Dust Collector #4: Contractor Saw enclosed for dust

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by sjbob posted 07-05-2009 07:17 PM 5915 reads 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Sealing up the Contractor's saw for dust Part 4 of Dust Collector series no next part

I’ve just finished adding a box to the back of my old contractor’s saw to enclose the entire motor/belt assembly, and a dust port below the saw.

I had replaced the motor drive belt previously with a Power Twist Link belt assembled to the same size as the factory belt. With this belt, however, the motor would rotate above the top surface of the tablesaw. I lengthened the belt by adding a couple more links, made sure that it did not hit anything throughout the rotation, and was able to keep the motor below the saw surface.

My saw sits on top of a roll-around stand (Woodsmith, v. 18, n. 107, Oct. ‘96). The lip jutting behind the saw provides a place for a box to rest on top of, so the resulting box that shrouds the motor needs to:
- Rest on the lip
- Enclose the back opening of the saw
- Extend further to the side and down to be outside of the area swept by the motor as it rotates
- Have a channel to prevent interference with the fence or the motor
- Have a “sawtooth” plate to allow hooking up underneath the tabletop of the saw with all of its bolts and casting ridges

Pictures will make this more clear.
Here’s the back of the saw (“before”):

Here’s a picture of the box, showing the channel and opening, ready to be just lifted into place:

Here’s the box, in place, with top and back panels removed so you can see how things fit inside:

Here’s a close-up of the channel at the top, providing clearance for the back fence rail:

Now, the dust port assembly that fits below the saw. The inspiration for the dust port came from the web:
There are three pieces that provide a lip inside the saw that the port assembly fits into as it hangs below:

Here it is, mounted in the saw:

Finally, the “after” picture with it all on the saw:

Maybe I should have just bought a cabinet saw :-)

I haven’t had a chance to actually use it, yet, so I’ll report back later on how it all works.

As a side note, the back box is not level with the table surface. It’s not designed to handle a lot of weight, and it was not my starting idea to make it act as an out-feed table. If I were starting over, I’d give this some more thought, but my long term intention is to do a much more extensive cabinet for the saw anyway.

-- Every project is a learning experience.

3 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 07-06-2009 01:00 AM

Great idea well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View verndog's profile


16 posts in 3378 days

#2 posted 07-06-2009 01:34 AM

I am thinking of doing this on my contractor saw as well. I seen an article in Fine Woodworking magazine Jun issue. They had cut three slots at the back near the rear of the motor to help draw air across the motor to help cool the motor and direct air flow. I was wondering how much this may affect the motor overheating under heavy use. Make sure you check your red belt at both extremes all the way up and down. I tried adjusting mine and it kept hitting the bolt on the guard that the wing nut is on. It would be ok at the lowest blade height setting and then when I raised it to 3 1/2 inches it would hit. I tried in vain to adjust the links to no avail and I finally just removed the guard because I plan on enclosing as you did anyway. Hope it all works well for you!
Thanks for the post!

-- Vern, Southern CA

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2790 posts in 3431 days

#3 posted 07-06-2009 02:35 AM

I have this same saw but mine is on a metal open leg stand that came with it. I built a box below the saw with a trap door in the bottom. I purchased a plastic toilet flange and anchored it to the side of the box. Most of the sawdust is collected The stuff that isn’t I lower the trap door and sweep it out. I’ve found that the dust that falls into the saw doesn’t exit out the back. This is with wood. Things like mdf are another story all together.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics