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  • DIY Router Dust Collection

    With the weather being what it is right now (a freezing mess), and what it will continue to be for the next several months, if I want to continue to work, I need to manage the sawdust. My last house was a rental, so I really didn't care that I trashed the place :p, but this house I OWN, and I want to keep the garage relatively dust-free.

    As most woodworkers know, routers throw around a TON of sawdust, especially with MDF. I own the Hitachi (the green one that looks like an Alien), and I love it because it's very smooth, powerful, and quiet. But I don't think there are any aftermarket dust collection solutions for it.

    This guy somehow made a plexi dust collector for it. I don't know how to work with plexiglass, so I don't know how he did it. But it looks like it would work VERY well. Any ideas on how to accomplish it, or something similar?
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=42715
    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Twitter: @undefinition1

  • #2
    Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

    you might consider making a downdraft workbench. lots of holes with a sealed bottom and sides a good fan like one from a home furnace and some furnace filters.
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    • #3
      Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

      I am not a member of the forum you linked, so I can't see the pictures.

      However plexi is easy to work with. Keep speeds and feeds down, and possibly use mineral spirits as a lube for holes, and it works beautifully. I built this darkroom print washer in the early '80s from plexi and still use it today.



      There are two types of glue for plexi - thin wicking stuff that you apply to a tight joint with a needle-tipped applicator (pretty slick!) and a tube of thicker glue much like model airplane glue.

      To get accurate joints for the thin glue, I taped sandpaper to a workbench and slid the edges across to ensure flatness. It sands very nicely.

      p.s. I tried a forstner bit recently with plexi, and it cut miserably. Twist drills work much better for clean edges.

      p.p.s. Here's a circuit board for a speaker project mounted to a piece of plexi...



      I'd say go for it!
      Bill Schneider
      -+-+-+-+-
      www.afterness.com/audio

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      • #4
        Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

        Paul,
        My Craftsman router came with a plexy/plastic cover stock. I then improved (significantly) the collection efficiency with a simple piece of tape as shown below:


        Change bits - simply change the tape. Best $0.005 dust collection tool available...

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        • #5
          Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

          Paul, make sure you wear a mask when cutting / routering MDF.
          No matter where you go, there you are.
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          • #6
            Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

            Mr. Schneider, you sure do good work.

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            • #7
              Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

              Here are his photos.
              Attached Files
              Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

              Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
              Twitter: @undefinition1

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              • #8
                Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                Dang, that looks pretty good Paul! Have you tested it yet?
                Co-conspirator in the development of the "CR Gnarly Fidelity Reduction Unit" - Registered Trademark, Patent Pending.

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                • #9
                  Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                  Even the best of collection systems can only catch 50-75% of dust. Just get that much at the source and catch the rest with air filters. A really cheap and effective system is to get 2-3 box fans from HD-Lowes. Tape furnace filters in front and you will be amazed how much good they do.

                  I built a very good system 15 yr back with a 6" trunk down the center of the shop and 4" latterals droping down at each station. One goes to my router table and collects a lot of the dust; about all it can. But the fine dust still gets everywhere with MDF. The air filters get the rest over time.

                  Put your router table on wheels and roll it outside for cuts. Shut the door and wear a mask. Make the cuts and get back in. Low tech but still the best.

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                  • #10
                    Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                    Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                    Here are his photos.
                    Hmmm, I wonder if he heat-formed sheet plexi into the round shape, or if that began as a safety shield that is available for that (or another) router?

                    My Bosch has an OEM clear plastic safety shield, but it's held lightly with plastic clips. It would certainly detach with that sort of modification.
                    Bill Schneider
                    -+-+-+-+-
                    www.afterness.com/audio

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                    • #11
                      Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                      Paul;
                      It looks like he used an epoxy product to seal the port. I have shaped plexiglass or acrylic products using a heat gun. Places like Tap Plastics have the special drill bits to drill holes without shattering the edges. I'll bet it's acrylic or poly.
                      I use a Bosch table that I modified and mounted as the left table extension on my SawStop table saw. The Bosch table has a hood for dust extraction. I still get some leakage below the table, I put a leather shield down there to control some of it. I'm planning on boxing in the area below the table to help out. I can split my dust collection between both places then. Nothing is 100% even with an 1100 CFM dust extractor. If you like I can take a picture of my setup. The Bosch table was less than $200.
                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                        Just another thought...

                        Start with a piece of PVC pipe about the diameter of the router body, slit it, and trim away pieces that foul the router's features. Use plumbing solvents to attach a smaller PVC stub pipe. Like the example you showed above, you probably want to drill and tap a couple of mounting holes into the router to hold it securely. My vac hoses put a good deal of force against tools as I move then around.

                        On the user side of the router, you'll have to use some sort of clear material so you can see what you're doing. Does your router already have a safety shield of some sort?
                        Bill Schneider
                        -+-+-+-+-
                        www.afterness.com/audio

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                        • #13
                          Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                          Originally posted by endless View Post
                          Paul;
                          It looks like he used an epoxy product to seal the port. I have shaped plexiglass or acrylic products using a heat gun.
                          Ah... I was not aware that plexiglass could be shaped so easily. VERRRY interesting!

                          If you like I can take a picture of my setup. The Bosch table was less than $200.
                          Yes, I'd like to see.


                          Downdraft tables
                          I'm really fascinated by the idea of a downdraft table. I know very little about them, but it seems like a very smart solution (and doubles as an air cleaner). In addition, my father-in-law owns an HVAC company, so he certainly can get me a blower with no problem. The biggest challenge I see with a downdraft table would be getting the proper amount of "suction" from the table (and knowing how to make the right # of holes, and the right space beneath the table top). Also, I thought I read somewhere that sucking the air from below the router can cause the motor to burn out. Not sure how true that actually is.
                          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                          Twitter: @undefinition1

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                          • #14
                            Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                            Lexan will work better than plexiglass as it wont crack or shatter. It bends well with a heat gun. Check with local glass suppliers to see if they wont sell scaps cheap as sheets are very expensive. My supplier lets me dumpster dive for scaps and it costs nothing.
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                            • #15
                              Re: DIY Router Dust Collection

                              In My garage I tack a drop cloth from wall to wall ceilling to floor in the end of my garage by the door,and use a box fan blowing out the door with a furnace filter on the intake side. The drop cloth doesnt prevent all the dust from getting into the rest of the garage but it helps a ton. I always wear a mask also:D. Someday I am gonna build a portable paint booth with plastic walls 2x4 framed, that i can take down an put up in the garage, so i dont get specks in my finishes. Just my $0.02

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