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Managing dust from table saw

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Forum topic by Bob Sundquist posted 07-24-2021 01:51 PM 792 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob Sundquist

12 posts in 167 days


07-24-2021 01:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust

My biggest problem in my wood shop is dust, and the biggest producer is my table saw. How can I persuade the dust to go from my table saw to my shop vac rather than my clothes, lungs, hair, etc? I have a “budget” wood shop so I am looking for low-cost solutions.


26 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

4728 posts in 1121 days


#1 posted 07-24-2021 02:02 PM

what kind of TS? does it have vac port? it all depends. Harbor Freight carries a bag that hooks on bottom that can help. or check out some youtube videos where guys make a wooden collector.

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tvrgeek

2264 posts in 2865 days


#2 posted 07-24-2021 02:35 PM

You are looking for a unicorn. Sorry.

I put my contractor saw on a cabinet, made some changes to the air flow patterns, and used a 1 3/4 HP dust collector. Better, but still had to wear a mask especially for MDF. I now have a cabinets saw and 5 HP dust collector. I am working on a couple inventions to convince more of the dust to exit the gullets before it comes up top. I posted recently about a ZCI that helps airflow on narrow rips. In some rare situations, an overhead guard can work and not be a safety hazard by being in the way. You can put a port on a sled and it works pretty well, but you need far more volume of air than a vac.

View Rich's profile

Rich

7369 posts in 1805 days


#3 posted 07-24-2021 02:39 PM


How can I persuade the dust to go from my table saw to my shop vac rather than my clothes, lungs, hair, etc? I have a “budget” wood shop so I am looking for low-cost solutions.

- Bob Sundquist

Simple. You can’t. You can improve your situation by buying a cabinet-grade saw with a dust port and an over-the-blade dust hood. You’ll also need a fairly beefy dust collector; a shop vac won’t make a dent. Even that won’t eliminate dust, and they’re definitely not budget items.

Top-of-the-line track saws have dual splinter guards and can trap virtually 100% of the dust. Not a budget item either.

I’d say your best bet is to protect yourself from the dust, since reducing it is an expensive proposition. Wear a mask. Get an overhead air filter. If you can’t add one of those, try to get some cross-ventilation in the shop so dust doesn’t linger.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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woodbutcherbynight

10270 posts in 3625 days


#4 posted 07-24-2021 02:49 PM

Rich is spot on, you can’t eliminate or even really control dust from a TS. But a mask is easy enough to wear which will handle the stuff getting into your lungs.

Good housekeeping, as in sweep up each night is helpful. Myself I expect dust as it is a woodshop. Not a clean room at NASA. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Knockonit

946 posts in 1418 days


#5 posted 07-24-2021 04:06 PM

lol, and i was so hoping someone had a revelation in the last week or so and had resolved this issue, alas, guess the mask remains.
happy weekend
‘rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26656 posts in 4321 days


#6 posted 07-24-2021 05:07 PM

Roll it outdoors and put a big fan behind you. Otherwise get a dust mask, eye protection and a shop coat. That is what I do. I don’t have vacuum on my saw…just a big bag that comes off the dust port of my Ryobi BT3000 and it gets about 95% of the dust in the bag. The bag inflates from the air being pushed out the dust port.

Good luck…..............Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2744 posts in 817 days


#7 posted 07-24-2021 05:38 PM

My biggest problem was forgetting plug the hose in and/or forgetting to turn the shop vac on. Much better with the saw stop JS saw that has both over and under dust collection. The best solution I have found is to go mostly hand tool work. Without the big fan motors to blast it around it just falls to the ground now.

View tingaling's profile

tingaling

69 posts in 1536 days


#8 posted 07-24-2021 05:44 PM

This post got me thinking about the dust produced by my saw. I have a strong collector and so most of the dust gets pulled off the blade from under the blade insert. The stuff that gets in the air comes from the debris that flies off the top which gets worse when cutting thin strips. My question is: does the zero clearance insert contribute to the dust that escapes from the top? Would the collection improve if I used a wide clearance insert?

-- Nick, now in the heat of Sacramento

View Loren's profile

Loren

11253 posts in 4864 days


#9 posted 07-24-2021 06:09 PM


This post got me thinking about the dust produced by my saw. I have a strong collector and so most of the dust gets pulled off the blade from under the blade insert. The stuff that gets in the air comes from the debris that flies off the top which gets worse when cutting thin strips. My question is: does the zero clearance insert contribute to the dust that escapes from the top? Would the collection improve if I used a wide clearance insert?

- tingaling

I would say probably no. My saw won’t take zero clearance inserts and it still spits plenty of dust. I use an overhead guard and that helps a lot, making using the saw much cleaner.

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

946 posts in 1418 days


#10 posted 07-24-2021 06:39 PM

i did mitigate a considerable amount on the uni saw, by dropping blade so it just barely tops out, did help. and i do have an oscillating fan behind me when on saw, as i am usually cutting a lot of material all at once to get it done, chop saw has a dedicated shop vac and it works ok,

aw dust, part of the hobby, job, life. i live in Arizona, its either desert dust or wood dust.
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

2004 posts in 3533 days


#11 posted 07-24-2021 07:14 PM

Shop vacs can provide excellent dust collection if the tool is correctly designed. The cutting area needs to be totally enclosed then properly-sized openings are placed in the correct locations. The article linked below goes into detail.

ShopHacks.com: Table Saw Dust Collection

Short answer is that you need to get an almost 100% airtight shroud surrounding the blade below the table so the shop vac can only pull air through the throat plate. Overhead collection is also needed if you want to get close to 100% collection.

Bigger collectors that pull more CFM make this easier since they can handle more air leakage.

If you want good dust collection, be prepared to void the warranty on your tools and start modding them.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

7196 posts in 3709 days


#12 posted 07-24-2021 07:21 PM


My question is: does the zero clearance insert contribute to the dust that escapes from the top? Would the collection improve if I used a wide clearance insert?

- tingaling

There are mixed opinions on this…mine is that the ZC insert changes nothing, doesn’t make it better or worse. I say that because 95% if your insert had a larger opening for air flow, the work piece will cover it over while you’re cutting. In the instance of trimming an edge, or otherwise not covering the opening, it may improve slightly.

To the OP, if you’re stuck with only a shop vac I think the best you can do is put a bag under the saw for that part, and then put an overblade pickup on it with the shop vac attached to it. But someone above said it, to get adequate collection with a vac is chasing Unicorns.

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

View yamato72's profile

yamato72

16 posts in 171 days


#13 posted 07-24-2021 11:32 PM

Since you’re on a budget and want to use your shop-vac. Start by getting a blade shroud with a dust port like a Sharkguard. Use an N95 respirator. When you have the budget get an overhead filter like a Jet 1000B or similar. Good for you for recognizing the need to keep that stuff out of your lungs.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2744 posts in 817 days


#14 posted 07-25-2021 10:40 AM

Get a cyclone separator as a pre-filter before the shop vac. It will pay for itself in the long run and keep the suction strong longer.

View Robert's profile

Robert

4715 posts in 2697 days


#15 posted 07-25-2021 11:48 AM

The dust that hurts you is what produced on top, so I would focus on over arm collectors. A shop vac can work here.

Let the dust accumulate in the cabinet. Vac out from time to time, since you’re not going to achieve much with a shop vac anyway.

I think Fred is probably right about the ZCI’s. The dust released on top is what’s trapped in the gullets and brought back up. If you have superior CFM flow in the cabinet theoretically that will catch the dust before it re-emerges, but not in a blade spinning 5000RPM.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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