Table saw dust collection

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Forum topic by Jaxsun posted 04-20-2019 11:26 AM 436 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1034 days

04-20-2019 11:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw dust collection harbor freight dc question

I’m looking for recommendations for a efficient design to capture the dust from my old 10” Delta contractors saw. I currently have the underside of the saw housing completely sealed off with fitted panels that close the back off around motor and belt, and also sealed off all other small openings with insulating foam. I have a 4” plastic dust port I that i bought that closes of the bottom. I have a Harbor freight 2 hp dust collector that I connect to it with about 15 feet of 4” hose. I did modify the DC to have a separator and baffle like the thousands of other ones you see on the web. I know the baffle reduces the suction of the DC. But I figured it would at least grab the dust from the inside of my saw. I know to reduce more dust, that I need to capture the dust on top coming off the blade. I thought after sealing off the place where the most dust drops, that the DC would do a better job. Any advice would be appreciated ..thankyou, Jeff


5 replies so far

View MPython's profile


119 posts in 176 days

#1 posted 04-20-2019 12:19 PM

You need a lot of air volume to capture both the fine dust and the larger chips. If you completely seal off bottom of your saw except for the kerf in your throat plate, you won’t get enough air moving through the machine to do the job. Not only that, you’ll over tax your dust collector; it will struggle to pull what little air it can through your saw. My recommendation would be to provide some openings in your enclosure, up near the top where it meets the under side of the saw table, to allow more airflow through the saw. If the openings are up high near the table, the direction of the air flow will be downward toward the vacuum outlet at the bottom of the box. The increased air volume/flow should improve the performance of your DC considerably. Yes, you need some way to capture the fine dust coming from the blade above the table. Most of the fine dust and chips are captured below the saw table, assuming you have adequate air flow; but enough fine dust escapes above the table to be problematic from a health and cleanliness standpoint. There are lots of after-market options available for this function. They all interfere with the ease of operating the saw, but if you’re focused on capturing the fine dust, you’ll have to make all allowances for the inconvenience. I have an Excalibur above-the-table guard and dust collector. It does pretty god job. Others really like the Shark Guard. There are other options. You will likely get some good recommendations in response to your post.

View ocean's profile


158 posts in 1197 days

#2 posted 04-20-2019 12:23 PM

I have a Craftsmen contractor saw and collection around the blade at the top is everything. I modified the plastic guard with a cut down attachment from my shop vac to attach a 2 1/2” hose. I cut a hole thru the plastic guard and glued in the shop vac attachment then the collection hose to it. I suspended hose from the ceiling and back down to a Y. There it joins the bottom hose to the 4” collector hose. It is not perfect but it did improve collection a lot. It took a little messing around to get it to work, be was really worth it. I do need to modify the plastic guard further to prevent chips from flying out form under the leading edge – it is where most of the chips/dust come off the blade. Good luck.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5507 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 04-20-2019 12:31 PM

It was mentioned above, sealing the openings does nothing more than starve your collector (It doesn’t harm it in any way, however). I had a Delta 34-444, and closed the back opening with baffles and had a 4” hook up in the bottom of the cabinet. My DC ( a 2.5 HP with a 12” impeller) did OK on the cabinet dust, but nothing for the top of the table. After a while I simply put a box surrounding the entire motor that was suspended under the outfeed table. That helped a little, but these effort are mor to direct air flow than to seal it off. Over the years I’ve moved up in DCs twice more and found nothing to help with chips coming off the blade except an overblade pick up. I now use an Excalibur but even a shop built one will help. Of course, all this takes some substantial air flow, and I just don’t see the HF unit as being enough. But there are enough fans of that unit here to offer more opinions.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jaxsun's profile


8 posts in 1034 days

#4 posted 04-20-2019 09:03 PM

Thankyou for the quick replies. I am definitely getting ideas for a source to collect from the top of saw around the blade. It makes sense that I’ve sealed the under carriage too much that it’s constricting air flow. I’ll take the foam out that I installed underneath where the table meets the under carriage and see how it does. I know the Harbor Freight DC has it’s limits, but it does work great on other machines I use. I would just really like to see less dust in the bottom of the saw. When it gets built up in there it ends up being blown back in your face when the saw is being used. Thankyou for the suggestions!


View fivecodys's profile


1413 posts in 2000 days

#5 posted 04-22-2019 07:27 PM

I had the same issues on my Powermatic 64A. I built a chute for the bottom of the saw to catch whatever was in the cabinet but I was still throwing a lot of dust off the blade on the top side.
I added a Shark Guard to my saw last winter and it does a really good job catching most of the fine dust on the top side. Adding this guard also gave me the splitter I needed. It’s worth a look.

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

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