Tablesaw Dust Collection Shroud
Contractor's saws cost less than the cabinet style, but they spew all of the sawdust right into your workshop. Here's a simple way to set up a line of defense. Most contractor models are enclosed on three sides, but open on the back, where the motor hangs, and underneath. We used 1⁄8 " Baltic birch plywood to make a two-piece cover for the back.
Measure the outside dimensions of the opening, then measure to find where you need to leave gaps for the belt and the motor mount. Again, use cardboard to arrive at the right shapes. Cut rectangular pieces to cover the various areas, as shown in the photo above, and then tape those pieces together until you have the final shape. Use that as a pattern to cut the actual cover from plywood.
As shown in photo below, one piece fits around the drive belt and another slides over to meet it. The kerf above the belt opening allows you to flex the thin plywood for installation. The lip glued onto the mating piece covers any gap.
Self-adhesive Velcro strips, available at most fabric stores, serve to hold the dust cover to the saw. Cut them to size, and apply them where shown.
You'll have to remove the cover to swing the saw blade to any angle other than 90°. The alternative would be to cut a pathway for the motor mount to follow, which would open up an escape route for the sawdust.
With all four sides sealed, you're ready to put a bag on the bottom. Check issue 106 to find plans for a contractor's saw base cabinet, complete with a trash bag holder. Or, you can buy a bag that snaps onto most contractor's saws, as shown below, after you've drilled the necessary holes. Order part number 140298 for $42.49, including postage, by calling Woodcraft at 800/225-1153 or log on to www.woodcraft.com.
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