Placement of Dust Collection Port on Contractor Saw?

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Forum topic by DSnyder posted 12-21-2011 08:13 AM 2485 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 3810 days

12-21-2011 08:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw cabinet dust collection

I was given a Craftsman 10” contractor saw with steel legs and stamped steel wings over the weekend. I would like to put it on a cabinet and add a good fence system. In trying to design my own, I have been looking at cabinets other people have made in the past to hold their table saws. The majority of them use the same method for dust collection – cut a hole in the top of the cabinet that allows chips and sawdust to fall into a drawer/compartment below. Then, a 4” or 5” dust port is attached to the back of that dust compartment.

My question is this: Is the “drawer below” necessary?

Looking at the guts of my saw, it would be really handy to simply attach a 4” port to the sheet metal on the right side of my saw’s body. But no one else seems to have done that.
Thoughts? Opinions? Good/bad experiences?

-- “I am a soul. I have a body.” Lloyd C. Douglas

4 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 12-21-2011 08:25 AM

Well, honestly the down draft actually helps get the dust to go into the dust collection system. That and I’m not too sure if there would be any adverse affects to cut the side, or if it wouldn’t interfere with the bevel adjustments.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3886 days

#2 posted 12-21-2011 02:57 PM

since the back of the contractor saws are open, taking the dust out of the bottom is the best way. Even then you have dust that will build up all the way around the dust port and some will come out of the front, where the blade adjuster is. It helps if you partially block off the back, to help the suction in the saw case. That’s a whole other project, since you have to make the blocking moveable, for tilting the blade.

View Porchfish's profile


847 posts in 2674 days

#3 posted 12-21-2011 03:22 PM

One question….will you be using a standard saw insert that came with your saw? or a zero tolerance insert you (buy) or make yourself ? I have a big ole craftsman 10” cabinetmakers saw and with a zero tolerance insert most of the dust ends up on me or the floor in front of the saw..the only time my built in dust collection system functions well is when I use the standard insert for angle cuts or the dado system….I know they make very expensive over saw collection units that are suspended over the saw but they are expensive and a pain in the ass…I have a friend who installed one and doesn’t think they are worth the money. I use a zero tolerance insert 75% of the time and just “deal” with the mess. When I had a contractor’s saw I built a cabinet and cut a hole in the side of the sheet metal almost at the bottom and attached my dust collection hose up to it & it Worked OK … but just OK …the strength of your dust collection system is the key. I wouldn’t hesitate to go with your plan , just lower the outlet as far as you can to get the gravity assist and less buil-up at the bottom of the housing. you might have to be more diligent with clean up …access to the innards of the saw housing is a consideration maybe ? Good luck my friend ! your north florida friend don s.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View DSnyder's profile


25 posts in 3810 days

#4 posted 12-21-2011 03:46 PM

Yes, I will definitely be making a few zero clearance inserts for this. Got spoiled to very little tearout when I made one for my starter benchtop saw. I also plan to make a detachable “back” plate for the saw body (95% of my cuts are at 90 deg anyways), and use magnetic vent covers to enclose the blade adjustment slot on the front.

Don, in your “just OK” setup were you using a shop vac or a dust collector?

-- “I am a soul. I have a body.” Lloyd C. Douglas

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