Improved Bandsaw Extraction

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve just found an ideal solution to keeping the dust at bay on my 12″ SIP 01486 Bandsaw. Not only does it collect dust close to source (just below the table) but it keeps the lower guides clean as well.

First, I’d like to say thanks to UKW forum members Boz62 and an article at Popular by David Charlesworth – both of which inspired me greatly to do something about this perennial problem.

After studying both of the above links, I came to the conclusion that it would be best to ‘enclose’ the blade as close as possible, directly above the guides. Trouble is though, on these smaller saws, there is barely enough room to get even your fingers between the underside of the table and the top of the guides – on my saw, this gap was only 25mm. The hose on my Nilfisk-Alto vacuum is about 40mm in diameter and I wanted to retain as much airflow as possible…

Stop for setting the table at 90°.
...This did mean that the positive stop for 90° needed replacing.
Below the Bandsaw Table
A scrap of 25mm MDF fitted to increase the space below the table.

After messing about with scraps of 40mm pipe and my disc sander, I settled on the following solution, where the extraction port is fixed to a scrap of wood bolted directly on to the outside of the lower door (don’t worry, drilling a 7mm hole in steel that thin is dead easy!).

I cut a slot with a tenon saw (for it’s wide kerf) which

allows to port to slide over and around the blade. Because it’s so thin, the kerf has minimal effect on the loss of any airflow. Initial tests show very little dust is left on the lower guides [please note – I took these photographs before doing a test run!!] and inside the lower cabinet – it no longer comes raining out the left-hand side of the top door while the saw is running now, either! I haven’t tried this yet but, I think this could also work with the table tilted to 45°… If not, I should only have to sand a little more off the top.

My Solution to Bandsaw Dust Extraction!
My Solution to Bandsaw Dust Extraction!

That’s all I’ve really got to say on this right now. Thank you for reading and I hope it gives you some ideas of your own, should you find yourself faced with a similar scenario with your bandsaw. This is the best solution I could come up with for a small bandsaw but, if you have any other thoughts, it would be great to hear what you have to say. This will only work with a HPLV vacuum-type extraction as quiet-running twin-bag chip collecters (with 100mm-150mm hoses) don’t work as well when the hose diameter is reduced. My maximum depth of cut (height under the guides) is now reduced to 155mm (6in.) but, saws at this end of the market are rarely fitted with motors capable of cutting to such a depth anyway, let alone 180mm (about 7in.).

For any other issues you may have with your bandsaw, I can highly recommended Steve Maskery’s brand new DVDs – Workshop Essentials Volumes 4 & 5 – these two discs will show you everything you need to know. Even after almost six-full-years at college, I still managed to pick up a tip or two!

I haven’t had a chance to to finish off my new fence yet as I’m busy working on a dining table at the moment. All this extra work could be lost in vain though – the new Axminster catalogue dropped through my door this morning and I’m eyeing up a new bandsaw – the AWHBS400N!!

Thanks again for reading. Have a Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “Improved Bandsaw Extraction

  1. Thanks for the reference! I hadn’t thought of raising the table, so simple. Be interested in how you get on with that. I assume that you’ll need a different slotted plate in the table for the blade when doing 45 degree cuts as the centre of rotation will have changed, but seems well worth it to gain the extra space.

    Every bandsaw is different so we all have to come up with our own solution in the end.


  2. Thanks, Boz.

    Another note I forgot to mention is that with that lump of MDF in place, the bandsaw runs a little more quietly and the table feels more ‘rigid’.

    You’re right – I will need to cut another insert for angled cuts. I hate doing these things because the circles are only about 60mm in diameter. I did the last one on the router table and that wasn’t fun, even when I stuck it to a larger block of wood for safety’s sake! I also had to rebate the edges as I had nothing thin enough to fit in the table’s rebate.

    Perhaps I should build a circle-cutting jig for my disc sander… Next time though, I’ll definitely be preparing a small batch of these! (If only the insert was rectangular, like Steve Maskerys’…). 😉

  3. Hay Olly, nice work. Is that a stainless blade you have on there – it looks very bright and shiny?

    Cheers, Bongo.

    1. Hi Bongo,

      I think that blade must’ve come from Tuff Saws. It looks like one of the thin-kerf blades from their Supertuff Premium range – yes, it was ¾in wide and I recall feeling surprised by how easily I was able to run this blade on my small saw, when it would struggle to run a 5/8in wide blade at standard thickness! I think it’s some kind of carbon steel? Not sure. It’s not stainless or anything that special.

      They also offer a range of Fastcut blades (all thin-kerf and ideal for deep-cutting) and others made from thicker, harder M42 steel, which will slice through the odd nail or screw in reclaimed boards.

      Thanks for your comment.


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