Table saw overhead dust collection for ~$40

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Project by Don Kondra posted 04-27-2016 07:09 AM 2837 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was looking at purchasing a commercial overhead collection system for ~ $350 (Cdn) but wasn’t impressed that they are mostly 3” mains with an even smaller guard/collection head.

Another thing I didn’t like was having to run another hose to the overhead. Ideally, the whole system would be self-contained with one hose hook up.

While I was mulling this over, I discovered 4” sewer pipe was $16 for 10’ and the 90’s are $6/each

One thing I should mention, I have no need to cross cut sheet goods so the foot print of the system could be quite a bit smaller…

I do rip panels, mostly baltic birch ply for core for veneered panels. They are then cross cut on the SCMS. Cores are 1” oversize and once veneered are trimmed to size/length with a sled on the table saw, hence no need for more than 24” width capacity.

Up until now, I had a piece of plywood between my saw and its base with an inlet for a 5” hose. But it’s the top dust that is nasty and it was time to address this…

To begin, I made a plywood manifold with a cut out at the top to fit over the original 5” starter pipe (easier than removing it), a 5” starter pipe on one side for the main collection hose and a collar for the 4” sewer pipe on the other side, basically a T.

That in turn is screwed to a length of 3/4” plywood which is long enough to also support the sewer pipe before it turns to go up. A couple of metal screws secure this contraption to the base supports !

The upright support is a short piece of wood with two metal screws into the side of the top extension and a hose clamp. That gives me three mounting points for rigidity.

For a collection head/guard I used a 10” x 4” HVAC duct. It’s height right now is high enough to clear my sled and I will decide (after some use) if I need to make something to get closer to the work being cut (without the sled). After a couple of test cuts, it does appear the dust coming off the back of the blade is going straight into the hood…

At the back/interior of the saw I’ve added a couple of pieces of angled 1/4” MDF at the front and back to help with directing the dust into the collection port. For now, I’ve taped the collection hole to balance the velocity between the top and bottom collection points.

Some fine tuning may be necessary but for now, I’m pleased.

Cheers, Don

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

9 comments so far

View Don Kondra 's profile

Don Kondra

114 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 04-27-2016 07:09 AM

Last image…

-- Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

View canadianchips's profile


2310 posts in 2420 days

#2 posted 04-27-2016 12:44 PM

Sometimes thebest things are made from neccesity ! Especially here on the prairies.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View bushmaster's profile


1255 posts in 1706 days

#3 posted 04-27-2016 12:49 PM

Yes I find the top dust the most annoying, shoots back at you and all over the shop. Mine encloses the saw and attaches to where the original guard was, works but want to build a over arm one so does not have to be taken off for cuts that do not go through. Would be nice if you could adjust the height above the saw. A friend uses a simular pick up but has lots of air with a 5 hp collector. Mine is just 1 1/2. Nice work, I like the idea a saving the dollars to do the same thing.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View BreadWinner's profile


7 posts in 1672 days

#4 posted 04-27-2016 01:55 PM

Great job on this! I wonder if you could do a pivot joint say below the 90degree where you could swivel it out of the way and back into position as needed?

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2965 days

#5 posted 04-27-2016 05:03 PM

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Looks like you’ve gotten the job done.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View kmerkle's profile


32 posts in 1758 days

#6 posted 04-27-2016 06:33 PM

I was thinking that you might cut the vertical pipe below the table and add a union which you don’t glue up. Then, if you ever did need to cut a wider sheet, you could pull off the top section and plug the union with a pvc cap. That way you could still get suction underneath.

Great job!

-- Every project is perfect until it's started.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


355 posts in 638 days

#7 posted 04-27-2016 07:39 PM

Nice project-

-- Desert_Woodworker

View jesinfla's profile


274 posts in 561 days

#8 posted 04-27-2016 09:14 PM

That’s a sweet set up – thx for the ideas and sharing

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

View RussInMichigan's profile


589 posts in 2204 days

#9 posted 04-27-2016 09:40 PM

Thanks for sharing this great idea.

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