To put my rough idea into action I started by measuring the Dewalt 735 base. It measures 15×20 1/2”. I knew a couple of things; I knew I wanted some kind of a bin to capture the chips for easy disposal and I knew I wanted to use some kind of air filter. The filter would have to be smaller than the dimensions of the box, which I reasoned would be close to the dimensions of the planer base. My initial thought was to use a furnace filter and build a channel for it to slide into. The bin would also have to fit inside the stand, so it would need to be close to the dimensions of the planer’s base. Off I went to a local big box store to look around.
To my dismay, the furnace filters were all fairly large. The smallest was still 22 inches long, which I figured was too big. I wanted to put the filter on the inside of the cabinet so that the air pressure from the planer would push the filter against the cabinet, helping to make a good seal. Browsing through the store more I came across some shop vac filter replacements. The particular one I settled on had no hole in the back for mounting, it simply pushed on for a friction fit and had rubber around the rim that acts like a gasket. It also had a wire mesh around the inside and outside to protect the filter material a bit from larger debris, and was a hepa filter.
I also found a green bin that roughly fit the dimensions I wanted. The bin measures 15×22”. I picked up the bin, filter and four non-swiveling castors and headed home to build.
One of the first things done was to cut off the handles on the bin. I wanted the bin to fit as tightly to the sides as possible, so the handles had to go. A utility knife did the job just fine.
Next I measured the filter’s inside diameter. Just under 6 inches. There is more than one way to cut a circle, but I don’t have a band saw (yet) and did not want to bother setting up the router with a circle jig. The easiest method was to scavenge the house for something with a circular base about 6 inches. I did eventually find something, and used double sided tape to secure it to some scrap plywood. A straight bit in the router table traced the circle, and I was good to go.
A test fit in the filter showed that the plywood circle was slightly oversized. I attached a drum sander bit to the drill press and trimmed the edges, being careful not to sit in any one spot too long. The result was a good tight fit that was not too tight. Next up I used a 4” hole saw bit to drill out the center. Four screw holes and some sanding and the mounting flange for the filter is complete:
I think this style of filter works better than a furnace filter would. Making the mounting flange was easier and fits more precise than trying to make a J channel for a furnace filter that sealed well and was easy to remove the filter.
With no width restrictions on the cabinet’s dimensions from a furnace filter, and with a plastic bin with known size, I had some rough dimensions to work with. The plywood I would be using is 3/4” (actually just under at 23/32”) and the castors are 3 3/8”. The planer base to planer bed is 2 3/4”.
I wanted the planer bed height to be 32-34”. I wanted one of the skinny ends of the cabinet (skinny because the plastic bin has a long end and a skinny end where the handles are) to be a door which would seal. That meant that side would be flush to the bottom of the base, not sitting on the base. The other 3 sides I wanted to sit on the base for strength. The plastic bin’s dimensions, 15×22”, plus 3/4” on the length and 3/4” plus 3/4” on the width for the 3 sides that would sit on the base gave a base and top dimension of 16 1/2” x 22 3/4”.
The longer sides would be the plastic bin’s length plus 3/4” for the one skinny side that will sit on the base, so 22 3/4”. The height I settled on was from my rough target of 34”, minus the castors (I called it 3”, the 3/8” extra came later from some spacers), minus the planer bed to table (2 3/4”), minus the base and top thickness (3/4” x2). I actually settled on 27” even.
The skinny sides would be the same height, 27”, by the plastic bin’s width plus 3/4” x2. That would give a width of 16 1/2”. I called it 16 3/4” to allow a little extra room so the bin would slide in and out easily.
Next entry I’ll start on the cabinet.