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Practical dust collection system?

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  • Practical dust collection system?

    I'm a new scroll sawyer....started about 10 days ago. I set up a place in my basement (unfinished basement, just clean, painted floor and walls) to work in. After practicing a little bit, and cutting some beginner type projects it's time to get serious about this hobby. we have to sand, and that makes a lot of dust. What do you folks do to prevent excess dust? I suppose a small dust collection system is in order..any suggesestions? Are the downdraft tabletop work surfaces woth the price? Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Hmmmmmmmmm, practical and cheap - - - - a good box fan in a window did the trick for me when I was a beginner. Exhaust the dust out the window.
    aka Pop's Shop
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain!.


    • #3
      I also do my scrolling and routing and planing and sanding and drilling in my basement. I just let the sawdust fly and take the shop vac to it when the Mrs. starts whining.

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


      • #4
        Which saw did you choose, Shawn? Perhaps someone with a similar machine might be able to tell you how they address the problem.

        There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
        (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


        • #5
          I have a dewalt 1800. I'm happy with it so far.


          • #6
            Welcome Shawn!!!

            I've been kicking around the idea of building my own downdraft table. They're supposedly great for flat sanding. Essentially, it's just a sealed wooden box of whatever dimensions you desire with a pegboard top and a fitting to attach to your shopvac. The key is to include an interior baffle to ensure even air flow through all areas of the pegboard. The baffle is a false bottom that slants toward the vacuum fitting.
            Here are some sites that describe some inexpensive DIY downdraft sanding stations:


            That last site has some neat ideas for hooking up the shopvac to other shop tools lacking built-in dust control features.

            The downdraft table won't work too well for tools that spew a stream of dust like my dremel. I built a little attachment that bolts to my workbench and clamps to my shopvac floor sweeper attachment. It does a fantastic job of sucking in dust generated when I powercarve or round off intarsia edges. I'll post a pic this weekend. It's covered with hardware cloth so I don't accidently suck in small workpieces.
            Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered



            • #7
              Tape some cheap filters over all the vents in the basement, intake and exhaust vents, to help keep dust out of the furnace, which in turn reduces dust throughout the house. That's a great place to begin.
              Jeff Powell


              • #8
                Don't forget the health issue associated with sawdust. It can really do a number on your lungs. I try to wear a dust mask when sawing but that usually ends up fogging up my glasses and I chuck the mask.

                Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
                Scrollin' since Jun/2006

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                • #9
                  Don't go cheap with your dust collection solution. I have several friends in our wood club with mild to very serious health conditons from breathing dust. A good mask should be the first thing you get.



                  • #10
                    Here are some pics of my DIY shopvac benchtop adapter. It's made of 1/2 inch scrap pine with a craft foam gasket and hardware cloth grille. The shop vac floor nozzle is clamped to it and the whole contraption is bolted to the bench.
                    Attached Files
                    Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered



                    • #11
                      ah-ha! sawdust or dust?

                      I just recieved an email from a very helpful gentleman, and he explained the difference and I thought I would pass it on to you'all. The first thing he wanted to know was what I was attempting to do. I told him that I was trying to keep the airborn dust from getting in the furnace (remember, I working in my basement), and from drifting upstairs. His conclusion is that what I really need is an air filter ( has a nice selection of them). This would keep the fine, floating particles from landing and drifting everywhere. I guess that makes sense to me. Does anybody use one of these air filters? How does it work? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!! Go Bears!!


                      • #12
                        Unless you are into heavy woodworking (cutting a lot of 3/4" MDF with a circular saw) then the cheapest, most effective thing you can do for scrolling is a simple box fan with a pleated filter, duct taped to the back. Both the fan and filter are typically 20x20". Place the filter side as close to your work as possible. I think that you'll be surprised at how much and how quickly the airbourne sawdust collects on the filter. Knock it off or vacuum it off periodically.

                        If you have a shop-vac and can stand the steady screaming then you might want to outfit it with a 1 micron cartridge filter and paper bags. And to save having to replace those items too often, add a 5 gallon bucket topped with a cyclone top to catch most visible sawdust before it reaches the shop-vac.

                        Beyond that, you are into more money than you paid for your saw for top-of-the-line dust collection.


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