Table Saw Dust Collection

Table Saw Dust Collection

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After completely clouding up the workshop while ripping a few 2x4s for the laundry room table build, something definitely had to be done to set up dust collection on the table saw.  The saw that we got does have a dividing plate on it that allows a dust bag to be attached but big idea was something that would actually provide some vacuum. A bit of googling and we were able to find a few things that might work such as this Dust Cutter II that connects to a shop-vac but we didn’t want to spend that much on a bag, didn’t seem worth it.

After a bit of measuring and brainstorming the thought of using a bucket as a funnel came to mind and away I ran. Below is what I came up with:

The table saw already had a divider on it when I bought it (used) and it was the perfect fit for a 5 gallon bucket to slide over nice and snug, as shown below.

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The issue that provided the most trouble was attaching the bucket to the table saw, the thought on the way to the hardware store was to use a latch as shown on the left but I wasn’t able to find anything so I ended up with something a little different but in the end I think it worked out better.

Ended up getting a type of flip latch that I was able to mount to the bucket with a few small pieces of plywood, as shown below. One for each side of the bucket (180 degrees apart).
And attaching to the underside of the dividing plate as shown below. Again, 2, one on each side.
And it worked out very well!
Bent a small section of the discarded bucket handle to make a locking pin.
Cut a hole for 2″ PVC to allow the shop-vac to hook up. Dedicated fittings are expensive and the PVC with a little duct tap to provide friction works just as well, will show that method later.
Attached a 2″ PVC 90 degree elbow by attaching the 90 to a coupling on the inside of the bucket using a small section of 2″ PVC pipe and pinching the bucket between the two parts. Put some silicone caulk around the seam to provide the best vacuum to the top of the bucket as possible.
The 2″ PVC parts are a bit to large for the shop-vac hoses but a little duct tap applied as show below made for a wonderfully snug fit that doesn’t leak a bit.
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Cut a few lengths of duct tap into 3 strips.
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Put strips on the inside of the pipe.
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Put a full width strip in and cut it into tabs.
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Pull the tabs back.
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Cut a length of tape in half and use to hold the tabs down.

Finished product attached to the table saw. Shown below from the front.
And from the back with the shop-vac hose attached.
After connecting everything to the saw and shop-vac I fired up the shop-vac and was presently surprise to feel a nice bit of airflow from the areas that it should be expected. Tried to cut a few pieces of wood and it worked amazing! Obviously all the dust particles are not collected but the improvement was probably about 90-95% better than when no dust collection was installed. Definitely don’t need to vacuum the whole shop every time the table saw is used anymore! If I end up doing a lot of woodworking and continue to do so a real dust collector will probably be required and that will provide much better airflow and thus better dust collection yet.

After all was said and done I believe the total bill for this project was about $10.00 or so. The bucket and two flip latches were each about $3 and then a dollar or so for the PCV parts I needed. MUCH better than the $40 for the bag that probably wouldn’t have worked nearly as well.
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