Until recently, my router table regularly looked like this inside, on a regular basis:
If the insides of your table are constantly in a similar state (cutting grooves with a straight cutter being the main cause of all this mess) then, I’d recommend you take a look at Steve Maskery’s latest video, below; in which, Steve reveals his latest workshop tip for more efficient extraction when the waste cannot reach the extraction port in the rear of your fence.
If the video doesn’t load or work correctly for you on this site, please try this link to YouTube. While you’re opening a new tab or window, I’d also recommend a visit to Steve’s Workshop Essentials site, certainly if you haven’t visited before. This tip also features briefly on Steve’s latest DVD [Volume 6: The Ultimate Bandsaw Tenon Jig – also recommended!!]
For my Nilfik-Alto vacuum, I drilled a 35mm hole in a scrap of 18mm MDF and then, to keep the nozzle in place, I added a strip of tape, which made for a very snug fit:
This is how it looks ‘in action’, having recently spent a lot of time routing grooves in MDF to make some new sub-fences for a few of my machines and jigs – more on all that in a future post. It’s fair to say that, already, this modification makes a considerable difference. Provided that the filter is kept clean in my vacuum (to maximise the airflow and suction), it catches almost everything thrown away by the cutter at the beginning of a cut and then, as the groove is formed, this seems to create a channel for extracting much of the waste that follows. Of course, some dust will still end up inside the table but, the air is certainly much cleaner and I’m no longer ‘smoking‘ my straight cutters(!).
A huge thanks to Steve Maskery for sharing this tip (among many others) with the rest of the woodworking world!
Thanks for reading.