Home Made Dust Collection

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Blog entry by lew posted 06-11-2011 08:00 PM 9552 reads 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some time ago, I was working in the shop completely oblivious to what Mimi was doing. After a few hours, I emerged from the basement to see “that look”. What!- I said. To which she replied- “look at all this dust, I just finished cleaning!”
Well, I was lucky enough to get a great score on a Delta dust collection system, off of Craig’s List, and that has helped with the stationary power tools. Sanding dust, however, has been more elusive.
Looking over the Grizzly site, I came across some down draft devices. Now, my shop has no more room for any other shelf, cabinet, box or cart. So my attention was directed to the table top version of the down draft dust collector- until I saw the price- Holy Moly $165!! To paraphrase a line out of one of my favorite movies- Used Cars- “That’s too frigging high!” Luckily the site showed an “inside” view so this is my take on their down draft device.

All of the parts cut and ready to assemble. The completed unit measured about 23” x 27”. It’s an odd size because I started with the peg board I had and engineered backwards.

The bottom slants towards the center, to aid with dust collection. This is the center “rail” that accepts the two bottom pieces

The side meets the end with a rabbet. The sides and ends are rabbeted to accept the peg board top. A dado is used to accept the bottom pieces.

The unit is assembled with dry wall screws and silicon caulk to create an air tight seal

Bottom assembled

Baffles installed using wood glue, dry wall screws and brads (on the bottom)

Closer view of the baffles. These will help direct dust/air as well as support the peg board top.

Peg board installed and dust collection port in place. The scrap piece of peg board wasn’t large enough to cover completely so there is a seam in the middle. The seam straddles the baffles, it has good support. Also, the baffles were spaced to be located in such a manner as not to block any holes. This was previously used peg board- as can be seen by the minor defect near the center. The peg board is fastened with a few counter sunk finishing nails.

Bottom view. Shows the slopping bottom panels.

The only thing I need to do, yet, is find some of the rubber shelving liners- the kind that looks like expanded metal screen- to cover the top. I think this will reduce the slipping while not blocking the air flow.

I connect this to my large dust collector thru a 2 1/2” hose into a larger 4” hose. There is enough suction to hold a piece of notebook paper in place even when turned upside down.

Thanks for looking,


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

15 comments so far

View Hacksaw007's profile


609 posts in 2613 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 08:17 PM

Great job of keeping the costs low, American engineering at it best, and keeping the shop liviable. Your the man! Thanks for sharing! The Grizzly powered down draft tables aren’t very good, we bought 3 at work and in less than a week all 6 motors burnt out, replacements all burnt out also. They just set there as work benches now.


-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 2349 days

#2 posted 06-11-2011 08:23 PM

Yep. $165’s a little much. I got mine on sale from Peechtree for $58.49 back in March. I think the only time I’ve ordered from Woodcraft or Peechtree is when they have what I want on sale. You did a great job duplicating the table!!

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3825 days

#3 posted 06-11-2011 08:35 PM

Lew: A great design and it looks like it might fit in a corner when needed to be put away.

I’d say hang it for the ceiling, but I’ve been in your shop. LOL

I might make it by again this summer.

By the way Pat had a kickback on his tablesaw. 2 fingers chewed up so he says a Sawstop is his next purchase. We were in Pat’s shop for your workshop you presented.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2589 days

#4 posted 06-11-2011 09:22 PM

Hmmm…........think I made something like that a while ago…........

benchtop downdraft table

Oh, and Dusty was distressed that we didn’t really let him pose, after all the discussion. So, like before, a little spit on the hair, sat him up straight, had him smile……..

The Plasti-Dip is wearing a bit, so I wouldn’t copy that idea. I reserved judgment on it when I made it, but it is actually OK, just not extremely durable.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Napaman's profile


5508 posts in 3501 days

#5 posted 06-12-2011 12:33 AM

how did you get so smart? your solutions are so creative…what are you a teacher or something?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1992 days

#6 posted 06-12-2011 01:33 AM

see, we don’t just make, we make do. Way more sophisticated than mine.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#7 posted 06-12-2011 03:27 PM

Mike- Glad I didn’t spring for a large Grizzly device- but I wouldn’t have had room for one anyway.

Ron- I’m going to have to add Peachtree to my resource list- Thanks for the tip!

Karson- looking forward to a visit! I did hang this collector on the wall behind the oscillating spindle sander!

Jim- somehow I missed your project posting- or maybe just forgot. I probably should have made it “tall” enough to accept a 4” hose fitting. That would surely have made it more efficient.

Matt- Teacher!- I hated school as a kid ;^)

Don- Thanks for the compliment.

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

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3306 days

#8 posted 06-12-2011 03:32 PM

Nice. I should do this. I many times just say “I am only going to sand this one little thing, it won’t kick up much.” But then I do it again, and again. Best to stop it at the source.

Thanks for the reminder,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#9 posted 06-12-2011 03:51 PM

Thanks, Steve!

I’m still new to this dust collection thing. I need to remember to turn the darn thing on and when I do remember to turn it on I usually forget to open the associated blast gate. I think I’m going to get a remote activated switches and hang it on a string, at eye level in the middle of the shop.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2589 days

#10 posted 06-12-2011 04:45 PM

I bought a remote activated switch from Woodcraft, works like a charm. When I converted the DC to 220V, I had to get a new activator. But the remotes were identical, they came with two, so I ended up with four. I mostly use just one clipped to the edge of the pocket on my Carhartt T-shirt, then flipped into the pocket and turned so that the switch faces out. Then I actuate it through the pocket material, you learn exactly where it is pretty quickly. The actuator will be in my pocket all day long, I just forget about it. The only problem with that is if you accidentally push it when leaning up against something when you are away from the shop, and the DC turns on, but you can’t hear it. Once a month at least, Sherie tells me the DC is running when she goes out to garden or some such….........(-:

Re my desktop downdraft dust collector, that was posted 20 months ago, so not surprising you might have missed it, you having no interest in DC at that time, apparently…....(-:

I am going to put in a dust collector port into my minibench today. The slots for hold downs will act as perforations, and I will cover part of the table top with a piece of hardboard or some such when using it. It will be a little tricky, because it won’t accept a 4 inch port either, but I will make an adapter out of wood which will work. You just make the square hole in the wood the same number of square inches as a 4 inch hose. I’ll blog on it in sometime during the next week. Re covering the top of your box, remember, you can just support your piece with some bench cookies while sanding.


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2713 days

#11 posted 06-12-2011 04:49 PM

very nice table LEW I have one that’s store bought I never got around to useing it due to lack of space in my shop, I do have to test it out now I have a dust collector. Thanks for the reminder.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#12 posted 06-12-2011 05:06 PM

Ike- Thanks!- now I, too, have to remember to use it!

Jim- part of the determining factors in using the 2.5” hose was a. the only hose I had long enough, b. the extra 2.5” extra fitting laying around and c. the size of the plywood pieces left on the scrap pile. As you can tell, I don’t buy much when I get into the “engineering mode”.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3945 posts in 2589 days

#13 posted 06-12-2011 06:17 PM

I hear you, Lew. The one advantage I have is that there is hose access to any working part of the shop, so that is not a concern for me. The down side of that, is that it wasn’t cheap.

I am sure, there are about 10 different items I built in this shop where the size was determined by the available scrap…......(-:

In fact, I started dolling up a long material support for the RAS that was sized according to the scrap in the shop. It also had miscellaneous partial saw cuts in it. But now that I find myself using it all the time, gotta make it look half way pretty…....(-:

Well, back down to the shop…........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3097 days

#14 posted 06-13-2011 03:25 AM

Neat idea, Lew.

View lew's profile


11266 posts in 3179 days

#15 posted 06-13-2011 05:30 AM

CJ- thanks!

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

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