Dust Collection - An Important Element

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by NedG posted 05-26-2012 02:37 PM 1401 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NedG's profile


56 posts in 2515 days

05-26-2012 02:37 PM

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

5124 posts in 4161 days

#1 posted 05-26-2012 03:11 PM

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


56 posts in 2515 days

#2 posted 05-26-2012 06:03 PM

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 2770 days

#3 posted 05-26-2012 09:23 PM

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 2770 days

#4 posted 05-26-2012 09:24 PM

Double post

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

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3192 days

#5 posted 05-26-2012 09:38 PM

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


14940 posts in 2891 days

#6 posted 05-27-2012 02:02 AM

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


1032 posts in 3266 days

#7 posted 05-27-2012 02:17 AM

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 3269 days

#8 posted 05-27-2012 03:27 AM

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


2393 posts in 3303 days

#9 posted 05-27-2012 04:08 AM

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...............

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics