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Radial arm saw dust collection

airbalance's picture

To the Knots or Nuts depending on who we talk to. I have a question and hopefully an answer from a expert. I have a Craftsman 10” radial arm saw.  It is an older model and works great, cuts very accurate and I have only one complaint. “Dust control”.  It is the only tool I have left that doesn’t have a serious dust control set up on it. I have tried several things to control dust that this thing produces. I have had the who back covered with a box, didn’t work, I have under the table dust collection, didn’t work, I have attempted to put a moveable side panel on the housing, didn’t work. I use a 2HP shop vac on the front discharge hose and have even tried a 10 shop vac with reducers, didn’t work. My next attempt is to fill the shroud/Blade guard with spray foam the have an open space at the top that is hooked to my shop vac.  What are your thoughts, has somebody all ready invented this wheel? I have seen all kinds of info here on dust collection on table saws, routers, sanders, band saws, jointers and planers, but I haven't seen anything on radial arm saws. Thanks!

supervisor's picture

(post #87066, reply #1 of 9)

I have an older Dewalt and have good collection from the blade guard and a box with a register boot in it. The boot is attached to to the end of a 5 x5 x3 y and the 3 inch part of the y is connected to a 3 to 2 reducer and then a 2 inch hose to the blade guard. I used this same set up with a Craftsman a few years ago. The dust collector that all this is hooked up to is a 5 hp cyclone. I think your problem is that you may be asking a shop vac to do a dust collectors job. Good luck

Jfrostjr's picture

(post #87066, reply #5 of 9)

I agree that this task requires a dust collector. When I hooked up my Oneida Dust Gorilla to this home made hood, it "reached up" 12" 15" to grab stray dust. I don't bother with the blade guard hose - and you can see how clean the area is.


"I sometimes think we consider the good fortune of the early bird and overlook the bad fortune of the early worm." FDR - 1922

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SmithWerks55's picture

(post #87066, reply #2 of 9)

I have an older 10" Craftsman RAS as well and struggled with dust pickup for years.  I could never get enough suction from my shop vac no matter what I tried.  I now have it connected to a 2hp cyclone (as well as the rest of my shop tools) and the problem is solved.  Onieda supplied a metal box that I mounted behind the blade and connected via a 4" hose.  It sucks up 98% of the dust.  

OB's picture

(post #87066, reply #3 of 9)

Don't ask a shop vac to do a dust collector's job.

Good, better, best never let it rest until your good is better & your better best.

Good, better, best never let it rest until your good is better & your better best.
MikeHennessy's picture

(post #87066, reply #4 of 9)

Dust collection on a RAS will never be perfect, but here are a few things you can do to help:

1) Get a dust collector. A shop vac just doesn't move enough air for this job.

2) Build a dust shroud behind the saw and hook it up to the DC. This includes filling in the table area behind the fence and around the post. It won't get everything, but it will get most of the fine airborne stuff. Mine is a box about 4" deep, open behind the saw. It tapers down as it heads to the floor, where the DC connector resides. See pic:

3) You can hook a hose up to the blade guard outlet, but I find it works just as well to add an elbow to direct the dust back into your shroud. See pic:

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

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KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #87066, reply #6 of 9)


Along with all you've gotten from your post see this:

I built a winged capture shroud connected to the DC and also adapted my blade guard as did Mike H., i.e. I borrowed his setup :>).  It gets almost all the dust.

Next step is to get the CMS under control.  It'll utilize the same station as the RAS.  What messes up the CMS is the post on the RAS but a wedge of thin plywood should solve that issue.

If ya can't get to the blog let me know and I'll post a pic for ya.


Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Scag_man's picture

(post #87066, reply #7 of 9)

I'm getting nearly 100% dust collection on my Radial Arm Saw.   I just built a box behind it and have the dust port on the worksurface inside the box (see picture).  The box sides and top extend as far out as possible, and in the back of the box, I've inserted a piece of formica so the dust has a friction-free surface to hit and fall. 

That little port in the front of the saw blade hood is almost useless, so I don't even try to hook up a hose to it anymore.  I keep the hood horizontal and nearly all the dust shoots out the back in to my suction box.  On the rare occasion where some dust does shoot out the front, I cover that port (a condom or fingercot works well) and this forces the dust out the back, down the hole.

However, I agree with the others, a dust collector works better than a shop vac.  My system uses a 1 HP dust collector.

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Moksha's picture

(post #87066, reply #8 of 9)

We seem to have the same saw... attached are photos of
my solution. A lever on top of the dust hood opens and closes
the blast gate.

airbalance's picture

(post #87066, reply #9 of 9)

Thanks guys for all the in put. I can make this happen!!