Introduction: Build a Dust Extraction Cabin for the Miter Saw

As all woodworkers have problems with miter saw dust extraction I thought of something useful to have the dust collected without spreading it 2 squaremeters around the miter saw. So I got thinking and planning and came to the conclusion how it could work. Since I recently finished my dust extraction cyclone with fine dust cartridges (finally, yeah!) this was the next logical step.

You need:

  • Wood or MDF or whatever you find suitable for the cabinet and are comfortable with. I used some spruce boards 800x400 mm and 1200x400 mm (16mm thick) I had left from a previous project and an old beech kitchen tabletop I cut to size (800x400 mm).

    They are cut into the following parts:
    2x 550 x 766 mm (Sides of cabinet)
    2x 305 x 771 mm (Sides of cabin top)
    1x 768 x 780 mm (Back cover)
    1x bamboo mat (I found it) or some other flexible or thin material you can bend to shape 800 x ? mm into a radius of approx. 305 mm
    3x 768 x 80 mm (reinforcements for the cabinet top and bottom)
    2x 150 x 284 mm (top of dust chute on both sides)
    2x 150 x 305 cut 21,5 degrees to both short sides (rhomboid) (funnel/cone of the dust chute inlet)
    1x 150 x 768 mm (bottom of dust chute)
  • A piece of round stock approx 50mm in diameter cut in 2 halves, each 150 mm long
  • Screws. I love Spax with TX20 bits. But for this I used everything I had laying around, even some Philips screws (I hate them really much).
  • Glue if you like it to be sturdier and can not ever be changed later on ever :)
  • A miter saw or a guardrail circular saw or whatever you use to cut your wood, even a Jig Saw will work, but the finished cabinet may not look so pretty or will need a lot of sanding (or you are the king of jig saws or Tim Allen, then it´s ok).
  • Some drill bits
  • Sanding material or orbital sander or something with 120grit sandpaper
  • Varnish if you like to protect the wood and make it a little less sticky
  • Some ducting to connect the thing to your dust collector
  • A dust collector (if you don´t have it, it´s time to build one).

Hope I didn´t forget anything.

Btw: the Sketchup model for the miter saw in my cabinet model was made from Mark F. I got it from the 3D-Warehouse. Look for "Bosch CM10DG 10" Axial Glide Saw". Even if it is not my model it was perfect and I did not need to build it myself. Thanks Mark F.

Step 1: Cut the Parts

First cut/prepare all wooden parts on both table saw or miter saw (or what you have). I had some 50mm wood bars laying around so I used them for the rounded inlet port, but you could also use anything you have and cut and sand it with any other method you are used to. I cut it in half with the bandsaw but since I did it freehand it was not that precise. No problem, you can fill in wood putty later and I assume it is not 100% necessary to have it perfect.

Two parts needed to be cut with an angle on both sides. I took the angle with this tool and transfered it to the blade of the miter saw to fit it nicely.

Step 2: Layout the Duct Port

I thought of how the port would need to look like and planned to lay it out symmetrically. So I could easily switch the side on which the dust port would leave the cabinet later. Who knows when but maybe I decide to re-arrange my shop and exactly then need it the other way.

I guess it makes no difference anyhow because the port is closed to one side at any time.

So I layed out the port, drew the lines and spacings so that the dust port would be 15 cm x 15 cm and over the whole length of the cabinet.

I´m drilling the hole for the metal ducting later after a pre-fitting of the cabinet.

To glue the roundover parts I used tape to hold it in place while the glue set. Also I put in some screws from behind to strengthen the joints further more.

Step 3: Building the Base Cabinet

The base cabinet is pretty straight forward and can be built any way you want.

I lost my kreg pockethole jig allen wrench (must be an imperial not metric one, so again, damn, no good looking joints on the outside. Crap.

That´s why I used simple butt joints with screws and glue (no go back now), put it together and pre-fit the tabletop and back of the dust port to see if it would fit.

It did. For the first time something went right!

Step 4: Dry Fit

Here you can see how the dust port sits below the table and in the back of the saw cabinet. I checked the back of the saw to see if everything still fits (just to make sure) and it did.

To be honest I planned it in sketchup and was sure it would.

Step 5: Drill Some Metric Thread Holes

Because I had nothing better to do and wanted to use epoxy or something else to glue in some threads into the table top I made a thread cutter out of an old M8 threaded rod. With a dremel tool I cut two slots perpendicular to the thread so that the sharp edge (cutting edge) was in rotation direction. I pre-drilled the holes into the wood with a 6 mm drill bit and finished the thread with the threaded rod clamped into my cordless screwdriver on a slow rotation. With gentle but firm pushing the thread cut itself. Don´t know if this works in metal too, but it worked for me.

Plus, I did not find my good metal cutting bit, too.

I know, should clean up the shop soon. Will do. Maybe with an instructable: how to clean up your shop.

Step 6: Dust Collector Port Hood Something

I thought it would be nice to have some kind of hood and since I found a sheet of bamboo-mat on the bulky waste bin of a house I drove by which accidentially and luckily fit perfect for my purpose I build it so that it could be used. Does not make any difference if you build it square or sturdier than mine - at the top of the hood there will not be any major (nor minor) dust collection at all. My design relies on gravity and brute force :)

Plus, there is almost no saw dust on top of the saw (or this I hope after this thing runs for the first time).

I needed to cut out the sides a little bit for the table top and screwed it to the sides of the back panel. Before I put on the bamboo-mat I put in the saw (again) to check where the cutout needed to be made so that I could tilt the saw to the max position at approx. 50 degrees in both directions.

I came up with two openings wide enough so everything worked smoothly after three or four attempts.

After that I sanded everything smooth and did some round over sanding with a palm sander (freehand). Yes, I did not find my round over bits, too.

Step 7: Cut Out Metal Ducting Outlet Port

Always good if you have a V8 driven miter saw you need a really big exhaust port, but even if not somewhere you need to let the wood chips go. Let them go. They are adults now. No tears from me.

Put in a hole into one side wherever your dust collector will suck the dust in and connect any port to it you see fit to do the job.

I used a 90 degree bent 150mm diameter pipe I bought readymade. Would look pretty bad I I tried to build this myself, too. Really. Trust me, I´m not an engineer.

This was accidentially really tight but I will seal it with silicone or something I have left in the shop. You can´t seal anything up good enough.

At last I fitted the ducting and connected everything to the dust collector.

Step 8: Put Everything Together and Seal It With a Coat or Three of Varnish

After I made sure everything fits as good as I could live with (not perfectly) I glued it together. Also I put a lid onto the dust port below the table top so that the only openings left were the square dust port behind the miter saw and the duct outlet on the side. So I can connect the other ductworks and may succeed at last. The varnish was some wood sealer I had left from a project some years ago and thought it would go bad sometime so it needed to go. You even may not need any varnish at all, but I thought it would be better to make the surrounding areas as smooth as possible to prevent dust from sticking to it much.

Also it looks better on the places I did it right.

Step 9: Top of the Hood and Finishing Touches

At last I nailed on the bamboo mat, cut off the recess with a Fein multimaster and did some sanding to have the edges smooth. Yes, I didn´t find my flush-trim-router bit, too.

Damn, seems to be a pattern with me.

But you only need enough tools so you can replace them with other tools if you don´t find the tools you initially bought them for the exact purpose. Don´t know what I mean with that either. Maybe have a good nights sleep and come back later.


Step 10: First, Second and Third Run

I wanted to upload the videos but I guess it´s not possible to do this without uploading it to youtube or wherever.

So until I do this I can only explain what´s happening.

The problem is that the saw throws dust all around the sides of the dust cabin, not only into the back.

That´s what I can´t prevent. But my saw blade is a little coarse for now (24 teeth), I assume it may be better with a fine blade (96T) that will not create big chips.

But most of the dust flying around behind the saw will get sucked in and I´m happy. If only my Cyclone wasn´t this loud *G*.

On the second and third try I used the shop vaccum in addition connected to the small hood that is included on the saw and it seemed to be a little bit better because the saw dust that gets thrown up does get sucked up into the shop vacuum directly without deflecting on metal parts of the saw.

In the long term I will think of a solution to connect this to the 150mm duct to get an even suction.

I definitely would build it again, because it works as good as I expected and helps keep my shop space a lot cleaner.

Hope you enjoyed this build and keep asking if there´s anything I did not write properly. I´m not a native english speaker.