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Tips and Jigs for the Shop #14: Radial Arm Saw Dust Collection...Precision Control of the Dust......

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 08-28-2011 08:35 PM 10340 reads 9 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Making the job of being safe, very easy. Contractors Saw Original Guard Mod. Part 14 of Tips and Jigs for the Shop series no next part

Over a year ago, I was participating in a discussion about dust collection, including Radial Arm Saws (RAS). Jim Hamilton noted that moving the dust collection port, let’s call it the dust hood, up to the fence improves performance considerably. So over a year later, I finally got around to it.

The new system outperforms the old one about 20 to 1, meaning there was at least 20 times the number of chips or more, with the old system. On many cuts, there are no chips left on the table, especially common with solid wood.

This is my old system….....
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Notice how far back it is. I made that about 15 years ago I think. Initially it was powered by the central household vacuum system, for the last two years it was connected to a Delta 50-760 with hose running throughout the shop to many blast gates. The problem is that chips fly all over the table, especially with thin veneered Chinese plywood. Note the white plumbing piece to redirect any flow through the guard’s dust port. Very little comes through that port in crosscut. This saw is used a crosscut specialist. Also for dadoes. I may make a miter jig for it, but the TS with its Super Sled does most miters easily.
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.......so I make a new dust hood, modify the fence, change the guard, and add a “remote control” to the blast gate.
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Note it comes right up to the fence. The holes in the fence help lower the stream of air to catch chips on the surface. They also function extremely well as a table sweep...kind like a floor sweep….so that the few chips that are still scattered can be swept over to it with a brush or even a piece of wood. This works surprisingly well.
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Here is the blade pushed back to its resting position…..I removed the essentially useless lower guard, and blocked the dust orifice on the guard…...
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. Note the piece of dowel working as a “remote control” for the blast gate, which is now open.
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Here is the saw part way out…
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The blast gate is attached with my usual plywood spring ring.......same as pictured here as used on my multifunction table….
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...and the fence has a ruler and stop block system as blogged here........

Fence and Stop Block System
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Now I don’t have to stop and clean up after every cut…......, and I just push the occasion few stray chips up to the holes in the fence.
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. Slick.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska



39 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10129 posts in 2479 days


#1 posted 08-28-2011 08:41 PM

Sweet!!

Wish my day was going as well!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#2 posted 08-28-2011 09:23 PM

Lew
Thanks for looking. This really works well.

Hope whatever is going wrong with your day improves soon. I assume it has something to do with a girl named Irene.

I am on call, so will be here sporadically.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1956 days


#3 posted 08-28-2011 09:40 PM

Looks really good. Looks like a jump saw.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View degoose's profile

degoose

7049 posts in 2078 days


#4 posted 08-28-2011 10:13 PM

Very innovative…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#5 posted 08-28-2011 10:16 PM

David

OK, so I looked up Jump Saw. Interesting looking beast.

The hardest part was squeezing the thing between the motor guard and blade, that took a little planning. But this thing changes the performance of the saw greatly, because a lot of time was spent managing chips…not any more. Those holes in the fence are a winner. I put them there initially just to provide more air flow near the surface, but they sure help with any minimal cleanup as well.

Today is quiet (on call). Might get another blog…my project platform, done. Or a little shop time. I hate doing shop stuff and then getting interrupted by the phone and forgetting exactly what you were doing.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#6 posted 08-28-2011 10:18 PM

Larry
If it ain’t different, I don’t want to do it….........(-:

...’cause you can never tell where I made the mistakes….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Lenny's profile

Lenny

1291 posts in 2251 days


#7 posted 08-28-2011 11:03 PM

Hey Jim. I will echo degoose’s choice of words and say very innovative. I have to add that I am convinced that there is at least SOME balance in the world. While you indicate you removed the “essentially useless lower guard”, I spent a few hours today revamping my 1977 Craftsman RAS with the recall retro kit, including the new blade guard that “essentially covers the entire blade” during operation. I have not yet used it so I do not know if it will remain on the saw.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1627 posts in 1711 days


#8 posted 08-29-2011 12:12 AM

This is the best solution to RAS dust collection I have seen.
Thanks for sharing

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#9 posted 08-29-2011 12:48 AM

Lenny
I am not sure why I left that guard there all of those years. It was constantly catching the fence and causing trouble without any safety benefit.

Now I am using a holding stick that seems to be working fine for many things. I made it in about 5 minutes from scrap. If it works well, I will expand on the idea and blog on it. Just a long piece of plywood a few inches wide that I cut a large rabbet in with the RAS. It has a rough bottom which holds things well.

Unfortunately, there is no retro kit for my 1970 Craftsman.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#10 posted 08-29-2011 12:55 AM

SAS
Thanks for viewing. Before my first dust hood, I would get sprayed all over with sawdust with every cut. After the first hood, only the table got it.

Now with this new design there is a few chips on the table occasionally, and frequently none at tall. This thing does really work. The holes in the fence undoughtedly do help as well…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1956 days


#11 posted 08-29-2011 04:42 AM

Glad to see you got this figured out. I have my sliding miter saw still vomiting dust and chips even though I have a vac hooked up to the stock port. I have played with a few ideas, nothing seems to work well with this rig aside from a funnel type hood immedately behind it. I am planning on a dedicated rolling cart for the SCMS with fold up wings and a Big Gulp hood on a stand that I can position behind it… If that doesn’t work, I am going to have to build a sled…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View patron's profile

patron

13146 posts in 2065 days


#12 posted 08-29-2011 05:00 AM

jim

this is probably the best dust hood i have seen

i will borrow it when i get more vacuum going soon

you may be the best doctor since marcus welby

he always got it right

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

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1286 days


#13 posted 08-29-2011 05:08 AM

Very innovative indeed. I will have to give it a shot.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Eric in central Florida's profile

Eric in central Florida

3665 posts in 2299 days


#14 posted 08-29-2011 05:35 AM

Really smart idea Jim. And I love your new remote control!

-- All glory comes from daring to begin.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1888 days


#15 posted 08-29-2011 11:09 AM

dbhost
Managing flying chips and sawdust is important not only for health and cleanup, but the stuff gets under and between things and makes for inaccurate cuts and stuff.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

showing 1 through 15 of 39 comments

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