Large amount of dust expelled and not sucked in - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Default Large amount of dust expelled and not sucked in

Hello,

I'm new to woodworking. Just setting up my shop and learning the basics. While I've been drooling over some of the posted table setups, I'm not yet ready to build a table, as my shop's not ready for it and I want to use what I have for the most part.

So I have a typical table with a porter cable mounted in a jessem lift. Today I built an MDF enclosure under the table for the router as a dust box. I installed a 4" port and hooked it up to my dust collector. I also hooked up a 2.5" line to the fence. I drilled six 1.5" ports in the box for intake flow.

I made a sled and started practicing cutting panels from MDF with a shaker bit.

A good deal of dust ... ok, A LOT of dust is streaming down the feed side of fence. If I hold my hand near the bit, I can feel it blowing out with quite a bit of force.

This is just not acceptable, so I hope to find a solution.

Among my thoughts and ideas:

- The fence is crappy. Because I'm using the sled, I have to raise the bit high and the fence design won't let me get it close enough w/o hitting the dust box on the fence.

- Could the router's exhaust be the culprit? I have a book with a plan for a table that uses metal flashing to divert the exaust downward. I haven't tried it.

I'd appreciate any ideas you might have.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:18 PM
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Welcome Todd.
MDF will make a big mess no matter what you do. Try not using the sled. Instead use a push/backer block. Use the fence for guidance. Cut yourself a block that is large enough to keep your narrow parts stable. I do not use a backing block when routing panels & long grain cuts only for the cope cuts. The cut for these parts are going to be long grain (in wood)so tear-out is not a problem. You do need it for the rails on the coping cut because it is a crossed grained cut so you need the backer for stability & help reduce tear-out.

When making parts for raised panel doors you should cope the ends of the rails first. Then change bit to route the profile on all your parts. Doing it this way will eliminate any tear-out from the coping on the ends of the rails. When doing center panel start with a crossed grained cut & work your way around the panel. You will end up with a long grain cut & this will eliminate any tear-out you have on the crossed grain cut. This does not make a difference for mdf as there is no grain direction, but still good practice to follow.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!

Last edited by jlord; 01-04-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ha! I just spent a bunch of time making that sled!

Everything you said makes sense to me. I need to mull this over a bit.

It's funny that you talked about coping first because I had that exact issue. I was trying to profile the rails first, thinking it would be quicker because I could do long pieces, instead of individually. But that wasn't working so well, with the tear out.

Thank you.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 06:50 PM
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Making the sled gave you some jig making practice. Make sure you cut a block to keep your parts stable when coping across the bit.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 10:36 PM
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Most of the dust you are making is above the table. A vac hose just behind the bit will suck up most of the dust. I boxed in the area behind and above my collet and get about 95%.
Also, unless you cut air holes into your dust box for air flow then your vac is not sucking anything in. If you take a ping pong ball in your hand and put a vac hose over it tight to your palm and turn the vac on, nothing will happen. When you turn the vac off the ping pong ball will still be in your hand. I really reccomend against closed-in boxes for a router. There isn't enough air flow and the routers in them get very hot. In my opinion, they actually do a worse job of dust collection than no box.
Another member pointed out that if you are using the table to make dadoes that a top vac port won't help. If you are going to use your table for this then put a vac pickup top and bottom as close to the spindle as you can get them. Remember that there has to be airflow for the vac to work.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2012, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I really reccomend against closed-in boxes for a router. There isn't enough air flow and the routers in them get very hot. In my opinion, they actually do a worse job of dust collection than no box.
If built right this shouldn't be much of a problem. The router should have plenty of air circulating around it. A poor design will give the result's you mentioned & a well designed cabinet will run all day without a hitch.

James
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 12:14 AM
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Welcome, You are on the right track..A closed box will allow no air flow, I found this out myself really quick after making a boxed in area under my first router table, after about 20 minutes of playing with it I was cutting it out

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2012, 10:52 AM
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Todd,
In my limited experiences, having a 4" hose to the enclosed space under the table, and 2.5" hose to the fence, the 4" will need a gate installed to be able to direct most of the suctions to the fence while routing certain profiles. As mentioned earlier, if you are routing dados, the collector on the fence is not doing any good. I have not seen a need to install a gate in the 2.5" hose though.

Thanks!

Darrin
Sealy, TX
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:21 PM
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James, I still don't believe in putting the router in a box, even if it is well ventilated. The box will not provide as good a dust collection as a pickup very close to the router will. Any box will have dead air spaces in them usually in the corners. Even if you drilled a hole in every corner you would just move the dead air spaces to the center of the panels. Whenever you have live air moving past dead air you are going to get turbulence. That will cause heavier particles to drop out of the air stream just as they do in a cyclone. Because the vacuum port is so far away from the cutter you are depending on all the particles to stay suspended until they reach the vac opening, which is unlikely to happen.
The best under table arrangement I can visualize would be a half moon shaped vac chute on one side of the router and the other side totally open. The vac would cause a low pressure area at the bit and air would rush in from every direction to fill the void. The only particles that would escape would be the ones that get thrown at "escape velocity" in the opposite direction.
As already pointed out, an under table pickup will mostly pickup dust from routing operations on the edge or below it. Since we operate above the table, that is where I want to catch dust, the stuff that would otherwise wind up in my eyes and lungs.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 10:34 PM
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The Oak Park Vacuplate design does a nice job... I am pleased with mine. It is a shame this excellent product is not available. Hopefully in the future Oak Park products will be back in production.

Mike
"Living in the D" (this means Detroit!)
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