Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dust Collection Improvements for your Bandsaw

I recently got a Laguna Tools Italian-Made LT-18 bandsaw.  There's a 4-part video review of it if you are interested.  The one thing that bugs me, though, is that the dust collection is really bad since it doesn't have an under-table port.  In this video, I discuss how to modulate your DC's air flow to a shop-made shroud for cleaning right under the table.  The results were very good; not dust-free, but very good.

While I did this for my Laguna Tools LT-18, the modulation method and some ideas on how to build the shroud can carry over to your bandsaw.  Frankly, I wish I did this on my Rikon 14" I owned previously.

Not the most interesting topic, I know, and certainly the video could use some bikinis (not on me...) but it should give you ideas on how to make your bandsaw reasonably dust free.

I also want to direct you to Chris Wong's recent review of his Laguna LT-16 3000 series bandsaw. He was able to insert a piece of ply inside the cabinet to get much better collection for very little effort; it's food for thought.  Turns out that same trick is commonly used on Agazzani bandsaws.  A chat via Twitter tonight brought up several other possibilities.  I can already smell a second episode with more ideas...

If you have a great dust collection idea for bandsaws, please post it in the comments.


  • Anonymous said...

    I was wondering what the sliding yellow/gold plate was on the upper right side of the lower door (about 9:30 in the video). It looks like it could be slid up under the table and tightened in place to possibly effect some air flow control (maybe not much).

    The manual doesn’t show this part. The manual does show a front dust port on page 63, but it has a note that says it’s only installed on some models. I would guess this front dust port part could possibly be obtained and attached to your LT18 model. I also noticed the manual said to use a DC with “a minimum capacity of 1,000 CFM”. Just wondering.

    Thanks, Dean

  • HalfInchShy said...

    The yellow plate is to cover the front visible portion under the table. The size of the hole up the sloped side is much larger than a 4" port and the front is easily equivalent to a 2.5" port (so 150% larger total than what the DC is connected to). Covering that part of the front made little or no difference when I did tests while resawing (real resawing of 10" boards, not that little demo piece).

    The front dust port you are seeing is for the LT-18. Confused? Yes, that's a Laguna thing. They have an LT-18 designed by Laguna made in Taiwan and they rebrand an ACM 18" bandsaw from Italy and call it the "Italian-Made LT-18", which is completely different in virtually every specification.

    My DC is a 1,000 CFM DC; you don't feel any airflow through the ZCI, but now you do and can see dust flow.

    If you look at my LT-18 review, there is a link to a review Chris Wong did of his LT-16 along with a trick ZCI he put inside the bandsaw. It likely made a world of difference. I couldn't think of an easy way to add that to mine without drilling holes, which I want to avoid for now as it is very new. Otherwise, I'm not too shy about cutting up tools to improve them :)

  • Anonymous said...

    I'm wondering why you decided to actually run vacuum to the under-table portion. It seems to me that just by sealing that part off, it would start drawing vacuum from the lower chamber. You'd get additional time with the blade "under vacuum" and accomplish the same thing.

    When you disconnect the hose, does it makes a difference in collection?

    - Bovine

  • HalfInchShy said...

    I tried your idea Bovine after making the box. I covered the 2.5" port and the collection wasn't as good. Why? I'm not sure. It could be that the port is right off the side of the blade when the port is connected whereas without it, the air comes down parallel to the blade. Just a guess.

    One other idea I had, but did not try, is to run the 4" port right under the table thinking that the bottom cabinet would stay pretty clean with nothing getting down there and occasionally clean it out on my own. I didn't try this option since a 4" hose right there was difficult to place. Someone sent me pictures of an Aggazzi bandsaw that has a 4" port right there, but it also has a chamber inside to concentrate the CFM; that's how it would work well, but it would require cutting my saw, which I don't want to do yet until other less invasive options don't pan out.

    Actually, if you look at my LT-18 review, there's a link to Chris Wong's review of the LT-16. He improved the DC by making a chamber exactly like the Aggazzi. If I knew a metalworker who could weld well, I'd have them put the 2 plates in that would accomplish the same.

    Thanks for the comment; wish dust collection was less like black magic than it is :)

  • Anonymous said...

    Just picked up a Laguna myself, thanks for the ideas, but please - Lower that upper guide and use a push stick when making a cut like that!

  • Nako said...

    Great review on the LT18 Laguan Bandsaw! I am waiting delivery for the same machine and was wondering if you can cooment on whether a 20 amp breaker is adequate (the motor is rate at 19.5 amps) or if a 30 amp breaker is required?

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, Nako,

    I have my saw on a 20A breaker; it's the only thing on that breaker. The saw motor's rated at a max of 19.5A as you said, but that's under full-load. Normally a saw will surge a bit at first, but the 'surge' to start the wheels moving then get to a steady-state no-load idle is far less than 20A.

    30A might give it more room, but I haven't found a need for it. Note though that the most load I've put on mine is resawing 12" hard Maple.

    You'll love the saw!

  • Finish Carpentry said...

    Wow, thank you so much for this video! And your answer to Nako's question was just what I was looking for :))))

  • Unknown said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Unknown said...

    Hey Paul -

    Like the setup you have going there.

    Would you show a quick few minutes of how well that dust collection modification works without any dust there on the table prior?


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Christopher,

    You'd have thought I'd do that part of the demo better :) Mea culpa. I can't think of another video off the top of my head with a good closeup of the bandsaw to show how the mod works.

    The table will still get chips especially when resawing or cutting anything tall where the chips fall away far from the top. Mostly happens when you first start the cut; thereafter, the chips and dust are in the gullets in the kerf.

    The dust flying around is what this seems to control the most. When I don't run the DC under the table, it is noticeable how much fine dust gets into the air. With it on, I rarely notice that.

    Do remember that the far side from the added port is the underside of the table and it is wide open. This is actually required to get enough cross flow of air. If that was all sealed, you'd just be fighting the vacuum already in the lower saw assembly.

  • Unknown said...

    Thanks Paul -

    I've got a similar saw and installing ducting soon, trying to determine if I should put one coming from the top down the blade gaurd or if yours will do it and the additional details you provided helped me make that determination thank you for all that you do buddy!

    Love your videos, always so well done


  • Unknown said...

    Hi, where do you get your blast gates and connectors?