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Thread: Tablesaw dust collection hood

  1. #1
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    Tablesaw dust collection hood

    Well, after a weekend working with black walnut I have GOT to improve my tablesaw dust collection. Which means time to put the blade guard/collection hood at the top of the project list.

    The support arm will be home made. The guard/hood can be either home made or purchased, but since I want to get back to woodworking I would prefer purchasing. The hose will be 4" at the hood, then going to 6" with one 90 degree turn before going into the Clearvue 5hp. In parallel with the 4" line will be another 4" line going to underneath the blade (a MM CU300 Smart combo). I have the underneath ports hooked up now and they are woefully inadequate, dust flys off the top of the blade like crazy.

    So what does everyone like or not like about their blade guard/collection hood?

    I see a lot of different designs out there, some have wheels on the front. Some are big and wide, some are smaller. How much of a nuisance is it to line up a close cut with the blade edge? Or measure for a fence stop to the blade? Any good ones that make it easy to swing it out of the way at times?

  2. #2
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    Carl, you probably should up your drop to the cabinet to a 5" since it's most likely a 120mm port on there, although things funnel down at the blade guard out of physical necessity.

    For an overhead/overarm collection setup, you will want both up/down adjustment and side-to-side adjustment so you can insure no interference with the fence if you happen to have it in the raised position for narrow rips using the fence. (I do most ripping with the fence in the low mode which give greater clearance for the push stick/shoe, etc. The same lateral adjustment will be helpful when ripping with a Frits/Franz jig or other parallel ripping method.

    Obviously, you want a collection hood made of clear material. If you are building your own, use Lexan, not Plexiglas. The former doesn't shatter; the latter does. You can weld it together using MEK. (Take great care with personal protection when using this solvent) I do not personally feel there is any need for any kind of rollers, etc...in fact, the hood shouldn't come in contact with the material.

    I currently only have the riving knife mounted hood for my S315WS and as a result, it almost never gets used. One of these day's I'll rectify that...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    The standard seems to be Shark Guard. They go up to a 4" hose connection, although I have a 3" which seems much less unweildly. http://www.thesharkguard.com/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    NOW you tell me...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    The standard seems to be Shark Guard. They go up to a 4" hose connection, although I have a 3" which seems much less unweildly. http://www.thesharkguard.com/
    Ole, I'm interested in your insert. Did you drill the holes it it, and how well does that contribute to dust collection when just shaving the edge off a board?

    I have the SawStop guard with a 2.5" flex connecting it to an overhead duct. The hose is never in the way & there is plenty of airflow to collect the dust. The exception being when removing less than a blade width from a board. Then dust squirts out the left side. Hence my question to Ole.

  5. #5
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    I have a bit of experience with a couple different overarm guards ranging from an Excalibur on a unisaw for years, the Felder optional guard, and a shark guard on my PM72. Of the three, my favorite is the Felder. No surprises there, i think that option on the 700 series is/was like $1000+. Its very well built, adjusts in elevation precisely and smoothly, and it slides out of the way when needed. The collection is good with a 100mm connection(i use a 4" flex hose to it). As far as Excalibur versus Sharkguard, the sharkguard with 4" port is very good at picking up dust. The guard itself isnt comparable to Felder or Excalibur in its construction. It is a little flimsy, and i find myself gingerly lifting up the front end when ripping thicker stock. I just feel like im going to break the guard. But, for an older saw retrofit, its very nice o have a smaller splitter with a compact guard and DC. For the price, the shark guard is a nice unit. Finally, the exclaibur is a lesser version of the felder, but its still nice. lifts up nicely for thicker material, and slides out of the way when not needed. The DC on my unit was 4' at the tube end down to maybe 2.5" at the blade? It wasnt stellar. I have a 3hp cyclone, and there is a very large diference between the old Excalibur and the shark guard, and it all comes down to the size of the port.

    If you have the money and want to keep your saw for life, maybe see if you can mod the Felder overarm guard to the minimax? Does SCMI make a overarm guard?

  6. #6
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    A 4" port above the table is an excellent idea. I had a 5" port for my Unisaw cabinet and kept it at 5". The two ports together worked great. I built two different "Shark" style polycarbonate guards from an online template that Lee Styron offered many years ago. They worked extremely well. One was hinged from the splitter and the other one was attached to an overhead parallelogram type lift. I used both depending on what I was working on.

    IMGP5917.jpg
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 09-19-2019 at 10:49 AM.
    Dick Mahany.

  7. #7
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    Fantastic guidance, thanks to all.

    I see in the pic that Dick posted the riving knife mounted guard is quite a bit more narrow than the parallelogram style.

    I guess the idea is to just create a space over the blade to get some airflow through, and all the dust gets sucked into that airstream. So as long as the velocity stays up there is no downside to a larger guard?

    My first thinking was that a larger guard would get in the way more, but from what I am hearing it should never touch the workpiece so just floats above everything. Wider would mean less dust escapes?

    At this stage this is a 'go do', do not overthink, and upgrade it later if it is no good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Carl, you probably should up your drop to the cabinet to a 5" since it's most likely a 120mm port on there, although things funnel down at the blade guard out of physical necessity.
    Yes. And internal to the saw there is flex hose that squeezes down before reaching the lower shroud below the blade. So some restriction there as well.

    I will try some airflow improvements.

    Also not the saw has a riving knife mounted guard that came with it. It is quite narrow, and 2.5" port - did not do a very good job of it to be honest, so needing something more.

    I see that sharkguard mounts to the riving knife. On their website they show an example hooked to a 4" hose, which seems attractive. But I have the riving knife off the saw fairly regularly... was leaning towards the overhead mount. Has anyone mounted it via overhead?
    Last edited by Carl Beckett; 09-19-2019 at 4:48 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    Fantastic guidance, thanks to all.

    I see in the pic that Dick posted the riving knife mounted guard is quite a bit more narrow than the parallelogram style.

    I guess the idea is to just create a space over the blade to get some airflow through, and all the dust gets sucked into that airstream. So as long as the velocity stays up there is no downside to a larger guard?

    My first thinking was that a larger guard would get in the way more, but from what I am hearing it should never touch the workpiece so just floats above everything. Wider would mean less dust escapes?

    At this stage this is a 'go do', do not overthink, and upgrade it later if it is no good.
    Since the wider one is suspended from above it needs to accommodate all tilt angles of the blade, whereas the splitter mounted version will tilt with the blade. They worked equally well in my experience. The wide one has the advantage that it doesn't require removal for non-through dado cuts. It was a little more difficult to set up as my saw was on a mobile base and the guard mount was suspended overhead. The splitter mounted guard could travel along with the saw no matter where in the shop I moved the saw.
    Dick Mahany.

  10. #10
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    I bought an Exaktor, and have no complaints with it. One of the reasons I bought it was because of the 4" duct size. I think it's been in use for about ten years, and we've had no problems with it. It swings completely out of the way easily.
    http://www.exaktortools.com/exoa.htm
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  11. #11
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    I have a Sharkguard on my Unisaw. mine has the 3'' dust port,if i was doing it again I would go with 2.5''. Usually I have to keep the blast gate half closed or it sucks up small off cuts. No dust escapes on internal cuts,however skimming cuts on edges some comes out. I also own a Felder K700 with the overarm guard,mine has a 3'' connection and works well but not excellent. the adjustability of the guard is excellent,but the dust capture is merely good not great.

  12. #12
    I got the first 4" shark guard Lee built. My Hammer saw comes with a 2", and the truth is I can not tell the difference in the way they work. The Hammer sucks up thin strips, and the Shark will suck up blocks off the table saw. My DC is a 3hp.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Ole, I'm interested in your insert. Did you drill the holes it it, and how well does that contribute to dust collection when just shaving the edge off a board?

    I have the SawStop guard with a 2.5" flex connecting it to an overhead duct. The hose is never in the way & there is plenty of airflow to collect the dust. The exception being when removing less than a blade width from a board. Then dust squirts out the left side. Hence my question to Ole.
    Frank, not sure it makes much difference as the stuff flies off the blade so fast, it doesn't have time to make a right turn.
    NOW you tell me...

  14. #14
    I like my Shark Guard.

    oJYEsaP.jpg

    That's a 4" line coming off it but I also run a second 4" line from the bottom of the saw –otherwise it starts filling up down below.

    You can't cut thin stuff with the Shark but it takes under a minute to pull it and substitute the factory riving knife.

    T

  15. #15
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    Last edited by Mark Daily; 09-20-2019 at 1:35 PM.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
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