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Radial Arm Saw Dust Collector

There are many videos on YouTube showing some pretty ingenious dust collectors for radial arm saws. Most use a fairly small enclosure located just behind the fence, with a shop vac attachment for forcefully inhaling the sawdust. They appear to work extremely well for cuts that are at 90° to the fence and to the table surface. Maybe my interpretation of the dust collectors is wrong and they adapt to any angle.

Dust Collector for Craftsman Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

Approximate outside dimensions are 44" wide x 26" high x 14" deep. Saw sizes have changed over the years, so you will need to make sure. The height needs to clear the highest you think you will need to raise the arm.

Sawdust Collector for Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

Since I only have a small shop vac and do not like to have to turn it on every time I make a cut, my solution is a more brute force approach that provides a large sawdust collection backdrop that accommodates any combination of cutting angles as well as any saw arm height. It does not capture the mess as completely as the vacuum schemes, but it sure cuts way down on the amount of clean-up needed most of the time.

Dust Collector for Craftsman Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

As with the other types, my dust collector does not help a whole lot when making a rip cut, but even then it al least helps keep sawdust from falling on the floor behind the radial arm saw.

Completed Sawdust Collector for Craftsman Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

I have designed and built two similar dust collectors when I owned two other radial arm saws(both Craftsman, both sold prior to moving to a different house in a different state). The first one I made of plywood and pine sticks like this one, and the second I made using the cardboard box the saw shipped in. The cardboard one was easier and faster to build, but it was nowhere near as nice looking or rugged.

I did not take the time to draw plans for this newest of my radial arm saw dust collectors, but you can tell from what is shown in the photos what the basic construction consists of. I went to a lot of trouble to assure a tight fit around the vertical arm support column and around the two brackets that the table surface attaches to. The bottom plywood of the dust collector slides under the back of the table surface and is held on by its friction fit. All of the pine framework is glued to the plywood and to adjacent frame pieces, so the structure is very strong and easily supports its own weight while sitting on the radial arm saw's main metal frame.

The plywood is 1/4" mahogany plywood floor underlayment, and the pine sticks are cut from 3/4" x 1-1/2" framing strips. Elmer's carpenter glue was used throughout.

Cardboard Dust Collector for Craftsman Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

Cardboard dust collector.

Wooden Dust Collector for Craftsman Radial Arm Saw - Airplanes and Rockets

My first wooden dust collector

Other Woodworking Tips & Projects:

 

Posted October 18, 2014

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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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