Router table - dust collection, front door vent, casters


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Quick and simple... need some advice on these topics...

- Dust collection

- I am going to use a dual port to collect dust from the cabinet and the fence. My question is, should the port for the cabinet be dead center (vertically and horizontally), closer to the bottom, or in a corner to generate velocity?

- Front door vent

- A vent on the front door is necessary for proper air flow to allow for adequate dust collection and to keep the motor cool. I would like to be able to regulate this flow. I am thinking a weber grill style vent on the door that i can adjust the air flow. Thoughts?

- Casters

- My shop is small, all of my tools are on mobile bases to allow for easy positioning. What are the best casters to use? Link? Obviously locking... all 4? Just 2?

Anything else that fellow WTO'ers would suggest. Attached are pictures of progress on the carcass of the cabinet base.

NOTE: I am going to route a shallow stopped dado around the top of the web, and install a small weather stripping to keep a proper seal so dust does not escape. Maybe overkill but i have seen it on other builds... seems like a good idea.

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I have dual dust collection on my router table, but it is not "boxed in". I use the port in the fence, and I use a dust shroud connected under the collet.

It works very well - no dust on the table or floor at all.

I had casters on my table, and I took them off because I hated them. Even if they were locked, the table could still shift or slide on the shop floor.

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for casters, use locking in the front, and plane in the back. Once you lock the fronts, push the table backwards with a good deal of force. This will make the casters rotate, and then the table will be rock solid. Make the top extra thick. Mine is 3 layers of 3/4" MDF.

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Sommerfeld sells casters that are dual locking. I have them and when they lock they lock. There is no pivoting or spinning or moving. Regarding airflow just remember air prefers to go in straight lines and if it must turn it prefers gentle curves. Drilling holes in the door is fine...you don't need to control airflow. You just plain need to have it.

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Sommerfeld sells casters that are dual locking. I have them and when they lock they lock. There is no pivoting or spinning or moving. Regarding airflow just remember air prefers to go in straight lines and if it must turn it prefers gentle curves. Drilling holes in the door is fine...you don't need to control airflow. You just plain need to have it.

Jay,

where can I find these casters?

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I used the Bench Dog casters. They're a little pricey but I wanted to use their mounting brackets as well, and I was too lazy to look into alternatives, so that's what I ended up with. They're dual-locking, and when all four are locked, the cabinet goes nowhere.

I built a ramp with angled sides in the collection box to help herd the dust toward the port. I haven't added any air-flow supplementation in the form of holes anywhere, but I find that between the gaps in the doors and the flow coming through the lift plate hole, it's sufficient. I have a little dust collect in the corners of the ramp, but otherwise it's clean. And the motor stays fairly cool even after extended use.

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==> I put triangles in the corners to deflect dust building up.

how large? i also get build-up in corners, so very interested.

2 or 3" wide across the face. I would make them as big as possible without crowding the router.Leave 2 or 3" clearance around the router for airspace and cooling. I also put triangles in the bottom corners. I was trying to improve a router table I bought. When I build a new case I am going to put the dust outlet in the bottom and slope the floor to it.

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2 or 3" wide across the face. I would make them as big as possible without crowding the router.Leave 2 or 3" clearance around the router for airspace and cooling. I also put triangles in the bottom corners. I was trying to improve a router table I bought. When I build a new case I am going to put the dust outlet in the bottom and slope the floor to it.

That is what my plan is.

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PB, So I don't have to expalin how I did my router table dust collection , go to my tool review at www.toolreviews.woodmagazine.com. This is Wood Magazines "Review a Tool" website. Check out my review of the " Dust Cutter" collection system under "Router table accessories." Also check out the wheels I used from Peachtree Woodworking under "Castors".

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I use a cheap 6 hp shop vac and a Dust Deputy on my router table. With a "Y" in the hose for the fence and base to work together the row of air holes in the bottom of the door keeps enough airflow across the floor to move most of the dust out.

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I put triangles in the corners to deflect dust building up. Remember to allow incoming air to cool the router and keep the dust moving.

I just drilled a row of 1" holes .

The first table I built I used Aluminum flashing in the bottom. The flashing is cheap, available at box stores, slippery so the dust slides right down and it is easy to work with. You can staple it in place or use screws. On mine, I slanted it and curled it to allow gravity to move dust toward the hose port. This works great. Since then I've used that system again and again on everything from Mitersaw stands to dust collection boxes under contractor table saws. I was looking for pictures to demo this, but realized I hadn't taken any. Let me know if you don't understand and I will try to describe it better.

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Also consider that like the SCMS, the router table DC may actually perform ‘better’ with a high-quality shop-vac solution (I use a CT-26 with Oneida’s UDD) than with central DC.

I used to connect my router table to a very capable central DC, and tried the local shop-vac -- the local CT out-performs. Same goes for my SCMS – I used to have it hooked to the central DC, and then it too got a dedicated FT CT-Midi.

HHH, I don't disagree with you here. I had a very similar situation, but it annoyed me. How could my 50 dollar shop vac out perform my 1500 dollar dust collector? I found an old article in Wood Magazine that addressed this issue and basically talked about doing exactly what PBMaster11 talked about. The article recommended an adjustable vent in the router table. If I remember right it used an adjustable heat vent like you'd have on the floor of your house (assuming you have forced air heat in your house.) Anway, I ended up experimenting with this and whal-lah! As it turns out a cyclone dust collector "needs" the vent in the router table, especially when the throat opening is filled by a large bit.

Anyway, it has something to do with volume of air vs power of suction. At risk of me butchering the physics on this, I'll just say that in order to get your DC to work with your router table, it sometimes needs a little massaging.

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==> it has something to do with volume of air vs power of suction. At risk of me butchering the physics on this, I'll just say that in order to get your DC to work with your router table, it sometimes needs a little massaging.

To expand your thoughts...

Folks need to look at fan curves to see why central DCs have issues with small-port tools (SCMSs, router tables, et al)….

Central DCs are designed to move high volumes at low pressure, while shop vacs are designed to move low volumes at high pressure.

A central DC has high CFM, but at low static pressure. If one looks at fan curves, you see that CFM and SP are inversely related. Most central DCs top-out around 11.5” H2O at around 200CFM… Resistance (in SP) is created by ductwork, flex hose, elbows, etc. – that’s why effective CFM goes down as the amount of ductwork, fittings, etc goes up. SP also goes up as the neck size of the hose/port goes down. At the typical port size of a router table, SCMS, etc the pressure goes up to the point where CFM drops below 200 (assuming typical amount of ductwork between the cyclone and the tool’s port) and the central CD tops-out.

On the other hand, shop vacs are designed to move

That’s not to say that you can’t tune a central DC to work on small-port tools, it’s just that you are working against the design intent of the system (high volume, low pressure). You certainly can – it just takes time/effort/etc. On the other hand, a shop vac may not always work better than a central DC – cheap shop vacs have lower CFM/SP fan curves themselves. A top-quality shop vac will usually work better with small-port tools simply because you are playing to their design and you can

Differential SP meters are pretty cheap these days, so adding one to your DC may help diagnose problems. Smoke sticks are also valuable to troubleshoot.

That's why you split a central dc into the fence and cabinet as well as add an intake at the door. And that's got to be more than an eighth inch gap on three sides of the door. The best system is one that's balanced with intake meeting or exceeding exhaust. Also, I realize you're trying to prove a point but your numbers seem skewed. Shop vacs run about 150/55. My central dc runs 800/8.5 not 200/11.5. It seems like you may want to revisit your numbers.

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Casters:

Steelex D2607 3-Inch 220-Pound Swivel Polyurethane Plate Caster

Steelex D2608 3-Inch 220-Pound Swivel Double Lock Polyurethane Plate Caster

I use these on most everything that rolls around, the 4" work better on really heavy stuff like my table saw/router table combo unit.

HTH,

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...

About 8yrs or so ago I built what I think is my fourth router table, each on has been bigger and better than the previous. The whole compartment where the router lives is taller than on my previous ones, this allows more room for the bottom of the compartment to be ramped to the back of the cabinet to direct the dust to the 4" port which is in the center of the compartment. When I made mine I made a baffle that made it so the bottom 1/3 of the 4" diameter is closed off and angled into the port, this allows the bottom of the ramp to line up with what is now a straight line in the dust port which is something like 1 3/4" long. This allows the dust to be collected right away instead of building up which was a big improvement over the previous ones I built. Add this to the ramps that direct the dust to the port and it has been collecting a very high percentage of the dust.

As for casters I have straight casters in the front (with the wheels sitting front to back) and swivels on the back, this makes it so the side to side motion is stopped by the front casters and backward pressure is stopped by the wall it sits against. My router table is large and heavy but moves nice, with the way I have the casters mounted it never moves and I never have to lock the casters.

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