Last week, I found some time to tinker and experiment with the dust extraction setup for my bandsaw. For the last few years, I’ve been using a setup that allows you to connect a vacuum hose to an angled port that surround the blade just below the table. It’s often worked well, collecting a majority of the sawdust and also leaving less to settle on the lower blade guides.
But it’s not always been as effective as it used to be and I think the change occurred once I added a simple dust separator in to the system, which has always been the Triton DCA300 Dust Bucket. Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that another separator (particularly a cyclone) would give better results but the Triton one seems to offer an airflow that’s greatly reduced from the force drawn in by the vacuum on its own.
If you’ve ever tried to connect a vacuum to your portable power tools, you’re likely to have come across one (if not several) where the supplied nozzle at the end of the hose doesn’t even come close to fitting snugly in to the tool’s outlet. Some people will resort to using masking tape or scraps of PVC pipe; worse still (and I’ve been guilty of this many times) is where people decide to neglect the use of dust extraction and then proceed to cut, plane, rout or sand away with fine particles filling their workshops!
On Friday, while I was waiting for the glue to dry on a pair of chess boards (more on the perils of gluing end-grain to end-grain another time), I decided to have a go at making an attachment that would connect my vacuum to my random orbital sander. As you can see above; it works and I got the idea initially from (I think) Chris Pine over on Keek (@cpine).
You basically take two small squares of plywood, drilling one hole in each. In one block, you have a hole sized to take the nozzle from the vacuum; the other is drilled to fit over your tool’s outlet or port. Then, these two blocks are carefully glued together and I rounded the corners off to make it aesthetically pleasing.
It’s a custom solution that doesn’t cost a lot but might ensure you never run out of masking tape. You may still need to manufacture one ‘fitting’ for each of your tools but, if it means you’re more likely to use dust extraction then it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this tip useful.
My latest YouTube video offers a couple of simple tips on using and maintaining your dust extractors that could help to maintain and restore your airflow. If you’ve suffered a loss of or drop in suction from either a twin-bag HVLP chip collector or, perhaps even a smaller HPLV vacuum-type; these tricks could really help you out.
One tip near the beginning offers an easier way to reattach the bottom bag without a second pair of hands. Also, you get to see how convenient it isn’t to access each of my extractors in a small workshop! 😉
Lately, I’ve been thinking and Keeking about dust extraction in my workshop. I’ve twice had to endure the dreaded bag-change on my large chip extractor during the process of making these chopping boards, which are very near to completion. At the other end of the workshop, I’ve been experiencing a long-term drop in suction, between my vacuum extractor and bandsaw, which suggests air or pressure is being lost within the Triton Dust Bucket.
While investigating this without finding a single leak (by hand), I decided I would build a new stand for the dust bucket. In the photo above, it’s resting on an damp-ridden MDF construction that I’ve never fitted in my Workmate as a height-adjustable outfeed support… This has often been slightly too high, with the hose fouling the locking lever for the bandsaw’s rip fence.
After that most-recent video-tour of my workshop, a few people contacted me asking more about the extraction setup I have.
It’s far from perfect, at the moment… I think it’s close to being very good but, I need to attempt to make some half-decent connections where the waste pipe meets the flexible hose, and vice-versa. I’ll also be purchasing some proper vacuum hose to replace the pond filter hose I purchased on a whim (saving money isn’t always the best option).
Any comments or suggestions you may have are more than welcome. I’m happy to read and hear whatever you may have to say.
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!!]
This monster’s been in my workshop for a few months now. In that time, I’ve been able to do just about everything with it – from cutting curves and shaping, to to forming lap joints and deep-ripping wide boards of hardwood. There isn’t much that I haven’t already done with it [I’ve even broken a blade and ripped the tyre off the top wheel!!] so, I think it’s about time I gave my verdict.