Buy or Make Your Own?
What is the purpose of Dust Hoods? Of course, they allow you to hook up a machine to your dust collection system. It makes sense that the better your dust hood, the more wood chips and dust you will collect.
Which machines produce the most chips or wood dust? I believe that the Planer produces the most chips.
The Sander produces the most dust. Yet, all machines produce a fair amount of chips & dust. Therefore, you need good hoods for each piece of equipment.
Which Is Better
A Hood that Came with Your Machine or Custom-Made?
Nearly all enclosed bandsaws come with a small 1½" port. It looks more like a thimble for such a big machine. These do not work for dust collection. Some people cut into the side of the Bandsaw's lower door. That does not make sense to me!
There are two good methods to replace the "thimble".
- Take a 6" x 4" reducer, glue a couple of rare earth magnets to the top. Squeeze the 6" end to fit just below the Bandsaw Table. The rare earth magnets hold the reducer tightly to the Bandsaw Table. Now you have a nifty 4" connection to flex pipe.
- Take a piece of ¼" x 6" wide x 10" long plywood. Cut it to fit under the Bandsaw Table. Drill a 4" hole near the top. Glue a 4" plastic pipe into the hole. Use the screws for the old "thimble" to attach the plywood plate. Again, you have a nifty 4" connection for a dust hood.
I used ¼" Plexiglas for the initial plate in the picture. It shattered at the second screw. That is why I recommend using plywood or tempered hardboard.
Delta Unisaw: There is a rectangular hole just below the motor cover. [Left picture]
Guess Delta thought you would allow the chips and dust to fall out on the floor.
You can purchase Delta's connector for $60. They make it out of flimsy sheet metal.
Alternatively, you can take a plate of aluminum the size to cover the rectangular hole. Cut a 4" hole in the center, and put a 4" bellmouth pointing outward. Total cost around $12.
Rivet the bellmouth to the aluminum plate. Seal the bellmouth and rivets with foil (aluminum/silicone) tape. Put some gasket material around the edge, and screw it to the Unisaw opening.
Now you have a nice connection to 4" flex pipe connected to your dust collection equipment.
You can make your own dust hood as a Blade Guard for top dust collection, as well.
Random Orbital Sanders:
Most sanders give you a little bag to collect dust. Have you ever seen wood dust particles in the air after sanding?
What can you do to help?
Makita priced me a connection that had 1" x 6' hose for $30. That reminded me of my home vacuum system.
Is their a better way for Dust Collection with a hand sander?
Find a reducer 1¼" x 2½" to fit a shop-vac hose. Take your sander down to a hardware store, such as Ace, Lowe's, Home Depot. Find a slip connection (plastic) that will fit your sander discharge port. The slip connection needs threads on the other end. Then take an adapter that will screw on to the previous connection and accept 1" plastic pipe. Glue the 1" x 4" long plastic pipe into the adapter. The 1" plastic pipe will fit into the 1¼ " x 2½" reducer.
Now you have a nice connection to your sander and the 2½" flex hose to your dust collection system. This works great. You eliminate most wood dust from the Orbital Sander.
By the way, the 1¼" x 2½" shop-vac-hose reducer fits great into the Dewalt 621 Router Port. You can wrap a couple of layers of electrical tape around the outside to make it fit snuggly.
Dewalt Wood Planer: came with its own 4" dust hood. It is reasonably effective.