I had a run-in with the DDS (Dust Distribution System) on my miter saw the other day. I was not amused…
This is a "rant" - an article where I give my opinions on things. Usually, the rants are triggered by something I read or see online. In the rants, I do not try too hard to be unbiased although I try to be accurate and do think things through. I lean on other opinions as well, from well established folks that has proven themselves. At the front of that line, you'll find Paul Sellers and Richard Maguire (the English woodworker). Read this article as it is intended - informative, provokative and with a large amount of humor. Then draw your own conclusions.
A week ago I fired up the table saw (a Bosch PTS-10 I got for free). I made a quick planing aid for making round stock, and cut a dado at 45 degree (-ish, the angle setting method on that thing is hideous!). – Interesting experience flipping the piece and doing a climb cut… I can still count to ten, so it’s good.
But the dust! Oh, the dust!
I put the shopvac hose the shop vac exhaust port (mind out of the gutter!!!!) and used that to blow the dust from all the thingamabobs floating around in a disorganized chaos on a work table in one of the corners of my shop, into a huge dust chute attached to the CamVac. Just so happens that the work table was in the direct firing line of the saw.
I had my 2000W CamVac running at mach 2 the whole time the table saw was used, but the design of the dust distribution system on the noisemaker proved to be superior in function over the green sucker with the hose attached. That sucks big time!
To be fair: I got the saw used, and the whole underside is completely open. I’ll mount the saw onto a plywood base to seal it off – that should improve the dust collection on it tremendously. But I’m willing to bet vital parts that the DDS on the thing will still work pretty good even then!
You’d think I’ve learned by now. I am in no way a newbie around power tools. I understand that they do make lots of dust, and that the laws of physics applies so that they will, as it were, “spread the good word” of woodworking. But since I was introduced to working with hand tools, I’ve become a dust hater even more.
A short time afterwards, I started work on the drawers for my support table. I needed to cut all the parts to length, and since the miter saw was there… I put it on top of the table saw, plugged the dust collector to it, donned the mechanical fingers-in-the-ears, yelled TALLY HO and released the dogs of Dewalt on the first piece of bound CO2.
DDS won. Again.
Since I, with my vast store of wisdom, placed the yellow colored dust spewer with a direct firing line aimed at my bench, I was again rewarded with a severe cleanup. 2000 watts of suction power did almost nothing to lessen the impact of the DDS designed into my DeWalt 77whatnot® miter saw.
The rest of the drawer parts were made with hand saw, shooting board and my Stanley 7. The DDS on those things are abysmal. Which is good.
Wood dust is man glitter, it has been said pre #metoo. If that is true, we should take a hard look at our priorities. Us hand tool users, though, usually lacks that kind of sparkle. I am fine with that – but I won’t shun you for tossing some ones my way…
Since hand tools does not produce any dust that floats around – most of it drops down and is too big and too sparse to raise any real concern – you do not need to look like you executed order 66 in a room full of younglings back in the days. No PPE, my master!
Oh, how I loathe the consequences of power tool work! Power tools are often vastly faster in producing a result, but the cleanup is where they get you. Should I ever migrate to the dark side, I might just install a drain in the floor, tiles all over and just hose down the area. Then WD-40 with a pressurized sprayer can in the general direction of my tools.
Or just paint everything I make dark orange. Then surface rust won’t matter…