Reply by pmayer

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Posted on SawStop DC question

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1026 posts in 3030 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 07:10 AM

I believe that the assumption that Bill Pentz makes is that table saws are not designed with dust collection as a consideration until late in the design process. Traditional cabinet saws have either no port or recently a 4” port that is positioned a long distance from the blade at the back of a large leaky cabinet. Through practical experience I agree with Pentz assessment that most dust collectors sold into hobbyist shops are capable of pulling enough CFM through a 4” duct in that configuration to extract enough of the fine dust to create a healthy environment. Having said that, the SawStop is not a traditional cabinet saw, and from what I understand they have made vast improvements over their competitors on this front.

I am not an engineer, but I have a fair amount of experience with dust collection and I would start by running a 6” port right up to the saw and transitioning down to 4” right at the port with a tapered transition. If you have a relatively short run from the cyclone to the saw you should be able to pull in the range of 800 – 900 CFM at the back of the saw using this approach so given their reputation for dust collection I think you should clear most of the dust from the cabinet.

The 1.5” port on the blade guard/hood is more troubling to me, but as crank said there are other factors to consider. If the tool does an adequate job of containing the dust and position the dust port closer to the source of dust then less CFM are required. Even though I am a bit leery of the small port, I bet you will find that it collects reasonably well given the other factors in the design. Hope so anyway.

Traditionally tools have been horrible at this which is what has fueled the passion of Mr. Pentz perhaps more than anything else. Well, actually I think the “dust pump” manufacturers piss him off pretty much too. :) In general I have a good level of respect for the information that he provides, but his generalizations probably don’t fit well here given the focus that SS has given to dust collection in their product design. I believe that the same holds true of Festtool, which uses modest hose sizes but yet clears the air quite well given their excellent containment of dust.

Bottom line for me is that I would not put a scratch on that tool until I was convinced that the stock gear wouldn’t deal with it. I have modified the dust ports on just about all of my tools, but only because I saw the poor performance of standard ports. If you end up needing to cut some material away to open it up, I have just used a jig saw with a metal cutting blade. You can search around and find plenty of pictures of guys doing this to their Unisaw, but I have never seen anyone do it to a sawstop.

-- PaulMayer,

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