Dust Collector #3: Sealing up the Contractor's saw for dust

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Blog entry by sjbob posted 06-15-2009 12:39 AM 4804 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Just received and put together Part 3 of Dust Collector series Part 4: Contractor Saw enclosed for dust »

I’ve been planning on doing a backplate for my old Delta 34-444 Contractor’s saw to seal it up for dust collection.
I looked at a couple of things online, and the diagram from the Taunton book looked very close, I recreated the positions and angles for myself, drew it up in SketchUp – but then could not print out lifesize drawings (so gave up on that).

Next I played with cardboard, doing the radii with string & pencil, then followed it up today with hardboard. I was at the threshold of taking the motor off so I could put the back on, but I kept thinking there must be a better way.

The problem I’ve always seen with trying to enclose the whole motor is that it comes up above the table surface at the full 45 degree position. Looking at it, I realized that is because of the size of the belt – if I went with a longer belt, the motor will be lower. I played with adding more links to my Powertwist Link belt, and huzzah!
So, I’m going to drop the clumsy backplate, and now just build an enclosing box for the entire belt/motor/carriage assembly.

I’m really curious if anyone else has done this (lengthened belt, enclosed motor). I can see there might be worry about motor heat, but I do plan to use it with my brand new and too clean dust collector, so I don’t expect a heat issue.

-- Every project is a learning experience.

3 comments so far

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 06-15-2009 01:38 AM

I had enclosed the back of my Craftsman contractor saw with 1/8” hardboard. I had to remove the guard and the guard bracket. Used 2 pieces of hardboard and velcro to attach it to the saw body and to join the 2 pieces together. With the velcro attaching system, it wasn’t a major event to remove it when I needed angled cuts. A while back I broke 1 of the pieces and have left it open since. Put the guard back on too.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4294 days

#2 posted 06-15-2009 01:23 PM

Here’s a PDF from Fine Woodworking that is very good.

You may have to join in order to see it, but they have a 14 day free trial now.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View GhostOfSidHartman's profile


6 posts in 3271 days

#3 posted 07-06-2009 02:55 AM

The article in FWW specifically addresses enclosing the motor – if I understand correctly enclosing the motor in this fashion FORCES cooling airflow over the motor housing (as the enclosed area is so well sealed), thereby improving the cooling of the motor! Darn clever. I have the Jet DC you bought, and I just love it. Plan to enclose the base of my Jet 10” contractor’s saw, but am trying to design an entire table saw workstation around it. Lots of good ideas to incorporate from various magazines/websites/photos on LJ. One of these days, I’ll come up with a plan and begin to keep you all informed of the progress.

-- The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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