In Tricks of the Trade

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Monitoring the level of dust in your bin is a pain. You have to remove the lid and look, which isn’t easy. If you forget or put it off, dust will back up into the collector’s main unit, clogging up the filter, which, once discovered, is a huge mess.

Some dust collectors have a flashing light telling you when the bin is full. Others have a window, so you can see when it’s full; mine had neither, so I added my own window. Each time I turn the collector off, I check the window to see if it needs emptying.

I cut a rectangular hole in my dust collector’s cardboard canister, and then cut a piece of 1/8″-thick acrylic to cover the opening, overhanging 1″ on all sides, to make room for fasteners.

To make the acrylic fit the curve of the bin, I carefully heated it using a heat gun. A large coffee can served as my bending form. The curve is very slight, and 1/8″ acrylic heats up quick; it was ready to bend in less than a minute. Make sure you wear gloves for this.

I fastened the window on the inside of the bin using weather stripping tape and pop rivets. -Tom Rosga



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