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Scrollsaw Downdraft Dust Collection 1.0

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Project by luv2learn posted 599 days ago 4243 views 45 times favorited 46 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A couple of weeks ago fellow LJ Hillbillyshooter asked me what I did for dust collection on my scrollsaw. He had just built a really nice storage unit under his saw but had not addressed a dust collection solution yet. I had to admit that I had not addressed dust collection either.

As I was thinking about the dust problem I remembered that I had seen guys use a downdraft dust collection system for their sanding stations. I wondered if that could work on my scroll saw. I couldn’t let the idea go until I built a prototype and try it on my saw.

I had some left over tempered peg board, a piece of 3/8” plywood, and a spare 2 1/2” fence port fitting. I traced the outline of my table on the plywood (photo 2), added four ears to act as anchors for my glue blocks, and outlined a place to anchor the port fitting (photo 3). The glue blocks gave me a tight friction fit of the downdraft prototype to my table. They also give me the option of adding hold downs later if I need them. Photo 4 shows the tempered peg board glued to plywood framework. It also shows how O blocked a portion of the fence port.

I was anxious at this point to see if my idea would actually work. I knew that I had too many holes in the pegboard to create the suction I needed so I used clear packing tape to block the rear most holes. I also laid a straight edge across the pegboard to check for sag. I had some, no surprise, so I tied the pegboard to the straightedge, cut 1/4” hard wood dowels, and inserted them into the holes around the blade until they touched the table, cut them to length, and glued them in place (photo 5).

I was making fretwork Christmas ornaments so I cut a few out with the dust collection in place. I was pleasantly surprised to find that 99.5 percent of the sawdust was collected rather than falling down on the saw base and on my shoes.

The downside to this type of system is that you loose some depth capacity but most of the projects I cut out on my scroll saw are 3/4” thick or less. The upside is that I can still use the tilt feature of my saw with the dust collection in place.

What would I do differently? I will try making a version 2 using a 1/4” plywood frame and I would move the fence port forward, perhaps to the middle of the table.

Well, I am not suggesting that this is the best dust collection idea, or even a good idea, but it is an idea, it works for me, and I had to try it. I will dress up version 2.0 and make it look pretty :).

Thanks for looking!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green





46 comments so far

View MrsN's profile

MrsN

939 posts in 2127 days


#1 posted 599 days ago

interesting idea, you will have to update us on how well it continues to work for you.

-- ----- www.KNWoodworking.com ----- --

View oakwood's profile

oakwood

320 posts in 671 days


#2 posted 599 days ago

What a great idea. You should patent this idea. I have never seen a dust collector for a scroll saw, .. until now that is. I believe they sell some kind of a common plug- in bar where when you start the tool the other outlet turns on another apparatus (shop vac in this case), Just a thought. Thank you for posting. I’m sure there will be allot of scroll saws to be equipped with your invention.

View HillbillyShooter's profile (online now)

HillbillyShooter

4356 posts in 893 days


#3 posted 599 days ago

Very innovative solution—I really like what you’ve come up with as this would not have occurred to me. I was approaching it from the bottom with the addition of some type of spot on pick up from the top.

This opens up a whole new way of thinking about the problem. As I observed before, you are at your best solving a problem in a simple, straight forward manner.

Great post, thanks.

PS. Also, thanks for the mention, but it was really you who deserves total credit as you opened up the whole subject.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6749 posts in 1753 days


#4 posted 598 days ago

Awesome solution L2L, what a great idea.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View ldl's profile

ldl

1135 posts in 966 days


#5 posted 598 days ago

I have the same saw and you can bet I gona try this. Very good idea. I too never thought about the topside of the table. Do you get any whistle with the air going through the holes with so thin an area for it to go through?

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View polecat's profile

polecat

78 posts in 1270 days


#6 posted 598 days ago

I like this idea also , Good job Thank’s

-- polecat, south alabama

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

1872 posts in 1622 days


#7 posted 598 days ago

Looks like a great idea…I have a couple questions. I can see how the pressure from the collection hose would keep the frame “held down” to the table, but I was wondering does it hold pretty tight if you do not run the vac? I know it shouldn’t matter if you aren’t using the saw, but just wondering how tight to the table your system is. Also, does it seem to pick up just the “top side” dust…how does it work from the “bottom side” dust? I have played around with scroll saw dust collection for many many years and your design looks really good…I will have to try it out on my Hegners. Thanks so much for sharing this with us….I agree you should patent you idea, but not before we all get a chance to build one ourselves.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1641 posts in 904 days


#8 posted 598 days ago

MrsN, will do!!

oakwood, I like being poor, if I patented this idea someone might offer me lots of money and then I would have a whole other set of problems :). One of these days I will have switches on all my machines that will turn on the dust collection system when I turn on a particular tool. Oh wait that would take money :).

HillbillyShooter, thanks for the encouraging words. I think this idea can be adapted to almost any brand of scroll saw. I look forward to someone else giving this a try and posting their results.

Idl, no, I don’t get any whistling through the pegboard. I might if I make the next one with only a 1/4” space between the bottom of the pegboard and the table top.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1641 posts in 904 days


#9 posted 598 days ago

Hawaiilad, Good questions! After I cut the plywood frame I clamped it to the scroll saw table then I glued the four blocks in place holding them tight against the table. This gave me a nice tight friction fit. However, if vibration does become a problem will drill holes in the glue blocks and epoxy 1/4” all thread into the holes and make tie downs. I wanted to try this first since it is so handy to take on and off.

As far as dust collection, there is enough suction to create an updraft at the blade so there is little or no sawdust falling through the hole. You can create even more suction by blocking off more holes.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

1872 posts in 1622 days


#10 posted 598 days ago

Thanks for the update. I can see how closing off some of the holes might work. Another way would be to use a solid piece cut out the shape of the table top with a section around the blade inlaid with the peg board…this way you could make that section as large as needed, still having plenty of suction.

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View HillbillyShooter's profile (online now)

HillbillyShooter

4356 posts in 893 days


#11 posted 598 days ago

I can see a series of posts, being variation called L2L SS DC Ver. 1.xx.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Christophret's profile

Christophret

147 posts in 603 days


#12 posted 598 days ago

Downdraft scroll saw table. This is a great idea and very nicely done.
The only deterent for me is the depth capacity, I stack cut alot of my fretwork in 1/4” increments to 1-1/2”.
That 3/4” of an inch is 3 seperate pieces. Stack cutting really saves me time and effort. But I can see toying with this idea on one of my secondary saws.
Thanks for posting it!
Chris

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1641 posts in 904 days


#13 posted 598 days ago

Christophret, even with the downdraft table in place I can cut 1 1/2” thick material. I usually don’t cut anything over 3/4”.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1641 posts in 904 days


#14 posted 598 days ago

Here are a few pictures of the table’s effectiveness collecting saw dust.
This is before cutting four Christmas ornaments.
This is after cutting the four ornaments
If I closed a few more holes I could probably get even better results!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

1872 posts in 1622 days


#15 posted 598 days ago

Wow, that really does pick up the saw dust. Are you using a shop vac or dust collection system?

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

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