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.

VIDEO

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.

The Dailey Woodworks Rolling Workshop

Portable Workshop Woodshop Carpentry Trailer, Rolling Tool Box

Since going into business for myself in November of 2015 I have been working out of my truck.  I did as much as possible to organize my toolbox, and have efficient space saving tools (such as my Multi-purpose slab).  I did the best I could with just a truck, but it seemed like everyday I would have to make multiple trips to and from my shop.

One of Several Trips I would make every day
One of Several Trips I Would Make Every Day

Sometimes it took two trips to simply get the tools I needed to the jobsite.  The rest of the time were the inevitable trips back home to get the one tool forgotten.  In the trades time is money; the faster and more efficient you can be the more money you can make.  Speed and efficiency also benefit the customer.  Being highly organized means the job is completed faster, and a contractor can charge a lower price because he makes up the difference in time saved for more jobs.  Furthermore, I was limited in that I was “stuck” only bidding jobs within my small town.

I knew I wanted an enclosed cargo trailer.  I’ve known I wanted a trailer since before self-employment was thrust upon me (A true blessing in disguise).  My modular shop cabinets, which I build over a year ago, were built in anticipation that I would eventually go into business for myself and have a cargo trailer workshop.  I’m determined never to go in debt for my business, and I am proud to say I found the exact trailer I wanted and was able to pay cash for it.  Dave Ramsey would be proud.

The trailer I wanted and I bought is a 12ft long by 6ft wide cargo trailer with a V-nose, tandem axles, and a ramp door.  My trailer is a 2014 Cargo Mate. I found it used on Craigslist for a fair price and the previous owner took very good care of it.  I hadn’t heard of Cargo Mate before this, but the build quality seems higher than many of the other trailers I looked at.

I detail the reasons why I wanted a trailer spec’d this way in the YouTube video below.  6ft by 12ft seemed to me to be big enough to actually be able to work out of, yet small enough to pull with my F-150.  I have the smaller 4.6 V8 in my truck so it cant pull as much as my Expedition with the larger 5.4 V8.  The 5.4 doesn’t care that there is a trailer behind it, but the 4.6 definitely notices.  The V-Nose is primarily for aerodynamics but gives additional storage options.  My Father, Father-in-law, and an uncle all recommended that I only consider getting a trailer with tandem axles.  Their reasons were as follows:  Safer (four wheels vs two in a blow out), Pulls better (tracks better, rides over bumps smoother), Easier to load (It’s not a teeter-totter), and carries twice the weight.  The weight of the loaded trailer is going to be whatever it needs to be.  Having tandem axles means I can load out the trailer how I need/want to and still be far under the maximum payload.  Based on my estimates I am going to be slightly over the limit of a single axle, leaving plenty of payload for materials.  The ramp door is a convenience and a back saver.  I can easily roll my tools up the ramp instead of lifting 70+ pound tools several times a day.  I’m glad I listened to the advice of others and got this option.

Turning this trailer into my rolling workshop is a lot of work, planning, and thinking through how I want to work in the future.  It’s also a lot of fun! I’m enjoying the design, trail and error of making this trailer uniquely mine.  I am certainly taking inspiration from other contractors, most notably Ron Paulk’s Awesome Rolling Tool Box.

My rolling workshop is continuously evolving.  Since I’ve never worked out of a cargo trailer before, I couldn’t simply build it out from the beginning.  Here’s a Mark Twain quote “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”  My trailer build happens in spurts.  I work out of the trailer and fix what doesn’t work for me.  Below are Trailer Builds 1.2 and 1.3

Trailer build 1.4 should be along shortly.  I’m doing my best to document every improvement as I go.

My First Ever Vlog

I decided to go a short video update on my projects this month instead of a written update.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Shop Tasks We All Hate

DW Clip

 

I enjoy watching Woodworking videos on Youtube. One of my favorites is the Weekly Woodworking Wrap Up Review by David Picciuto (The Drunken Woodworker).   This picture above poses a weekly question he uses in the show and for discussion.  This week it is “If you could forever remove one task in the shop, what would it be?”  Talk about a loaded question.  I didn’t know about the question until after this weeks episode, so I’m answering it here and posing the same question to you.

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One Corner of the Modular Shop is Almost Complete

This is a picture of my new shelving system.  I sized it to fit "Milk Boxes" that I can get for free at the grocery store.

Given my time constraints this whole process is going slower than I hoped.  There is also the issue is where do I put stuff while I’m remodeling the shop, and how do I do the projects I need to do while remodeling?  While it’s no where near as bad as completely renovating the one bathroom in our house last year (I still haven’t done a post on that),  It makes for several “Choke Points.” If I could give a solid day to the project I could be mostly done.  Hopefully I’ll have 3-4 hours this weekend to devote to building modular drawers and tearing out my old storage unit.

This old storage system worked well.  I was able to grab the box I needed and go.  The milk boxes were sturdy but eventually they break down and need to be replaced.  With the modular system I can still grab and go, but I think I need to develop a lid of some kind or a case to put in the truck.

Where this storage unit is will be where my workbench will go when I’m done.  I’ll use a French cleat system to organize chargers, and my going collection of hand tools.

I’ve almost completed my drill press and grinder station using the modular system.  I also removed the lumber rack that was above the old station.  It had become an unfunctional catch-all that needed purging.  The head of the drill press can quickly pivot with the turn of an Allan wrench, so I’m not losing capacity by having another cabinet right beside it.  I rarely use my bench grinder, but I still want quick access to it.  Buy mounting it too a drawer bottom I can quickly slide it out and plug it in when needed.  When it’s not it only takes up two spaces in the cabinet.  I’m rather proud of myself for how this is working out.

I am debating reinstalling pegboard or trying a French cleat behind the drill press.  Since I use my table saw right outside this door it would be a good place for some of my jigs, and my circular saw guide.  Cinder block is hard to mount things too.  I have tried the special bits and screws without much luck.  Plastic drywall anchors seem to work well though.

I also plan on going through and labeling every box with it’s contents.

 

Projects and Goals for 2015

Yes I know you’re supposed to do this post at the first of the year, blah, blah, but I’m doing it now.  The main reason is so that I have an idea of where I’m going for the year.

Screenshot 2015-02-20 14.02.10The Modular Shop is coming along.  I’m still building the cabinets and playing with different layouts using Sketchup.  I’m honestly getting tired of doing the same task every time I go to the shop (which is about 2-3 hours a week).  Like many things this is an issue of delayed gratification.  Once this shop is redone it will function much better, be more organized, and make working on new projects much more enjoyable.

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A Cold, Wet, and Rainy Saturday

I hope the weather is better in your area today than in West Texas.  All week I have been looking forward to Saturday, and getting to spend a day woodworking.  I have a big project in the works and many more on the list.

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My New Workbench

It’s probably more like a workstation than a bench.  Actually it is the “Paulk Total Station”  designed by Ron Paulk.  He is a carpenter and home builder that has come up with very interesting organization systems, and work benches that are light weight and strong.

His total station incorporates a portable table saw, a miter-saw, and a router table into a portable 3ftx6ft table with extension arms for the miter saw.  I bought the plans and have been working on it the last several weeks.  I think it is a worthwhile investment and will work well in my small shop.



After I bought my miter saw, I spent a few days setting it up outside and then started looking for miter-saw station ideas.  My hope is this design will best utilize the space I have available.

Since Paulk has a 15 part youtube series on building this workstation and other benches, and he sells the plans on his website I’m not showing a step-by-step build. Paulk put a lot of time designing the plans in Sketch-up and gives you a detailed material list.

PTS pre ChristmasI haven’t yet installed the supports for my table saw or the extension wings.  But for where I’m leaving it (for now) I’m pretty much done.  After the “Christmas Crunch” of getting projects, gifts, and orders completed; I’ll finish it up completely.

The horses with material support are nice but I may end up using my new modular system to support the work top.  I’m going to sleep on this a little longer.

I’m loving it.  Primarily for the improved router table.  Before I had my router on a small table and used the table stand that came with it.  I incorporated my router table plate into the work bench.  It has made a world of difference in how I use my router.

I had to modify Paulk’s plans a little to fit my Craftsman 10″ Sliding Compound  Miter Saw.  Also instead of buying a router plate I used the table that came with my Ryobi 8.5 Amp 1-1/2 Peak Horsepower Router.

I used 2x4s to support my router plate. I used straight bit to cut the relief for the depth. I got it perfect.
I used 2x4s to support my router plate. I used straight bit to cut the relief for the depth. I got it perfect.

 

router Station

The storage space directly under the table top is a nice feature for getting tools out of my way.  I’m going install a heavy duty power strip to run all the tools I leave at the station.  And so I can just plug it in if I go to a job site.

 

miter saw base
This base got me close to level, but I still had to use some 1/16th washers to get it perfect

miter saw stationThe Paulk Total Station takes up a lot of space in my shop but none of it is what I would call wasted.  And that is why it’s a welcome addition.

I’ll further modify the PTS to fit my specific needs  as time goes by.



 

Dust Collection? I Scoff at Dust Collection

It seems to be all the rage.  Every popular woodworker on YouTube makes an elaborate dust collection system for all their tools.  Festool guys brat about how great their $9000+ space-shuttle-look-a-like shop vac is.

I learned woodworking during my summers in high school doing construction and remodeling.  Table saws didn’t have riving knifes, nailers didn’t have safeties, your safety glasses were you squinting, and saw dust was what you breathed.  Good times…

Being a competition shooter I learned to protect my eyes and ears quickly.  I normally work in an open shop, not a basement so I rarely use ear plugs.  And I’ve never considered the nonsense dust collection.

You know what I do when my shop floor is dirty?  Cover it with more saw dust!

I’ll admit, I  now were ear plugs when at the band saw and router, but since my table saw set-up is outdoors I don’t feel the need.  I’ve also started to wear a dust mask (helps my allergies greatly).  Dust collection, however, seems to me to be a nuisance and just more crap to fill my small shop with.

At least I used to feel that way.

I picked up a shop vac for cheap from a friend who was moving, I never would have bought one other wise. (Well, it was far down the list.)  The Shop-vac then sat in my store room for a few months.  I would use it occasionally to clean out my band saw, but honestly I’m scared I’ll throw a breaker if I try to use it at the same time as a power-tool.  I only have one 20amp breaker going to my shop.

One day I decided to vacuum out my bandsaw good before putting in a new blade. I happened to vacuum my workbench to, as I had just drilled a bunch of pocket holes.  I then set out to cut dozens of letters from 3/16th hardboard.  I wore my dust-mask, safety glasses, and ear plugs and spent a good hour cutting away.  I have a fan blowing into my shop and a fan blowing out and figure that the dust goes to the floor or is caught in the breeze.  Nope,  When I was done I cleaned my glasses because I could barely see.  I was covered in brown powder.  My nice clean work bench was also covered in dust.  The shelves on the other side of my shop were covered in dust!

I honestly thought my shop-vac was under powered and wasn’t that impressed until the other weekend when I decided it was time to mercilessly go through my scrap pile once again.  There was sand, leafs, dirt, etc. in every corner of the shop. I decided to use my shop vac to clean it up.  Since it wasn’t performing well I decided it was time to clean the air filter.  It’s a single use filter, but I’d have to drive an hour for a filter,  and let’s be honest, there isn’t much 135psi from an air-hose wont clean.  Wow! What a difference that made. I cleaned all my tools, my floors are concrete! (I had forgotten).  The one downside is that I have the 1 inch hose not the 2 1/2 but I’m definitely going to get one when I’me in town next week and start using it.  It’s not that loud but if I use ear plugs like I should noise wont matter.

Yep, I’m converted.  Now I need a Dust Deputy, 100ft of hose, and blast gates.  I’ve seen the light, or rather the floor.

 

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