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  • DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

    This post is part observationI, and part question.

    I have been using a new to me General 650 cabinet saw for a couple weeks now... not a lot of use either... I built an extension wing table for the saw, and finished some drawer faces from another project...

    Anyway, I was surprised by how much sawdust has accumulated in the cabinet in just 2 weeks when I compare to my General International contractor saw which I had been using for the past 2-3 years.

    I was moving the contractor saw in the shop today and thought I should clean it out first, I was impressed by how little dust has accumulated.

    I always thought a cabinet saw would have better collection, and I do need to increase the dust port size from 4 to 5"... but I didn't think the difference would be so great.

    2 weeks Cabinet sawdust accumulation:

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    2-3 years Contractor sawdust accumulation:

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    ​​​​​​

    The cabinet saw has ramp that slopes down to a 4" dust port, and then connects to a 5" line.
    The contractor saw has a 5" pipe just below the blade assembly.

    The contractor saw also had a super custom back cover to contain the dust:
    Click image for larger version

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    I wonder what would make such a difference?

    Interior volume difference?

    Proximity of DC intake to dust source?

    4" vs 5" connection?

    Super custom back cover?

    What do you think? How well is dust collected from your cabinet saw? How do you do it?

    I'm planning to modify the collection on my new saw soon. I know some newer saws have a dust shroud that runs up to the blade. Is that worth it? Or should I get something like a 5" bell mouth flange connection and just collect from the bottom? Should I just leave it 4"? The dust is in the cabinet anyway?

    I use a 3 or 3.5" line to the blade guard too...
    ​​​​​​
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  • #2

    Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

    If the dust is well contained then why worry about it. You may find the real source of dust getting into the shop is from the top of the saw at the blade unless your top collection is working real well.

    I have a contractor saw that I made some custom collection pieces for and it tends to fill to a certain level which is a fair amount of sawdust if you clean it out. After that level is reached then the DC pickup becomes more "efficient" and the level of sawdust inside is stable so I'm happy.

    billh

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    • #3

      Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

      I agree with Bill, if the sawdust is contained in the cabinet don't worry about it, worry about the dust that escapes into the air you breathe above the blade. Do you have dust collection above the table?

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

        in my big Delta 350 (12-14" saw) dust will collect in the corners, sides, etc in all the low pressure/low velocity(??) areas.
        thw dust collector still removes a lot of dust, but until those spots fill up and make a sort of ramp/funnel to the dust port, it's only the lighter floating stuff (which is fine by me)

        my old contractor saw did much like yours (OP) but I assumed it was because air was coming in from many places, and the total void was much smaller so the turbulance created in the void affected more of that space, thus disrupting the dusts ability to "settle".
        [insert something witty here]

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        • #5

          Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

          Thanks for the comments.

          Perhaps that's it... I'll wait to see if the amount of dust in the cabinet stabilizes.

          Anecdotally, I found the dust collection on the old saw felt to be better the way I had it... but I'm just getting used to this one...

          Originally posted by Doug G View Post
          Do you have dust collection above the table?
          I have a 3" or 3.5" line to a Felder guard over the table which works reasonably well.

          All that said, I'm always interested in tinkering for improvements...

          I am still considering opening up the port to 5" when I get around to it. Also, I'm interested if anyone else modified a pickup/shroud near the blade or has a newer saw with something like that. How well does it work? My saw has a long cast part at the base of the blade area, open on the bottom I thought might accommodate some kind of connection reasonably well... anyone else notice that on their General?
          Last edited by altiplano; 03-20-2019, 08:17 AM.

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          • #6

            Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

            I believe there are low velocity corners in most tablesaws. I don’t think most tablesaw manufactures ever paid super attention to aerodynamics in the wind tunnel.

            For sure more CFM would reach further to those low velocity corners, but in most cases I think you’re fighting a losing battle.
            I guess you could contour those low velocity corners with with filler blocks of some sort. But most often the dust that lingers is doing that job. The fine dust which is more hazardous and is airborne, the DC usually takes care of.
            For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
            Sir Isaac Newton.

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            • #7

              Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

              My brother has my old 650, which I modified to a 5" port.

              It improved things a bit however when I was over to his house to perform annual PM on the saw there was still about 4" of dust in the corners.

              As others have said, don't worry about it, it's the dust that escapes the cabinet that you have to worry about.........Rod.
              Work is the curse of the riding class.

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              • #8

                Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                ​​​​​​Fair enough. I won't worry about accumulation in the corners . Sounds like that's happening no matter what I do, and it's contained.

                But how about with regards to capturing dust while working?

                Rod, did the 5" improve the dust capture noticeably on your brother's saw?

                ​​​​​​Did you just cut and attach a collar where the original dust port was?

                When you had a 650, did you modify that for a larger port too?

                Still interested if anyone has an internal pickup, or shroud, or something similar internally in their saw. How much improvement can be seen by bringing the airflow closer to the blade.

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                • #9

                  Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                  10 years ago I built a ramp in my Unisaw to direct dust to the port. It worked OK but not perfectly and it still left dust in the corners. If I wanted it clean inside I had to remove the ramp and vacuum the cabinet which i did regularly to the extent that I finally left the ramp out altogether. It was more trouble to mess with the ramp than to clean and vacuum the cabinet.
                  bender likes this.
                  "Do it Right!"

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                  • #10

                    Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                    I found a big improvement in my general 250 by moving the pickup closer to the saw.

                    I drilled a 4” hole in the back and used duct S and a furnace boot to move the pickup point up under the blade.

                    It’s not pretty and it’s a permanent modification to your saw.... but it helps.

                    I notice a difference with less dust getting thrown at my face.
                    i don’t care about accumulation in the cabinet base.

                    Nathan

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                    • #11

                      Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                      Altiplano,

                      a few thoughts / observations

                      - my General International version of the 350/650 shows the same dust accumulation pattern
                      - the size of the particles that remain at the bottom of the saw appears to be larger to what can easily float into the air
                      - I suppose that your 5 inch pickup on your older saw might explain some (most?) of the difference in performance?
                      - like your idea of trying to set up some kind of shroud under the blade assembly

                      J.

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                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                        Originally posted by altiplano View Post
                        ​​​​​​Fair enough. I won't worry about accumulation in the corners . Sounds like that's happening no matter what I do, and it's contained.

                        But how about with regards to capturing dust while working?

                        Rod, did the 5" improve the dust capture noticeably on your brother's saw?

                        ​​​​​​Did you just cut and attach a collar where the original dust port was?

                        When you had a 650, did you modify that for a larger port too?

                        Still interested if anyone has an internal pickup, or shroud, or something similar internally in their saw. How much improvement can be seen by bringing the airflow closer to the blade.
                        The 5 inch did help, and yes I just cut a hole and put a collar on it. This is my 650 I'm talking about, I sold it to him when I bought my B3.

                        The 650 has an Excalibur overarm guard for above the blade collection, that's an enormous improvement in itself..........Rod.
                        Work is the curse of the riding class.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                          I actually like the overarm guards but I don't like that they don't work well doing some tasks. Sorta like splitters and dado blades don't play well together. lol
                          "Do it Right!"

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                          • #14

                            Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                            Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                            I actually like the overarm guards but I don't like that they don't work well doing some tasks. Sorta like splitters and dado blades don't play well together. lol
                            Very true, that's why I have 3 guards for my saw

                            - stock narrow Euro guard

                            - overarm guard

                            - bridge guard.

                            regards, Rod.
                            Work is the curse of the riding class.

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                            • #15

                              Re: DC Cabinet vs. Contractor saw

                              Rod have you got a pick of your bridge guard and is it on your slider? If so how big is the blade?
                              "Do it Right!"

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