Dust collection with hand-held routers

Page 1 of 2  
This is partly just to vent, partly a request for information/advice.
I have two routers I use hand-held, a Bosch 1617 and a DeWalt 621. I have some of the accessory dust collection attachments for the Bosch, and the DeWalt comes with dust collection above the cutter built in. I have a Fein Turbo III that I use with both. I am not very satisfied with the results.
I just finished routing out the opening for the mounting plate in my router table top. It is MDF, with HP laminate on both surfaces. I was unable to use the DeWalt because the template bit I used to cut the "ledge" is quite short (as it had to be, the cut is only 3/8-inch deep), and the "reach" of the DeWalt router is limited because the hole in the top of the dust collection shroud won't pass the collet nut. So I used the Bosch, with the above the cutter shroud attachment. For that part of the job, the dust collection was just OK.
Then I roughed out the through-opening with a jigsaw, and used the Bosch router to clean up the cut. THAT was a mistake. I couldn't use the dust collection shroud for edge forming operations inside the small cutout, and the above the cutter shroud didn't really work well at all. I spent a long time cleaning up the MDF dust that was spread ALL OVER my shop. It was quite a mess. Fortunately I was using a respirator.
Previously, I'd used the Bosch to cut dados and do some edge forming on a large piece of Wenge, for my fireplace mantel. I had similar problems then, but the Wenge produced far less fine dust than the MDF did. The Wenge, however, is a bit oily, and the fine dust that was generated did stick pretty well to just about every surface in my shop.
This experience makes me rather leary of using the router hand-held, except for the smallest operations (e.g., mortices). It seems to me, there must be a solution to this problem.
What do YOU do for dust collection when using a router hand-held? Are you happy with the results?
Thanks.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Art Greenberg wrote:
| What do YOU do for dust collection when using a router hand-held? | Are you happy with the results?
Take it outside when I can. It's not the hand-held router so much as it's the MDF. I decided early on that MDF is actually just dust, held together by surface tension.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote:

That was hilarious! Sprayed Dr. Pepper on my computer.
To the OP;
With MDF, you are going to have dust, period, get used to it.
What I do, though, is to just use a shop vac which I either hold the nozzle next to wherever the dust is coming out, or I have my helper do it. I use one of the small ones with the 1-1/4 inch hose and I hold it real close to the work. You will be surprised at how easily you can hold both the nozzle and the router.
It works better if you have a helper to hold it though.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 19:52:31 GMT, Robert Allison wrote:

Understood.
I think I could manage that alone if the router is fully supported. But when doing edge forming, with the base more than half off the work, I'd have to insist on a helper for that.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Art Greenberg wrote:

Actually, that is when I do it the most. I rarely do anything where the router is fully supported.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Allison wrote:

Speaking of support and DC, has anyone had a hands-on with the Leigh VRS yet?
The video on Leigh's site looks promising.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My Leigh VRS has been on backorder for the last 6+ months. It was originally supposed to ship in May. On last check it is now supposed to ship by the end of August. They've been advertising it as "coming soon" since about January. I think they've been putting all of their time into the release of their 3 new dovetail fixtures and making the VRS to fit them has caused the delays. Maybe, now that they are supposed to be shipping the new dovetail fixtures, they'll get time to finish and ship my VRS to me. I think it's a mistake to advertise something as "coming soon" and then not be able to ship the product within a reasonable amount of time, but my prior experience with Leigh and their products has all been nothing short of first class, so I'm trying to be patient with them on this one.
I'll provide a report on it when ( or if ) it ever arrives.
Charley

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote:

Same here.
I don't find the chips generated from solid wood all that objectionable, and they sweep up quickly.
MDF, ugh... There's enough dust to make the neighbors think an explosion is in progress! I'm not so suire you COULD collect it from a 25,000 RPM bit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
B A R R Y wrote:
| I'm not so suire you COULD collect it | from a 25,000 RPM bit.
It's possible (I don't have any problem with the CNC router - but there's a "shoe" that completely surrounds the bit).
But with a hand-held router it just /wants/ to be messy. :-D
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote:

I can see it now... Two 4" DC hoses, one over each shoulder!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
B A R R Y wrote: | Morris Dovey wrote: || || But with a hand-held router it just /wants/ to be messy. :-D | | I can see it now... Two 4" DC hoses, one over each shoulder!
With my little hand-held 690, I don't even try.
Router table setup: http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Cyclone.html CNC router: http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html
I kinda like the downdraft table idea mentioned.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:03:12 -0500, Morris Dovey wrote:

For MDF, you're probably right. I still have issues with solid wood, but not nearly as bad as with MDF.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
downdraft table if the part is mobile enough.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 20:41:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Now _that_ is a great idea. Another project for the shop!
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

[snipped details of a beef i am SO familiar with (with which I am SO familiar?)

and Art continueth:

Well, Art, at the risk of sounding like a smart-ass: make your shop smaller. At least, your 'dust zone'. As a solid surface fabricator, dust is a way of life. There are times when there are sanders, and 2-3 routers going all at the same time. There simply is NO way to control all that dust at the source. We have made decent in-roads with our sanders, but the router simply fling crap everywhere. Fortunately, the dust in question is non-toxic, and quite inert. It is also heavy and drops to the floor right quick....unlike our friend MDF, which stands for MuchoDustFlying.
6 mil vapour barrier is cheap, and making a small tent around your work is not that hard. Zip-Wall makes a kit which you can easily duplicate for less by looking at their methods. Tents can be any size and open on one end. Hooking up a dust collector to the tent works, as long as you realize that the entire tent wants to crawl inside the hose....and, of course, use respirators.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 06:51:35 -0700, Robatoy wrote:

[ ... snip ... ]
Rob, I like that suggestion. If I had the space, I could set up a "dust booth", sumething like a paint booth but using a dust collector instead of an exhaust fan, for the purpose.
Using plastic sheet for that with a dust collector would mean being much more careful about letting makeup air in, so the tent doesn't get sucked in. I suppose using wood frames with the plastic mounted under some tension would make for a light weight, collapsible booth.
For whatever reason, though, I find myself working on pretty large stuff. My fireplace mantel is over 7 feet across. So my main workbench/assembly table is a full 4 x 8 feet. There's really not much room around it, or anywhere else in my shop, for a dust booth of any kind right now.
Guess I'll file this idea for future use - I am looking forward to having a much larger shop one day.
Thanks!
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

A true keeper...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The main problem with trying to collect router dust is that the router throws most of the dust and chips to the side as it cuts. Most of the vacuum attachments that are available for routers attempt to collect the chips from above (or in the case of a router table from below) the cutter and this isn't where the chips are usually headed. Leigh makes a vacuum attachment for use with their dovetail fixtures that collects the chips from the side of the cutting operation that also works great for any routing operations that are along the edge of a board. It has a swinging collector with a roller that rubs along the part that you are routing. Go to www.leighjigs.com and look at their RVA-1 vacuum attachment. It won't work when you are dadoing across the center of a board, but it works great when doing most routing operations along the edges of a board.
Charley
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 21 Aug 2007 12:49:33 -0400, Charley wrote:

Thanks. This is somewhat like one of the attachments I have for the Bosch router, though it is fixed in position, unlike the Leigh. One limitation of the Bosch version is that its only about 1 inch high, and it is intended to be mounted so it passes under (or quite close to) the free end of the cutter. So it can't be used when edge forming with a long cutter. It looks like the Leight may be even smaller in that dimension, though it doesn't go under the cutter.
I do like that the Leigh is somewhat self adjusting, and I like the routing of the vaccum hose much better than the way the Bosch unit is set up. Might be worth having a look at up close.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Art Greenberg wrote:

I own both of those devices. I think I've used them twice each before relegating them to the shelf. Neither impressed me enough to continue to use them and put up with the hose, reduced visibility, etc...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.