Home made router table dust collection box


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Hey guys,

I've been very slowly finishing up some picture frames for my house. One of the steps that was truly awful was routing out the rabbets for the glass. I'll post pictures when they're done, but I used half lap construction so I couldn't collect dust with the fence. My router table is in my table saw wing, so there's currently nowhere to connect my dust collector, and my shop vac only connects to the fence port.

I've thought before about putting a dust collection box underneath, but I don't think the commercial offerings quite work for me. I want something light and easily removable, given that my router is just in the fixed base and I frequently take it out. I'm thinking of just fastening a clear plastic container to the underside with magnets, with a fitting for the dust collector.

Has anyone tried something like this? It seems like a cheap experiment if I can find a likely bucket.

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Well that will catch dust but not draw it away from your router motor. I found a T fitting (Rockler or Woodcraft) to stick on the backside of my router table, which is one of those enclosed Bosch tables (not really made to mount to a table saw but I did), and I’m able to get a 4” and a 2.5” hose to my DC. I think it’s worth the extra struggle to try to keep sawdust from building up in the router motor. I still blow out my motor now and then with compressed air, so if your solution works, I’d recommend at least doing that periodic maintenance to the router motor. Got pics? 

PS that T fitting swivels which is really handy for the 2.5” side (that goes to the top of the fence).

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+1 to not trapping dust, chips, and hot air around the motor. Unless you really want an excuse to buy a new router..:ph34r:

Adding a box with a dust port and venillation is a good idea though. I suspect screws will do better than magnets at holding under the table.

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If you do a pail, do one of the drywall mud types with a lid. Attach the lid to the bottom and then stick the pail on the lid. Should make getting in and out easy.

If you do an enclosed space yeah make sure that you use DC in that enclosed space for safty reasons obviously. If it's easy to take on and off the times that you don't need under table DC just don't install the pail.

I like traditional DC vs a shop vac for router stuff. The higher volume of air seems to do a better job of grabbing the dust than a shop vac does.

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Sorry if I wasn't clear above. The plan is to run the dust collector with the bucket, and maybe add an adjustable vent for cross air flow. If I do it, I'm going to put a 4 inch port on it. I probably won't bother with the bucket at all for cuts where I can collect everything at the fence, like outside edge treatments. I like the magnet idea to make it really easy to take on and off. I know me, and I'll get lazy and not use it if it takes more than a few seconds to put on. Knobs and threaded inserts or something would also work.

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7 hours ago, Coop said:

And sorry if I wasn’t clear in understanding but does your fence not have a dc port? 

It does, there's a port that fits my shop vac. I really need to just post a picture of my current setup. My problem is when I'm using a bearing guided bit on the inside of a glued up frame, as well as routing grooves and dados.

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Ok, here's my current setup in the wing of my table saw. It's a PC690 router with a Kreg plate in a shop made table.

20200211_070751.thumb.jpg.c9de243cfc30898cc8ad57dde6851ba5.jpg

You can see my fence here. It actually does pretty well if the dust is at the edge. The table surface is 1" of glued up BB ply with laminate.

20200211_070802.thumb.jpg.faf162d1aa64c5e98398ba597ce309dd.jpg

Finally, here's the space underneath to work with for putting something over the router. My thought was to find something that went right over the router and plate, mounting to the table around it. Because there's no lift, I need to be able to remove the router to change bits, and height adjustment is a bit crude.

20200211_070851.thumb.jpg.29f5b7c4a240235a505dfce6b4ff4cc8.jpg

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I think the idea of using a plastic pail for your housing rather than building or buying s box is very clever.  

If I could use magnets to hold the bucket up to the under surface of the table that would be much easier to remove.  Maybe put the magnets on the table so the bucket doesn't want to stick to the router when being removed.

The under surface of your table is not flat, which is actually good.  You need inflow air, and having air flow in from around the bucket rim would be good.  When the job allows I use a throat plate with a larger opening, too.

I also use the Rockler T fitting so I have 4" going to the router and a smaller hose going to the fence.  

Just my thoughts.

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8 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Does the Kreg plate not lift up out the table? My shop-made unit works that way, so I just take the whole assembly out of the table for bit changes and adjustments.

It certainly can. There are optional machine screws that you can install in the corners to go into the levellers. I put them in because I found it helped completely avoid having any sort of lip at the edge of the plate.

6 hours ago, Mark J said:

I think the idea of using a plastic pail for your housing rather than building or buying s box is very clever.  

If I could use magnets to hold the bucket up to the under surface of the table that would be much easier to remove.  Maybe put the magnets on the table so the bucket doesn't want to stick to the router when being removed.

The under surface of your table is not flat, which is actually good.  You need inflow air, and having air flow in from around the bucket rim would be good.  When the job allows I use a throat plate with a larger opening, too.

I also use the Rockler T fitting so I have 4" going to the router and a smaller hose going to the fence.  

Just my thoughts.

I hadn't thought about just taking advantage of it not being perfect underneath - I was going to try to find something that could go against the laminate. But then I was also going to end up adding a vent. I might just mock it up with a cardboard box. I think I had an Amazon order coming today...

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  • 6 months later...

Wow, so apparently I took a really long time getting around to this. I ended up getting a plastic storage container, which I've attached with magnets. Unfortunately, I only had tiny ones so the dust hose sometimes knocks it off. I think for now I may just put a bungee cord underneath to hold it on. 

20200816_143235.thumb.jpg.64b36593875d215584a2f38692c97bf5.jpg

I'm trying to figure out how to get more airflow. Right now I can tell that the dust collector is a bit starved for air. Has anyone else added holes to their router plate? I've just got the standard kreg one. The other option is that I add an opening on the right side, to get some cross breeze in the container.

20200816_143119.jpg

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I like the plastic box solution.  I'm not a heavy router table user, but what I do is use an oversize collar in the table.  Obviously you don't want the gap between the router bit and the ring to cause problems when passing the work accross the bit, so this might not work well in every setting, but it does open up airflow where you want it.

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56 minutes ago, Mark J said:

I like the plastic box solution.  I'm not a heavy router table user, but what I do is use an oversize collar in the table.  Obviously you don't want the gap between the router bit and the ring to cause problems when passing the work accross the bit, so this might not work well in every setting, but it does open up airflow where you want it.

That's a decent solution for some situations, although I tend to keep a smaller gap since it makes me feel a bit safer. I will admit I'm not as good with push blocks in the router table as I probably should be, so I tend to like having guards to keep me out of trouble. I'm currently into this solution for about $15 for the plastic bin and the magnets, so we'll see how it works. I spent another$2 for a bungee cord yesterday to eliminate the chance of it dropping off mid route.

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4 hours ago, SawDustB said:

Has anyone else added holes to their router plate?

Well if I was going to modify something it would be the throat rings, which are at least easily replaceable.  And I think that's where the airflow would be of most benefit.  Too bad someone doesn't already make something perforated.

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8 hours ago, SawDustB said:

I'm trying to figure out how to get more airflow. Right now I can tell that the dust collector is a bit starved for air. Has anyone else added holes to their router plate? I've just got the standard kreg one. The other option is that I add an opening on the right side, to get some cross breeze in the container.

 

 

I have a plywood cabinet under my router... but I drilled holes in the back of the cabinet directly across from the collector port to increase air flow.

I was getting a lot of pressure on the router plate such that the inner plastic ring was deforming.(I have the older Rockler lift).   So doing this helped with that, as well as helped with dust collection.   I put the holes down near the base of the containment area, so as to help lift any dust falling to the bottom.

I just used a 1" drill bit and put in multiple holes, I just kept drilling until it felt right, think there are 4-6 holes in there now.   It wouldn't be hard to do that with the plastic tub.   Commercial offerings have adjustable ports... So you need a way to plug them up if you have too many.   With the plastic tub you could just use an easily removable tape, or put some sort of slider on there.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Minnesota Steve said:

 

I have a plywood cabinet under my router... but I drilled holes in the back of the cabinet directly across from the collector port to increase air flow.

I was getting a lot of pressure on the router plate such that the inner plastic ring was deforming.(I have the older Rockler lift).   So doing this helped with that, as well as helped with dust collection.   I put the holes down near the base of the containment area, so as to help lift any dust falling to the bottom.

I just used a 1" drill bit and put in multiple holes, I just kept drilling until it felt right, think there are 4-6 holes in there now.   It wouldn't be hard to do that with the plastic tub.   Commercial offerings have adjustable ports... So you need a way to plug them up if you have too many.   With the plastic tub you could just use an easily removable tape, or put some sort of slider on there.

I have 1" holes in the door of mine for the same reason.

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