RAS Dust Collection Blues

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Forum topic by JustJoe posted 04-27-2013 05:46 PM 1340 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1554 posts in 2061 days

04-27-2013 05:46 PM

I wasn’t a fan of the Radial Arm Saw before – I had an old Craftsman that was falling apart and I was always afraid it would blow up in my face so I sold it to someone I hated. Then I got a better one as part of a pile of tools and rather than sell it I rebuilt it and tweaked it so it was running like new and even put it on a custom half-finished cabinet stand. Now I like it for the ease of crosscuts – straight and angled – and for quickly chopping out dadoes. But the dust is driving me crazy. It’s got that cheesy little blade guard with the dust port on top – IN THE FRONT. What moron designed that??? I make a cut and all the dust goes flying to the wall behind the saw because the blade cover only covers the top half of the blade and the dust doesn’t make it up inside where it can be sucked away. Normally I wouldn’t care – that’s just more bedding for the shop lizards. But the outlets are up there and could short out, or the dust could migrate over to the metalworking tools nearby. So I need some sort of dust collection. And of course the little hole is 1.5” and my dust collector is set up for 4”, the shop-vac is 2.5” so I had to go blow $35 on hose and adapter to try and make it work. Now I’ve got the hose going from the RAS to the DC and instead of a big giant cloud of dust behind the saw I just get a medium-giant cloud of dust. Is there any way to suck up the dust normally or do I need to build a big open vent behind it like on the lathe?

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3 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2516 days

#1 posted 04-27-2013 06:05 PM

Forget using that port on the blade guard, the only way to catch it is with a large funnel of some sort in the back…of course if it’s hooked to a honking big DC with a 6” duct it works even better. Back in thee 70’s Sears sold a plastic catcher that kinda looked like a Big Gulp, but had a 2 1/2” vac kook up on the back. I had one, and didn’t like it because the small vac opening made it not work very well. I cut it out and pout a 4” flange on it, that worked a lot better. But on my current saw I have a 12” wide HVAC boot connected to a 6” duct, and it kicks arse. I also have the blade guard hooked up, but a lot of guys just blank them off. A pic below, don’t laugh…I’m very much function over form. The saw is a Dewalt 1030K that has had a rough life, but is now working like a new one (even if it doesn’t look like it rolled off the showroom floor). BTW, those chips in there are from some handplaning I did, I just threw them in there to get picked up the next time the DC runs through that port. Another option I’ve seen and was told worked well is to build a large box at the back of the saw, and then empty it regularly.

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View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#2 posted 04-27-2013 06:10 PM

this guy has the best RAS dust collection i’ve ever seen. it requires mounting the table to the wall behind the saw, though.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2404 days

#3 posted 04-27-2013 07:16 PM

I did something similar to the video but picture a 4” sewer pipe with the bottom half cut flat to sit flat on the back of the saw behind the fence. The pipe comes from my dust collection line up to the fence where I cut two 3/4” holes (in the fence) to help with the air movement, the R.A.S blade sits above the pipe behind the fence in a kerf cut from the blade just up to the blade guard. This works very well. I got this idea from another thread on here by a guy named Jim Bertelson where he built a box instead behind the fence. I just decided why not bring the sewer pipe all the way behind the fence. Of course if you want to take the blade out of 90 degrees you would have to rotate the pipe which is kept in place by two small strips of mdf on either side of the pipe screwed down so you would have to unscrew them.

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