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 – 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 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

Dust Collection – Update Dust Deputy

From the last post, I did mention that I did get a Dust Deputy from Oneida.  I got the deluxe kit, which included the cyclone, 2 5 gallons buckets and accessories for different mounting options.

I did have a chance to put it to the test, picking up some different kind of dust and also some routing with my Festool router and the results are amazing.  No dust into the vacuum and I did generate some dust and nothing within the vacuum and all the dust got sucked from the routing.

I guess that the combination of Festool very good dust collection and the use of a small cyclone does the trick to pick up pretty much all the generated dust that was “thrown” at it.

I can also testify to the documentation claims that came with the cyclone that the biggest chips might not clear completely and by just powering down the vacuum, clears the dust from the top of the cyclone.  Nothing big of a deal in my opinion.

Very nice product and would recommend to people to look into this addition for the portable dust collection jobs.  Really worth it.

Festool CT26 with Oneida Dust Deputy

Festool CT26 with Oneida Dust Deputy


Yes well it’s been a while.


Here are a few updates from the past few months :


– Lie-Nielsen Montreal Event

Yes one year again Lie-Nielsen brought there tool events to Montreal and once again I went and came back with toys to play with.  I am actually awaiting the last tool by I hope tomorrow.  Just waiting for UPS to deliver the nice rip panel saw that was missing.

I got a small LN-41 shoulder plane, the panel saw and the Anarchist tool chest by Chris Schwarz and supporting DVD. More on that last 2 items in another post.

– Dust Collection

Well, a few months ago, my shop vac gave up and had toss it.  Just recently, I replaced it with a ridgid vac.  I also outfitted it with the dust deputy from Oneida which just shipped this week.  Another tool that I can’t wait to try out.  I have a few project to try this out very soon and will sure give it a try.



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