contractor saw dust collection
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Dust Collection for Contractor Saw

Contractor saws are notorious for shooting sawdust. Adding a dust collection port to the bottom and connecting it to even a powerful dust collector usually doesn't do a whole lot of good. The sawdust that doesn't get sucked into the dust collector tends to bounce off the dust collection chute before it shoots out of the machine with incredible velocity.
We'll start with the cheapest steps and move up to the most expensive.

Step One-Seal Up Your Saw
This will take about ten minutes once you have the materials in hand. You'll need a couple of sheets of magnetic rubber and a pair of scissors. I got the rubber at our local department store, but you could probably find it at Home Depot or someplace like that. It's also available at sign shops, and you can find it in most big cities by looking up "magnetic rubber" in the phone book. The stuff I found was for putting over furnace vents if you wanted to block the heat.

You can see that I've cut the rubber more-or-less to shape and just stuck it on the back of the saw. Even though there are some gaps, very little sawdust gets out.

I also found it necessary to seal up the front of the machine. A surprising amount of sawdust was leaking out from this end.

Step Two-Install a Dust Collection Bag
The second step is to install a dust collection bag, which takes about an hour. Once the saw is saw is sealed up, the sawdust simply drops into the bag.

What if I sealed up the machine with magnetic rubber and used a dust collector attached to the port? Wouldn't that work better than the dust collection bag?

Not in my experience. The sawdust that does not get sucked up into the collection port collects in the corners of the machine, and every week or two you'll have to clean out the inside of the saw to keep the dust from building up. Also, emptying the bag is a LOT easier than emptying a dust collector, and (unlike the dust collector) I don't have to remember to turn the bag on.

Step Three-Add the Excalibur Saw Blade Cover

Sealing the saw and installing the cloth bag caught the majority of the sawdust, but there was still some sawdust escaping. It wasn't much on a percentage basis, but the table saw gets a lot of use and it did add up. The Excalibur blade cover helps a lot, and very little sawdust escapes into the air.

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This page last updated 08/02/03
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