Unisaw dust collection

A while ago, I upgraded from the (much maligned here on the wreck) BT-3000 to a Unisaw. In most aspects, I'm happy with the new saw but dust collection is a disaster. With the BT-3000, a shopvac stuck on the back caught 99% of the dust.
I've got a 650 CFM dust collector connected to the collection port on the back of the Unisaw, which does almost no good. Looking at the cabinet of the saw, it's easy to see why; there's so many huge holes in the cabinet for air leaks.
I've taken off the factory guard, so I can seal up the annular slot in the back where the guard mounting bar used to stick out of. Various other small bolt holes will be easy to seal up too. The big problem is the annular slot in the front where the blade elevating shaft comes out. I can't seal that without disabling the blade tilt mechanism.
I'm willing to invest in a better dust collector (I'm leaning towards the 2 HP woodsucker cyclone, http://www.woodsucker.com /), but I suspect there's not much point if I can't figure out how to significantly improve the airflow in the cabinet. How have other people dealt with this problem?
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Try plugging some of the holes using a few pieces of magnetic sheeting. You can probably get some scraps for cheap at a sign shop. They'll slide out of the way when you need to make some tilt and elevation adjustments. You can achieve similar results with magnets and some thin scraps. Not the most elegant of solutions but it'll do in a pinch.
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Not elegant? It sounds cheap, quick, and probably quite effective. Sure seems elegant to me. Thanks for the suggestion!
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On 29 Nov 2004 13:35:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Roy Smith) wrote:

a rag held on with magnets. some air gets through, but most of it is blocked and the tilt mechanism is unaffected. mostly, though it cost nothing and was quick and painless.
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First of all, don't spend a dime on further commercial collection solutions until you've prototyped and tested some of the concepts you want to apply. If you think your cabinet has too many holes, then just temporarily stuff 'em with rolled up shop rags and such to see if closing the holes will do any good. You have to have some holes to allow air to move.
When you say "its a disaster" what are you talking about? Is dust stacking up inside the cabinet? Are you getting too much dust above the table? Cabinet collection does virtually nothing for dust above the table. How are you connecting from your dust collector to the Unisaw? If you are using the super flexible duct hose (akin to a clothes dryer connection, you are probably degrading your collection efficiency significantly.
You will be sorely disappointed if the only approach you take is to just throw horsepower at it. Having said that, a table saw probably requires more air volume flow, split between the cabinet and blade collection points than any other power tool.
Bob
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Well, both, but it's the stuff that flies up into the air above the table that bothers me the most.

About 2/3 of the system is 4" rigid metal duct, but the last 6 feet or so is flexible hose.
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On 29 Nov 2004 16:03:48 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Roy Smith) wrote:
|> When you say "its a disaster" what are you talking about? Is dust |> stacking up inside the cabinet? Are you getting too much dust above |> the table?| |Well, both, but it's the stuff that flies up into the air above the |table that bothers me the most.
That "stuff" is thrown up by the blade and if you have a zero-clearance insert (you do don't you?) there ain't nuthin' going to suck that stuff back into the cabinet.
Plugging all of the holes isn't going to help this and it's going to defeat the emptying of the cabinet base too. You need air flow to clear the cabinet and an over-blade collection device to catch the other stuff.
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wrote:

Wes is right on target. I suggest you NOT use a zero-clearance plate unless you need the additional support. I found removing the plate completely when I use my cross-cut sled, box joint jig or tenon jig does a better job of clearing the above-table dust...YMMV. The Unisaw folks just did not take the time IMHO to design the plenum beneath the table to clear dust efficiently. You should open the door and blow/suck out the motor housing on a regular basis, anyhow. Larry
--
Lawrence L'Hote
Columbia, MO
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I agree. I have a Delta contractor saw. I leave the back completely open, all around the underside of the table is open too. Certainly more open space than your Unisaw has. I am quite satisfied with the dust collection, 'cept for the dust that blows out above the blade. The under table collection will do little for the dust blown over the top. Sounds to me that you need an over arm collector. Greg
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over 10 years now so maybe some of my thoughts will be of some help...
You will NEVER get the inside of the cabinet to be completely clean.. Heck mine always has a couple of inches of sawdust on the bottom right up to the Bottom of the 4 inch DC port in the base of the saw... Not a problem at all...
I no longer seal the holes around the tilting mechanism etc... I did years ago and went overboard sealing all the air leaks and discovered I cut the amount of air inside the base way to much..In effect I was not trying to pull a vacuum ...really cut the air flow...
I do agree that the on the type of hose and the number of "Y's" etc between the DC and the machines port make a major difference...
Remember you are really trying to remove very small dust particles you are NOT attempting to remove LARGE sawdust particles ...
Bob Griffiths
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There is a sheet metal ledge in the bottom of the older unisaw cabinets where it meets the flanged part of the base. I fit a piece of masonite on to the ledge which brings the floor of the cab closer to the dc port. The floor was almost clean all of the time. I actually tilted it so the dust slid towards the port. Fitting the piece in at an angle is fun. max

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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 11:35:10 -0700, Roy Smith wrote

I have the 2hp Woodsucker on my Unisaw, works great :^)
Try some magnetic sheet (used for removable car door signs and refridge magnets.
-Bruce
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I better dust collector won't do it. We bought sheet magnetic strips to put over the front slot for the angle adjust and caulked around the top and sealed all of the holes. The last step was an over the blade guard to catch the airborne dust. max

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