How to Control Sawdust on a Shopsmith Lathe




Introduction: How to Control Sawdust on a Shopsmith Lathe

I have a Shopsmith and like to turn wood but I do not like the mess.  Seems like every time I would turn something I would spend lots of time cleaning saw dust off of everything behind and under the Shopsmith.  I recently got a TechShop membership and it helped spark some creativity.  With the ability to use the Shopbot at Techshop I was inspired to come up with this design.  Turns out it works great. I made it at TechShop.

2 ea 1/2 in x 24in x 32in  Birch plywood
1 ea 5' X 5' Canvas
10 ft of adhesive back Velcro
3/4 in X 5.5 in X 16 in piece of hardwood for clamps
1 ea 4in vacuum attachment

 Step 1
I measured the Shopsmith to see how to mount the sides.  I then created a CAD file and exported it to a .DXF.  This I then brought into V-Carve and created the tool paths for cutting out the sides.
Then using the Shopbot I cut out the sides.

Step 1: Step 2 Test Fit

I installed the two wings and they looked great.  I realized I would need to make a clamp to hold them in place.  So back to techshop to cut out some clamps.

Step 2: Clamps

I quickly drew these up and cut out on the shopbot.  I drilled a few holes in the ends and added some threaded nuts and bolts to clamp together.  I installed these as shown in the pictures.

Step 3: Cut Out Canvas

I then measure for the canvas and cut to size.  I sewed adhesive Velcro to the sides of the canvas and also created a cutout for the vacuum fitting.  I used rivets and some thin plastic to help keep the canvas captured. 

Step 4: Velcro Sides

I then added the opposite Velcro to the sides.  I used adhesive Velcro and reinforced with staples.

Step 5: Installing the Canvas

I then installed the canvas. 

Step 6: Testing Out

I then tested it out.  I connected it to my shop vac and did some turning.  It work like a charm.  Cleanup was quick and easy.  All I needed to do is brush the sawdust towards the vacuum fitting and I was done the cleanup.  I added some pictures to show that there was no sawdust on the floor or on the tools on my tool holder in front of the lathe.  Normally I would spend 20min to clean up after turning.  I am very happy with this addition to my tool.  

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Great idea and bulld!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Neet idea, I like lots of light on my turning so I might try that with a clear plastic instead, or mount a light inside the canvas. I have used a shaped cardboard box under my work with a vacuum hose attached that was great when sanding but not all that great when cutting.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I agree with you on the light. If you get heavy enough clear plastic it will probably work. I was thinking about adding a light. With the new sides I have something to mount them to.

    Tex Arcana
    Tex Arcana

    6 years ago

    excellent design and execution!