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Thread: perforating ZCI to improve dust collection?

  1. #1

    perforating ZCI to improve dust collection?

    Hi All,

    Wondering what opinion you had about punching several small holes in my table saw's zero-clearance insert to help with dust collection. Ever since using ZCI's, I've noticed more dust coming from above the plate. I do have an overhead guard with dust collection (Sharkguard), but don't use it all the time. I have a 3hp dust collector that is a short run from the saw, so I think there's good suction, but not where it's needed without the overhead guard. Also, I'm working in a basement, so I need optimized collecting.

    Thanks,
    Gil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    404
    I do not think this will help. The blade pulls the dust under the table during the cutting motion. The dust above the table comes from the portion of the blade moving up at the back of the saw.

    You might get a little improvement by widening the ZCI blade slot, but then it is not a ZCI

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    walnut creek, california
    Posts
    2,347
    gil, after spending all that money and then waiting all that time to receive the sharkguard, why aren't you using it? i purchased one last year and feel pretty comfortable making cuts without wearing a dust mask. i have found that the suction on the thing is so strong that it will actually suck up home made blade inserts!

  4. #4
    I would think that you could widen the back half of the ZCI (center of the blade back) without losing the benefits of the ZCI. If you make your own ZCI, then your not out anything to experiment a little.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,250
    How will the air get into your perforated or widened holes when the wood is covering them up?
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  6. #6

    Lightbulb great input -- thank you

    Thanks all for your quick and thoughtful replies. Frank, I hate to admit that I haven't gotten it connected to my dust collection -- still debating between ceiling versus saw mounting. Jason, your reply was an 'ah-hah' moment for me -- I have no idea how the air would flow through the wood being cut. I'll get crackin' on the Sharkguard hookup.

    Gil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Southport, NC
    Posts
    2,886
    Jason, ya beat me to it.

    That said, another thing to keep in mind about dust collection is that what you want to optimize is the air flow, not the suction. You need to have about the same number of square inches of air inlet as have for exhaust. For example, a 4" pipe has about 12 sq. inches so a saw needs about the same number of square inches of air inlet. In addition to air flow, it is important to consider flow direction. You want your primary pick up to be at the point where the blade is throwing the sawdust. Sawdust is moving at over 100 mph when ejected from the blade and there is no way that the DC air flow is going to change that direction until the dust slows down.
    Howie.........

  8. #8
    I've seen this done but have not tried it. My throat plate is generally covered when I'm cutting. I do use my blast gates to throttle the lower cabinet hose and focus more draw on the overarm when it is in use. If I had enough suction to keep the top of my TS spotless it would probably suck up my pencil.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    1,250
    Soon as I locate me one of them there fancy circular tuit jobbies, I hope to come up with a way to adapt a shroud around my blade under the table. Like many of the hybrid saws do it. This, to me would beat the heck out of any other enclosure, i'm thinking. Maybe ... if I ever locate one.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    25
    might be a little bit of work, but how about a grid of kerf cuts spaced about an inch or so apart with holes drilled at the intersections? that way there is a place for the dust to go when your wood is on top of the zci and you wouldn't lose the benefits? the only drawback (could be dangerous) is with small pieces you may get caught up on the kerf cut....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    walnut creek, california
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    2,347
    gil, mount that dust collection hose from the ceiling! i've got mine currently hooked up to the sharkguard and then suspended over the saw by a couple of ropes and the annoying thing is that the weight of the dust collection hose will tend to drag the guard off to the right causing the bladeguard to deflect and jam the cut. one of these days i'm going get an armload of hose and hang it it so that there's a vertical drop from the ceiling.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    660
    What type of tablesaw are you useing ? Bench ? Contractor ? Hybrid ? Cabinet ?

  13. #13

    thanks again

    Hey All,

    I'll say what's been expressed many times before -- I really appreciate the kind atmosphere and abundant great advice of the Creek.

    Chuck: I am the proud owner of a right tilt Unisaw with Bies fence & Benchdog routerplate

    Frank: I'm letting 'perfect' be the enemy of 'good'. I asked Jeff Makiel to email me the plans to his completely amazing shop-made overarm guard (for anyone interested, the old threads are easily found by searching 'overarm guard') and am leaning towards constructing a similar mount to connect to the Sharkguard. I should quit procrastinating and just get the thing attached to the ceiling and be done with it, but I often have to move my saw because I'm in a small space.

    Gil

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,137
    Gil,

    At the risk of blowing my one potential invention that would make me rich, I want to try what you are describing, with holes on the left front side of the ZCI, pointing towards the front of the blade.

    My biggest sawdust mess is when I am trimming the edge of a board on the table saw, with a cut narrower than the blade kerf. As I even out the board, the blade throws the sawdust to the front left corner of the table. I am thinking the angled holes could just divert the dust.

    Then again, the invention might not work and I would still have to work or a living.
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    Soon as I locate me one of them there fancy circular tuit jobbies, I hope to come up with a way to adapt a shroud around my blade under the table. Like many of the hybrid saws do it. This, to me would beat the heck out of any other enclosure, i'm thinking. Maybe ... if I ever locate one.
    Lowes stocks a 4" X10" register boot, with a 4" outlet. On a contractor's saw, it would be easy to put it up through bottom so as to semi enclose blade. It would have to be removable for tilting the blade though.

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