Chris Schwarz's Blog

SawStop's Dust Collection. Dang.

In journalism school they teach you this about skepticism: “If your mother says she loves you, then you better find a way to confirm it.”

And so I was a little suspicious when Glen Huey told me about the dust collection system rigged up on the SawStop Professional Cabinet Saw (PCS) that we’re testing for the December 2009 issue. Glen’s never one for hyperbole. (He’s from Ohio. They’re real low-key as a people.) But it was hard to believe it when Glen said there was no dust left on the table after a rip cut.

So we grabbed my camera and took these short videos. One is with the new guard system connected to a prototype piping system and our 1 hp dust collector. The other video shows how well the guard collects and shoots out the dust even without any dust collection attached.

I’ve never seen anything like this on a table saw that wasn’t in an industrial setting.

This guard is available now on the SawStop PCS.

– Christopher Schwarz

14 thoughts on “SawStop's Dust Collection. Dang.

  1. chris james

    I think I would use a push stick next time. Strange for a woodworking magazine site to be promoting something using very unsafe practices. Someone should go around the PWW staff and see how many fingers are missing if this is their example of machine use.

  2. Tony Mandle

    Great to see a company thinking about dust collection above the table. Long overdue.
    Having my workshop in the basement of our home, good dust control has been one of my main goals in setting up my wood shop. I scrapped the blade guard which came with my saw and built a new guard and custom splitter with 4" ducting to my 1100CFM dust collector. The design is sort of similar to the Excalibur dust guard but of course I think mine is much better. Having used it for the last two years I am amazed at just how much dust it picks up. Having said that, sawdust leaves the saw blade very much like an neutrino and depending on the type of cut some are incapable of capture. Having the volume of flow I have is an advantage. I use the splitter to lift the blade guard about 3/8" above the work and this provides a good air flow to remove the captured dust. It can be totally removed in less than 30 seconds for those cuts where it just get in the way.

  3. swhosley

    Hopefully in my lifetime the machine builders and the dust control people can sit down for lunch someday and settle on common sizes for dust ports. Seems like evey machine maker likes MULTIPLE SIZE ports while the dust control p[eople have setteled on a COUPLE OF STANDARD sizes.( either shop vac size or 4")

  4. Bill Johnson

    I was thinking more about my partially missing middle finger on my right hand while watching this. Yes, I’ve seen first-hand demonstrations of what SawStop can do. But I still wouldn’t perform such an incredibly dangerous cut (pushing a board through a 1.5 inch space between fence and blade) using only my fingers. Call me saw-shocked, but I wouldn’t do what was shown here on ANY saw. If nothing else, why risk the cost of replacing the SawStop unit? Oh ya, the dust collection was nice I guess.

  5. Alan in little Washington (NC)

    A tightly shrouded blade is all that is needed. The problem with most over-blade guard/dust pickups is that they don’t conform to the stock that well. I built a soft-sided shroud that is similar to what is used on CNC and water jet machines. It conforms to stock being cut on the saw. The prototype worked as well or better than the Sawstop pickup in the video (if you watch closely, it spews dust at the operator at the end of the cut.) Here is a link to a photo of my prototype. When I get a chance I’ll shoot a photo of it too. http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/data/1403/medium/PB050012.JPG There are more photos at my website link if it works.

  6. Christopher Schwarz

    Ross,

    We review the SawStop PCS in the December 2009 issue of Popular Woodworking, which goes to the printer on Thursday. It’s a good saw, but you have to give up some things compared to the ICS for sure.

    Chris

  7. Ross Manning

    Hey Chris,

    This looks ‘Fetoolesque’ in its dust collection ability!

    How does the PCS compare to the original (industrial) model for cut quality, vibration, user friendly controls, etc, etc? Are you guys planning on comparing them in detail in the article?

  8. Mike Lingenfelter

    I purchased the new SawStop PCS a couple months ago, and the dust collect is incredible. For now I only have it hooked up to my wimpy shop vac, and it does a great job. Once I get a slightly bigger dust collector, it should be perfect. SawStop says you need a system with 350CFM, but it works well with 120CFM. I believe other CS manufactures recommend 500CFM for their saws, but they don’t do as well as the SawStop with a shop vac :).

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