Over the blade dust collection - pros/cons.

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HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
Hey folks,

With my baby boy looking to venture out into the shop (garage) more and more, efficient dust collection has moved to the top of my list of priorities. (Not the easiest task when you're an OWWM guy - DC wasn't really on the radar at that point in our history).

I've got a solid game plan for the overall upgrade/ overhaul, (I'll start a thread when there's something to show), but the purpose of this thread is to try to talk myself into learning to work w/ a blade guard and all of the associated benefits of at-the-source dust collection.

Hand-slapping aside, I've never liked working w/ blade guards - I'm more comfortable seeing the blade at the cut, (and the kerf behind the blade). I use a full arsenal of safety gear, (gripper, push-sticks, featherboards, etc), and feel confident in my abilities. That said, my exposure to blade guards has been the crappy 40-50year old versions that were original to my machines - not exactly state of the art.

All that said, at-the-source dust collection is by far the most effective way to go, so I'm willing to give it a shot. It's looking like the Shark Guard is a good choice, so I'm leaning that way. My saw is somewhat mobile, so I'll fab up a boom to cantilever across the table from the right. I really like the Excalibur/ Exactor design as well, I'm just not wild about the $500 price tag.

I'd love to hear any reviews of these systems, as well as any confirmation, (or denial), that these modern blade guards are easy to work with - and will make a useful addition to the shop, as opposed to being removed in a month or so and set in a cabinet along with the original guards:gar-Bi

Thanks folks.
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
My main beef with overhead guards is cutting stock around 4" or less interferes with the use of a gripper and thats when I want to use the gripper the most. I didn't buy additional splitters with my shark. I don't recall them being available when I got mine either. My shark splitter mounts the overhead guard to the top of it and sticks up quite abit so even if I remove the guard and mounting hardware, my gripper wont go over it.

I've been wanting to switch over to the BORK.
http://www.theborkstore.com/main.sc

The overhead guard looks like it can be mounted and removed pretty easily and doesnt effect the profile of the splitter. But, I don't see any dust collection port.
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
I put the shark guard on my Grizzly sliding table saw. It works great. So great in fact that I have to close down the blast gate about half way when cutting short pieces. I opted for the 4" dc connection but it seems like the 2-1/2" or 3" would have been sufficient. Dust collection with the guard in place is excellent

My saw has a riving knife which was replaced by the riving knife that came with the shark guard. The guard itself is very easy to take off and put back on to the riving knife. I have found that I leave the guard on for 99% of the cuts I make on the saw. I usually find a different way to make a cut if the one I am considering requires removal of the guard.

I don't remember if I had the shark guard when you stopped by to get the board buddies and drawer slides, but either way, you are always welcome to stop by again to check out how it mounts and works.

What are you planning to do for under the table dust collection?
 

DWSmith

New User
David
MarkE - I've tried overarm guards and I too have found that when cutting pieces that aren't very wide, the guard gets in the way. Is this the case with the Shark Guard you have on your Grizzly?
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I never liked guards- and still don't because they get in the way!

I built an over-blade dust shroud, that when used, works quite well at catching the dust propelled from the top of the blade. That dust, usually caught in the blade gullets, can be traveling at 100 MPH or more and so moving faster than the typical speed of air in a dust collection system. My shroud uses bristles to stop the high velocity dust which has a considerable amount of kinetic energy, until has slowed enough that it can be collected by a 3" DC pipe. The bristles conform fairly well to the stock, better than most solid guards, and also allow make-up air to enter the area around the blade so the DC pickup is not starved- a big consideration.

It has a plexi top so you can see the blade and is hinged so I can swing it up out of the way when it can't be used.

Unfortunately, that can be fairly often. My big issue with most blade guards that also try to be dust shrouds is that they provide better safety than dust collection- they don't trap the dust well, and just like my shroud, can't be used with tenoning and many other TS jigs.

(There are more pictures of it in a gallery album.)

 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
MarkE - I've tried overarm guards and I too have found that when cutting pieces that aren't very wide, the guard gets in the way. Is this the case with the Shark Guard you have on your Grizzly?
It does get in the way if I am trying to rip thin pieces (<1" wide) using the rip fence. For cutting thin strips off of a wide blank, I pull the rip fence forward and use it as a stop while using the sliding table to move the workpiece past the blade.
 

MarkE

Mark
Corporate Member
I never liked guards- and still don't because they get in the way!

I built an over-blade dust shroud, that when used, works quite well at catching the dust propelled from the top of the blade. That dust, usually caught in the blade gullets, can be traveling at 100 MPH or more and so moving faster than the typical speed of air in a dust collection system. My shroud uses bristles to stop the high velocity dust which has considerable kinetic energy, until has slowed enough that it can be collected by a 3" DC pipe. The bristles conform fairly well to the stock, better than most solid guards, and also allow make-up air to enter the area around the blade so the DC pickup is not starved- a big consideration.

It has a plexi top so you can see the blade and is hinged so I can swing it up out of the way when it can't be used.

Unfortunately, that can be fairly often. My big issue with most blade guards that also try to be dust shrouds is that they provide better safety than dust collection- they don't trap the dust well, and just like my shroud, can't be used with tenoning and many other TS jigs.

(There are more pictures of it in a gallery album.)

That's pretty slick. Looks like you can leave this setup in place even when you are making non-through cuts.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
Someone on here a few years back got creative an made a combo guard -dust cover with a plastic peanut butter jar.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
The Biesemeyer over head guard locks up out of the way when needed. I've had one for years, but never installed one. I traded some welding for it.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
Heath, one of our NCWW members, Doug Wilberg, built his own. He lives on the north side of Fuquay-Varina. If you want, one night after work I'll run you over to his shop.

Scott
 

HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
What are you planning to do for under the table dust collection?
Hey Mark, I'm in the process of restoring my "new" saw - a '64 Powermatic PM65, (precursor to the PM66), typical cabinet saw dust collection capabilities w/ a 4" port in the rear, (more than likely to be modified to a 6" bell-mouth while I'm dealing w/ the other bodywork....)

zapdafish said:
My main beef with overhead guards is cutting stock around 4" or less interferes with the use of a gripper....
Exactly my issue w/ guards to this point, doesn't look like that will change

Thinking more on the subject, SOME dust is generated w/ typical crosscut/ ripping operation, but my major dust production comes from hogging out dados and other non-through cuts - basically the ones you cant use the guards for anyway.....:eusa_thin. I may have answered my own question....paralysis by analysis?

Thanks for all the feedback guys!
 

CDPeters

Master of None
Chris
Heath -

I have a plan somewhere for one I'm intending to build that I found online. Can't find it right now, but I'll keep looking and post it when I find it. It features a Lexan shield so you can always see blade.

C.
 

Hank Knight

New User
Hank
Heath,

My sinus and respiratory problems after a day in the shop finally compelled me to install a cyclone. I hoped to get by with under-the-table dust collection on my table saw, but I found that I still had trouble with the fine dust thrown in the air by the saw blade. I added a ceiling mounted Excalibur blade guard, even though I hate blade guards, and that has fixed my problem - no more sinus headaches and breathing difficulties. The Excalibur can be raised and lowered 8"-10" and I built my ceiling mount so I can raise it an additional 14". If necessary, I can easily remove it all toghether, so I can get it completely out of the way if it interferes with the work. It is a little inconvenient, but I have gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me. The difference it makes is worth the inconveninece. I can tell a huge improvement in capturing the fine dust, and it's the "fines" that pose the health risk. I don't think there's any way to capture them effectively without some kind of over-the-table system.

My $.02

Hank
 

CDPeters

Master of None
Chris
Heath -

I found the file and uploaded it to the Download Library. The file does not contain the author's info and I was unable to locate it, but I did find the file in the open public domain on the internet.

I really like this design as it has the following features:

- Guard is mounted to allow up/down movement with the workpiece
- The nose is angled so the workpiece slides under, lifting the gaurd, while effectively capturing the dust thrown off the top of the blade
- The guard is lexan or PTEG so you can see the blade from all angles
- The guard is wide enough to accomodate 10" blade tilts up to 45 degrees without adjustment
- The whole guard support arm swings easily away for cutting end tenon cheeks on a long workpiece.

Here's the link

HTH,
Chris
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
The person who really solves this problem is going to make a LOT of money!:icon_thum And, I'll be one of the first in line if it's at all affordable!! :wsmile:
 

HMH

Heath Hendrick
Senior User
Chris,

Very interesting....I really like the break-away design. Construction looks simple enough as well.

Thanks for the link!


Heath -

I found the file and uploaded it to the Download Library. The file does not contain the author's info and I was unable to locate it, but I did find the file in the open public domain on the internet.

I really like this design as it has the following features:

- Guard is mounted to allow up/down movement with the workpiece
- The nose is angled so the workpiece slides under, lifting the gaurd, while effectively capturing the dust thrown off the top of the blade
- The guard is lexan or PTEG so you can see the blade from all angles
- The guard is wide enough to accomodate 10" blade tilts up to 45 degrees without adjustment
- The whole guard support arm swings easily away for cutting end tenon cheeks on a long workpiece.

Here's the link

HTH,
Chris
 
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