Another contractor saw dust collection quandry

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by cdaulton posted 09-20-2012 03:03 AM 23269 views 5 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cdaulton's profile


25 posts in 3518 days

09-20-2012 03:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: contractor table saw dust collection question

So I have a Craftsman 113 series contractor saw and because contractors saws as a general rule have zero dust collection built in I need to add some. The most popular option seems to be to cover the back as completely as possible and put a plate on the bottom with an appropriate size port for what ever size dust collection you are running. These seem to work from marginally better than the factory option (nothing) to ok but I rarely read a project write up where this set up works really well. Mostly due to the fact that it is really not possible to close up the back very effectively. This set up also needs to be able to be removed if you are cutting with the blade on an angle thereby reducing the effectiveness of the dust collection to nearly zero. So I am at Lowe’s the other day and for some reason I was looking at tile saws. Not really sure why, I’m not planning any tile projects soon but anyway I was looking at them. There was a Skil model, 3540, that was basically a mini table saw and the water reservoir that was just wide enough to hold the blade. That got me thinking and I came home and looked at my table saw and the blade is already covered on one side and most of the way around, there is a small gap at the bottom (see picture, sorry its so bad I’ll try to get a better one tomorrow). I’m thinking why can’t I put a cover on the open side with a dust fitting on the bottom that is possibly angled so it doesn’t hit the side of the case when I tilt the blade. I could use something soft at the top so it would still seal decently and allow the blade to tilt. Has any one ever tried anything like this? Know any reason it wouldn’t work?

10 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11133 posts in 4697 days

#1 posted 09-20-2012 04:12 AM

You’re on the right track.

I recommend turning the saw upside down and taking
your time with the project, using other tools to cut
parts. Crawling under the saw to try to figure it out
will drive you nuts.

The best place to put your dust hose is vertically under
the front of the blade. You’ll want to enclose the side of
the blade on the front at the least. The trick is making
it work with the blade tilted 45 degrees and that is
why dust collection is such a fussy retrofit. You may
find sheet metal or plastics like cut-up 5 gallon bucket
material work better than thicker and structurally
flawed plywoods. A pop riveter may be handy as well.

View toolie's profile


2203 posts in 3678 days

#2 posted 09-20-2012 05:03 AM

cdaulton …... that’s how it was done on the ridgid 3650, the first ridgid TS built by one world technology when production of the ridgid TSs was moved away from emerson electric, which also built the 113 series contractor saws for sears. the ridgid 3612, which was the last emerson electric built ridgid TS did not have the type of shroud you’re describing as shown in this parts diagram from the OM:

(see page 74).

it’s successor, the ts3650 did have a shroud as shown in this parts list:

(see figure I)

if the two cradles are the same, it should be possible to purchase the parts that comprise the shroud and apply them to your 113 saw. if the cradle of the 3650 is different from the cradle of the 3612, then while it’s theoretically possible, all the parts would have to be fabricated. i’d check with ridgid and confirm that if you ordered a new cradle for the 3612, they would send you the same cradle that fits the 3650. i believe your saw has the same cradle as the 3612.

FWIW, i have 2 emerson bult 10” CI TSs, one a 70s vintage c-man, the other a 2003 ridgid 2412. both have the same innards. i’ve addressed the DC issue by blocking the back and collecting the dust with a plate on the bottom of the cabinet with a 4” dust collection fitting. what i have noticed is that this pulls the fine dust from the cabinet but leaves some heavier dust and chips in the corners. so it’s about 80-90% effective. what i did notice is that changing from a shop vac to a 1.5hp, 1100 cfm dust collector GREATLY improved the effectiveness of this arrangement. it’s the increased air flow (a 1hp DC does about 600-700 cfm, the 1.5 DC does 1100 cfm) that improves the dust collection.

here’s an example of another fabrciated dust collection accessory that appears to work well. given the sound of the dust collector heard ramping up, i’d be surprised if it wasn’t at least a 1.5 hp collector.

this info on LJ also might be of interest to you:

and this FWW article used to be available on the web for free but that link has been diasabled:

this is a more extensive set of modifications that enclose the motor in a box in an effort to do away with the drudgery of removing whatever one uses to cover the open back of the saw. i think i have a print out of the article somewhere. it was a well written and thorough exercise but i didn’t think the effort necessary to execute it was worth it since all it really saved you was removing the cover on the back of the saw for bevel cuts.

good luck with whatever direction you go in for your dust collection. but try to figure an 1100-1200 cfm dust collector somewhere in the process. effective dust collection depends on moving as much air as possible.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4151 days

#3 posted 09-20-2012 05:10 AM

Every contractor table saw needs one of these. It made my life way easier. Very easy install…...............

-- mike...............

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5349 posts in 5010 days

#4 posted 09-20-2012 05:31 PM

I use the base panel/shroud fitting with a semi-enclosed back panel on my G0444Z contractor saw. Works pretty darned well except for above the table control. Ya don’t wanna fully enclose the back ‘cause ya won’t have any “make up” air that will allow the DC to work well.
I’m also a real freak about clearing all the dust out of the saw after each day’s use. Does that make me a “sho ‘nuff” anal retentive?
My DC is a HF unit with felted bags, and seems to do all I need in the course of a day’s work.

-- [email protected]

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3682 days

#5 posted 09-20-2012 07:04 PM

Heck, I just used some tiny spring clamps and hung a garbage bag from the bottom rim of the saw cabinet. Probably catches 60-70% of the dust. If I went to the trouble of closing off the rear portion of the saw, I’d probably contain closer to 90%.

View scrubpine's profile


14 posts in 3508 days

#6 posted 09-20-2012 07:53 PM

When I bought my mod. 113 way back when I also bought the dust collection system for it. Does a good job.

-- Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it ti it's fullest.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3724 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 10:30 PM

I added a HF DC Accesory shrould to the bottom of my C’man 113 TS (connected to my HF 2HP DC):

I also sealed much of the underside (inside the “cabinet”):

I will evetually add this modification to close up the back: (This is a shot of another LJ members DC mod to their TS. I can’t remember who or I would give credit.):

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View revanson11's profile


113 posts in 3383 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 02:39 AM

I have about a 20 year old Delta Contractor saw that used to spew dust everywhere. Then last year I saw the FWW article that Toolie references and decided that it was the best solution for me.

Since my saw was different than the one in the article I needed to modify my approach to the problem. One of the things that I needed to do was to slightly change the length of the v-belt in order for the motor to swing to a full 45 degrees. I purchased a 4’ piece of link belt and set it to the proper length. I used some spray foam insulation to fill the open gaps underneath the cast iron top.

How well does it work? My opinion is that it works very well but to really catch all the dust you need to have a solution for the top of the saw also. Best of luck.

-- Randy, Central MN

View lancer1975's profile


2 posts in 2171 days

#9 posted 05-02-2015 04:31 PM

I have a Sears Craftsman 113 series table saw. With the idea that the blade is the only thing that creates sawdust, I build this table saw blade shroud from what I had on hand except for the rare earth magnets (bought at Home Depot) to attach the shroud to the table saw. The hardboard piece (yellow) at the back had round insets where I used Gorilla glue to hold the magnets in place. The curved opening is for the 2-inch diameter arbor to move up and down. The curved part is plastic bender board with insets for magnets. The bender board at the top has a 45 degree cut one can bevel the blade. I used Gorilla tape (black) to hold the unit together and foil tape (silver – true duct tape) to connect to the 4-inch hose. The third image is the unit installed showing the saw blade and the rectangular opening at the bottom that connects to the 4-inch hose. The dust collection port is on the left side of the table saw so the hose can flex when setting the blade at an angle. I have made 45 degree and 90 degree cuts with no saw dust accumulation inside the table saw. As stated previously, I cannot capture the sawdust generated on top of the saw, but this design keeps the sawdust from accumulating on the motor, threads, and other components inside the table saw. Years ago all I had was a plastic bag below the saw to catch sawdust. With the possession of a dust collector (2 HP Harbor Freight) the shroud is a vast improvement. If anyone has “mad Cad” skills, I bet one could build a 3D model and fabricate it using a 3D printer.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2474 days

#10 posted 05-02-2015 10:17 PM

I chose not to enclose the motor.

-- Brad, Texas,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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