Am I the only one who goes into the shop thinking I’m going to have plenty of time to knock out a project only to realize I just spent 2 hours making another project that was totally unplanned?…. Didn’t think so. I had every intention to knock out a toy box but ended up getting carried away with an old idea I had. An idea of hooking up a 4” dust collector hose to a circular saw.
My circular saw has the “throw it everywhere” type of dust collection built in. It’s a pretty neat version of the “dust everything later” kind. I’ve been wanting to hook up some type of dust collection to this saw for a long time. I use my circular saw and a homemade track to break down all of my sheet goods and seeing that I have a MDF project coming up now is a great time to work on that idea.
I started with cutting a piece of 1/2” plywood oversized for the base of a sled. It was important to use 1/2” plywood for the base as I have a piece of 3/4” plywood for the rail of the track. This will allow enough room for the circular saw base to reference off of the original rail so that the kerf line of the track is still accurate. After clamping the sled down I made a slight plunge cut into the plywood and screwed the saw down using existing holes in it’s base.
With the saw secure it was just a matter of making a box to fit around it. The box that I ended up with is only 3” deep This way I’m only enclosing the saw blade and not the handle.
I made sure the box had enough room so that it could pivot forward on a couple hinges to allow the depth adjustment of the saw to be accessed.
Old cabinet door hinges were used for this. This entire project was made from using junk in the shop so it was a $0 project. Those are the best kind.
Next a piece of 1/4” plywood was cut, and cut, and cut, and cut, and cut to straddle the saw itself and allow the dust collection to actually work. Notice that the saw handle is completely exposed.
For a 4” dust collection port half of a Harbor Freight blast gate was used.
The first test cut was not a success. I forgot to take into consideration the space between the work piece and the saw sled base, which was the thickness of the 1/4” plywood track.
To patch this gap I actually cut off a small piece of the track base. On the opposite side of where the saw rides I have a 1” strip showing to use as a surface to clamp the track to the work piece. I just snagged a piece from there and attached it in such a way that it covered the blade and was lined up with the kerf on the track itself. This way the new zero clearance cut is extended down to the work piece thus filling the gap between the sled base and the work piece.
The second test run was a success. No visible dust on the work surface.
I know this isn’t “one size fits all” solution for most circular saws out there but hopefully you were able to get some ideas that will help you in your shop. While this is a HUGE improvement in regards to circular saw dust collection I think I will still wear a respirator when cutting MDF (Yes, I know I did not wear a respirator in the video. Shame on me).