A dust gulper

Dust. Ugh. Sawdust is one of those things you have to deal with in a woodworking shop. One of the biggest contributors to the sawdust load is my contractor’s saw. I bought it about a decade ago, back in the days of open stand contractor’s saws with splitters. It’s been a good performer, but the dust that pours out of the bottom of the saw has always bothered me.

A Dust Cutter canvas bag

To help curb this problem, I have turned to several different types of solutions. A plastic plate that sat on top of the saw’s stand. It was a pain in the rear to get the dust collector hose to it. I went with the canvas bag type of setup, but that never held in place.

No, what I wanted was a hopper. With a dust fitting I could plug the hose into. That was sloped so the dust would migrate down to the outlet. But, how to make one?

I fished around on the Internet and saw lots of crazy complicated plans, but none of them did it for me. I broke out a sheet of graph paper and started figuring out an idea.  It wasn’t as tough as I thought it was going to be.

Taping the inside of the hopper

What I drew up was a five-part hopper. The first part was a plywood deck that had a hole cut into it. This serves as a frame for the rest of the hopper to fit onto. These pieces were complicated, but pretty simple to cut. The wall that holds the dust flange is attached to is 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide where it attaches to the top at a right angle.  This tapers down to 6 inches at the bottom. Before I cut everything out to size, I used a fly cutter on my drill press to cut a 4 inch diameter hole on this piece of the screw on dust flange.

A look into the mouth of the collector

The sloped piece that connects the deck to the flange piece took some finagling, but by using a little bit of scrap wood, I was able to determine the angles that both ends needed to be beveled at. Once I had them all cut to size, I simply glued and bradded into place.

The sides were cut out of some scrap 1/4″ plywood, and were very easy to cut by simply holding them up to sides and tracing them. More glue and brads, and they were ready.

Foil tape seals it up

The fun came in when I started using foil duct tape to make everything airtight. That stuff is sweet. If my car’s bumper gets damaged, I’ll just use this metal on a roll to make the whole thing look good again. The beauty about this stuff is that it sticks like nobody’s business, and really seals the thing up well.

I was able to hold it against the bottom of the saw’s stand, and then screw it through four conveniently placed holes at the top of the legs. I used some shop made wooden washers to bridge the width of the hole so the screw heads don’t slip through the hole.

The saw with the flange

As you can see, I have the dust flange facing the right side of the saw as you face it. This keeps it out of the way of the rip fence and miter fence storage, and out of the way of the foot pedal for the lift. It also happens to be the side that the dust collector is stationed to in my shop, so I don’t have to step over the hose.

By the time that I got this done, I was too tired to try it out. But, judging from some tests I have done, it should serve me well for a while.


6 thoughts on “A dust gulper”

  1. I made something almost exactly like this for my table saw – and went through much the same thought process.
    It worked pretty well; I found that the entire hopper filled with sawdust except for a cone-shaped hole and after that, the shopvac sucked most of it out. That pretty much stayed there forever. I made one side stick on with rare earth magnets so that I could clean it out.
    I found that a shop vac didn’t have enough airflow to really get all the dust – a lot still came out the top and back where the motor hung out in spite of my attempts to block all the openings. Still, my rig got 80% of it which was a big help. I also tried a real dust collector but it didn’t ever get all the dust.
    That was part of the issue – my contractor’s saw just had too many little cracks where air could get in and spoil the high volume flow necessary for dust extraction. I suppose you could stop them all up eventually but I was happy with my 80% (and cheap) solution.

  2. I did pretty much the same thing only, I cheated.
    I bought Rocklers “Big Gulp Tabletop Dust fitting” part no 26412 for $25.99 and taped it to the bottom of my saw and use my dust collector for collection.
    I also tried to close in the back where the drive belt drive and tilt mechanism is by cutting and fitting pieces of cardboard until I got it as closed and still operating as I could. And then using the cardboard as a pattern I cut I/4″ hardboard for a more permanent closure.
    Yes, it does still leak but, as mentioned it gets 80 or 85 percent of the dust and I have a lot less cleanup than before.
    By the way, my saw is a Jet contractors saw with right tilt.


  3. Nice job Tom !
    I bet that does the trick !

    Because I’m sure Iggy is tired of getting out the dust pan and whisk broom after your shop sessions…lol

  4. Tom, great idea and design. Would you email me dimensions and angles? I need to build one too.


  5. Nice, Tom. I have been playing with the same idea for some time now. I think I’ll spend the time getting this done now that I am between projects.

  6. Tom nice job. Long overdue on by 3650. If you could pass along some specs it would be greatly appreciated

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