In a video at The Penultimate Woodshop, Dyami Plotke is interviewing Fine Woodworking magazine art director Mike Peckovich. The subject turns to dust collection and Mike says:
You know, dust collection – I used to be pretty cavalier about it. The notion that my dust collector is a broom and a dust pan. But, you know, I have become more sensitized to wood dust over the years. And in terms of the information about the hazards of wood dust; it’s a real hazard and I think it is something you need to take seriously. So I think upgrading to a real dust collection system is not a horrible idea.
Dust collection is a subject which should be near and dear to all power tool woodworkers. I recently turned 53 years of age and among the things I would pass on to a young woodworker would be to embrace effective dust control as soon as possible. As an older woodworker (not an old woodworker), dust has become a health problem since it can shut down my nasal passages pretty quickly. Mike Peckovich is becoming sensitized to dust; I am already there.
As I use power tools the dust generated is a constant reminder of what is airborne in my workshop and more importantly, what migrates to other parts of my home impacting both my wife and my daughter. For this reason, controlling dust should be a serious consideration for the woodworker with a home workshop.
UPGRADING MY DUST LINES
Since I completed my router table, I can now connect dust collection to it. This gives me the opportunity to fine tune the main dust lines that run to my tools. At present, I have dust collection connected to my table saw and my jointer. I have never gotten around to connecting my old router table, my band saw, my thickness planer or my miter saw to my dust collector.
Here is a layout of my power tools and the dust lines.
Something I added about a year ago was a two-inch line which rested on my table saw surface, held in place with magnets and was dedicated to collecting dust coming off the saw blade (indicated with a red arrow above).
The tabletop dust collection you see above was a moderate success. It caught only a small amount of dust coming off the saw blade, but was handy to have enabling me to easily clear my table surface of dust with a brush. But, this week, I made the decision to remove it.
Thinking through the necessary connections to my router table got me thinking further about fine tuning my dust collection lines in general. In the image above, the red arrow points to the connection to my router table fence. The blue arrow indicates the connection to the router table cabinet and the green arrow points to a floor sweep I have been wanting for quite some time.
Slowly, over the past several days, I added the needed fittings and hose to connect my dust collector to the router table. This is mostly no-fun work. The wire which runs through the flexible hose has a sharp edge when cut and several small cuts to my fingers developed as I wrestled with the connections. The goal was to make the hose as tight to the router table and table saw as possible.
I then proceeded to add a floor sweep positioned under my jointer.
This part of the upgrade led to considerable cussing. The area below my jointer is a tight space and the four-inch hose was fighting me all the way. I secured the floor sweep to the concrete with exterior double-faced tape.
Then it was time to test the upgrades…
My initial cuts using my new router table were awesome. I took full depth cuts, in the photo above I am using a 3/4 inch round over bit. Virtually no dust on the table surface and the suction in the router cabinet itself was excellent. So, I am pretty pleased at this point, and the floor sweep works well also.
As I made the upgraded connections to my dust collector which will translate into me using the dust collector more frequently, the weak link in my collection process will have to be addressed. The weak link: the dust collector itself – it doesn’t catch fine dust. So even though things like a drill press and a hollow chisel mortiser are on my short list for the next power tool purchase, I am going to have to put upgraded dust filtration at the top of the list.
MY NEXT PROJECT
So, that is it for my new router table. My next project will be a new miter saw stand…
I need this desperately and I’ll get to work on it very soon.
NEW WOODWORKING PLAN: How to make a large painted bookcase – this plan covers the construction of a bookcase I built for a co-worker and was designed to be simple to build, yet stylish. See the free plan by clicking here.
Previous posts in this series
New Router Table: Getting Started
New Router Table: Making Progress and Making Mistakes
New Router Table: Drawer Construction
New Router Table: Adding the Base
New Router Table: To Lift or Not to Lift – That is the Question
New Router Table: Creating the Top
New Router Table: Building the Fence
My New Router Table is Finished