Table Saw Dust Collection Improvement

  • Advertise with us
Project by BrockF posted 12-09-2019 05:19 AM 798 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I have a Craftsman zipcode saw. My main complaint is it has very poor dust collection. The cabinet is full of nooks and crannies and openings that trap sawdust or allow it to leak out.

A few years ago I built a large work bench that integrated the table saw. I ditched the saws legs and the large plastic dust shoot. I cut an alternative 4 inch port at the bottom of the plastic access door. It worked, but not well. Despite all my efforts, I found the sawdust still built up instead of being removed by the dust collection. Worse, the plastic door didn’t seal and seems to amplify the noise of the saw.

Then a few weeks ago the belt on my table saw shredded when the pulley shifted on the motor shaft. To fix it I had to pull the motor completely out which meant taking off the door and I started thinking about using the opportunity to make improvements.

My plan was in two parts. First, construct a wooden box that would accommodate and improve dust collection. This was challenging. I wanted to replicate some of the angles from the plastic door to allow sawdust to naturally flow towards the 4 inch inlet. Also it had to fit around the 1/2 inch steel rod of one of the work benches leg levelers. It had to attach snugly too and create a seal, and it needed to be built out of some kind of good plywood like Baltic birch. It also needed to allow the motor to swung upwards into it for blade tilt.

I built a large mounting flange with dados to hold the sides, then roughed out the inside. Then it was a long process of test fitting, marking, cutting and hand filing to create clearance. It also got dados on the back to put in rubber seals. Then I built the sides and other parts and put it all together.

I should have made all the mounting holes first but I was dumb. The 8 screw holes for mounting to the saw would have been easier without all the instructions I made for myself. I drilled and tapped all the holes in the saw cabinet body for machine screws

Then I cut the hole for the 4 inch inlet and mounted the plastic hose flange.

I still have some finishing work to do but it fits and it works very well. I need to seal a few seams and then it gets painted metallic silver to match the rest of the saw cabinet.

The other half of this was to make the saw cabinet highly efficient at funneling saw dust towards the inlet. Every thing had to be smooth so I made a primitive bending apparatus for sheet metal and fabricated a steel pan to fit the saw cabinets interior. Lots and lots of work in tight spaces but I did it. It has flanges that are tapped with screw holes to allow it to attach inside the cabinet. Then every seam got sealed with silver foil.

It works great!!

I will add more pictures when it gets painted.

2 comments so far

View awsum55's profile


737 posts in 1117 days

#1 posted 12-09-2019 12:56 PM

Good job, I know how frustrating it is trying to keep the dust moving towards the outlet.

-- John D, OP, KS

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3943 days

#2 posted 12-12-2019 01:52 PM

Looks like a good solution.

I found it hard to get to grips with your photo. If you used your mobil phone camera photos taken with the phone held vertically they always get posted on their side the way yours did.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics