Shark Guard review and installation
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.
The more I do, the less I accomplish.
Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 08-22-2018 at 04:51 PM.