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In my shop I installed the dust collector in an out of the way spot, un-used corner of my shop and on the complete opposite side of the shop was my miter saw station.
Unfortunately the dust collector power switch and the blast gate were in different locations and unless I was making alot of miter saw cuts I did not use the dust.
When working in s a shop the reality of bouncing between tools is high and many times I find myself needing to make a few "quick" miter saw cuts.
Over the years I have come to realize that the weak link in my dust collection was the miter saw station.
It got me thinking that there must be a better way so I decided to make a mini dust collection station right at the saw. Collecting dust at the source is one of the best ways of controlling shop dust.
Collecting Wood Shop Dust At The Source:
My plan was simple I was going to dedicate a shop vacuum to this miter saw station and connect the vacuum hose to the miter saw dust port.
One thing I want to avoid was having to lean over and turn on and then off the vacuum switch so I researched quality vacuums that had a power tool actuated switch.
Choosing A Vacuum With A Power Tool Activation Control
I settled on the DEWALT 27904, its a 12-Gallon Dust Extractor with Automatic Filter Cleaner.
The DEWALT 27904 was designed to be able to capture the nastiest of nasty of dust. I'm talking about concrete and drywall dust.
This vacuum is also rated to be EPA compliant with their new RRP rule which involves the capture and collection of lead dust during rehab, repair and painting activities.
The automatic filter-cleaning system is a bit strange to hear the first time but the feature is nice to have. Every 15 seconds the vacuum pulses air through the filter to clean the filter of fine dust particles.
The DEWALT 27904 is rated for 2 microns at 99 percent efficiency so I knew that it would easily handle all of my shop dust needs.
With a 15 gallon capacity I won't have to worry about emptying this vacuum anytime soon.
Automatic Start/Stop Switch:
All of the new vacuums features are cool but the reason I selected it was for the power tool activation control.
My miter saw plugs into the vacuum and the vacuum plugs into a standard outlet. Once I start the miter saw the vacuum starts and will continue to run for 15 seconds to allow all dust to be cleared from hose as well as capture any airborne dust after the cut.
Making The Miter Saw To Vacuum Connections
I used a standard dust collection reducer to connect my 2-1/2″ to the vacuum hose. The 2-1/2" hose easily connected to my miter saws dust port. the cost a few dollars each and are easily obtained from Rockler or Amazonn.com.
Getting the correct fittings is probably the toughest part of the process.
How Does It Work?
After I had connected the tools together and made all of the hose connections I made several practice cuts. The end result was amazing; there was barely any visible dust around the saw. Why did I wait so long to do this?
My situation involved a stationary tool in my shop but this method would work great for contractors working inside someone's home or a woodworker or sophisticated hobbyist who does not have the time, money or space for a dedicated dust collection system.
The DEWALT 27904 vacuum has heavy duty casters and wheel along the floor nicely. This tool could be moved around a small shop as needed.
An Inexpensive Alternative:
Not everyone has the budget of a heavy duty vacuum. An alternative solution to what I did is to by an I-Socket tool and vacuum switch made by DCG Products, Inc.
The I-Socket Vacuum Switch works similar to the switch in my new DEWALT vacuum. You still need a vacuum and connections to make this work.
The I-Socket switch will allow your vacuum to run for seven seconds after you stop your tool to clear out final dust from the vacuum hose.
To quote the shakers, clean your room well, for good spirits will not live where there is dirt."