Router dust control help, please.

I have my router table in a wing of my table saw. When routing anything except an edge, the dust collection system of the router fence is useless.
It appears to me that the trick would be to box in my router somehow and hook up a vacuum cleaner or DC hose to that box.
Here's the point where I start drawing blanks: how can I box in my router to capture the dust and still assure an adequate flow of air for cooling? In case it makes a difference, I have a Milwaukee 86xx (8625, 8650?) under there. I've considered a box attached to cleats. Draw from near the bit? Draw from the far end of the box? Leave the box bottom open? Close the box bottom off? Close the bottom off with filter material to limit, but not stop, the flow? Or maybe even mount a 5 gal. pail over the router and pull from the side.
That's about a $300 tool that I never want to let the smoke out of. I'd appreciate your suggestions, input or, especially, experience in this matter.
I was routing some termite puke tonight and all of a sudden this issue became relevant.
Bill
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http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


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you hit it on the head the first time. take a look at exsiting router tables to get an idea of the size box you'll need. Plan for a door and your connection point for your DC. Use as big a connection as you can since it's my bet you're downsizing to fit something like a 2 to 4 inch connecter at the fence. If you use a larger opening in the box for the DC your dust problem should diminish greatly.
wrote:

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And next-to-useless even then, IME.

That's what I did. Works GREAT.

The box I made is basically the largest cube that would fit between the horizontal braces underneath the extension table, with a 4" dust hood on the bottom. I haven't seen any heat issues so far, even after extended periods of continuous use.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Hmmm, I have a fence dust port connected to my shop vac hose (2 or 2.25" dia) and it pulls 90% of the dust. On the underside of the wooden table I attached two rails parallel to each other. The spacing is determined by a cheap plastic wastebasket (rectangular). Now, I did NOT screw the rails down tight - I left them hanging down about 1/2" or so. Now, I squeeze the cheap wastebasket a little to fit between the cleats and when I release the pressure the lip of the wastebasket rests on the rails and leaves a small gap. I have found that the wastebasket has very little to capture on most runs - more when the router plate insert is large. I have thought of adding a 4" connection to the bottomo of the cheap basket but so far 'm just experimenting. Good luck.
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C & E wrote:

If you have the DC connected to the box, that in itself would provide the airflow you need (Provided that you make sure to turn it on every time.)
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Same here. I occasionally get some chips off the outfeed end of the table, but almost never see anything (dust or chips) directly under the table. Unless of course I'm routing a groove or something in which the workpiece completely covers the hole in the table, but that's been rare for me. Some of it might be bit selection - I just routed several slots in frame pieces for 1/4" plywood panels, and used a slotting cutter instead of a straight bit - shop-vac-thru-fence worked great, I didn't see any "escaped" dust or chips, and I could feed them as fast as I wanted (which wasn't very fast, but I didn't have to slow down for the bit or take multiple passes like I would have with a 5.2mm straight bit). If you're using a dust collector instead of a shop vac, I wonder if a short length of 2" hose would increase the air velocity enough to collect more efficiently? Otherwise, I like your idea of a bucket with a hose adapter, or a previous poster's idea of a rectangular wastebasket on cleats. If you keep running the DC/shopvac through the fence, it seems like there would be enough air moving through the hole in the table to cool the router, unless you sealed it in really tight... Good luck, Andy
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It's a pretty lame system. They don't even use it much on the show as it works so poorly.

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wrote:

Sounds like it's time to upgrade to a router table. Mine hooks up to 4" DC tubing. The tubing in the router table is split between the top (movable fence) and the bottom chamber the houses the router. The front door of the chamber has breather holes that pull cool air toward the router. It is a 3.25HP router. The DC is 1.5HP.
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it is easier if you have a lift; then you don't have to make an accomodations for a door.
I don't have anything on my fence at all. On my smaller inserts I cut holes so they will fall behind the fence opening. That increases airflow through the box, and does pretty much the same as a port on the fence.
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Toller wrote:

Responding to the most recent reply in order to respond to all.
Thank you for your suggestions -- especially those based on successful experience. I'm going to play around a bit.
I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I have more brains than cash and I think that, given enough time, I can outsmart dust.
Bill
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