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Table Saw - overhead dust collection

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 12-16-2011 06:48 PM 5108 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


12-16-2011 06:48 PM

I’ve seen plans and kits for making your own overhead dust collection system. I’ve also seen complete units that you can buy.

I’m not convinced that the make-it-yourself models work very well. The complete units that you can buy seem quite expensive (around $400).

It seems like there should be a good unit one could buy for between $200 and $250. If there is, I have yet to see it.

Can anyone opine on how well the do-it-yourself units work? Can anyone tell me of a mid-priced unit that works well? Can anyone convince me that the high priced unit is worth the price?

As an FYI – I’m stepping up my efforts to improve dust control in my shop. I have taken all the standard dust control measures, but I still breath in some dust. I’ve developed a persistent cough that I think is due to too much dust, despite my efforts. Therefore, I am looking to go to an even higher degree of dust control, including overhead dust collection on my table saw.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


15 replies so far

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2405 posts in 2391 days


#1 posted 12-16-2011 06:54 PM

Buy more Festool, Rich… :) that’s what I ended up doing.

I had the Excalibur, took it back, could not get used to the big honkin’ thing over my table saw. Mounted it, but did not connect it to my system, can’t testify as to how it works.

I beefed up my collection to the tablesaw, plugged all the holes, gaskets, etc.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View AlbertaJim's profile

AlbertaJim

47 posts in 1894 days


#2 posted 12-16-2011 06:57 PM

Rich, as a fellow bearded LJ, according to your picture, one way is to get the Triton respirator. None of the face mask respirators seal against our mugs. I know its a hassle but we want to keep working the wood.
Also I have just cut a hole in my table saw’s guard (yes, I use the guard) and glued a 2.5” hose to it and hooked it up to my dc. It works decently, although not perfectly. Cost for the 4 to 2.5” Y, adapter and 10’ of hose was under $50 & worth every penny.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#3 posted 12-16-2011 07:07 PM

justfine – - You must be following me closely enough to know that I own several Festools and one of the primary reasons I like them is dust control. Their sanders, in particular, handle dust better (much better) than any other sander I have seen. Their plunge saw also handles dust well.

I’m not satisfied with the dust control on their routers but, does anyone make a router with good dust control?

AlbertaJim – I do wear dust mask sometimes, despite the fact that I hate having things on my face. You’re right, with a beard, they do not seal very well. In theory, I could shave it off but I’ve had it virtually all my life and I would hate for my Mother to think that she finally “won” this “battle”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2402 posts in 2348 days


#4 posted 12-16-2011 07:15 PM

I have a Shark Guard with a 4” port over my TS; works very well and a reasonable price. You can also get a Shark Guard with a 2 1/2” port if your DC won’t handle two 4” ports open at once.

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

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#5 posted 12-16-2011 08:59 PM

I’ve never heard of the Shark Guard. I’ve spent some time at their website and I am impressed. It looks like a good system.

Thank you for sharing this information.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2629 days


#6 posted 12-16-2011 09:13 PM

I am planning to build my own, and actually the project is partially done. I plan to hang the unit from a ceiling mounted cabinet, and allow it a certain amount of freedom in all directions using drawer slides. I will feed the air from the overhead into the sealed saw cabinet passed the blade in the cabinet and then down and out. Since I have a contractor’s saw, sealing the cabinet was a significant part of the project, and it is over half done. I just have to build a shroud around the motor now. It will work even with bevel cuts. Check out dbHost’s Shark guard setup. That’s not what I am doing, but it might work for you.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#7 posted 12-16-2011 10:35 PM

Jim B.,
Don’t get carried away with sealing the contractor saw. The DC system will need to have an air flow to function properly. I have a Grizz 0444Z hooked to a HF DC with good results. It has good bags (felted).
Rich, do ya have an ambient DC in the shop? I have found that mine does a nice job of pickin’ up the fines generated by everything except above-the-blade stuff.

-- bill@magraphics.us

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2639 days


#8 posted 12-16-2011 10:39 PM

One thing about ambient air filters, though…...

They want them high off the ground, usually ceiling mounted.

In MY shop, the only way to locate it “according to the book” puts ME between most of my machines AND the air filter, when I’m working.

The reason I built my own air-filter is that it’s on wheels, and sits on the ground. Sometimes, I feel like pulling stuff DOWNWARD, and AWAY from my face … might just be a better idea than pulling all the dust PAST my face.

That said, I tend to wear my 3M 7500 while I’m going almost anything involving power tools. I’ve had serious lung and sinus issues …. and am willing to go to fairly serious lengths not to aggravate them ;-)

-- -- Neil

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2639 days


#9 posted 12-16-2011 10:40 PM

By the way …. the more I think about that issue … the more I realize that I could swap all my machines, end for end, and work from the “outside of the circle,” instead of the inside—meaning: the machines would be between the air filter and ME, instead of the current way.

Hmmmmmmm.

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2629 days


#10 posted 12-17-2011 02:17 AM

Bill
I hear yah. Mostly I am just directing the air flow. It will start with the overhead collection, which will have leaks by the saw blade, and have some adjustable vents back by the motor, kinda like one I saw in FWW. That way the air will be blasting by the blade top and back and be adjustable. I will make sure there is plenty of flow, I am just trying to direct it.

Neil
There you go, you don’t have to be the middle of everything…........(-:

Just put something that really sucks in the center…......(-:

That would have been a good idea for my dust collector, put it near the pillar, some of the runs would have been shorter. Oh well. The shop is changing, and my hoses are changeable.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View spunwood's profile

spunwood

1198 posts in 2301 days


#11 posted 12-19-2011 04:16 PM

Great stuff guys, thanks for the post Rich.

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

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#12 posted 12-19-2011 04:31 PM

Thanks everyone for such excellent information.

I have not finalized my decision, but I will probably buy a Shark Guard after the holidays.

Yes, I have an overhead air filter. Mine is positioned over the workbench where, at one time, I generated a lot of fine dust from sanding. Now that I use a Festool sander (with the dust extractor) as my primary sander, the overhead air filter is not as essential.

FYI – I have never seen another sander come even close to capturing dust the way that Festool does. I’m guessing but I would not be surprised to learn that the sander/extractor combination is capturing 99% of the dust.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2402 posts in 2348 days


#13 posted 12-22-2011 04:52 AM

Glad to hear about the Shark Guard. I too was impressed with the guy’s website. It basically seems like he’s making these in his garage in his spare time; I’d rather give my money to him than some faceless corporation .

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

View Paden501's profile

Paden501

35 posts in 1815 days


#14 posted 12-22-2011 05:39 AM

Hey that Shark Guard looks pretty impressive. Now I’m torn between that and making my own.
Thanks!

View ScottN's profile

ScottN

261 posts in 2144 days


#15 posted 12-22-2011 04:18 PM

I ordered mine about a month ago. 4-6 weeks lead time. He has a lot of orders.

-- New Auburn,WI

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