1956 DeWalt MBF 9" Radial Arm Saw #7: (Less) Dust in the Wind

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by NBeener posted 03-09-2011 01:26 AM 17122 reads 5 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Light 'er up, Folks ! Part 7 of 1956 DeWalt MBF 9" Radial Arm Saw series no next part

How does a dog get the LAST bit of water out of his bowl ?

With a half-lap :-)

Spent too much time figuring out how to get Hurricane Walter to spew less dust, or—at least—how I could capture the dust he spews.

Shroud seemed like the way to go.

So …. with leftover plywood from the construction of the ol’ ChupaCaja, I made me a dust collection box.

ID is about 8” wide x 8” deep x 8” tall.

The joinery is (IS it called this ?) half-lap (or lock miter, or … well … whatever you call it !).

My biggest Forstner bit—at 2-1/8”—wasn’t quite big enough for my Shop-Vac hose, so … after cutting the 2-1/8” hole, I stuck the hole over the biggest spindle that my oscillating spindle sander had to offer, and … gave it a few whirls.

Now … the Shop-Vac hose has an EXCELLENT friction fit, the box sits beautifully right behind the blade, and atop the saw frame, and …. the dust collection is just great.

To be quantitative, I’d say the BOX captures about 95% of the dust. OF that 95%, I’d say 85-90% goes RIGHT into the hose. The rest gets pushed toward the nozzle, and goes bye-bye.

There wasn’t a dead-simple way to insert the hose from the bottom, or I would have. I’d either have to snake the hose behind the cabinets, semi-permanently, or invoke a 90 degree elbow, which … would decrease CFM more than I wanted to.

This saw … yesterday made an AWFUL mess of my countertop. Today: virtually no dust at all.

I’ll likely mount it to the saw base AND the back (concrete) wall with either double-sided tape or … something.

For now, though, it works, it was zero incremental cost, it took about an hour, and … Walter seems happy :-)


For those following this series …. I bought the Master Plate, from Grizzly:

For ME, it made a BIG difference in ease of aligning the RAS.

I’m pretty sure I’ve got this thing dead-on [WOO-HOO !!!].

I started by removing my Mister Sawdust table. I stuck the mag base of my dial indicator on the underside of the RAS motor, and … using it … got the table awfully darned parallel to the radial arm. A few thou’, here and there. Nothing more.

Then … re-mounted the table, and re-installed the sacrificial 1/4” topper (sadly, this was TWO HOURS before the replacement hardware, that I had ordered, arrived [D’OH!]).

The Master Plate made it very easy to get the blade square in every axis. I’ve done QUITE a few test cuts, and … each … is well nigh perfect !

Next time I’m tearing into the saw, I’ll replace the table mounting/adjusting hardware. For now … I’ll likely plug up the dust collection snout [or … get a Wye, and run a second small hose TO that dust collection snout], and … just start getting acquainted with the thing.

Thanks for looking !

-- -- Neil

37 comments so far

View patron's profile


13623 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 03-09-2011 01:54 AM

some fancy dancing there neil

great refurb on the saw
and a cool collection box

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3276 days

#2 posted 03-09-2011 02:38 AM

Man thats looking real nice Neil. Do you use the dust port on the blade as well? I’m guessing you still have dust though but does that one help at all?

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3754 days

#3 posted 03-09-2011 03:22 AM

Great idea, Neil. Maybe I need to do that with my.

View patron's profile


13623 posts in 3422 days

#4 posted 03-09-2011 04:02 AM

that would be a half lap

this is a lock miter
done with a router bit

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile


2108 posts in 4108 days

#5 posted 03-09-2011 06:02 AM


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4192 posts in 3245 days

#6 posted 03-09-2011 05:40 PM

Walter is becoming a slick, clean, dude. Gee…......such a cute name as well…...........(-:

I have to do a couple of refinements to my RAS DC… system collects 95%, also, but it needs to be closer to the fence. Jim Hamilton made some suggestions of how to do that, and it is on my to do list.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3255 days

#7 posted 03-09-2011 05:51 PM

Thanks, All !

Eric: Did a few cuts, yesterday, with the shroud’s dust port OPEN. Nothing flew out.

That doesn’t mean that nothing could be suctioned out, so … later … I may try to branch off the DC hose with a short run TO the shroud. It would create additional drag, though, in easily moving the carriage, so … ???

David: thanks much ! I would have bet that I got that one wrong :-) I DO like those lock miters, though. I’ve seen those router bits. A pain in the butt to align. Similar to my glue-joint router bit … the one that I made set-up blocks for.

Jim: Have you been letting your job interfere with your hobby, again ? Your shop updates have been fewer and farther between :-)

Charles: with my Forrest WWI blade, it’s throwing a LOT of fine dust—the stuff that I want to keep out of my eyes, my nose, my lungs, and my house. If you really wanted to, though, you could put a trap door into your shed … RIGHT BEHIND your RAS … and just open it, when you use the RAS :-)

-- -- Neil

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3809 days

#8 posted 03-10-2011 12:27 AM

I’m hanging my head in shame right now. Your progress has so far surpassed mine, that I can’t even call our projects tandem rebuilds.

On a positive note, my cabinet to clear table space, that will in turn allow me to refocus on the saw, is almost done.

Back to your project though. I didn’t know rubbermaid sold clamps. A creative way to hold a top firmly in place during a glue-up. (-:

The dust collection box looks nice and simple. I can’t imagine cutting indoors with one of these things and not having something to catch the bulk of the dust. As for the front dust port, I wonder if a clip on dust bag (like those on a CMS) would be a good temporary fix until the wye is installed. Probably not, but it’s an idea. Ultimately, I think the wye is the way to go.

you mentioned that you plan to replace the table mount hardware. Why? I’d think after going through all that trouble to get everything aligned the way you did, you’d stick with what is there.

How are you liking the blade? You get to cut any really hard woods with it yet? I’m still on the fence (saw pun) about whether I want the Forrest (which would allow for ripping) or the Freud (which would be best at crosscuts and miters only).

I don’t think I mentioned this earlier, but I’m REALLY jealous of the coiled cord you were able to add. I looked into it, but I couldn’t find anything I was comfortable with using on my motor. I’m pretty sure it is 17 amps if I remember right.

One final note before signing off. I took a look back at the earlier photos you posted and remebered thinking to myself “that saw is in pretty good shape already”. Despite that, it is looking even better now. The table and dust collection make a real difference. I’ve got a few ideas for my own, but I’m unsure of what I want to do. I’ll outline them in a future blog post. Great work!

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2908 days

#9 posted 03-10-2011 12:49 AM

Very nice dust shroud


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4192 posts in 3245 days

#10 posted 03-10-2011 12:49 AM

Ah, actually I have been busy with two things for the shop that are complex, the TS DC and the base for the project table. In the meantime, I installed the new disc sander and the Rigid Osc Spindle/Belt sander like yours, and made a stand for the drill press…....recycled. And I have reorganized some stuff so that the computer is off the workbench. And have gotten used to my new nail guns.

However, the drill press stand is awaiting more gizmos, the nail guns and compressor go inside the project table, and the two sanders are in a temp location. Alas, no finished stuff. But I am working on it…...........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3024 days

#11 posted 03-10-2011 05:48 PM

Neil, nice piece of RAS came out. COngrats. Great mechanic work there !!

On David´s lock miter, it´s not too difficult to align.

You align the bit only once in your life.

Then you make your cuts.

Then throw away the bit to the garbage bin. Never need alignment. LOL

Take care

-- Back home. Fernando

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3754 days

#12 posted 03-10-2011 05:54 PM

Thats a idea, Neil.

View steliart's profile


2761 posts in 2769 days

#13 posted 03-10-2011 05:57 PM

Hmm a bit jealous of that RAS lol

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3415 days

#14 posted 03-10-2011 07:22 PM

A great little sawdust catcher Neil. I have a big hood over my sliding miter saw which catches most of the dust, but it doesn’t remove it. I do believe a box like yours inside the hood would be just the thing. Thanks for posting this great little project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3255 days

#15 posted 03-10-2011 08:31 PM

Fernando: LOL ! I learned that lesson, with my glue-joint router bit. I made setup blocks, out of UHMW, and NOW … they’re fast, simple, and incredibly accurate !

Steliart: $100 bought me the saw. I think I might have another … maybe $250 into it, but … I didn’t cut any corners. With more time, more patience, and a lower budget, I suspect about $250 total would get you one. Now I have to learn how to get the most OUT of this thing !

Mike: thank you !

Big hoods were the easy answer, and … several suppliers have them. But … my saw seemed to throw a nice tight pattern of dust. If need be, over time, I can add “flares” at 45deg to increase the capture rate, but … for now … all is well :-)

I’m watching the classifieds for a decent price on a USED ShopVac—probably 6.5HP, like mine.

I’d like to shove it in one of the cabinets, under the RAS, and use an auto-on outlet to power it with the saw. Dedicated, or … with a Wye to the CMS in the other shop corner—which does NOT yet have a shroud, and DOES make a mess ;-)

-- -- Neil

showing 1 through 15 of 37 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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