Dust in the Face

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Forum topic by spunwood posted 01-09-2011 02:17 AM 1544 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2799 days

01-09-2011 02:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

So, I have started to notice a big build up of dust behind me after sawing. Today, I watched as a steady stream of dust went flying. The blade was 1/2” over the particle board (particle board…gross). Is it normal to have dust shoot back at you when using the table saw?

I have read that this could really be an alignment issue. Any thoughts?


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

20 replies so far

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2755 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 02:23 AM


-- Mel,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 02:24 AM

I have never had it. Most goes down below the cut into the body of the saw.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3052 days

#3 posted 01-09-2011 02:44 AM

Lets see a picture.
I have also some dust coming up, but not a lot, not enough to be a problem.
My dust 99,8 percent goes down with the vac do you use vac? If not then a lot goes up.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2846 days

#4 posted 01-09-2011 02:50 AM

I’m interested to see some of the replies to this. I have a large amount of chips, rather than dust ejected by my TS blade towards me, this is despite having a good DC connected. I get the same result regardless of blade height and whether I use a zero clearance insert or not. Most of the fine dust seems to get drawn off by the DC b/c when I use the TS without the DC on, there is a fine cloud of dust in the air, which disappears when I use the DC. Shavings however are ejected towards me, DC or not.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2799 days

#5 posted 01-09-2011 02:55 AM

I just installed a zero clearance insert from lee craft. The dust seems to come right from the very back of the blade when almost at the riving knife. I am not running any DC. I will try it again tommorrow with my shop vac running. Admittedly, it is not a Fein dust collector.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3724 days

#6 posted 01-09-2011 02:59 AM

I seldom use particle board or MDF, but I understand that some of these materials generate more fine dust. My plastic “see thru” saw guard has a dust defelctor in front that helps to devert the dust flying off the saw blade. If you have a saw guard you might try it to see if this helps. Another thought is to use a blade with deep gullets that will hold more dust and then deposit it under the saw insert. Set the height of the blade just high enough to clear the stock.

It’s important to find a solution as breathing this type of dust is very harmful.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3728 days

#7 posted 01-09-2011 03:04 AM

The only time I get the “dust in the face” thing is when I forget to switch my blast gate from my jointer to the saw. It doesn’t take long for me to figure out what it is…... Are you running a DC with your saw? Is it the only machine on the run? Good luck.
- SY

aka – JJ

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2799 days

#8 posted 01-09-2011 03:17 AM

Jeepturner: Was that a yes on the alignment issue?

Mafe: I’ll take a picture

Manitario: I get chips when I use my crosscut sled to things like make tenons or half-laps; otherwise, all I produce is a lot of dust.

8Iowa: I’ll try the guard

Juniorjock: I don’t have anything so sophisticated. I just sweep up the next day after a project.

I don’t have any real dc, but I will try the vac and the lower setting (and harder wood) tomorrow. I will also try the saw guard. I always use the riving knife, but not the guard. Thanks so much.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3920 days

#9 posted 01-09-2011 03:21 AM

If I am using a zero clearance insert I get more sawdust in the face. And it seems whenever I cut MDF, hardboard or Masonite I always get more sawdust thrown back at might have something to do with the composition of those materiel’s. Also you said you had the blade extended 1/2” above the top of the materiel? If so, that’s a little high..the top of your materiel should be level with the bottom of the saw tooth gullets…sometimes if I am cutting thin materiel like 1/4” ply, or 1/8” hardboard, I will show a little more blade than that. The thinner materiel’s have a tendency to flop around a little and you don’t want the blade to jump out of the kerf. I have lately been considering an over arm guard/dust collector…but they are expensive, a little complicated and a bit intrusive.


View Grinder's profile


23 posts in 3021 days

#10 posted 01-09-2011 03:30 AM

I have the old plastic guard over my blade when cutting and most of the dust and chips end up on the floor. A little bit does escape up top, but not into my face. I sure hope you are using some sort of respirator and mask because that MDF has some wicked glue in it. I didn’t wear a mask one time cutting the stuff and was ill for a couple of months because of the crap I sucked into my lungs. Learned the hard way. Buying a dust collector this month.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2960 days

#11 posted 01-09-2011 03:56 AM

MDF or particle board causes more dust than solid or veneer material. Try raising your saw blade a little higher, this should pull more dust into the cabinet.

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

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3031 days

#12 posted 01-09-2011 06:38 AM

That ZCI is probably the culprit. With little clearance around the blade, there’s no path for airflow around it. Without airflow, your DC or vac can’t move the dust, and it stays in the blade gullets until it gets launched at you.

I make my own ZCI’s, and drill a 1” hole at the back of the blade slot. The hole definitely cuts down on the dust that comes around with the blade.

Try using your ZCI only when you really need zero clearance. You’ll probably notice a big difference.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2805 days

#13 posted 01-09-2011 10:00 PM

Every table saw I’ve ever had throws sawdust toward the user side of the blade. It usually isn’t a problem for me. I try not to stand directly in line of the blade anyway. On occasion though, especially with large or heavy stock, I have to stand in line with it to keep control of the wood that I’m cutting. On those occasions, if it’s getting high enough to go into my face, I let the blade guard down.
I know. I know. I’m supposed to have that guard down at all times anyway for safety. Except for when it is keeping sawdust out of my face though, it mostly just gets in my way.


View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2780 days

#14 posted 01-09-2011 10:06 PM

I use both above the table and below the table dust collection. This eliminates all the dust and only a few chips show up around the saw for cleanup later.

Table saw dust is about the worst from any tool except the powered mitre saw – both need to be fully collected for the health of the woodworker and overall cleanliness. It is much nicer to work in a dust free environment and clean shop.


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2799 days

#15 posted 01-11-2011 06:13 AM

Thank you for all your help. Today, I had the day off from work due to snow. I would have driven in, but Stephanie is still getting over a bug and wanted help at home with the kids. This meant I got to build my first snow man, and Elijah built his first too.

Also, this meant that I could try a few different set ups with the saw.

I widened the zero T Insert around the riving knife and this allowed it to sit as it should.

Also, I ran the vacuum while sawing and this made quite a difference.

My question is now, how significant is it that when the vac is running and I power up the saw, you can here it die a bit and then come back?

Thanks again,


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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