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Thread: Sawstop aftermarket dust collection - Excalibur / Exaktor / other?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Leawood, KS

    Sawstop aftermarket dust collection - Excalibur / Exaktor / other?

    I'm planning for a Sawstop purchase and am trying to figure out best route for dust collection. At $450 for the floating arm, it prompted me to look at aftermarket options.

    The Excalibur (General Industries) and Exactor look to be very similar to Sawstop's floating guard. I can't find anybody selling either of those... have they been discontinued?

    Any other options I should look at? PSI has one, but reviews are pretty iffy.

    Or am I overthinking this and should stick with the OEM overarm or floating guard?

  2. #2
    I went with the dust collection guard & used a flexible workshop vacuum hose with bicycle hooks in the ceiling vs the overarm guard.
    I also made my own mobile base with 4 swivelling casters rather than buying the Sawstop version.
    Just a Duffer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I have a Sawstop with the basic dust collection connection to the blade guard. When I bought the saw I thought that I’d upgrade to the floating arm but I find the standard setup to work well enough for my needs. I’m just a hobbyist woodworker though and am not running my saw all day.
    I do get sawdust if I’m cutting close to the edge. I changed the hose fitting connection to a wye rather than the 90 degree fitting that came with the saw after learning that tip here. It did help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I had the Excalibur back when I owned a cabinet saw and it was a very good solution at the time.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Lafayette, CA
    David...could you post a picture of the Wye fitting that you're using on your Sawstop?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I have the Sharkguard hooked up to 4" flex suspended from ceiling run duct that wye's from the drop to the saw's cabinet. It works well when the rip offcut is as wide as the bottom opening of the guard- much narrower and you still get a lot of blowby. I used a 2 1/2"(?) flex pipe initially but it didn't work that well so I stepped up to the 4". The guard has a simple quick disconnect from the riving knife and when not in use I disconnect and hang it above the saw on a bungy cord. I added a manual blast gate at the guard and can close it when using the saw without the guard. It wors well for ripping but I find I don't use it then much for other milling. I got the wider/thicker riving knife--for mounting--and I had to adjust the knife clamp on the saw to make it fit--so get the thinner knife if you choose the Sharkguard. Good luck!

  7. #7
    When I bought my Sawstop, I ordered it with the factory blade guard and dust collector. It did a good job, but I was constantly having to remove the guard for certain cuts such as tenons and rabbets because the splitter would get in the way. I finally installed the floating arm dust collector and guard originally available from Excalibur, which is now owned by Sawstop. I can now use the standard Sawstop splitter. It required a different hookup to the dust collector and I have made several modifications to improve the dust collection efficiency. The factory collector was very effective right out of the box. The floating arm was not as effective initially until I made the modifications. First of all, I relocated the mounting so that the dust pick up is closer to the front of the saw. The 4" hose is now over the center of the blade and does a better job of collecting the dust off the blade. Also, the guard has a large opening at the end closest to the operator and quite a bit of dust would shoot out the front towards the operator. I installed a leather flap that covers this opening which helped a lot in keeping the dust inside the plexiglass guard and getting sucked up the hose. I think some kind of flat brush would work even better and I will probably be adapting one to replace the leather flap.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    black river falls wisconsin
    i paid $370 for the yellow version of the sawsrop guard 10 years ago. great guard though.

  9. #9
    I have the SawStop floating arm. I had tried the shark guard first which I had mixed feelings did work very well, when it worked at all. The issue was having to remove for non-through cuts and I could never get a good, stable fit on the riving knife. It would constantly lean over to one side or the other and I'd have to adjust it or remove & re-attach very frequently. I have a large stationary dust collector, with flow of at least 1000 CFM through each of the two 4" hoses attached to the saw (one on the cabinet, one on the floating arm).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Hi Izzy,
    Here are a couple photos of my cobbled up adapter. I’ve added a couple new machines this year and have not permanently plumbed in dust collection yet. I move the flex hose as required. I have a small shop so it’s no real inconvenience and it seems to work fine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Columbus, OH
    Where I volunteer (well, BC - before Covid) we have 2 sawstops, 1 with the factory guard and dust collection, and 1 with a Excalibur guard and overarm collection. The factory dust collection leaves a lot of chips on the table when we trim edges of melamine. It also tends to clog easily in the blade guard itself when a small offcut is sucked up but can't make it thru the throat at the back of the guard. Aside from that the factory guard will pull a lot of chips up, especially with a 5hp cyclone.

    The Excalibur guard also pulls chips off the table pretty well, but its wider footprint makes it difficult to rip smaller parts. We have to pull it up out of the way to push material thru so it obviously does not pull chips at all at that point. And of course all safety aspects are lost at that point as well.

    Overall, I prefer to use the sawstop guard.

    Edit: just want to add that 99% of our work is with melamine / particle board.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 11-20-2020 at 10:14 AM.

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Completed Installation.jpgMounting bracket height.jpg

    Here's what I installed on my saw.

    One photo shows the mounting bracket just below the table so it doesn't interfere with material when the guard is removed. ( I have 3 guards for the saw).

    The guard just unlocks and lifts off complete with the boom if you want to remove it.

    Note that I cut both boom tubes as I have a small saw............Rod.

  13. #13
    I built a version of the blade cover with dust control from "Woodsmith Plans" and mounted it on the Uniguard on my Unisaw. The Uniguard is a versatile overhead guard without dust collection and adding this cover with dust control completes it. Undo 1 knob to remove the cover and part of the overarm when needed. Delta splitter mounted in the saw separate from cover and easily removed, replaced, or substituted with another of suitable height for non thru cuts.

  14. #14
    I have the SS system and use the hose from an old Fein vac that crapped out for the blade guard and the 4” flex hose on the cabinet. It has been effective for my use. I have on occasion experienced most of the problems listed above, but I give the system high marks overall. It certainly comes on/off easier than the home made contraption I had on my Unisaw. The SS fence does not ride over the back angle iron rail. I just cut down my 52” rails for the router table to attach and now that I have taken that step I intend to add some fence storage racks and a system to support the overarm hose. I haven’t decide on a beam clamp or bolt set-up but I am going to get this done soon. The vac hose is the issue and I will get it done soon.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    I also had the yellow excalibur on a unisaw a few years ago. Not perfect, but really good. The Felder 700 optional guard is extremely good, but i wish i had the newer style that folded out of the way. Ive also owned a shark guard that attached to the riving knife/splitter of a powermatic 72. Personally, the riving knife mounting guards kinda suck. They are flimsy, they weeble wobble about. They dont adjust vertically, and i always felt like i was going to break it by shoving 8/4 into it. The edge profile on the front is great for thin material to slide into and push it up. thicker material doesnt impart the same lifting action, so i would have to lift it up with my left hand to start the cut. DC was excellent with a 3" port on the shark guard. I would definitely own an excalibur again. It wasnt perfect, but it was pretty good, and very robust.

    Maybe check out Harvey's optional guard? It looks robust and a slick design. No clue on the price though.

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