I enlarged the hole to accept a 3in adator and now it is hooked up to my DC. I lit a cigar to admire my work then had a thought hey lets see how much draw this thing has. I turned on the dc and blew some smoke in the back cover where the mounting rods are and it sucked it in quickly. I could feel the air move acutally. Same thing in the front of the saw. I dont believe that sealing this up would be a benefit. It's my opinion that if you enclose the saw with a back cover, bottom DC shute/shroud of some sort, and cover all the possible leaks(like under the wings)this should be enough to keep the dust in the bag and off the floor, it did for me. As for the saw dust on the top doesn't the blade guard have a hole in the front that you can hook up a hose to? I believe that in one of the wood mags there is a article on how to do it. Good luck.
                    LOOK MA NO HANDS!


                    • #25
                      I have to agree with 'The Man'. Sealing to well isn't necessary. I have mine sealed way too well and although it does a great job keeping the place clean it doesn't keep the inside clean enough. Imagine sealing the entire case so that the only holes are on the table. Hooking up the DC below that hole will create very little turbulance in the case.

                      I'm going to put a 1" hole in the lower corners of my back cover. I think that may help to keep the air moving around the case better.

                      I do believe the front should be covered as well as possible. The slot is about 8" long and 1" wide that's about 8 square inches a 4" pipe is about 12.5 square inches. That doesn't seem to leave a whole lot.

                      I think this thing has been beat to death.

                      Someday I'll post some pics of my setup. I have a 'T' with a 2-1/4" hose coming off that I use to clean up the table.


                      • #26
                        I added a 1/4" mahogany flooring cover to the back of my saw about a year ago... I have only been using a large shop vac so far and it seems to work fairly well... I still need to remove the rear covers after I am finished cutting and vacuum corners and ledges but the majority goes in the vac on its own...
                        My covers are attached with Velcro and have never been a huge sawdust collector... When I clean the saw with the shop vac, I quickly suck the Velcro, takes about 15 seconds do the saw and covers... Velcro runs on left and right sides, as well as the bottom on the back of the saw…

                        I have ordered a dust collector and plan to do a better dust collection job very soon...

                        Having the TS2424LS, I got the included AC1098
                        Table Saw Dust Collector shown here:
                        Once I got the collection chute assembles and placed under the saw, I took some rubber adhesive and put a very small bead around the box to hold it in place and also dabbed some in the corners to seal the bottom of the saw...

                        I am thinking about cutting and mounting another inlet on the back of my homade cover to help in collecting the dust when my new dust collector arrives. This way it will not only draw dust from the bottom of the saw, but through the back as well. This will take 2 short sections of hose and a "Y" to accomplish this... Pulling dust from 2 directions should keep things moving nicely...

                        As daveferg has stated, it's a trial and error thing to figure out what works well or the best for each of our needs...

                        Here are a couple of picture of the 20min tablesaw dust collector plates I made a while back (made them before church one Sunday)...
                        Can't see all the Velcro in the pictures, but I'm sure you get the idea... I can post additional pictures if someone needs... Covers remove in seconds...
                        Regards,<br /><br />Big Johnson<br /><br />Pictures: <a href=\" gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php\" target=\"_blank\"> gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php</a>


                        • #27
                          There have been some great ideas and lots of thought in this thread---hopefully some readers can benefit from it.

                          I do think, unless you substantially change the shape of the saw box cavity, you're always going to need a little incedental clean-up in the corners. The air flow/dynamics just don't match this type of configuration. And, changing the configuration, with mounted baffels, etc., wouldn't be smart, since you're occassionally going to need to access trunions, etc.


                          • #28
                            Re: Enclosing Contractors' Saw for Dust Collection

                            Just finished building a dust collection bag for my 3660. Basically a sturdy vinyl bag (recycled out of a shower curtain) 24" * 19.5" * 20" deep, with magnets sewn into the hem around the top. Actually, it is deeper than necessary, but I wanted to have it resting on the herculift so that the weight wasn't pulling on the magnets. It fits perfectly around the inside of the frame.

                            I have covered the front tilt-angle hole with an off-cut of the same clear vinyl held on with some more magnets so that it is still operational even when covered.

                            I covered the back with some cardboard with appropriate cut-outs for the belt and motor mounts; this is attached with velcro.

                            I chose not to attach the vac to the bag, I relocated it to the top of the blade guard.

                            So far, it seems to be working well, although I would like a better connection to the blade guard.



                            • #29
                              Re: Enclosing Contractors' Saw for Dust Collection

                              Originally posted by Woodchuck1957
                              If your looking for great dust collection, plus access to the trunions on a Contractor's saw, I have the solution.
                              Yes, this is one of the dust collection solutions I gave in a post not long ago when someone asked what was available. I created my own solution but I am thinking about maybe replacing it with this sheet metal hood from PSI.
                              "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



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