Decked Out Ridgid Model R4511 Table Saw #3: Improved Dust Collection

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Blog entry by Paul Stoops posted 12-24-2011 09:40 PM 19915 reads 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Redesigned Mobile Base Part 3 of Decked Out Ridgid Model R4511 Table Saw series Part 4: On-Board Storage »

In my view, adequate dust collection from a tool involves both the design of the tool and the design of the dust collection provisions. The Model R4511 cabinet is a well made, three sided, heavy gage sheet metal design. The fourth side is open and covered with the hinged plastic motor cover. Note the large corner gussets and the ledge that surrounds the bottom of the cabinet. A sloped plastic pan, 3/4” deep at the front and about 6” at the rear, is provided under the saw cabinet for dust collection. An opening in the rear side of the pan was sized for a 4” diameter DC duct.

In my experience, I have found dust collection from a tool to be most effective by eliminating as many corners and horizontal surfaces as possible, so that dust and debris cannot accumulate in those areas. To that end, I added sloped baffles to all sides of the opening in the bottom of the saw. Note that the baffles cover all of the corner gussets and the ledge around the bottom of the cabinet. The baffles were made from 5mm (0.20”) birch underlayment, attached with aluminum duct tape. This material and attachment method provide smooth surfaces that don’t tend to accumulate dust and debris.

Note in the following photo that all of the sloped cabinet baffles channel into a 2 1/2” x 12” duct built into the top of the mobile base. All of the airflow from the saw cabinet flows thru this duct on its way to my 3HP dust collector.

To further minimize dust entrapment, I added a sloped baffle to the motor cover. Even though the motor cover did have a sloped bottom panel, the new baffle was installed with a steeper slope and an overhanging edge to channel the dust and debris into the integral duct. This baffle was made from plastic coated hardboard.

The original dust collection port in the back of the plastic pan was designed for a 4” diameter DC fitting, protruding straight out of the back of the saw. Such an arrangement requires extra space behind the saw for additional elbow fittings and/or flex hose, which doesn’t bend around a very small radius. I designed the integral duct in the top of the new mobile base to accommodate a 6” diameter, right angle, sheet metal furnace duct boot and 6” diameter PVC coupling. This accommodates the 6” ducting used for my overhead dust collection system and allows the flex duct to lie parallel to the back of the saw, saving a lot of space — a precious commodity in my small shop. This flex duct orientation also makes it easier to rotate the saw away from the wall to accommodate long pieces. The 6” diameter duct fitting provides about 225% more area than the original 4” duct, with a corresponding increase in airflow.

Thanks for staying with me—there’s a lot more to come…............

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

4 comments so far

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 4322 days

#1 posted 12-24-2011 09:58 PM

I like where you’re going with the dust collection. I have been making cardstock templates for my contractor saw to do basically the same thing. I was planning on using 1/8” hardboard for the final product but, I like the plastic coated stuff you used even better. Where did you find it? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at the BORG or smaller lumber yards around here.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

358 posts in 3805 days

#2 posted 12-24-2011 11:38 PM

I’m sorry to say that I scrounged that stuff from a junk bin at Home Depot some time ago. There were several small sheets of broken material that I packratted away. I suspect it must have been material from an old display. However, regular hardboard with one smooth side should work just as well. I would give it a good coat of paste wax after installation. The aluminum duct tape is a little expensive, but it sure works well. There is a lot on a roll and I use it to seal my PVC duct connections.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 4322 days

#3 posted 12-25-2011 05:20 PM

Thanks, I’ll have to keep my eye out for it when I’m in the store. I’ve been following the series…nice work…I totally appreciate the building a good product better aspects of the design.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 4609 days

#4 posted 01-10-2012 10:01 PM

these are great upgrades
it looks like they will work on my craftsman saw they look very similar in design

-- self proclaimed copycat

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