Improve Dust Collection for the Table Saw?

IMG_5985We’re off the road this week, so I began to get organized around the shop. As we used our table saw I noticed that the dust collector was nearly full, and before I emptied the bag I decided to clean out the base of the saw. As the door came open, I was amazed at all the dust that had gathered in the base; you couldn’t see the dust collection port. I had work to do.

Flashback. I remember being at an event held by a large machine manufacturer and asking one of the company representatives why they didn’t make the pan at the bottom of a table saw smooth and slick so that the dust would easily fall toward the chute. It was time to experiment. With the base of the saw clean and wiped down, I grabbed a can of DynaGlide Dry Lube Spray to “slick-up” the inside of my table saw base. (We’ve used this product on our jointer and planer beds for a while and find it really helps keep the surfaces slick.) I followed direction as I applied a coating to the bottom pan and sloped sides.

Next, we cut four 6 x 6 pieces of ash to length (an upcoming 360 Woodworking project). I have to admit that when I opened the side door of the cabinet, I expected there would be little dust gathered on the pan. Oops. Was I wrong. Even with DynaGlide, a product that gets the job done on machined surfaces, dust had gathered at the front of the base, away from the dust port. I can only assume that the bottom of my Delta Unisaw has so little slope, and the factory coating is so textured that saw dust was not going to magically skate down toward the dust chute. (You can see before and after photos below.)

Next time you’re cleaning out the base of your table saw, take a minute to add slickness to your bottom pan and see if dust collection improves. If you have good results, send me a note or add a comment below.

— Glen D. Huey

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