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Sawdust is not my friend, yours either. So after fiddling with DC for a long time, I finally went to the source, the table saw, and purchased the Shark Guard, a blade guard that doubles as a top of the saw dust collector.

Ordered it and was cautioned that you had to wait several weeks for delivery, but it was about a week. The owner emailed to say they'd smoothed out their production. One point, the thickness of the Shark Guard's riving knife. The stock one on my Laguna Fusion saw was .90 so I ordered that. Turn out that's the one you want for most all purposes.

The package arrived via USPS and was crunched alarmingly. Thought, "oh no," but when I opened the package, they'd put some very stiff tubing in and around the delicate parts, so nothing was amiss. The sides are very thick, about 3/16th, and made of some very strong material (forgot what, Lexan).

Removed my stock riving knife and popped the new one in, tightened it up and it was perfectly straight and aligned with the blade. There is a wide top on the knife where the mounting mechanism sits. The guard portion simply popped on and a gentle pull seats it. Without going into too much detail, some spacers, bolts and star knobs act as guides for the grooves cut into the guard. This keeps it pretty much parallel to the blade.

That was pretty much it on putting the guard on the saw. After hooking up the DC (which description follows) I tried the guard out. The first picture shows the amount of stray sawdust after a dozen cuts on a 1x6 piece of pine. Not perfect, but at least a 90-95 percent improvement without the guard.

Now, about setting up the DC. I'd kept a coil of 2.5 inch flexible hose for some time. It was much lighter weight than the Rockler hose I'd purchased, and it fit snug on the shark Guard's distinctive red port. To start with, I suspended it from #12 wire from hooks set in the beams above. But the hose sagged between them, so I used a piece of scrap about the right length and inserted them into the loops that were holding the hose. This straightened them out and held the hose flat. A little fiberglass reinforced tape held the wire in place on the scrap piece, but I'll use some wire staples to hold for the long haul.

The hose runs back to a blast gate so I can close the port when it's not in use. The hose on the other side of the gate runs back to a Y connector's 2.5 inch port.

The real issue for me was getting the dust collection set up. My shed shop is 12x24, about the size of half a garage, and it is packed. My HF dust collector sat in a corner and there was just no graceful way to me to hook it up, and things were just too crowded for safety. So during the summer, in anticipation, I'd enclosed the space between my shop and outside 10x12 office-shed. There is a water proof roof and a 2x thick floor raised up about 6 inches to allow water to flow through if it ever rains hard enough.

My son in law helped me move the DC out there, and I got a Rockler through the wall port. I have three 20 amp circuits feeding the shop, one (blue) for AC/heat & LED lights, a second (orange) for the DC, and a third (green) for the tool in use.

I drilled a hole for the wire (a 14 gauge extension cord) and passed it through. The wire is connected to an on/off switch so I can run the DC from inside the shop. The DC plugs into a water proof socket on the outside wall, under the breezeway roof (Pix 4). I cut a hole for the 4 inch Rockler through the wall port, and drove four screws into the corners to hold it firmly in place after cutting the through-tube to size. This stiffened up the Y connector on the inside so it doesn't require a support.

You can see the installation outside in the picture (Pix 4). I will probably put screen doors on each end of the breezeway to keep debris down out there. A bonus of putting all this outside was getting back almost 10 square feet. I'm rethinking my tool arrangement given the new space.

One of the pictures shows the internal arrangement of hoses (pix 5), and another closeup shows the switch and inside port arrangement (Pix 5).

Overall, I'm delighted with my purchase, and with getting the DC outside, but protected. All the open space will make it nice to work in there, so I'm rethinking how to arrange tools so it stays open there. Also, the end of the shop is now clear for storing lumber and sheet goods. The now accessable shelves hold jigs and rarely used tools. I'm thinking of making a porch for the shop shed so I can roll the sliding miter outside--it is the worst of all the sawdust producers.
 

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Tom, I remember you talking about getting the Shark and have been waiting for your opinion. Thanks for that. I have an Incra Miter Sled, will this sled interfere with the Shark?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tom, I remember you talking about getting the Shark and have been waiting for your opinion. Thanks for that. I have an Incra Miter Sled, will this sled interfere with the Shark?
I have the incra miter gauge and it works fine, just had to move it left a bit. Not sure, but don't think it will work well with a sled. It has to rise too high to clear the lateral supports on most sleds. There's a little more than half an inch between the blade and the outside of the guard. I think if you had a sled with a low rise, it might be OK. The guard will only rise about and inch and an eighth above the table, otherwise you'll have to remove the guard.

For 1x lumber and ply, the guard is great, but it isn't going to solve all dust problems. Fortunately, removing it takes 5 seconds and the riving knife stays put.

With the incra gauge, I will probably use scrap for a backer to prevent tearout.
 

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I have the incra miter gauge and it works fine, just had to move it left a bit. Not sure, but don't think it will work well with a sled. It has to rise too high to clear the lateral supports on most sleds. There's a little more than half an inch between the blade and the outside of the guard. I think if you had a sled with a low rise, it might be OK. The guard will only rise about and inch and an eighth above the table, otherwise you'll have to remove the guard.

For 1x lumber and ply, the guard is great, but it isn't going to solve all dust problems. Fortunately, removing it takes 5 seconds and the riving knife stays put.

With the incra gauge, I will probably use scrap for a backer to prevent tearout.
How does it work for ripping and doing box joints, and like cutting dadoes?

Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ripping is great, but depending on your box joint jig and with dados, you'll have to remove it. I suspect I'll try to figure out a way to use the extraction pipe with the ibox jig. But I can't see how you could keep it on for dados because it rides on the riving knife.
 

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I have the incra miter gauge and it works fine, just had to move it left a bit. Not sure, but don't think it will work well with a sled. It has to rise too high to clear the lateral supports on most sleds. There's a little more than half an inch between the blade and the outside of the guard. I think if you had a sled with a low rise, it might be OK. The guard will only rise about and inch and an eighth above the table, otherwise you'll have to remove the guard.

For 1x lumber and ply, the guard is great, but it isn't going to solve all dust problems. Fortunately, removing it takes 5 seconds and the riving knife stays put.

With the incra gauge, I will probably use scrap for a backer to prevent tearout.
There are a couple of designs out there for a "floating" guard for sleds (thought that I'd flagged one but can't find it at the moment), mostly an inverted "U" of plexiglas that floats up and down so that the material can be slid underneath. Wouldn't bee too hard to incorporate a dust pickup in the top. I do think though that the way to go would be to make the top member fixed between the front and back fences and use the FastCap Dust Stache https://www.fastcap.com/product/saw-stache on either side of the top piece, witht he DC fitting fixed in the top member - this should make it easy to feed the material for cutting while still providing good dust retention, handled by the fitting on the top for the DC. I think that this would work well for the generic saw sled - I have the Rockler Sled and think that the concept would be a little more difficult to implement with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
- I have the Rockler Sled and think that the concept would be a little more difficult to implement with that.
I have the same sled and love it, and have thought a bit about top side DC with it. What's required is a channel suspended above the cut line. You could mount a 1x along the bottom edge (Screw through the bottom, and another on the top, then bridge the gap with a DC hood (they are available separately), using some right angle angle brackets mounted on a wood bridge between the two 1xs. This is used mainly for crosscuts and angled cuts. I've gone to great lengths to get a perfect 90 angle to the blade, so my angle settings are perfect at any angle.

I have a clear plastic hood laying around I could use for this. Not a priority just now. If you use this sled to cut a 3/4 board, your blade will be something like 1 3/4 to 2 inches high, so you'd probably need to add some sort of sacrifical piece on the following edge of the Rockler sled.

Of course you could also make a clamp on fence with the DC hood mounted to that, or even add some thickness between the saw's fence and the clamp on fence. Drill holes or cut away the bottom edge and you can affix a port across the top. Just has to be long enough to collect from the whole blade. This would work for some crosscutting, but not all, using the Rockler sled.

Saw a design for a shop made sled that was very simple. It was a U channel with a port on top, that was mounted between the two vertical pieces on the sled. That would work for cross cutting. The trick is to get the DC over the blade when making duts.

Cutting dados really spits out the dust, and you can't have a riving knife in place. You also cut dados in the center of a piece of ply, so the sawdust is really going to come out mainly on one end of the piece, so the DC needs to be placed on the following edge of the dado slot. On my saw, there's under the table collection, which will handle the majority of the dado's sawdust. Possibly some sort of DC added to a functional push block?

Oh well, nothing's perfect, which is why we wear masks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tom, did you send a link to Lee? They'd probably be really pleased that you're pleased!
Can't buy this kind of unsolicited positive reviewing. :)
Worth its weight, as they say.
I just sent it off, Thanks for reminding me. I'm really happy with this thing, including the thinking about when I can't use it. :smile:
 

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Been a little distracted lately with other projects, but here's where I stopped on the Shark Guard.

Pipe Pipe insulation Auto part


The DC pickup for the TS is on the corner of the cabinet, I have a Rockler QD handle as the same hose is used for the router table, etc.



Plan is to use the straight 4" x 2-1/2" T that I took off the router table, along with a gate - but where to attach the gate as the hose will drop down from the guard above.

Product Auto part Wheel Machine Rim


Having just finished a little plumbing project, the answer seemed pretty obvious.

Auto part Machine


That looks like it's going to work. Now, if I could only find the short piece of 2-1/2" hose that I know is somewhere in the shop.

Update will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You get a little more efficiency with a Y connector. Note that i suspended the hose above the table so it won't interfere with cutting something long. It's not obvious in the picture, but the table saw is set up so I can cut the full length of an 8 foot long piece, so my hose runs back, the off to the side, all suspended 15 inches or so above the table. If I had it to do over again, I'm move the blast gate close to the Y connector. And I'd work out some way of raising the suspended tubing higher so I didn't have to duck to get under it.

I really like not decorating myself with flying sawdust, and having the floor stay clear in front of the saw.

I had purchased along arm, over the blade collection attachment (like the SawStop has), but never got around to installing it. Maybe I'll sell it, along with the Rockler dovetail jig with dust collector.
 
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