A Homemade Sawdust-Control System for the Home Woodshop

Bill Greene shares a low-cost homemade sawdust-control system and saw table you can build for your home woodshop.


| October/November 2000



Saw table and dust hose cutting list.

Saw table and dust hose cutting list.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Learn how to build this low-cost homemade sawdust-control system and saw table. 

If you've ever been inside a state-of-the-art woodworking shop, you've probably noticed an unusual lack of airborne sawdust. That's because the large shops spend thousands of dollars on elaborate ventilation systems that remove sawdust from the indoor environment. With clean air filtered in and fine dust particles filtered out, these systems allow workers to breathe easier knowing that there's one less on-the-job health risk. For those of us who work at home or in the garage, it just hasn't been practical to install our own ventilation system . . . until now. 

While it may not be economically feasible to install a sawdust-control system for the entire garage, we can assemble a self-contained homemade sawdust-control system for one of the greatest contributors of sawdust in the shop: the table saw. And while prices will vary at lumberyards around the country, $60 should be enough for the wood, hardware, glue and paint needed for this project, give or take a few bucks. Throw in a five-gallon, 1.5-horsepower Shop Vac® for around $40, and a dust-free garage is easily worth the price.

Our table saw is located in an end-of-the-garage workshop where space is very limited (it's no more than 5 feet by 12 feet). After acquiring a basic no-frills table saw, I decided I needed a saw table that would meet several requirements. First, it had to be comfortable for my 6 foot 4 inch height. I also wanted it to be easy to move and fairly easy to dismantle for convenient storage. Most importantly, however, the table had to have a built-in sawdust evacuation system because the people in my household are allergic to sawdust. In the end I was unable to find a commercially made saw table that met all of these requirements, so I decided to build my own.

The Table Top and Base

The saw table is 34 1/2 inches tall. It has outslanting legs with skids connecting each pair on their lower ends. The table surface measures 25 inches by 30 inches with an 11 inch-square drop hole cut in its center. The sawdust evacuation system consists of a boxlike sawdust collector attached to the underside of the table directly under the drop hole, with its outlet spout connected to a 2-horsepower shop vacuum cleaner that draws the sawdust out of it.

Both the saw table and sawdust collector are constructed mostly of wood, and the whole structure is mounted on skids to make it movable yet still stable. The legs, braces, sawdust collector and saw are also detachable for easy storage.

After you cut the 25 inches by 30 inches saw table top from a 1 inch-thick sheet of marine grade plywood, round its corners and cut an 11 inch-square drop hole in its center, you'll want to build a base for it. This base acts as additional support and provides sturdy mountings for the legs.

larry bouget_2
12/24/2009 11:21:02 AM

Great idea for a dust collector. I am just wondering if any readers would have any good ideas on how to best set up a woodworking shop. I am getting ready to build a 30' X 40' work shop. I want to get it right the first time.






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