Over arm table saw dust collection

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Blog entry by jat posted 01-01-2011 03:18 PM 10553 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am thinking of installing over arm dust collection for my Steel City Hybrid Table Saw. The saw works fine but even with a zero clearance insert, throws out a lot of dust over the table and back at me (despite my Oneida dust collector).

Anybody have any thoughts or experience with Exaktor or Excalibur (or any better systems)? This is a small, basement shop as a hobby. I was also considering just building my own and have it extend down from the ceiling.

Thanks for your help.

9 comments so far

View ken_c's profile


325 posts in 3363 days

#1 posted 01-01-2011 03:40 PM

I have seen people make something up them self’s – do a search you should be able to find a lot of good examples

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3380 days

#2 posted 01-01-2011 04:59 PM

You’ll have more dust come off on top of the table with a zero clearance insert. I use a normal insert unless the zero clearance is needed. I have a Shark Guard for above blade dust collection and it does a pretty good job. I have seen people make their own. I had thought about it myself because the marketed systems seem overpriced to me.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4082 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 05:12 PM

I have that same saw. Jason has a good point. The ZCI will not allow the vac to suck very much around the blade. I also found quite a bit of leakage around the front height adjust knob. I have a plastic guard that I made to cover this hole. I still get some spray at me. If I have to trim less than a saw blades worth, I use my shopvac laying on the table next to the blade, as this seems to be the worst case.

But I will watch out with you. Any dust control help would be appreciated.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4023 days

#4 posted 01-01-2011 10:15 PM

Try this web site featuring the Shark Guard, its the solution to this annoying problem with over the table dust collection, and the owner is hand on with all order …. I’ve first heard about this product from my good friend here at LJ Pat. I just can’t say enough about the different it makes….good luck on what ever you decide….BC

View wichle's profile


96 posts in 3147 days

#5 posted 01-02-2011 03:57 AM

My saw stop blade guard sems to contain most of the top dust. I have not been using a zero clearance insert. When I had a Craftsman Contractor Saw I invested in an Excaliber over arm collector. I liked it alot.

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4023 days

#6 posted 01-02-2011 04:49 AM

It has to be removed from the saw, probably like ever other dust collection cover over the blade….if you find one that doesn’t have to be remove please forward…BC

View MisterMustardSeed's profile


1 post in 2876 days

#7 posted 01-28-2011 06:28 PM

I just built a dust hood for my saw and it is working beautifully. the dust being thrown back at me has been completely eliminated, and the amount of dust left on my table top has been reduced by about 90%. I made it out of scrap wood, some T-nuts and knobs, and a few dust collection accessories.

I have a Delta Hybrid saw that is in a cabinet. Truth is, the dust collection efficiency on this thing is a joke. There are so many openings, slits, holes, etc. in this cabinet that I hardly get any downdraft through the throat plate at all, and I’m hooked up to a Delta 2HP DC system! I am going to attempt to build a sealed “cabinet within a cabinet” that will resolve this problem. Dust, you will not defeat me!!

So while most of the dust will end up underneath your saw, this hood will efficiently take care of what usually ends up on your table and all over you. I’d be glad to give you some more details if you want them, just email me.

View able339's profile


47 posts in 2576 days

#8 posted 02-02-2012 05:59 AM

I am having the same problem as y’all re: dust collection from my cabinet saw. I have found what appears to be a very good do it yourself collector. I searched the web using “Table saw dust collector” and found a PDF re “Building the Overarm Blade Guard and Dust Collector”. I have seen such a critter in action and, in truth, I have been trying desperately to remember the specifics of it. In any case, I ran across this PDF and I am going to build my own. I like the fact that it is a vertical ceiling mount instead of a horizontal arm mount. as i feel that the vertical mount provides a clearer access to the saw.

If you love it, set it free. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.


-- TNJames

View Kelly's profile


2125 posts in 3145 days

#9 posted 10-09-2015 01:13 AM

I have an Excalibur. It’s great on sheet goods and wider boards. Very little escapes from cuts, even though I run my zero clearance inserts 99.99% of the time.

I run with it moved back most of the time, because I use a push shoe for anything remotely narrow. Running narrow stock with hold downs makes using the Excalibur impossible, since they are vying for the same space.

Unless I’m cutting out on the edge of a board, even running without the overhead doesn’t produce a horrible amount of dust. Of course, as others point out, if I switched to a sloppier plate, it would be even less of a problem.

For reference, I’m running a three horse, four bag Jet collector on the table saw.

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