Contractor Saw Dust Enclosure

Ugh. Dust, amirite?

My shopvac isn’t very high quality and a proper dust collection system is a long way off for me, but I’m sick of tasting pine with my evening meal. And I can’t leave anything in my shop without a thick coating of dust forming on it. I left my bike in the shop while I made a few cuts, it now looks as though it’s been ridden through the desert, I’m over it, I need to do something about it.

The main culprit is my table saw. The panel with the dust port doesn’t fit underneath it properly, it leaves gaps on two sides which allows dust to filter through. Then of course there’s the slightly obvious problem where I don’t have the right size connector to hook it up to my vac, so I just let the dust fall down into a bucket underneath…ok, I guess that part might be slightly my fault.

But I have a problem and some scrap mdf, so let’s build a solution!


My scrap board ‘No more dust’ solution. Works like a charm.

My plan was very simple, box up the base of the saw so dust is trapped, and provide an easy way to clear it when I need to. Something along the lines of the dust drawer Matthias Wandel has on his bandsaws.

I started cutting up 3mm MDF to fit, I have lots of this left over from an old project.

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My current dust collection solution…

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With no hose hooked up, dust falls straight down.

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Possibly the most artistic shot of MDF I’ll ever take.

First step was to cut the mdf to height, and then to cut the angles on it.

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Mark the height…

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The base and height lengths…

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And you’re left with a trapezoid that will fit in the gap nicely.

Then I cut the angles using my miter gauge and test fit it. Once it was in place, I marked the holes for the bolts. The legs on my saw already have slots through them for me to fit the bolts in.

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Mark the bolt holes

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The bolts are just the first ones I found that would fit, I put a large washer on each side of the sheet too.

Then I did the same for the other side, and the back of the saw.
I wanted my dust drawer to be accessed from the front, so that was left empty for now.

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View from the front.

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To provide support for the drawer, I sliced up a spare length of 12mm mdf into two long strips which I positioned inside the frame. I later came back and glued these strips to the side panels, as the slight gap was letting dust trickle out.

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With the supports in place, I cut a rectangle panel for the drawer bottom.
I also glued a strip of plywood offcut to fix the drawer front too. It’s screwed in from beneath.
Then I cut one last quadrangle panel to be the drawer front.

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A bit of glue and some screws right through the front keep the false front attached to the drawer.
I added a spare handle I had kicking around just to make it a little easier to open.

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And that was it. It’s not over engineered in the slightest but it performs its task very well.
Dust falls straight down from the cut and stays in the cabinet. I can let it settle, then simply pull the drawer out and vacuum it up or slide it straight into a bin.

The drawer face doesn’t sit flush against the saw because the cabinet frame leans back, but I haven’t noticed that to be a problem as yet. If it turns out that too much dust is escaping from there, I’ll probably glue a couple rare earth magnets to the drawer so it bends back and closes flush with the cabinet.

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So this little upgrade looks like it’s going to keep my shop a lot cleaner, if you have similar issues, this might be worth a try.