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All Replies on Sawstop PCS owners: talk to me about the overarm dust collection

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View jonah's profile

Sawstop PCS owners: talk to me about the overarm dust collection

by jonah
posted 05-11-2017 10:24 PM


21 replies so far

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1386 posts in 2512 days


#1 posted 05-11-2017 10:32 PM

I cannot answer all of your questions, but can offer a few comments. When I purchased my 3hp PCS, they had one of their frequent freebie offers going and I chose the dust collection. That was four+ years ago and I do not recall having to spend anything extra for the necessary blade guard. Times may have changed. The guard/collection system works fine, but, like most, it is not a panacea and it will not capture every last bit of dust above the table.

I recently made a post about some upcoming offerings from SawStop. One of the new products is what appears to be a better overhead dust collection / blade guard system. I would suggest that you explore that before you pull the trigger.

You will absolutely love your SawStop saw.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5706 posts in 4222 days


#2 posted 05-11-2017 11:51 PM

I had pretty much the same experience as Kazooman when I bought my PCS 5 years ago … I got the over-arm dust collection and mobile base during April of that year when SawStop has their freebie deal.

As for the over-arm itself, I like it. It does a decent job of collecting dust so long as the blade is buried in the workpiece. The exception is when I am trimming the edge off a board (e.g. trimming a 6-1/8” board down to 6”) ... then it makes the same sort of mess my old Jet used to make.

FWIW, I have never even mounted the stock guard (it is still in the plastic wrapper).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View josephf's profile

josephf

217 posts in 2656 days


#3 posted 05-11-2017 11:59 PM

i have overarm deal – i am bummed ,seems a bit lame to me .i think for that money you can get a better one . i use it .put a separate vac on it and still with the little hole it has it is only good for small dust . seems like it could be so much better with a bigger hole . i have never used any others so not much to compare it to . my advice would be get an after market one ,or look into it anyhow .
love the saw .

View jonah's profile

jonah

2092 posts in 3858 days


#4 posted 05-12-2017 12:14 AM

My understanding is that the 3HP PCS comes with the dust collection blade guard but that the 1.75HP does not. I saw the announcement of the new dust collection guard but they said “late summer” for release of those new products, so I don’t think that’ll be an option. At least not right away.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

550 posts in 1148 days


#5 posted 05-12-2017 12:58 AM

Overarm dust collection should not be needed on a well tuned saw. Buried cuts and full rips shouldn’t be throwing much dust at all. If they are, try to figure out why instead of bandaiding the problem.

Any overhead ‘guard’ should be lighted and allow you to clearly see the leading edge of the blade.

M

View clin's profile

clin

1072 posts in 1556 days


#6 posted 05-12-2017 04:37 AM

I have a 3HP PCS with overarm dust collection. I think mine came stock with the higher end blade guard.

TheDane describes it pretty good. Like most saws, if the off cut is large enough that the blade guards seals on both sides of the cut, there is very little dust. But if trimming just a small amount off, it will spew out the side becasue the guard isn’t able to seal against the off cut.

I think that is pretty typical of any saw and I’d be surprised if anything could prevent that.

I find there is something about the design of this guard that causes dust to go out the back port all on it’s own. I guess something about the way the blade moves air around. The overarm part just moves it along to the dust collector.

The $200 for the overarm is a bit much for little more than some steel tubing, a piece or two of flex hose and a fitting. You could no doubt DIY for a lot less. But if you don’t want to mess with DIY, $200 gets something that takes minutes to install.

And yes, SawStop has announced some new goodies and one is one that hangs over the table. But it appears similar to other, after market guards and I see no reason to buy the SawStop version.


Any overhead guard should be lighted and allow you to clearly see the leading edge of the blade.
- Madmark2

Um. I can’t remember the last time I looked at my blade making a cut. Just like I have no reason to see my planer blades. I either set my fence as needed or align my stock to the slot in my sled. Or using a miter gauge I align to marks on the top of the table. But everyone works differently.

-- Clin

View jonah's profile

jonah

2092 posts in 3858 days


#7 posted 05-12-2017 02:05 PM

So do you think it’s worth it to get the dust collection guard without the overarm setup? The dust collection guard is $130 but comes included with the 3HP PCS. I’d be getting the 1.75HP PCS which doesn’t come with it. Do you think it’s worth the extra if I’m not getting the overarm dust collection apparatus?

I guess it boils down to: does the dust collection guard do anything without the overarm setup?

View them700project's profile

them700project

178 posts in 1578 days


#8 posted 05-12-2017 02:30 PM

I would take the mobility over the overarm. I have both on my 3hp but rarely have the overarm hooked up. For my uses I will hook it up if im ripping down Ply or large pieces but the majority of what i do is smaller stuff so I generally just have it off.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

6014 posts in 3373 days


#9 posted 05-12-2017 03:26 PM

I haven’t used either the stock guard or the overarm, but I’m quite happy with the saws dust collection (with a 2hp cyclone connected to 30 feet of rigid pipe).

Two things to help…
1. Try not to make skim cuts where you trim less than the width of the blade.

2. On the dado ZCI, only raise the blade high enough to make the cut (maintains a tight clearance between the dado set and insert). If you do need to make a tall dado cut, dedicate a second dado insert for that.

Good luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

550 posts in 1148 days


#10 posted 05-12-2017 08:03 PM

Clin,

Nothing personal but if you don’t watch the blade you’re a fool. You don’t need to see you planer blade because they’re buried. But if you have 3” of carbide blade sticking up on your table your eye damn well better be. Safety rigs are a backstop and not your primary feed controls. The is no point in worrying about hand / finger position if you’re not watching the blade! This is the path to amputation.

m

View CL810's profile

CL810

3975 posts in 3548 days


#11 posted 05-12-2017 09:50 PM

Mark,

Nothing personal, but you sound mad.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3081 posts in 2585 days


#12 posted 05-13-2017 12:26 AM

Just feeling a bit mischievous, and wanting to tweak some SS chains: Why does a Saw Stop need a blade guard? (I can think of one reason, but curious what you users think).

I’m thinking about the fact that so many (myself included) of regular TS users threw the blade guard away years ago. Why would you accept the aggravation of a guard when the brake should provide all the safety you need?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View marc_rosen's profile

marc_rosen

167 posts in 3740 days


#13 posted 05-13-2017 01:00 AM

RWS scribed;


Just feeling a bit mischievous, and wanting to tweak some SS chains: Why does a Saw Stop need a blade guard? (I can think of one reason, but curious what you users think).
I m thinking about the fact that so many (myself included) of regular TS users threw the blade guard away years ago. Why would you accept the aggravation of a guard when the brake should provide all the safety you need?

- runswithscissors

The only reason Sawstop owners use a blade guard is to minimize buying numerous blades and replacement cartridges. If it wasn’t for the extra expense, we’d drag our fingers across the moving blades daily just to prove that it is the safest saw in the world. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3063 posts in 3997 days


#14 posted 05-13-2017 01:20 AM

I recently got the 3hp professional. It came with the blade guard. I just used some 1.5” hose I had around and connected it overhead to my dust collection system. The verdict…. It collects some, it loses some. None are perfect.

And, even though I didn’t use the blade guard on my old saw, this one stays on. It’s visible for the blade and flips up and down in half a second. And to answer those who seem to have some kind of argument that with a sawstop why use a blade guard? Well, I save the lives of lots of hotdogs that way. (dumb question).

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View clin's profile

clin

1072 posts in 1556 days


#15 posted 05-13-2017 02:26 AM



Clin,

Nothing personal but if you don t watch the blade you re a fool. You don t need to see you planer blade because they re buried. But if you have 3” of carbide blade sticking up on your table your eye damn well better be. Safety rigs are a backstop and not your primary feed controls. The is no point in worrying about hand / finger position if you re not watching the blade! This is the path to amputation.

m

- Madmark2

There is no reason at all to be able to see the blade through the blade guard. I don’t need to see the blade to keep my fingers out of it. I’m pretty sure it’s always going be right where I left it. Under the blade guard.

-- Clin

View clin's profile

clin

1072 posts in 1556 days


#16 posted 05-13-2017 02:36 AM



So do you think it s worth it to get the dust collection guard without the overarm setup? The dust collection guard is $130 but comes included with the 3HP PCS. I d be getting the 1.75HP PCS which doesn t come with it. Do you think it s worth the extra if I m not getting the overarm dust collection apparatus?

I guess it boils down to: does the dust collection guard do anything without the overarm setup?

- jonah

Since I don’t have the other blade guard and generally don’t run mine without the vacuum attached to the blade guard, I don’t know what you get without it.

All the over arm part is is a way to connect a vacuum hose to the blade guard and keep it out of your way. Lot’s of ways to skin that cat. You could just run some hose and have a few cable hangers from the ceiling hold it off the table. Or just duplicate the overarm setup with PVC.

But, if the dust collection guard is a completely separate accessory you’re buying. You could just wait, see how you get along with the standard guard. Buy the other guard later if you think you need it.

Of course you know the right way to do this is you’re supposed to buy the 3 HP version so you get that guard. If you don’t ratchet up the features and buy at least $1000 more than you thought you’d spend, I’m not sure your SawStop owner material ;)

-- Clin

View jonah's profile

jonah

2092 posts in 3858 days


#17 posted 05-13-2017 03:04 AM

I chuckled a bit at that last bit, for sure. There’s more than a little bit of truth there. I was going to get the base model with the 30” rails, but then it was only a bit more for the 36” rails and the better fence. And then only a little more for _ and _, exactly as you said. I’ve even thought about the sliding table, for crissakes!

View clin's profile

clin

1072 posts in 1556 days


#18 posted 05-13-2017 06:16 AM



I chuckled a bit at that last bit, for sure. There s more than a little bit of truth there. I was going to get the base model with the 30” rails, but then it was only a bit more for the 36” rails and the better fence. And then only a little more for _ and _, exactly as you said. I ve even thought about the sliding table, for crissakes!

- jonah

Glad you chuckled, that was the intent.

Good man. Sounds like you are SawStop owner material.

Well, that’s called good marketing. Just keep incrementally pricing things and they’ll walk you all the way up to the best of the best.

And there’s always the fallback to whatever PCS and options you get; “At least I didn’t spring for the ICS”.

-- Clin

View Paradox's profile

Paradox

8 posts in 2968 days


#19 posted 05-26-2017 12:33 AM

I avoided using a guard for years, but one of the reasons I got the Sawstop was for improved dust collection. The dust collection guard works very well and I recommend it.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

550 posts in 1148 days


#20 posted 05-26-2017 12:50 AM

Clin, I resaw 1×6’s – show me your guarded rig for that . . .

M

View Markmh1's profile

Markmh1

112 posts in 1003 days


#21 posted 05-26-2017 01:46 PM

I did math until I was blue in the face. IMO, the best deal was the 3hp PCS with the 36 inch extension.

I received the upgraded vacuum guard, and the better fence along with the extra HP. IMO, the overarm dust collection was just something to get in my way. The fancier guard is, IMO, pretty effective at picking up the dust.

I wish I would have dropped another $100 and got the hydraulic mobile base. The mechanical base is OK, just every time I move the saw I wish it had four swivel casters. (I have a small work space.)

I wouldn’t propose telling you what you should buy, only mentioning what I did, and how it’s working.

As far as the Sawstop safety feature, that helps to prevent accidents, it’s not something I would depend on. I approach safety in my workshop the same way I’ve done for 20+ years as a toolmaker. Know where your hands are every second something is moving.

Mark

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