A Guide to Contractor Table Saw Dust Collection
Dust collection is an important process in woodworking. Wood dust can be dangerous for one’s health and mostly, it takes a while to clean it. To relieve this problem, contractor table saws are oftentimes used to dispense the wood dust whilst working in the shop.
Before, you would still need to purchase a dust collection bin from the tool’s manufacturer, which can cost you your time, effort, and money. But today, you can buy a contractor table saw that already has its own built-in bin just for collecting dust alone.
You can opt to buy the newer models, but if you want to save money or recreate your current board at home, the steps are quite simple which you can learn from this guide.
Dust Collection Using a Contractor Table Saw
In this article, we are going to talk about how to make your own dust collection and its several dust upgrades that you can install on your existing contractor table saw.
Step 1: Measure your Dust Collection
- Before you start, the first thing to consider is the size of your dust collection, so get a tape and start measuring. Begin at the bottom part of your contractor table saw; then measure the dimensions of your dust collection.
The design of the dust collection will depend on the model of your contractor table saw. However, this is often placed at the bottom part of the woodworking device.
- After you choose a placement, see if your dustbin or drawer is fitting for the area. Most of the time, the dust collection is shaped like a quadrilateral, so it’s safe to follow this design.
When taking the measurements, make sure that you give a few inches for allowance on the sides of your board. This way, you can still make adjustments if the need arises. When measuring the panels of your table saw, make sure to use a miter gauge to get the angles on the leg assembly correctly.
- For the drawer, get a plywood off cut and test fit the wood inside the leg assembly. The plywood off cut will serve as your drawer slides.
- Mark the area where you need to cut the plywood off cut. It should be able to overlap the metal edges of the inner leg assembly.
- Lastly, measure the bottom of the quadrilateral with another plywood off cut.
This piece will be used as a support beam for your drawer. Make sure that this piece is an inch away from each side of the leg assembly then mark each side.
Step 2: Prepare the Materials
Once you have the measurements, gather the materials needed to create the dust collection. You can recycle old panels for this. You will also need nails, bolts, and screws to piece your dust collection together. Lastly, you will also need to prepare a contractor table saw to cut the panels into specific pieces.
Step 3: Safety First
Before you start cutting the boards, wear safety gear since these will protect you from the dust and chipped off woods when you are working.
Woodworking can be dangerous to one’s health; plus, you’re also prone to accidents like cuts or scratches from the tools. So, be sure to wear safety glasses, respirator, face protector, and hearing protection.
You are also encouraged to wear the proper attire for woodworking. You can opt to wear comfortable clothes, preferably long sleeves, long pants, and steel-toe shoes.
Step 4: Cut the Pieces
- The first thing to cut is the base. The base will serve as your drawer where the wood dust will fall through.
- Once you have the base, the next thing to cut is the panels. It’s best that the panels are shaped into a quadrilateral for easy fitting.
- You’ll need four panels to cover the open parts of the legs beneath your contractor table saw, so cut four pieces with the exact size.
- Then, get the plywood offcut and cut three pieces of it. Two of these offcuts will be used as drawer slides for your base, and the shorter one will be used as a support beam for the cover of the drawer.
Step 5: Piece the Wall Panels Together
Once you have cut the pieces, get the three panels.
- Place one of the panels inside the leg assembly.
- Mark the areas for the screw, and attach the panel into the leg assembly. Repeat the same procedure with the other two panels.
- Get a hand drill and marked areas of the three panels. Once the holes are done, get 6 pieces of bolts and screw them into the panels and the leg assembly.
Step 6: Make the Dust Collection Drawer
Get the two plywood offcuts, the base panel, a wood glue, and a C-clamp.
- Place the two plywood offcuts in a vertical position.
- Place them on the edge of the base wood panel. Get your wood glue and stick the plywood offcuts into the base panel.
- To make sure that the offcuts are glued well, use your C-Clamp to press the panels and plywood offcuts tightly. Leave it for at least one to two hours.
Afterward, get the shorter plywood offcut and place it horizontally on the edge and front side of the base. Glue it into the bottom base and clamp it again for one to two hours.
Once the base of the drawer is done, get the fourth quadrilateral panel and glue it into the horizontal plywood offcut and let it set for another hour or two as well. After that, get a handle and screw it at the bottom of the quadrilateral. Once the drawer is done, you can now place it inside the leg assembly.
Dust Collection Upgrades
Aside from the Dust Collection Drawer, there are several upgrades that you can purchase or create in your workshop.
Overarm Dust Collector
Wood dust is hard to catch because they easily disperse when you are using your table saw, but an overarm dust collector would do the trick. These collectors are attached near the blade and are connected to another bin where the dust is disposed.
If you want to get this upgrade, ask your manufacturer if they offer overarm collectors for your contractor table saw model.
Dust ports are like dust collection drawers which are placed right below the blade. These trays are made from plastic and have a 4-inch port that is removable. They are easy to maintain and often works with an open bottom contractor table saw. These trays can be cut into smaller size as well, depending on the size of your contractor table saw.
Dust collectors are essential and convenient for woodworkers. It makes your shop easier to maintain and clean. It also keeps you safe from health hazard brought upon the wood dust.
If you don’t have one at home, you don’t have to spend much on buying an upgrade. By simply following the steps above, you can already create your own wood dust collector with minimal cost and with more room for customization.