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Improving tablesaw dust collection?

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Forum topic by scrubs posted 09-20-2017 07:43 PM 2647 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


09-20-2017 07:43 PM

Hey all,

I have a Powermatic table saw with the 4” port on the back that has a hose type fitting internally that goes to the blade shroud (not sure exact dimensions, maybe 3”).

I’d like to some how upgrade this to 6”. Not opposed to making the hole bigger in the cabinet and I’m sure I can make or find a flange, but my biggest thing is this tiny hose running to the blade shroud.

Has anyone tried removing their blade shroud and just drawing air from the entire cabinet? I’m wondering if that might be an improvement, it just seems to me like that little shroud can’t be as effective as pulling 1300cfm on the entire cabinet.

Probably a dumb idea, just curious if anyone else has tried it. :)

Thanks.

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...


36 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#1 posted 09-20-2017 07:49 PM

Actually sounds like a good idea to me. Make sure any and all vents or openings in the cabinet are sealed up so all intake is through the blade area and it should work great. I hung a skirt around my little tablesaw to stop all the dust from blowing out under it.

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scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#2 posted 09-20-2017 07:51 PM

The cabinet is pretty well sealed up, the only big hole is the slot for tilting the blade, and I’m sure I could figure something out for that. Maybe a piece of vinyl magnet or something.

I’m tempted to just remove the whole shroud and everything and run 6” straight to it. :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

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papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#3 posted 09-20-2017 07:52 PM

You can always put it back if it don’t work.

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scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#4 posted 09-20-2017 07:54 PM

Yeah I could really easily test it with just straight 4” without doing anything but removing the shroud.

That’s a good idea. :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

1236 posts in 700 days


#5 posted 09-21-2017 04:39 AM

scrubs,

My PM 66 has no shroud and is connected to a 6” dust collection system with plenty of suction. The cabinet is sealed.

I find that plenty of saw dust is captured but a disappointing amount of dust accumulates in the cabinet and spews out onto the table, especially with skim cuts. I suspect there is insufficient air flowing past the saw blade to dislodge dust in the gullets of the blade.

If too little air passes through the insert plate then increasing suction, with or without the shroud, would offer limited, if any, improvement. Increasing the size of the opening in the insert plate would be a defeated effort since lumber often completely covers the insert plate. When air cannot enter the cabinet through the insert plate, an alternative path for air to enter the cabinet is needed to avoid starving the dust collector. That front slot in the cabinet for tilting the saw blade could be that source of make-up air and therefore should probably not be blocked off.

It seems to me that dust collection would be improved when sufficient make-up air to balance the air sucked out by the dust collector flows directly over and around the saw blade. One way to achieve this is an air intake piped into the shroud along with an exhaust pipe leading to the dust collector and positioned so that air moves around/past the saw blade. This arrangement could offer the greatest chances for improving below-the-table dust collection. But I doubt such a modification would be possible and even if possible and it improves dust collection, it may not provide the satisfactory results.

Other LJs have previously posted that they were generally satisfied with table saw dust collection only when an overhead/above-the-table dust collection apparatus was added.

One last comment concerning the dust collection system is that if too little make-up air enters the dust collection system, dust could settle in the dust collection pipes. That lack of make-up air could slow air speed within the dust collection pipe and allow dust to settle.

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scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#6 posted 09-21-2017 05:26 AM

JBrow,

Thanks so much for the reply! I had not even considered make-up air, that makes perfect sense.

I may just leave it as is and try and convert the port to 6”.

Today I just unhooked the internal hose and changed nothing else, closed it up and turned it on. Collection was improved probably 200% if not more. Kind of amazing yet disappointing all at once!

I’d probably be better off getting a bigger hose on there and leaving the rest of the airflow alone.

Thanks again for your reply! Very, very helpful. :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

758 posts in 372 days


#7 posted 09-21-2017 09:19 AM

The far biggest improvement you can do is to add an overhead solution. about 33% of sawdust is thown in the air from thr blade and it is practically impossible to catch it from underneath.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4641 posts in 2273 days


#8 posted 09-21-2017 11:00 AM

The Sawstop cabinet saws are made like that, just a 4” port that is connected to a hose that runs to the blade shroud. How they could put such a half-arse arrangement on an otherwise well made saw is beyond me. But I was thinking the same as you, if I could get a bigger post it would work better. But I can’t see a way to do it….at least not in an easy manner. I will say that if you have a lot of air movement it doesn’t work awful…just not as good as it should be.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jonah's profile

jonah

1258 posts in 3079 days


#9 posted 09-21-2017 12:45 PM

I’d just run a 6 inch line (assuming you have a 6” trunk in your system) to a wye fitting, with one 4” going inside the cabinet to the blade and the other attached to an overarm setup. You really want to collect dust as close as humanly possible to the source.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2791 posts in 1769 days


#10 posted 09-21-2017 02:14 PM

First things first….what dust collector do you have? How much cfm are you getting? How well is the dust collection working with the 4” port. With the internal plumbing of your saw will it make a difference. On my saw, it would not make a difference.

Before making the change you should try to understand what improvements you will get.

I have a Sawstop PCS and the dust port works fine and when using the over blade dust collection works great. With the 4” port on the saw I am getting 670 cfm at about 10” SP.

View scrubs's profile

scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#11 posted 09-21-2017 03:38 PM

An over arm collection setup for me isn’t really possible. Mostly because my saw gets moved around fairly regularly and to be honest, I hate those things. They are clumsy in in the way all the time. I have yet to use/see an overarm solution I liked. I”ll gladly accept the dust off of the blade rather than use anything overarm. Plus, I make so many cuts where the blade guard has to come off (ie; use a crosscut sled probably 70% of the time) it’s just not really practical for me.

Dust collector is an Oneida DGP 2HP, 1330CFM, all piped 6”. Works great actually with just the 4” to the cabinet and the shroud unhooked.

At this point I’m just going to look at leaving it like that and making the port 6”. Just need to find a good bolt on flange.

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View jonah's profile

jonah

1258 posts in 3079 days


#12 posted 09-21-2017 03:41 PM

Many overarm setups can be used with crosscut sleds. Look into the Excalibur one. Lots of them are not attached to the blade guard and thus can be used on non-through cuts and with sleds.

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scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#13 posted 09-21-2017 03:42 PM

Yeah I’ll pass. :)

Just nothing I ever want in my way or want to deal with honestly.

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1689 posts in 1809 days


#14 posted 09-22-2017 12:15 AM

scrubs, instead of over-arm dust collection, have you looked at a Sharkguard? I put one on my PM66 with happy results. I too, did not want an actual over the arm boom (mostly because I have my Unisaw and PM66 face to face).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View scrubs's profile

scrubs

36 posts in 41 days


#15 posted 09-22-2017 02:48 AM

Yeah honestly if I did go that route it would be the Shark guard, but probably 70% or more of my cuts are not thru cuts. I end up removing the guard a lot as i get close to the fence, or use the crosscut sled, etc.

But yeah one that uses the factory riving knife definitely has more appeal. :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

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