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I recently found need to purchase a router and table combo, though now I'm wondering how I did anything w/o the thing. I don't do a lot of wood working so I didn't want to spend a lot of money. No enjoying the newer tables and combos in my price range "aka CHEAP", mostly due to their construction. I ended up looking on craigslist and found a very well maintained Craftsman Routing Table (171.25444) w/ a Craftsman Router (315.17492). Both are in excellent shape and along with some new bits I've already used the table as a planer to make some shelves for my tool cabinet from left over stock I had laying around.

The main point of the post is how best to create a poor mans dust collection system with my shop vac. The vac I have, in fact I have 2. What I am unable to determine is the best location for a mounting port to suck the dust from the table. There are 2 logical locations I see as follows:

1- The table guard is plastic and is large enough for me to cut a hole for dust collection. A "top down" approach if you will.

2- The router is missing its chip shield, but one can be purchased from Sears for $5. This also looks like it could be modified to accept a connection for the vac. A "bottoms out" approach.

So, given my options and mostly empty wallet, what option would you choose? I'm almost certain the guard option would work and probably would be the easiest to make. I'm wondering if the bottom approach would be better since I would be sucking directly from the side of the router under the bit.

I'll post pics when I'm done and have something worthy of posting. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

-Kirk
 

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If You have a shop vac, You can set it up so the wand is positioned just out of the way. This can do a good job, depending on the vac. quality! Thanks for asking, and enjoy the forum.
 

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There are several options to pick up dust and debris from a router table.

1. Enclose the router in a box: you might be able to build a little cabinet to slip into the underside of the table. Or take the legs off and mount the top to a small cabinet. The front of the cabinet has a door and allows access to the router. The back has an opening for the shop vac hose to be attached. Check out this thread for ideas: http://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/17212-wanted-pictures-your-table.html

2. Attach the vac hose to the fence: you may have to make a dedicated fence for that.

3. Use a base plate with openings to suck debris through: not sure if such a plate would fit your table, though, but as you mentioned, you could come up with your own solution.

4. Free-hand routing: make a little box with an acrylic chip shield on top; the side functions as a starter pin. The shop vac connects to the top of the little box. Easy to make yourself. Check here: Router Table Accessories - Free-Hand Routing Guard

Most people use a combination of the listed methods, mostly the enclosure and dust pickup at the fence.

Happy routing. Cheers! MM
 
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