Rousseau 5000 - L Dust Solution (Rating: 5)

I really, really like my miter saw. It's one of my favorite tools. But there's no disputing the mess it makes: despite my efforts at locating vacuum or dust collection hoses near the saw blade, chips and dust generally ended up everywhere. This is especially aggravating in my hopelessly overcrowded work area, where clean-up isn't always easy. Enter the 5000 L to the rescue.

Rousseau Co. has been in business longer than I've been in woodworking. Located in remote Clarkston, WA, they produce very high quality woodworking accessories. Most of their products have been of the table/stand variety, but recently they introduced the 5000 dust hood. Careful attention to customer feedback prompted Rousseau to add some much needed lighting on their new model, the 5000 L.

A few words about the hood itself: it's essentially a cloth canopy over a metal skeleton, with elastic to pull in the canopy's top and bottom. Like other Rousseau products I've owned, it's made of high quality materials. In the case of the 5000 L, the cloth is a ballistic nylon, and the hardware is heavy steel. The hood is admittedly rather bulky, so plan on using up some space behind your miter saw. It's intended to be large enough to fit most miter saws, and it easily accommodates my Bosch GCM12SD, a 12" monster of a dual-bevel glide saw. I was able to move the saw to all angle limits without the hood interfering.

A 4" dust port is located center back.

The lighting is a very nice touch. One of the more annoying aspects of miter saws, especially the larger ones, is that they tend to cast a shadow on themselves, right at the point where the cutting occurs. The wraparound LED lighting of the 5000 L does much to obviate this problem. I wouldn't have minded if the lighting came down lower a few inches on both sides, but as it is, it's more than adequate and worlds better than nothing at all.

Installation is straightforward and easy. I experimented with several options, so it took me about 90 minutes total to get the hood properly installed. Those who are less, er, "creative minded" will get it done in half that time. The only tools required are a drill with a 5/16" bit and a couple of 1/2" wrenches. Rousseau encourages you to situate the hood so that the hood face is co-planer with your saw fence. Height is flexible, though it would seem that lower is better. As you can see from my picture, I located the hood so that it clears my upper fences by about 1/4".

I took a bunch of pictures of the hood installed, but after looking at them, I decided they didn't really tell you anything that you can't learn from Rousseau's site, so I skipped them. I decided to include two photos that are not of the 5000 L, though, because I think these speak volumes.

In testing the hood, I made the following cuts in one session:

1. three cuts into rough walnut (about 2" by 4")
2. several cuts into 1" by 4" hemlock
3. two cuts into 9" of 5/8" particle board

Ordinarily, this much cutting would leave me ankle-deep in dust. This picture is of the back of the shelf that's about 8" below the saw:

Automotive exterior Wood Bed Vehicle Room

And this picture is of the floor immediately in front of the saw (the floor paint is speckled):

Gas Tints and shades Bumper Flooring Automotive exterior

I cannot emphasize too strongly what a difference this is. The shelf would have had enough dust to write my name in, and the floor would have been some shade of brown instead of blue. Besides the visual evidence, I felt less debris hitting my hand and arm during sawing, and the air around me just "felt" cleaner.

In short, the Rousseau 5000 L is attractive, durable, and works like dynamite. The lighting probably also makes your miter saw a bit safer to use. This is a highly recommended accessory for anyone who uses a miter saw on a regular basis.