Dust collection - box vs Keen - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dust collection - box vs Keen

I'm just wrapping up the router table build that I've been wanting to do for many years. It's time to decide on dust collection so I thought I'd get some opinions.

I had originally intended to build a box from 1/2 Baltic birch and mount it under the table to enclose the router and Jessem lift. I was going to mount a 2-1/2 inch connector on the box to connect to the hose from my fence and a 4 inch connector to connect to my dust collector. I was going to put a 4 inch blast gate in the side of the box to control air flow for dados. Finally, I was going to put a hinged door on the front of the box so I can adjust the speed of my router. I have an external on/off switch so I wont need to get to the router very often.

I've recently learned of the existence of the Keen dust collection product. I've seen a few comments from people who seem to like them, but I'd like to see a discussion of the pros/cons of a box versus the pros/cons of the Keen product.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 02:16 AM
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I have not had any experience with the Keen dust system but what you are talking about to control dust works for me very very well.

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Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 09:54 AM
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If you build a box, which I personally will never do, you must have as much air flow going in as you do going out or it won't work. My dust collection is at the bit and it works very well.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
If you build a box, which I personally will never do, you must have as much air flow going in as you do going out or it won't work. My dust collection is at the bit and it works very well.
Charles what is your reason for not boxing your router table in? My panels is attached with velcro so I can take it off if needed. To change router speeds I pull the router out the top with the plate. I change bit depth through the top.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 10:58 AM
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I've used routers monted inside boxes and they got noticeably hotter. It also made the bit changes and adjustments harder although the lift solves most of that. I use a plunge with above table adjustment so I don't need a lift. I also don't lock my plate down so it makes major adjustments really easy when I lift it out. The plate also makes a pretty good offset base. I rarely cut grooves on the table so almost all my operations are at the edge of the board and the dust collection on my fence works great for that.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 11:35 AM
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Its all about air flow. Moving a lot of air moves a lot of sawdust. The stronger and faster the air flows, the more dust it will redirect into your DC system. Any restriction, particularly a sharp change in direction, will affect air flow so consider using Y connectors rather than a T. Too small a blower for the system is another factor that can limit air flow. Some people have cut holes in the table insert to increase air flow and help remove dust that gets trapped under the workpiece.

I think it was Mike who showed a picture of a shop made dust collection hood that was maybe a foot wide and about 2 inches high. It was nearly triangular with the dust collection near the back and sat just behind the bit, without a fence--I think it would be good when not using a fence, such as using a rail coping jig. Maybe he will repost it. If I were building that collector, I'd look at drilling a couple of positioning pin holes to quick set the hood in place.

I haven't seen much on the Keen setup, but collection as near the bit as possible looks like a good idea. I think you could easily set the Keen system up even in an enclosed box. I look forward to someone posting about their experience with the Keen. So far, no dust collector gets it all, so I'd probably still set up a box to capture what falls through. A front and door for setup would work and being wide open would help with cooling.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 09-29-2015 at 11:43 AM. Reason: addressing the poster's question
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 01:31 PM
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I took the easy way out and bought the Dust Bucket collection box from Rockler. It has a (magnetic) door on the front for access and a rotating vent for adjusting the amount of air drawn into the box - the instructions stated that it must be opened slightly when routing stopped dadoes to allow sliding movement of the part being routed. I haven't used it much other that making drawer parts, but notice a fair amount of sawdust shooting out of the leading edge of a dado as I feed the part across the table. I just bought an upcut spiral bit, will see if this helps to pull the sawdust into the cutter hole a little better - or maybe I should try closing up the vent somewhat as I'm not cutting a closed dado.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys, thanks for the input.

I understand about airflow so I had planned to put a blast gate in the side of the box to allow me to adjust as necessary. I see that the dust bucket comes with an airflow control so that confirmed my theory.

My biggest question at this point is whether to connect the 2-1/2 inch hose from my fence through the box or to connect it to a 90 (or Y) connector outside the box. I feel like mounting it to the box gives me more flow around the router motor to aid in cooling. The potential downside I see is that if I'm pulling the chips through the box, do I risk having the router suck them into the motor? Has anyone had issues with getting dust/chips in their motors?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 11:08 PM
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The 2-1/2" hose from the fence is connected to the 4" outlet from the box with a T. Even with the vent partly open, there is very little sawdust in the box when I open the door for adjustments. So far, I haven't noticed any build-up of sawdust in the router, but I'll take note the next time I pull the router for cleaning.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlbburg View Post
Hey guys, thanks for the input.

I understand about airflow so I had planned to put a blast gate in the side of the box to allow me to adjust as necessary. I see that the dust bucket comes with an airflow control so that confirmed my theory.

My biggest question at this point is whether to connect the 2-1/2 inch hose from my fence through the box or to connect it to a 90 (or Y) connector outside the box. I feel like mounting it to the box gives me more flow around the router motor to aid in cooling. The potential downside I see is that if I'm pulling the chips through the box, do I risk having the router suck them into the motor? Has anyone had issues with getting dust/chips in their motors?
I have the same box. I connect the 2.5 hose to the 4 inch using a T connector. To save space behind the box, I put a Rockler rotating 90 degree connecter into the back of the box, the added the T connector to that. You might need to add a bracket of some sort to the table to support all that weight, but it is nice to have the port come out the side instead of the back, particularly if you use a single flex hose and move it from tool to tool. Here's the right angle quick connector Dust Right® Quick Connect 4" Elbow - Rockler Woodworking Tools. If you want to avoid the air flow loss from a right angle connector, try this 4 inch Y connector with the 2.5 connector joining it at an angle 4" to 2-1/2" "Y" Dust Fitting - Rockler Woodworking Tools. Total for the two connectors is about $22.
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