Introduction: Table Saw Dust Collector

If you are lucky, then you have your own woodworking shop to fuss around in. If not, then you have your garage that your car is normally parked in. And it's attached to your house. And you drag in all sorts of wood chips and dust on your feet. My table saw makes the most mess by far so I attempted to tame the beast.

Also you can check out my instructable on how the wheel base is made.

Step 1: What You Need

  1. Plenty of scrap wood you want to use up
  2. A drill
  3. Wood screws
  4. Your table saw or some other thing to cut with
  5. Measuring devices/straight edges
  6. A vacuum or dust collector

Step 2: Measure, Drill, Mount

Find out how long your scrap wood needs cut. I used 17.5 inches of some 3/4" thick poplar. About 1.5" tall. To make it easy on myself I removed the table saw from the legs.

On my particular saw I mounted the wood about a half and inch from where the inner lip of the stand was.

Step 3: Cutting Scraps to Find Lengths and Angles

I used 1/4" plywood for the temporary sides because I have a lot leftover. The temporary base is 3/4" poplar.

I screwed the 1/4" plywood into the wood mounted on the frame with one screw and then screwed a piece on the other side and figured out how far down I wanted the base to be. Once I came up with what looked right I guessed at the angle the base sides should be cut at. 20 degrees on the base worked fine for me. Feel free to use an angle finder. I then measured the length of the angled sides up to the wood mounted to the frame and guessed that my base should be 17.5" just like the wood on the metal frame.

Step 4: Putting It Together

With your pieces cut you can screw them, glue them, staple, or nail them together. I screwed the base on and then test fitted the piece on the metal legs by attaching each side with one screw.

Step 5: Sides

I removed the piece from the frame and marked the end sides on a piece of 1/4". I cut this out on the miter saw and then attached some scrap 3/4" wood to the main piece so the sides could attach.

Step 6: Any Old Port

Trace your vacuum or dust collector port attachment on the wood and cut it out with a hole saw or forstner bit or jigsaw. Since 1/4" isn't thick enough to hold solidly, add 1/2" or 3/4" inches more of whatever kind of wood you have and attach it with screws and glue. Transfer the hole on the side piece through it.

I didn't have a bit the exact size as my vacuum end so I had to enlarge the hole slightly with a wood file and dremel until I got a snug fit.

Step 7: Attach Main Piece, Then Sides

I screwed the main piece to the wood mounted on the metal frame with three screws on each side. I then screwed the end sides on with only two screws on each. If you're worried about it being air tight I would suggest coating the end side pieces with a little silicone caulk to make a gasket. The rest can be caulked as you like.

I wanted to be able to get it off easily so I didn't bother with caulk. If I remove eight wood screws (four from the end side pieces and four from the wood mounted to the frame I can take the whole thing off so I can access the saw parts for maintenance and cleaning.

Step 8: Finished Product

So there you have it. It looks pretty nice. It's mostly 1/4" plywood so it didn't add much weight to the saw. I could choose to paint it black, but why would I? It'll just show dust and it would blend in so much that people wouldn't ask me, "What the hell is that thing under your table saw?"

ShopVacs are okay, but they aren't great for dust collection in my experience. I don't find them to be strong enough to do an outstanding job, they're just serviceable and better than nothing. I plan on getting a small, high power dust collector to really make this thing hum and suck all my dust. At that point I'll probably enlarge the port to accommodate a 4" output.

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