Router table – Storage and dust management

I have equipped my shop with a router table for quite some time now and had set my target on the Jessem router table combo.  My local dealer had combos with the table top, stand and 3HP router.  Had my eyes on the standard kit with the white top, fence, lift and open base.  

The router table Kit

Finally had the chance to get one, in an local auction but nailed the Mast-R-Excel kit with a Milwaukee 3 hp router for about 1/2 price of what new would of costed at the time.  

Have been really satisfied with the table and router so far and have used for many tasks.  Dust collection is pretty good with the fence, but….    but the dust collection below the table is, as with other opened base router table, pretty bad.   Even with the below the table port of the Mast-R-Excel.  

Big chips never gets properly collected by the port below.  So doing so raised panel operation is pretty much a no dust collection, really.  For finer dust, it does an ok job but still having a lot more escaping below. 

Storage and dust collection Below

So began the search for storage and dust collection for the below portion of the router table to capture as much dust as possible.  It is not the number of examples that are missing and paralysis by analysis was pretty much going for a little while.  

I wanted and still want to gather all the router accessories within the organization that would be build in this cabinet, serving the double duty of storage (bits and other accessories) and with the dust collection aspects of things.  

And I did want to work within the confines of the opened base.  Did not want to change that as it still had the advantage of costing zero and had adjustable feet making it easy to change place and making it level with the uneven floor of the garage. 

The end result

As mentioned, just too much good ideas available and all very functional.  I wanted to minimise the amount of material that I wanted to buy to retrofit the base and deal with the different issues I mentioned  above. 

Some Material I had : 

  • Plywood, different dimensions and thickness that I could play around with
  • some hard wood that I could leverage for bit holders and incorporate within the table to store them
    • dealing with some bits that are pretty tall (molding bits for Ogee) and large diameter for raise panels make it some odd storage options
Router table storage

This is my router table with some storage in the rough below the table

Here is the big picture of the table with rough frame work of the storage. 

So you can see that the router and lift is enclosed in a compartment.  There will be some piece of plywood in the back with a hole for dust collection.  I will put in another piece in front that will be removable.  Here is a close up shot of the compartment : 

Enclosed router lift

Enclosed router lift

There is a bigger compartment at the bottom that will be used for storage of the bits and other router related accessories.  It will be sealed in the back with a piece of plywood and in the front, doors will be installed. 

Storage compartment from my router table

Here are some other pictures of the router table 

Dust Collector – Project usage

I’ve been using the setup described in my series of post for my dust collector retrofit for about 6 months now and I am still satisfied but need a few improvements, mainly in managing the dust in the bin once collected.

I had the opportunity to run the collector for milling lumber for some projects and resewing lumber which produces a pretty good mix of dust/chips in the mix.

I can say that the seperation of the dust is pretty god and really only the smallest of the dust particules goes into the filter.  The rest, gets in the bucket.  That is unless I forget to empty this same bucket.

Dust collector mishaps

35 gallons fills up pretty quickly, faster then anticipated.  I can’t really remember what was the capacity of my old setup for the dust collector, but the bag had a small window to let me see how filled up the bag was.

The fiber bucket that I ordered is of a capacity of 35 gallons.  It fills up and not having an idea how full it is, I got caught that it filled up and back filled the filter canister with large chips.  It filled up a few times.

Last time was last night and found a nice thing about the filter by accident.  It is suspended at the top by a ring and has a small bucket to collect the dust when you cleanup the filter.  Well, I found out that the filter turns to be able to reach around it to clean.  Very happy now that I found this out.

What next

Well I still need to address 2 points :

  1. level of dust un the bucket.
    1. I need to prevent overflow of the container and empty its content more often.  I looked at the Oneida Dust Sentry from Oneida but find it maybe a little bit on the expensive side.  Maybe it’s me but will keep looking but really like the idea
  2. Ease to empty the bucket
    1. I haven’t got a decent source for plastic bags that don’t cost a fortune.  I am sure that the bags that Oneida sells specifically for their buckets are great, but in the last 2 weeks, I would of spent about 30$ just for the plastic bags…

All in all, I am pretty happy but still some work in progress for some items.  Keep Making dust 🙂

Dust Collector – post upgrade

I finally hooked up the dust collector and the machines are now connected.  I am still working on the arts and craft bed series and had to mill some board for the mattress support, which was the best excuse to test out the setup.


I wanted an easy way to collect the debris once the barrel was full, but found that the bags that oneida sells is a bit expensive for me.  Was looking for alternative but could not find easily bags big enough.

I remembered that I had some vapour barrier from previous project ins the home and taught this might be a good idea.  Well, it might but the bucket really needs the liner that Oneida sells or something similar so that the bag (or other sort of bag) to keep it from being sucked up close to the lid and block the chips/dust from getting into the bucket.

I started to suspect something was wrong based on the sound coming from the dust collector while I was jointing boards.  I was on the second board until I decided go take a look.  Well, as suspected, it backed out as if the drum was really full and the filter got most of it.

So had to clean the filter and the bucket and removed the plastic from the bucket and went on operating without the anything in the bucket to easily take out when full or close to.  This is still pending as to what I will consider as a good solution to easily dispose of the collected chips/dust.

Performance of the dust collector

Once this little mishap cleared out, I went on and continued with rough milling the stock and the collection per say was pretty good at the jointer.  The jointer is pretty much the tool that is the closest to the dust collector so was not expecting very bad result.

I also had the chance to slice up some small strips on the band saw and this is where I saw a pretty good difference in suction.  I have no tool to verify anything really from a velocity or com, but I could see that a lot more was sucked from the port right under the band saw table.  I also saw that the port for the under cabinet was cleaner then in the past.

After a bit of use, I was able to do a visual inspection of the filter and it was pretty clean.  Passed a bit of compressed air and the little container at the bottom was empty of dust.  Ian really impressed of the separation that the cyclone does as I was able to throw a good mix of finer dust (from the resaw at the band saw) and larger chips from the rough miller (both jointer and planer).

All in all, I think that the upgrade was worth while, specially on the separation to keep the dust in the bucket and not go into the filter.  The biggest complaint I had was the cleaning of the cartridge filter I had on the stock version of the dust collector.

Now only to fix how to easily dispose of the waste.  This will be the next phase of this project and complete the hanging of the filter in it’s permanent place.

Dust Collector – Up and running

Well, my new dust collector is now up and running and is collecting dust.  Finished the last details Saturday morning and had a chance to try it a little bit with dust generated from some tools and a bucket full from the Oneida Dust Deputy from the smaller tools.

Although it is in a state that it is working and I can now start using the tools again, it is still not quite fully completed yet.  The filter is hooked up, but not in a permanent state where it is on a small bench where it is supposed to be hooked from the top through holes, so that the small bin can be emptied with the fine dust.

So other then the final structure of the filter for the finer dust, here are a few things that I would eventually like to get done :

  • Duct works is still 4″ to the machines.  Change it  to 5″
    • I have a main line on one of the garage wall that collects the dust from the larger machines (band saw, jointer and planer).  I kept it in 4″ for cost sake but would like to make that upgrade
    • If budget permits, would like to upgrade the quality/facility of the ducts, i.e. Nordfab.  Ideally not touch it again while addressing the change of diameter of the Ducts
  • Pipe a line for the planer
    • Well for now, I got a flex hose coming from a Y off the main line to connect the planer which is mobile.  Even though the planer will remain mobile, I would like to minimize the flex hose and so something more permanent.
  • Plastic bags in the bucket
    • I want to be able to pick up the debris that settles in the bucket without creating a mess.  I am currently looking for a good and cheap source for some bags that I can then put to the garbage
    • Will also be looking at the baffle that Oneida recommends to prevent the bag to be sucked up when the dust collection starts with a near empty bag.

So far, from a results perspective, it does a pretty good job.  The Super Dust Deputy does a very nice job doing what it needs to do.  From what I can see, very little went to the filter portion, and that is because I see some small dust on the conduits that transition from the motor housing to the filter.

What I can see, the very fine dust will get to the filter, but it seems to be very little quantity.  Larger chips are all in the bucket, which is very good and what is expected.  Will report when I can really load up the dust collector with a good milling session.

Dust collector – Supporting structure

I finally got around to built the dust collector structure to support the motor from the old one.

Sourced the different material to complete the project, but the first item on the list to make the project moving again was to build the structure.  So went to the big box store and sourced a few 2 by material and started building.

Just before screwing anything on the wall, I needed to get some basic dimensions from the motor housing itself and started to also plan the connections between the housing and the Super dust deputy from Oneida.  I also had to consider the height of the total assembly.  It is sitting below the garage door rails.  The door which I still plan to use so the total height could not interfere with the opening of the door

I also got the external filter that I needed to roughly position in relation to the installation as I also got to hang it.  As a reminder, I got one of the external filter cartridge from Oneida and it hangs  from the top.  As I plan for it to be close to the motor, I planned for the installation close by and also planned for the structure to hang it close and also not interfere with the garage door when opening and closing.

So what’s next ?

  • Get some physical help to hoist the motor on the structure
    • I recycled the 2 HP motor from my 1 stage DC.  It is still very good and powerful enough for the single car garage that I operate from. Granted that the separator will reduce the suction, but all my tools that generate are pretty close from a DC requirement perspective
  • Run the electricity to the new location
    • I will reuse the same breaker and wall plug as the old setup.  Well get that scheduled with proper certified personnel to get the install functioning
  • Filter assembly install and hook up
    • As mentioned, once the motor install is done, I will hang the filter and make the connection through 5″ flex hose.  The distance here is very small so not too worried that this is flex hose.
  • Redo the duct run
    • I need to reverse the Y’s so that they now point in the proper direction and redo the run.  I will leave the size of the pipping @ 4″ with a 5″ hookup to the separator.  Y es I know, I will eventually change the run when I get a little bit more money in the bank account.
    • I will also reposition some machine along that wall, getting them closer to the DC and spare a it of space between them.
    • I will provision a port for the planner along the run, as I hooked it up directly to the DC in the old configuration.

Here are some pictures for the setup as it is now.  The next picture should be pretty close to completion of the transformation.  Pretty happy for far of the setup.

This is the Dust Collector Structure I built to support the motor that will sit on top of it and connect to the separator underneath.

This is the Dust Collector Structure I built to support the motor that will sit on top of it and connect to the separator underneath.

This is the Dust Collector Structure I built to support the motor that will sit on top of it and connect to the separator underneath.

This is the Dust Collector Structure I built to support the motor that will sit on top of it and connect to the separator underneath.

Oscillating spindle sander

Last christmas, I added an oscillating spindle sander to my power tools arsenal. The acquisition has mainly been driven based on project that I either had in the pipeline or future project.  for the time being, it’s a little bit of both where I have a project, still on the bench and waiting completion, one current project (Arts and craft bed) and some other future project involving curves.


Well here a some of the criteria in choosing the model :

  • possibility of mobility
    • Space is still a premium in a one car garage so looking at offering the possibility to move or build a stand for multiple purpose was high up on the list
  • Variety of spindle size
    • variety of spindle size and some ease of changing the spindle and the sand paper is always something good.  Ease of use
  • Dust collection
    • Something that I might need to let go natively and to add to the product later

Getting information

I’ve been looking at getting my feet wet with some curves, not too crazy, but add some to the design and expand a little bit on the projects.  As for many of you, looking at reviews helped somewhat narrow down the selection.

I’ve looked attentively at the latest Fine woodworking review in the latest tool review (2016 I believe) which included a review of the bench top model.  Although it might not cover all model, I still liked the review method.

Also looked at other inclusive articles online and also looked at what was available in stores close by and mapping to what I’ve seen online.

Selection process

After looking at past articles and reviews the rigid belt/spindle sander model always gets very good review and looks very good.  Price is always been pretty good and even see it on special on some occasion.  Well, I did own one a one point in time and never got good result with it, mainly to get the sand paper to stay solidly on the spindle or belt mechanism. I sold the model I had.

I did not want to get into potentially the same issues again and sell it back.  I must agree that the feature to convert from/to spindle/belt is some very nice feature, I looked away as not too many other model offers this same feature.

I finally settled down to a King Industrial model that ressembles many other model in the reviews.  I think that the same manufacturer just rebrands for some brand names, with some differences on tool storage, but the main gut of the tool is pretty much the same.

Some downside to this particular model :

  • Yes dust collection sucks.  Will address in a future build with the tool cabinet and arrange for proper dust collection for tools that are similar in dust collector port size
  • No very large spindle – largest is 2 inch spindle size.  To me for now, I don’t see this as a major issue, will just need fair the curve with what we got.

Now I just need to build a tool cabinet/storage/stand to be able to mount it a proper height.  I also want to include some other tool storage within this cabinet, for this tool but other tools in the shop that have other consumables or accessories.

King Industrial oscillating spindle sander

King Industrial oscillating spindle sander

Dust collector reconstruct

I’ve been looking for while now to soup up my current dust collector. The one that serves up up for the bugger tool, producing a variety of type of dust.  The bigger tools produce chip like dust (jointer and planer) and the band saw produces finer dust while cutting.  these are the 3 main tools that are connected to this bigger dust collector.  Here is my process so far

The current

I currently own a 2 HP single stage dust collector from King Industrial.  I upgraded the filter bag to a cartridge filter.   There is nothing wrong with it, other then it’s a single stage collector.

This is my 2 HP King industrial single stage dust collector that serves up the biggest machine

This is my 2 HP King industrial single stage dust collector that serves up the biggest machine

Although there are flaps inside the cartridge to remove the dust and debris that eventually get lodge inside, I always end up removing the cartridge to remove the excess that does not go into the bag below. Messy job.


I looked at replacing the whole unit for a second stage dust collector and looked at different options.  Really appreciated the series from the Down to Earth Woodworker on youtube about his process that he followed to outfit his shop with a new dust collector.  That gave me some options to look at the replacement route.

Although some model were interesting, I have somewhat of a space limitation.  Mainly in height.  The perfect location to minimise the ducting would be under the garage door, which imposes a certain limit on how tall the unit can be.

While looking at the new collectors, I also looking if I could not retrofit my current dust collector instead.  Really, the motor on my current DC was still very good and still running.


While looking at the vendors web site, comparing the dimensions of the dust collector limited me a bit on the choices that I had, also keeping the cost of the whole solution under control.  I ultimately want something that is semi-permanent and that can run to support the different machines.

Granted that I will not run multiple machines at a time (not in a one car garage), keeping the motor of the current dust collector made more sense, specially that Oneida had the Super Dust Deputy as an option to add a cyclone in front of a current single stage unit.

What also help to steer me in this direction, is that I saw some woodworker through different post take some components of a single stage, mainly the motor, add a cartridge filter and use the Super Dust Deputy with a bucket to convert what ever they had to a DIY dual stage dust collector

The decision

Pretty obvious by now the direction I chose to go.  Last summer, I got a the Super Dust Deputy at a local dealer in Quebec City.  I then  looked for other dealers that carried the bucket and retrofit filter canister that I could fit inside the shop.

I ended up with the following components :

  • 35 gallon fiber drum kit with blank metal lid
  • 13″ x 39″ retrofit cartridge filter kit

Pictures of both components (drum with the Super Dust Deputy mounted) follows.

Super Dust Deputy and bucket

My new super dust deputy and it’s 35 gallon bucket, ready for action

Oneida Retrofit Filter

Oneida Retrofit Filter cartridge

Now comes the fun of getting all these components together to form a dust collector.

Here are some the next steps :

  • design a way to support the motor on top of the drum/dust deputy assembly
  • look into options to connect the motor housing with the filter cartridge
  • get the proper fittings/connectors/reducers to connect all of these together

These will be covered in other posts later on as the details are ironed out.

Thanks for stopping by

Small tool dust collection – Update

Was looking at the Festool Youtube channel about an episode on the CT26 regarding the self-cleaning bag.  This got me thinking about the state of my setup described in an earlier post, describing my small tool dust collection setup, not requiring the big dust collector.

Included footage showed the difference inside the CT vacuum of using a bag (virtually no sign of dust) versus not using one (visibly signs of dust close to the filter and other area of the upper body of the vacuum).

Well I did put in the bag in the vacuum but also, use the Oneida Dust Deputy as a first stage to capture the dust.

This is what the content of the dust bin looks like inside the Dust Deputy :



And also looked at the inside of the vacuum, just to be curious to see what the combination of the cyclone separator and  bag would do and here it is



Pretty clean right ? Well, I was expecting this a little bit as I have to stage of filtering, the dust deputy for most of the dust and the bad inside the vacuum.  I checked also for the potential content inside the bag and although I have not removed it from the vacuum, it feels pretty empty.  I’m pretty sure there must be pretty fine dust inside the bag, but the content is pretty light.

This just to say that the closest you can capture the dust to the source, the better it is. I think that this combo, cyclone separator and bag, seems to be doing a pretty good job at containing the dust.  This setup is a keeper.

Small Tool Dust Collection

As I am still working on the entertainement center for my sister, I got to sand most of the parts and was faced with not really being satisfied with the dust collection for my sander and in the way the connection for the dust collection was designed.

Also, the dust collection was not the only thing I was not happy with and was looking at changing to something better.  After looking for a while, I decided to go with the Festool© ETS 150/3 sander.  I also got the bundled version with the CT26 dust extractor.   I already owned a Festool© router (OF1400) so hooking everything up was pretty much a breeze to integrate the whole system together.

What also makes the system a charm is that I already baught an Oneida Dust Deputy before the Festool purchases and virtually no dusts gets into the CT26.  Some of the festures of the CT26 that I really like are the control of the suction and the tool triggered vaccuum.

Here is the combo hooked up together :

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So now I believe that I now have a system that can accomodate most of my portable or smaller tools dust collection needs and keeping the production of airborn dust under control for these specific tools.  It does not address the bigger tools need, nor was it ever intended to address these needs.

Yes it’s Festool and it is not cheap compared to other alternative. Yes I like the system and willing to wait to pay for the system and the integration that the system has to offer.  Is it always the “best” tool? Not always.  Other alternative available ? Definetly.

But this works for me and it works well for what I need to accomplish in the realm that Festool has to offer.

Stay Tuned

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