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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday I edge profiled some MDF which is notorious for dust and there was a stack of dust below the table so after searching the web I found this "V" shaped design (see pic below) surrounding the router. I just slid in two pieces of plywood at an angle and sealed them and other gaps with blue tape. There is a dust port and small hose leading to the bottom of that "V" shape as well as a dust hose to the fence and a smaller hose coming straight off Tritons dust port to my shop vac. The improvement was staggering. Virtually no dust below and above.

What that told me was that maybe enclosing the router is the way to go. Four of five years ago when Incra released the cleansweep there was a lot of sceptisim and concern about routers overheating etc but that has subsided and they seem common place now. Is that what others feel?

I have seen 2 main designs. Rockler and an Aussie brand (Timbecon) have boxes with dust ports on the side and adjustable air vents on the other side, whereas the Cleansweep has no air vents and a dust port right at the bottom. I've watched all the Incra videos including the one where dado mess was practically gone.

So my questions .....

Are they now considered a good safe idea without routers overheating etc?
Are they really effective for edge work?
Are the Incra Cleansweep rings necessary for a dust box?
Will other rings (woodpecker) with large openings work just as well?
Is a side dust port and opposing air vent better than bottom dust ports?

Basically what is the general consensus on dust collection boxes?

I forgot to say and before someone asks, that 4" dust hose coming from the cap of the router acts like a snorkel getting fresh air from the compartment below. Keeps dust out of the vents. Got the idea from the Woodworkers forum in Aussie land.
 

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So my questions .....

Are they now considered a good safe idea without routers overheating etc?
Are they really effective for edge work?
Are the Incra Cleansweep rings necessary for a dust box?
Will other rings (woodpecker) with large openings work just as well?
Is a side dust port and opposing air vent better than bottom dust ports?

Basically what is the general consensus on dust collection boxes?


I don't think overheating is a problem so long as you are using dust collection. The amount of air being sucked through keeps the router plenty cool. The vents on the side helps in situations where the hole is mostly covered as when routing dados.

By themselves I don't think they would be as effective as when used in conjunction with through the fence suction, but if you leave big enough of a gap around the bit you should get the majority of the dust, although there is always some wood chips that get shot across the table.

I have plastic rings on my table and drilled some extra holes in them to help with dust collection and it helps. I think it is a better option then increasing the size of the opening in the ring.

The problem with big openings around the bit is the workpiece getting caught on the lip of the hole. Generally, I try to keep the opening as small as possible just as I do the opening in the fence.

I have two of the Rockler ones. They do a fairly decent job emptying the sawdust although it seems to leave a small amount in the corner blocked by the cord. Don't know about the Incra.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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I've had the Rockler box in place for several years and it does a pretty good job of containing the sawdust, although I think the 2.5 inch fitting on the fence is likely more important. I have the Woodpecker plate with the twist lock inserts and a set of inserts with small to wide openings. Keeping the fitting tight is helpful, but makes the fence DC more important. The Rockler box has a variable vent to make sure air is flowing. I have a 4 inch connector on the back of that box.

I recently changed my table router from a 1617 to a Triton, and the Rockler box is a bit too snug, so I'll be doing something like what you've done to enclose the router, but it will be closed. I did have extra holes drilled in the prior Rockler plate for a little extra dust removal, and it helped some. But I still had to sweep the dust aside frequently to keep it from lifting the workpiece up slightly as it builds up. I am very fussy about dust collection and think the 4 inch hose should go to the fence, as you have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
John is this your router table or a photo you saw? If its yours who's fence is that? N
This is mine Neville.

I had a home made table and fence and while it did a good job I decided to upgrade to a proper table with a Woodpecker insert plate and Woodpecker fence and yes they are the Jessem stock guides. The're brilliant by the way. The subfences with T tracks are my own. The ones that come with the superfence don't have a track and the red t track in the pic above is too high for the Jessem guides. I could install them straight on to the metal fence but I really wanted to use subfences.
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Tom, when you said "it will be closed" did you mean your new box will have no holes other than a dust port.

I ask that because I'm now thinking of making my own. After measuring, the only commercially available box that fits is the Rockler and their delivery costs to Australia are fairly high. The advantage of the Rockler is it has an adjustable air vent. Did you use that vent Tom? Also you said the Triton was snug. Unacceptably snug? Do you mean it was difficult to get to the knobs and switches? Do you have the big Triton like I do?

I do like the look of the Rockler and I'm unsure whether to order or not but at least making my own I'll get an exact fit. I'll probably use 1/2" Ply to keep the weight down. Anyone want to comment on the effectiveness of the Rockler box, with a big Triton, or their home made version?
 

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I built and have been running a sealed box for about twenty five years. I'm having a heat issue with my router at the moment, but it has something to do with my recent repacking of the bearings or reassembly. It's been fine up until that, and under most operations I never even get to see the dust. If the fence is way far back I can get some, but that's sort of a given and I rarely need to do that. I'm not sure I run mine as continuously as some of you guys, so it's possible I'd have had heat issues if it were on for longer periods.

Oddly, when I made that, I don't think I even gave much thought to the increased suction from the fewer air gaps, but had the same goal as I was trying to seal off as much as I could. I actually did it for noise reduction, as I was feeling guilty about how loud the machine might be next door and how irritating it was to me. The interior is lined with a two inch layer of painted foam, and there's weatherstripping around the door.
I guess if anybody's was going to overheat, it would have been mine. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The other question I forgot to ask was, if I buy/build a box do I then remove Triton's dust port and surrounding perspex shields. In my second pic above you'll see a vac hose coming out of the back of the table. It's connected to Triton's port. I could incorporate that by drilling a hole into my new box and sealing around that hose or is that overkill as the sealed box should take care of that?? I'm fairly new to all of this and I've read so many threads that I'm ending up with more questions than answers. I'm slightly leaning towards the Rockler box but keen to hear from someone who has this box and the big Triton router and how they fit and work together.
 

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Hi, The new box will have a variable opening of some sort to allow air flow when it's running. I may cut the opening off the metal box or find another way of allowing air flow. By closed , I mean it will have a door on front so I can reach in and lock the router height and operate the interlock on the on off switch. I will have to change my Y splitter tjat attaches to the DC hose. My shop is a little tight, so I have a 90 degree turn coming out the back of the box so it fits closer to the wall, then the Y splitter. I'll add a bracket to support the connections in back so when I put the movable hose on it, It will get some extra support.

The variable air port does help with pulling sawdust out of the box. I suspect it also cools the router to have that air flow.
 

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Hi, The new box will have a variable opening of some sort to allow air flow when it's running. I may cut the opening off the metal box or find another way of allowing air flow. By closed , I mean it will have a door on front so I can reach in and lock the router height and operate the interlock on the on off switch. I will have to change my Y splitter tjat attaches to the DC hose. My shop is a little tight, so I have a 90 degree turn coming out the back of the box so it fits closer to the wall, then the Y splitter. I'll add a bracket to support the connections in back so when I put the movable hose on it, It will get some extra support.

The variable air port does help with pulling sawdust out of the box. I suspect it also cools the router to have that air flow.
Tom,

Putting the 90° fitting before the Y is a great idea. I have the same space problem, having to keep the table away from the wall and then move it so I can attach the dust hose. I'm going to look at that when I get out in the shop later. One question though - I have the "splitter" sold by Rockler , 2-1/2" x 4", but they only have it in 90° and not a Y. Where did you find the Y fitting? Thanks.
 

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Is there a dustport below the table Jidis?
John,

No, when I made that I wasn't aware of any of that sort of stuff, but reading this thread and looking at some of the products that are out now, I may start thinking about it. I'm cleaning up a big plunge router to put in there soon, so it would be a good time to check all that.

Take Care
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tom,

Putting the 90° fitting before the Y is a great idea. I have the same space problem, having to keep the table away from the wall and then move it so I can attach the dust hose. I'm going to look at that when I get out in the shop later. One question though - I have the "splitter" sold by Rockler , 2-1/2" x 4", but they only have it in 90° and not a Y. Where did you find the Y fitting? Thanks.
Tom, you could use an ordinary 4" Y splitter then a 4" to 2-1/2" adaptor at the dust port on the fence. Have a look at the pic on my original post on this thread. You can't see it but at the end of the 4" hose behind the fence I have screwed that adaptor. Rockler have those... Hose Reducer-Reducers | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

John
 

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@barri

Yes, I figured that out after I did another look. if it keeps going, I'll have $100 worth of fittings and adapters back there. I'm going to follow up on DesertRatTom's suggestion about putting the 90° elbow first at the output from the box, then the "T" I already have (or the 4 x 2-1/2 Y I need to buy, with the 4 x 2-1/2 adapter I'd also have to buy) to adapt to the 2-1/2 hose coming from the back of the fence and then check that the Disconnect handle on the end of the DC hose fits on whatever it is that I wind up at the end. Really need dust collection, but it can be a PITA sometimes to get it the way you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@barri

I'll have $100 worth of fittings and adapters back there.
It adds up doesn't it? I'd hate to put a price on all the blast gates, elbows, Y's, hoses, adapters etc.

DesertRatTom (the other Tom) Are you out there? I'm not buying the Rockler dust box until you advise on how tight and functional the big Triton is in that box. If its too tight then that may lead to overheating and inaccessibility of all knobs.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I've actually found a box on Youtube that would work perfectly for me including that snorkel hose shown in my first post. I would have the main dust hose coming from the bottom of the box instead of from the top as he has it. All boxes I've seen including Rockler and Incra have hoses coming from the bottom . Anyway I decided to make my own. Cheaper and I know it will exactly fit. I'll post a pic when done and comment on its effectiveness.


Have a look at his amazing pegboard. Truly a work of art.
 

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Nice box design - I may have to go that route (no pun intended) if I decide to move up to the Triton in my router table and it turns out to be too tight for the Rockler sheet metal box.

Between playing with my new lawnmower, I got a chance to look at the fittings on the back of my router table. I switched the T-fitting and 90° as suggested by @DesertRatTom - great suggestion, I picked up about 8" of floor space by being able to move the router table closer to the other workbench, and there's just enough clearance to reach in and connect the DC hose without moving anything. The assembly can rotate on the 90°, and is dragged down by the DC hose - I can't see that being a problem, but I can always put a little support bracket under the fitting if it bothers me too much. I'm going to stay with the T-splitter for the moment as it seems to do OK with pulling the sawdust off the top of the table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tom, I only have a 2 HP dust collector and found that a "Y" fitting really does make a difference compared to a "T" . It provides a smoother flow. Ask someone to buy it for you on your next birthday. Also I've added a blast gate and I might add another so that I can get suction just at the fence for edge work or fence and underneath. If I add another one I can turn off the fence suction and just have it underneath for dado work but as you've said buying more dust adaptors is getting ridiculous
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
OK box finished and it works well. My cabinet opening, housing the router is 14" wide whereas the Rockler box is 13" which would have made it too tight to use the quick adjust knob. So made the box fit exactly in that opening. Couldn't put a vent on the side so put it at the front. Also used some weather stripping so that the door closes without dust getting out. As I really couldn't mount a vent on the side I put it on the door. I added a blast gate so that I can block off suction to the fence when doing dados. The final result is great. Edge work leaves no dust. Dado work does leave some on the top but it doesn't shoot out like it used to. A huge improvement. When I saw the videos of the cleansweep I was sceptical but I can now see how Incra's cleansweep works with its specialised rings. I still utilised that snorkel like hose which draws fresh air from the compartment below. See the video above. It may be overkill but it makes me feel more comfortable about overheating and looking after my router. Its not perfect but in general I'm very pleased and it was fun to make and cost me nearly nothing. The vent was $5.00 AUD:smile:
 

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