Article Author: Dean Bielanowski  

Cheap, Effective 14" Bandsaw Dust Collection Modification
By Dean Bielanowski

I have been on the lookout for an easy, cheap and effective dust collection option for my Taiwanese import 14" generic bandsaw for some time. Searching the web reveals a few options for modifications which look ok, but some involved building complex box assemblies to which a 4" hose then connected to, with some tricky mounting procedures. Others involve cutting holes in the bandsaw doors or drilling into the saw casting to attach them. Some used a hose connected down near the bottom wheel of the saw, and while this works well, I discovered that it doesn't catch some of the dust that flies out to the right of the saw just beneath the table.

After a bit of research, it seemed to best place to place a dust hose is right beneath the table to the right of the blade, just lateral to the below table blade guides. This would catch almost all the dust shooting down below into the bottom wheel area, as well as any dust that shoots out laterally from the table. It was also logical that, for the most efficient extraction, you would want a full 4" (or larger hose) sitting pretty close to the blade, not anything smaller, like some of the small, thin opening dust attachments you can buy for these saws... they simply don't do the job.

The problem was, how to attach the hose and keep it directly under the table next to the blade. I first though magnets... these would hold the hose strongly, but because the hose is round and the underside of the table has flat undulations, getting a good fix was difficult, plus gluing magnets to the hose would be tricky.

So then the answer came... Ok, so its not the nicest looking thing, but it costs virtually nothing and it works a treat for cutting from 0 - 25 degrees or so (see below for limitations). Simply suspend your 4" hose under the table by using a small length of tie wire and hang it from the table leveling pin on the right side edge of the table. I sat the hose underneath and wrapped some wire around the hose, then around the leveling pin and twisted it on to lock into place. Like I said, not pretty, but now the hose opening sits pretty much over the guides and perhaps an inch or two away from the blade, directly under the table opening for the blade. Attached to a 1HP extractor (or higher), there is ample air draw right next to the blade to catch virtually all dust that falls below the table (which is almost all dust during a bandsaw cut (the blade drags the dust down).

I am lucky in that I have a small portable 1HP extractor I use solely for my bandsaw, so I can leave the hose attached permanently. It is a bit troublesome to remove the hose, however, if you want to take it off, you can simply take out the leveling pin and the hose can be removed in a flash, and re-added just as easily. The hose doesn't weigh a whole lot so there is minimal load on the leveling pin too, so nothing should break anytime soon.

After making this 2 cent modification (the relative cost of a short piece of tie wire), and in under 1 minute, my bandsaw dust collection problem is solved. No more having to remove the bottom wheel cover and vacuum it out all the time, and little dust found around the saw or in any of the small casting rib areas.

The other advantages are that there are no hoses sticking out the front of the saw, and it doesn't impede the top surface of the bandsaw table in any way, plus it actually holds there quite firmly and doesn't move during use.

The downside: Ok, so nothing is perfect. If you need to tilt your bandsaw table beyond 20-25 degrees, it will start squashing the hose, so you may need to reposition it or work around the problem some other way. I mostly resaw on the bandsaw at the square 0 degree setting so it's not a problem for me, but your mileage may vary.

Otherwise, it works great! Try it yourself if you have one of these 14" generic import bandsaws!

 

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