Downdraft table

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Project by JoeC61 posted 04-09-2009 11:54 AM 16384 views 12 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a downdraft table I built using an old furnace motor/blower. Eventually, the side of the box where the motor is located is airtight from the other half. I drilled 640 1/4” holes on the downdraft side of the top surface. The sides of the box are made from 1/2” MDF, the top is particle board with melamine. Drilling 640 holes tested the ability of my DeWalt to recharge… It took a while to figure out how to drill the holes without chipping around the edges. The air is sucked through 2 filters, a cheap $1 pre-filter and then a more expensive HEPA filter. (both 20×25 and accessible behind the vertical strip on the front of cabinet) The temporary netting was installed to keep my dog from beheading herself on the blower blades. The downdraft doesn’t seem to be as strong as I thought it would be, but when I sand small projects it does remove the dust. So far, so good. The table top is 4’x5.5’. Wind blowing out the bottom isn’t a problem, probably because I keep my floor clean. If it was full of dust it would be another problem.

-- Joe-Carver, MN

13 comments so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 4648 days

#1 posted 04-09-2009 12:19 PM

Hey cool, perhaps on the bottom you could mount some sort of leaf blower bag or something inside to collect the dust! I like this idea… Is always cool when a guy can reuse old parts off something else to build something usefull again.

Thanks for posting!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4771 days

#2 posted 04-09-2009 12:33 PM

I love the name you put on it…............LOL

Great looking sucker. But why did you not use a pegboard on it instead of drilling all those holes?????

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 4995 days

#3 posted 04-09-2009 01:18 PM

I built a simmilar table a few years ago & was also disapointed with the airflow. I ended up hoging out the holes to 1/2”. I also use a open waffle design non slip pad on top. I found the workpiece just started to rotate with the ROS—-not to great a way to get the sanding done as easily as possible!


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5034 days

#4 posted 04-09-2009 01:27 PM

Joe, that is a nice addition to your shop. I have been considering building one of these since sanding dust is one of the problems I have to deal with in my shop. This post has certainly given me some ideas.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5459 days

#5 posted 04-09-2009 02:39 PM

I have the same thing but mine hangs from the ceiling and sucks air from 2 sides and blows out the front. I also use 2 filters on both sides, just cheapy though. change them weekly. Works excellent.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View hairy's profile


3295 posts in 4745 days

#6 posted 04-09-2009 06:39 PM

Nice work! I hope it really sucks.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View jack1's profile


2164 posts in 5240 days

#7 posted 04-09-2009 06:39 PM

Nice project. I bought the table from Delta that does the same thing but with a dust collector or large shop vac. I don’t use it much because I have to take it out and set it up. Your project looks like it can be used for assembly and other tasks so it stays out all the time. Neat.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View LesB's profile


3060 posts in 4656 days

#8 posted 04-09-2009 07:11 PM

I use a similar design for cleaning the air in the shop and also circulating the heat from my wood stove at the same time. Mine blows out the high side towards the wood stove. (Yes for those who will warn me, I’m aware of the very slim chance of a fire hazard with a wood stove in the shop.) Your idea stimulates the old brain. I wonder if I could have it dual purpose and just close off the air filter on the side with a plastic sheet when I’m sanding something on the top. I will have to work on that. As it is now I use the top to hold my bench grinder and Work Sharp sharpener.

-- Les B, Oregon

View prez's profile


376 posts in 4624 days

#9 posted 04-10-2009 03:59 AM

A real “sucker-upper”! I’m thinking I might be able to do something like that but on a smaller scale. I’ve got an old bathroom fan hanging around. Should work for smaller projects when I’m not making so much sawdust! Gotta love these guys who think “outside the box!” or in this case….inside.

-- George..." I love the smell of a workshop in the morning!"

View steiner's profile


284 posts in 4563 days

#10 posted 04-10-2009 05:17 AM


Love the name!

-- Scott

View JoeC61's profile


34 posts in 4795 days

#11 posted 04-13-2009 02:38 AM

Not sure why the heck I didn’t use peg board for the holes. I guess I was thinking I wanted something more stout. Typical, always over-building things. I could have used peg board and reinforced it from underneath. Besides having the downdraft table, I was really interested in having a large multi-purpose workbench.

-- Joe-Carver, MN

View Jerry's profile


221 posts in 4751 days

#12 posted 04-26-2009 04:10 PM

That table SUCKS!!!
Good job…..LOL

-- Jerry - Rochester, MN *Whether you think you can or you can't, you are probably right* - Henry Ford

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 4526 days

#13 posted 05-05-2010 07:24 PM

I’ve been thinking of a downdraft table for some time—as an alternative to having shopvac hose hanging off my sanders—BUT—I have a small shop and dreaded having to make room to store it when not in use.
Building a new workbench is on my list for the spring. Had THOUGHT about incorpoating downdraft into it.
Thanks for letting me know I am not TOO FAR off base.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

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