Breathing easier – part one

Dust collection has long been the bane of my existence in the shop from the beginning. I have a pretty good solution with my vacuum and separator, however I haven’t always had the option to hook up every tool. Some purely don’t have dust collection, and the others have ports but I may not have used them. Some tools have dust collection I just need to improve.

My dust collection system consists of a WD1450 Ridgid vac that runs through a 30-gallon trash can with a Thein baffle on top. The top has two PVC 45º connections that the stock Ridgid vac hose slip fit inside. This has been a good arrangement to this point, and that isn’t the problem with my setup. The problem is the tools, for the most part.

For the smaller tools, there really isn’t a consensus on what diameter port to use. The Festool uses one across the line, which is nice, but even in other manufacturer’s tool lines, sizes can vary. The bigger tools aren’t much better. Most of the ports are around 2.5″ or 4″, but not exactly. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, I spent a bit of time taking approximate measurements in millimeters to see what I was dealing with:

Table saw – ID 57.95, OD 63.97
TS Guard – ID 56.13, OD 63.53
Miter saw – ID 50.15, OD 60.08
Bandsaw – ID 44.75, OD 50
Planer – ID 56.50, OD 62.62
Sander – ID 58.2, OD 63.30
Jointer – ID 58, OD 62.93 (this is a Rockler 4″ to 2.5″ reducer)
TS55 REQ (should cover all Festool gear) – ID 34.55, OD 39.15
Plate joiner – ID 34.50, OD 39.80
Jigsaw – ID 34.32, OD 37.80
Multi-function tool – ID 31.08, OD 37.55
Router (17543) – ID 31.14, OD 38.10
Router (28084) – ID 31.14, OD 36.17

The table saw, planer, sander and jointer all can get away with using some form of 2.5″ connection. The table saw does have a bit a clearance issue with the body of the saw, so a rubber connector or interior connection is preferred. I haven’t had too much of an issue with the planer, sander or jointer thanks to the Ridgid hose. I have to use a rubber connection on most, but it works. The bandsaw needs a 2.5″->1.25″ reducer, and the entire bottom door doesn’t line up right, so very little dust gets controlled. One of the downfalls of a HF product. The miter saw is a complete odd duck, not really working well with anything. Only a rubber connector gets the job done, albeit not very well.

For the small stuff, it’s grouped together a bit, but nothing really is exactly the same. I bought a Bosch hose for the TS55 and for that it is absolutely perfect. Turns out for the plate joiner the story is the same, but for the jigsaw it is a very tight fit – I am worried about the rubber seal. I may try filing down the inside of the tool port. I bought an additional adapter and it turns out that it fits the MFT and the two routers very well. The onyl real problem I have with the small tools now is that the end of the Bosch hose is a loose fit in the separator. I need some sort of shim to fix that. I will have to see how well the smaller hose fits the bandsaw and the Kreg jig.

The table saw…well it needs work. I have an overarm dust collection setup with the guard and 2.5″ tube. There is a few problems with it. For one, the 2.5″ tube doesn’t generate enough suction with my vac. I need something smaller in diameter to hopefully generate more velocity. The 2.5″ tube is also very obtrusive, I’m hoping the smaller tube will lighten the space a bit. I don’t know of any smaller diameter dust ducting though, so I will most likely have to go with PVC, which makes it a bit difficult to marry the two.

I am going to attempt to find a solution to the table saw issue, and better fitting solutions for some of the problems I’ve listed. In part two I’ll share my results down the road.

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