Dailey Woodworks

Improving Dust Collection on a Jobsite Table Saw

how to improve dust collection on a table saw

I recently purchased the Ridgid 10in Heavy Duty Portable Table Saw (R4513) to replace my Hitachi C10RJ Table Saw (Sigh). The Ridgid R4513 has a great fence, plenty of power, and a “gravity rise” stand.  I’m mostly happy with this saw and can trust it on the job site unlike the Hitachi.

One area that really could use improvement on the Ridgid Jobsite Table Saw is dust collection.  I’ve really been on a dust collection crusade recently, because of the health benefits, time saved in clean up, and an overall more enjoyable woodworking experience.

Check out my youtube videos for my homemade two-stage dust collector and the amazing auto switch I use to automatically turn my vacuum on and off.

I noticed fairly quickly that the dust collection was poor on my new saw.  Looking underneath I found that the shroud was mostly open which didn’t allow for strong suction.  I decided to do something about it,

I couldn’t make a shroud cover out of plywood or stiff material because it would interfere with the blade tilt mechanism.  Therefore, I simply doubled up some duct tape (sticky sides together) and started closing in the empty spaces.  I also used Zero Clearance Tape by Fastcap to quickly make my stock throat plate a zero clearance throat plate and to add some rigidity to my Gorilla Tape shroud underneath the saw.

The results were too good.  I actually closed up the saw to the point that air was only entering through the zero clearance throat plate.  This caused too much restriction and quickly caused the dust shroud to clog.  I cut out a small portion of the duct tape at the front of the shroud to allow for air flow and it works great.

This simple improvement greatly improved the dust collection at my table saw and makes it far more enjoyable to use.  I did this to my Ridgid Portable Table Saw but the same method should work on any table saw.


Watch the video below to see how I did this.  It should work on any jobsite or portable table saw.

how to improve dust collection on a table saw

*Click image above to watch video*

Cheap and Easy Two-Stage DIY Dust Separator

I don’t have an elaborate dust collection system at my shop.  My system is two shop vacuums that I got on Black Friday deals for about $40 each. I did splurge on a few extra hoses here and there but that’s it.

One thing that I always do is run filter bags in my vacuums.  Especially while sanding the fine particles will quickly clog a filter and dramatically decrease performance.  The filters also really suck (no pun intended) to clean.  Filter bags do a great job of keeping your wet/dry vacuum performing at full capacity until the bag is packed full, but man they are expensive!

Filter Bags get Expensive, Y’all!

The best prices I’ve found for filter bags are on Amazon (which is not always the case).  Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2u5oCzU

These are 3 for $10 with free shipping,  If you look sometimes you can find better but $3.33 per bag is about the best I can find.  The Orange store runs about $5 per bag and the Blue store is a shocking $7 per bag.  It pays to shop around!

If I’m building a Dog Kennel running my miter saw, table saw, and sander I can fill one of these up in a day, easy.  So I decided to try and make my own dust separator.


There are, of course, commercially available cyclones and chip separators (Like the Dust Deputy) that probably work better than mine: but where’s the fun in that?

My separator is about 80% effective.  This means that every time I fill up the trash can I used I save at least $13. That adds up over the year.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what I used:

All together I spent about $20 in supplies. If you count the trash can then it would be about $50 total.  Use what you have and be creative!

Form Fit PVC to Shop VAC hose with a Heat Gun

Now we run into a problem when we try to connect a 2″ vacuum hose to a 2″ PVC pipe.  It doesn’t work… but we can make it work.

Use a heat gun to soften the PVC and then work it over the shop vac fitting.  When it cools it will stay molded to the fitting giving a nice friction fit.  (BTW I love my DeWalt Heat Gun)

See how I put it all together on Youtube

diy dust separator

One More Thing…

I purchased an auto switch that automatically turns on my vacuum when I start up my saws.  It is an amazing time saver and I should have bought one sooner.

See how it works with this Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/BYaHQQNWKgY





Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading.  If you found this article useful be sure to share, pin, mail, etc this with others.


It’s Sunday, and here I sit a 6:24am fully dressed down to my shoes.  My keys, wallet, and knife are in their pockets; I’m ready to walk out the door.  I don’t have anywhere to be until church at 11am.  The little monsters sweet children get up around 8 every day.  So why?

Because I want to be productive.  My web developer, Jason at Placer Marketing, told me about an article he read about productivity and the power of getting up early.  He sent me the link and I’m convinced to give it a try.  Click here to read the article by Benjamin Hardy.

When I think back, the most productive times in my life have been when I consistency woke up early

When I think back to the most productive times in my life, they have been the seasons that I intentionally woke up early.  I remember my first job as a part-time youth minister while in college, I was so excited and driven.  The biggest perk was I had a nice office, and keys to the building.  For the first few months, I was there by 7:30, no one else was there until 8:30.  By noon I had accomplished everything I needed to do that day including many long-term goals.  My grades in college also improved thanks to my early rising and intentional planning of each day.  Eventually, the excitement wore off and I fell back into the “wake up late, rush out the door, arrive barely on time routine the majority of people live in.

Most people spend their day reacting to situations instead of anticipating them

Most people spend their day reacting to their obligations instead of anticipating them.  Yesterday was Saturday.  Saturday in my world is “work on our house day.”  There are chores do, children to play with, trash to take to the dump (We live in a rural area without curbside garbage service). I meant to start this “get up a 5am” thing yesterday but hit my alarm button as soon as I heard it and went back to sleep.

At 7:30 I was awoken by little ones hungry and ready to be awake (Saturday is my wife’s day to sleep in: she adamantly disagrees with anyone who says you should wake up before 9:00 am).  Now I was in reaction mode,  I had two hungry and fussy toddlers who had to get frustrated and loud enough to wake me from my sleep to get their needs taken care of.  I had to jump out of bed and go straight to them and start getting their breakfast and sippy cups ready.  Because I wasn’t ready to be awake this made my attitude…less than pleasant…and set my tone for the entire day.

Today will be different.  I’m already up and can anticipate and plan my morning.  My oldest gets up first then wakes up the middle-est (Yes I’m making up a new word).  If I can get him up and out the middle-est can keep sleeping for another hour.  I can have his pop-tart and cup ready and we can have some quality time first thing before getting ready for church.  I’m anticipating my day instead of reacting to it.  I’m taking back control.

Unplanned time is wasted time

Unplanned time is wasted time.  Therefore, just waking up at 5am is pointless without a plan.  So I applied Lean to my 5am wake-up time.  Lean is about continuously improving a process.  Your morning routine is a process and therefore can be improved to eliminate waste and increase productivity.

This is what my mornings were looking like:

  • Alarm goes off at 6:40. Hit snooze until 7:20
  • 7:20 rush to get dressed and out the door by 7:30, usually 8 if I’m working from home
  • 8:00 get to jobsite or shop without any real plan on what I should be doing first

As you see I’m reacting to my day:

This is my goal for what my mornings will look like now:

  • 5:00-5:15 Get up and get fully dressed.  To me, there is something psychological about being dressed and ready to go.  It’s always been a thing for me.  I’m sure there is research to validate my opinion on this (this is the internet after all…).
  • 5:15-5:30 Stretch, get moving.  From past experience I know if I get up and go straight to a desk (or couch) I will fall asleep there or just sit there in a zombie state. Stretching has tons of benefits and feels good.  I don’t exercise in this time I’m just on my feet.
  • 5:30-5:45 – Bible reading, prayer, meditation.  This is something I have neglected in my life for much too long.
  • 5:45-6:00 – Physical Activity.  My body is still fighting consciousness at this point so I do something to get the blood moving.  I got this awesome punching bag for Christmas but it’s on the back porch and I would wake the family up using it at this time.  So shadow boxing.
  • 6:00-6:15 – Plan my day, 3S (a Lean thing), make an actionable plan for self-improvement.
  • 6:15-7:00 – Computer time to blog, edit video, return business email, work on estimates, etc.  Today I’m writing this blog post.  And it’s my Sabbath so I’m not doing any real work.  This blog post is different somehow, I think because it’s more personal, so I don’t consider it work.  I’m also bleeding into my next block of time.  Also, no social media during this time.
  • 7:00-7:30 – Continued computer time, load up the trailer to head to jobsite, or start cleaning shop to start work at 8:00
  • 7:30-8:00 – Travel time to jobsite.  It takes me roughly 30mins to get to a location, and I cant really start making noise until 8:00 due to city ordinances and common courtesy.
  • 8:00 – Saw Blades spinning.  Out of respect for my neighbors, I don’t start any loud equipment until 8:00.  I have stood there with my hand on the saw and a clock at 7:59 waiting for 8:00.

This is my planned morning routine.  It’s not set in stone and I can change it as I see fit.  However, following my planned morning routine is set in stone in that whatever plan I set I will follow.  So far I’ve had a calm and productive morning.

Remember: Your morning routine is a process and all processes can be continuously improved.

What does your morning routine look like? What changes can you make to improve your morning productivity?

Be sure to read the article that inspired me to start this new 5am madness: You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM by Benjamin Hardy

Get Your Tool Box Organized

On my truck I have a standard cross-box style tool box.  It’s your basic aluminum box that I got at Tractor Supply Company for around $300.  It carries my roadside stuff, basic hand tools, ratchet straps, etc.  Since it’s just one big open box, nothing is ever organized…until now.

IMG_0275I started with some plywood trays.  Most truck boxes have a lip about half way up where you can add a tray.  The plastic trays at Tractor Supply are about $40.00… um not gonna happen.  I used 1/2in plywood that I had on hand and made two simple trays; one with a middle divider, one without.  They were made with glue and brad nails, super quick.  If you make trays be sure to allow clearance for the tool box latches.  I had to notch out a place for the latches so I have to make sure the trays are positioned correctly when closing the lid.

Below the shelf that the trays sit on I made an awesome divider system.  I took two pieces of 1/2 inch plywood cut dados in them every 3 inches.  Once that was done I glued them to the inside of the tool box with some Liquid nails.  My dividers are made from 1/8 inch hardboard.



This is the best thing I’ve ever done for my truck.  It seems like I can hold twice as much AND I can find it!  Watch the Video Below


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