Dust Collection - An Important Element

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Forum topic by NedG posted 817 days ago 948 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 939 days

817 days ago

I recently treated myself to a new Delta Unisaw and included a dust collection system [Harbor Freight collector, Wynn canister filter35A274nano, and a Thien Top Hat separator by Ghostes (see YouTube)]. This is, in my opinion, an excellent, modest priced, set-up.

However, if keeping dust off the shop floor and away form your lungs is the objective, the most important part of this system is a zero clearance throat plate on on the saw. This simple shop made device keeps the dust in the cabinet and away from you and your shop. So do consider adding this to your system and use it when possible. —- Ned

9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3402 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 817 days ago

ZCIs won’t stop dust from the top of the blade dang it. Don’t cut off all air flow to the cabinet either.


View NedG's profile


32 posts in 939 days

#2 posted 816 days ago

Bill: I hate to disagree with you, but a zero clearance throat plate does a great job of keeping most – not all , but most – dust off the top of the saw, nor does it reduce significantly the air flow to the collector. Most saws, the Unisaw included, has an abundance of gaps, specifically at the top of the cabinet where it abuts the top. -—- Ned

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 1194 days

#3 posted 816 days ago

I haven’t even made my ZCI yet for my saw so have no practical experience so this is an innocent question. If the cutting action (saw blade teeth through wood) occurs on the top of the saw, how does a ZCI keep dust off the top of the saw? Seems like it would keep the dust on top and keep it from getting into the cabinet.

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

View dpop24's profile


115 posts in 1194 days

#4 posted 816 days ago

Double post

-- If it ain't broke, take it apart and find out why

View Vrtigo1's profile


430 posts in 1616 days

#5 posted 816 days ago

Without weighing in one way or the other, it does kind of make sense. Since the blade doesn’t begin cutting until it contacts the workpiece on the downstroke, it seems reasonable to think it would carry the sawdust down with it, through the insert and into the cabinet.

View gfadvm's profile


10717 posts in 1315 days

#6 posted 816 days ago

I get a LOT more dust on the top of my saw when using my ZCI with the saw hooked up to my dust collector. Just sayin my experience.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View pmayer's profile


565 posts in 1690 days

#7 posted 816 days ago

I agree with the posters who have suggested that this is not a best practice. With a zero clearance blade not enough dust gets into the cabinet as the air flow is severely constrained with a ZCI. I aways use one for thin rips but other than that I use a standard insert and I get much better dust collection when I do.

-- PaulMayer,

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 1693 days

#8 posted 816 days ago

I find that I have less dust on the table if I use the stock insert. The reason, I believe, is that there’s slightly better air flow at the blade below the workpiece.

When you’re ripping a board, the only flow path for the air is through the kerf behind the blade. If you’re using a ZCI, it’s opening is ~1/8”. If you’re using a stock insert, that opening is nearer 1/2”. With less restriction, the airflow increases.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View redryder's profile


2134 posts in 1727 days

#9 posted 816 days ago

gfadvm: ditto, ditto, ditto…. if you think dust and sawdust doesn’t come back at you when using a zci then you haven’t cut much wood…..................

-- mike...............

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