Table Saws with Vacuum Dust Control

A vacuum dust control for table saws is a dust capture and control device that reduces airborne wood dust during wood cutting operations.

Description:

A vacuum dust control for table saws is an engineering control, which can reduce the exposure to wood dust.  The table saws are fitted with hoods or bags that partially enclose the top or bottom half of the saw blade and have a port to allow for the extraction of woodworking dust.  When a vacuum is attached to the extraction port, air is drawn past the blade and into the port, capturing dust at the point of generation.  The wood dust is then collected and removed from the work environment, reducing the concentration in the worker's breathing zone and the opportunity for skin contact.

A wood dust capture and control system is recommended by OSHA and is commonly used in the form of a vacuum dust collector. These methods allow for the safe removal of most airborne dust particles that result from sawing. Using a vacuum with filters, instead of ventilating to the outdoors greatly reduces the risk to other workers on a site. However, wood dust control by means of exhausting to the outdoors may be acceptable.

Dust control systems are a solution to the constant dust and debris created by wood workers. A permanent dust ventilation control may be the most effective way to remove the airborne particles, but the portable dust collectors provide a solution for situations where fixed ventilation systems are not feasible. 

EXAKTOR EXOA-2 Blade Cover / Dust Collector 

The EXAKTOR is a universal hood for table saws with a stand and boom that can be adjusted for height and length. Compatible dust collectors from Rockler and Delta and the Pullman-Ermator Cyclonic Pre-Separators are shown below.
 
  • Cost: $450 (verified 4/2011)
  • Vacuum Take-Off Diameter: 4 inches
  • Weight: 47 pounds
  • Maximum Saw Blade Diameter: 16 inches
  • Length of Telescopic Boom: 49 to 80 inches
  • Tilts up to 45 degrees
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Penn State Industries TSGUARD
 
The TSGUARD is a universal hood for table saws with an adjustable height and length stand and boom. Compatible dust collectors from Rockler and Delta and the Pullman-Ermator Cyclonic Pre-Separator are shown below.
 
  • Cost: $185 (verified 4/2011)
  • Vacuum Take-Off Diameter: 4 inches
  • Maximum Saw Blade Diameter: 16 inches
  • Length of Telescopic Boom: up to 83 inches
  • Tilts up to 45 degrees
  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pullman-Ermator Cyclonic Pre-Separators
  • Removes approximately 90 percent of particulates and can be used with Pullman-Ermator or other dust extractors
  • Dust collection: Longopac® bag system, which uses a 70 foot long plastic tube that is divided and sealed at the desired length
 
Models
Costs
Inlet Diameter, inches
Weight, pounds
C3000
$1,001
2
49
C5500
$1,912
3
130
 (verified 4/2011)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rockler Dust Collector
 
The dust collector system will need two components, the vacuum and a hose to connect to the hood.
 
Rockler Item Number
Item
Cost
24719
4-inch Diameter Dust Right™ Hose, 3 Feet Compressed, Extends to 21 Feet Long
$50
20431
5 Micron, 15 Gallon Replacement Bag
$30
25344
Rockler Wall Mount Dust Collector
$250
(verified 4/2011)
  • Reusable Heavy-Duty Cloth Dust Bags
    • Bag Capacity: 15 gallons
    • Filtration Efficiency: 30 or 5 microns
  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Power Requirements: 110 volts, 12 amps
  • Air Flow Rate: 650 cubic feet per minute
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Delta Dust Collector
 
The dust collector system will need two components, the vacuum and a hose to connect to the hood.
 
Item Number
Item
Cost
50-530
4-inch diameter hose, 10 feet long
$50
A04525
Replacement 4.8 cubic foot (35.9 gallon) Chip Bags (2 Pack)
$20
50-761
Delta 2 horse power Dust Collector
$850

(verified 4/2011)

  • Chip Bag Capacity: 9.6 cubic feet (4.8 cubic feet per bag, both capturing dust at the same time)
  • Weight: 132 pounds
  • Power Requirements: 230 volts, 20 amps
  • Air Flow Rate: 2,100 cubic feet per minute
  • Filter Efficiency: 1 micron (washable bags)
  • Number of 4-inch Hose Ports: 3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keen-Products Dust Cutter II
 
This collection bag is a universal solution and will fit most contractor table saws. The bag attaches underneath the saw and has a built-in vacuum port to connect to a mobile dust extractor. Compatible dust extractors include those found below.
 
  • Cost: $40 (verified 4/2011)
  • Vacuum Take-Off Diameter: 1 ¼ or 2 ½ inches
  • Material: Nylon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DeWALT DW744X Table Saw

This compact table saw offers a built-in dust extraction port. A universal hose adapter is needed to be compatible with the dust extractors below. The adapter, product number 63570, can be purchased from Rockler for $6.
 
  • Cost: $500 (verified 4/2011)
  • Vacuum Take-Off Diameter: 2 inches
  • Blade Diameter: 10 inches
  • Power Requirements: 120 volts, 15 amps
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Table Dimensions: 26 x 19 inches
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Universal Hose Adapter
 
Festool Mobile Dust Extractors - CT MINI and CT MIDI

Power Requirements: 120 volts, 3-10 amps, 350-1200 watts

  • Airflow: 99 cubic feet per minute
  • Maximum Static Pressure: 80 inches of water
  • Filtration: paper filter is standard, HEPA filter can be purchased for approximately $33 (verified 4/2011)
  • Sound pressure level: 72 dBA or less (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
 
Model
Costs
Dust Capacity, gallons
Hose Diameter
Weight, pounds
CT MINI
$345
2.0
1 inch (22 millimeters)
21
CT MIDI
$395
3.3
1-1/16 inches (27 millimeters)
21.4
(verified 4/2011)
 
 
 
 

 


Risks Addressed:

Exposure to wood dust in the workplace has several associated hazards. Wood dust irritates the eyes, nose and throat, in addition to leading to pulmonary function impairment. Western red cedar dust is considered a human carcinogen and has also been shown to cause asthma. Significant accumulation of fine wood dust particles can also be a fire and explosion hazard in the workplace.

“Table saws have been found to create significant amounts of wood dust. Workers exposed to wood dusts have experienced a variety of adverse health effects such as eye and skin irritation, allergy, reduced lung function, asthma, and nasal cancer. Therefore, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends limiting wood dust exposures to prevent these health problems.” (Topmiller, 1998)

Spee et al. performed task-based monitoring of 26 carpenters at 13 building projects to measure exposure to wood dust. Eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) exposures to wood dust ranged from 0.8 to 11.6 mg/m3 with a geometric mean (GM) of 3.3 mg/m3 and a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 2.1. 

Numerous studies in various countries have addressed whether Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is linked to wood dust exposures. Studies involving those who have already died from the disease, those who currently have the disease and woodworkers who were believed to be at risk of getting the disease were conducted. No study included sufficient information to find a correlation between length of employment, type of position, exposure to certain products, or contact with chemical agents that may be used in woodworking and HD. These investigations have shown that those with the greatest risk are among the carpentry and lumbering occupations. In the end, twelve studies were looked at, and five yielded statistically significant relationships between woodworking and Hodgkin’s disease (McCunney, 1999).

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) published a threshold limit value (TLV) of 1 mg/m3 for wood dust, excluding western red cedar. The TLV for western red cedar is 0.5 mg/m3. Oak and beech wood dust have been confirmed as human carcinogens and birch, mahogany, teak, and walnut are classified as suspected human carcinogens (ACGIH, 2011).


How Risks are Reduced:

The table saws are fitted with hoods or bags that partially enclose the top or bottom half of the saw blade and have a port to allow for the extraction of woodworking dust. When a vacuum is attached to the extraction port, air is drawn past the blade and into the port, capturing dust at the point of generation. The wood dust is then collected and removed from the work environment, reducing the concentration in the worker's breathing zone and the opportunity for skin contact.  

Using dust collection techniques will visibly reduce airborne particulate matter, but the extent that it reduces the small, inhalable particles is significant. Although exposure is not reduced to zero, substantial reduction has been documented. This is dependent on the amount of air flow through the machine, the distance between the saw blade vacuum inlet, how effectively the collector removes particles from the air, the nature and amount of work and the extent to which workers are exposed to particles that are not captured. While published sampling data on these specific tools is not available, evidence indicates exposure to inhalable wood dust can be significantly reduced through the use of dust extraction methods.

Keen-Products, LLC claims that the Dust Cutter II “table saw dust collector cuts dust by over 90%.”

NIOSH researchers added an exhaust hood over the top of the blade of a typical table saw, which had local exhaust ventilation below the blade. The study found that the combination of ventilation above and below the blade reduced wood dust emissions from the table saw by great than 90 percent. (NIOSH, 2000).
 


Effects on Productivity:

Vacuum dust collectors can have either positive or negative effects on productivity, but definitely improve the quality of the work by removing large amounts of dust, which provides a cleaner environment for operators and reduces the effort and time required for clean-up. In some cases, particularly where work is intermittent or in an area with general ventilation, use of dust collectors may be adequate to reduce the need to wear a respirator, and the need for an employer’s respiratory protection program. 


Additional Considerations:

There are additional conditions and practices that can improve the performance of dust collectors and reduce dust exposure:

  • Keeping your head out of the dust cloud and using adequate ventilation is key to controlling exposure to airborne dust particles.
  • The Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL), which was established by the European Commission, stated that exposures greater than 0.5 mg/m3 of wood dust could cause pulmonary effects and should be avoided.
  • The particles that can do the most damage in the lungs are small enough to penetrate or bypass the filters found on many shop vacuums. Additionally, some inexpensive shop vacuums pull the dust through the motors, which can destroy the vacuum on really dusty jobs, eliminating any initial cost savings.
  • For operations that generate large amounts of dust, cyclonic collection units, if available, may be the best solution. Rather than require more expensive filters and bags that must be frequently changed, cyclonic units spin the particles and drop them into cheap bags that need to be replaced far less frequently because loading of the bags does not cause a pressure drop.
  • Vacuum performance must be monitored on a regular basis. A vacuum with a pressure gauge allows for frequent and easy monitoring of air flow. For high dust generating tasks, dust caked on the filter may reduce flow to a level where it no longer provides adequate dust capture. Automatic and manual filter shakers, coarse pre-filters and cyclonic collections units are available with some vacuums and may help maintain the air flow rate.

Large electric vacuums commonly require 20 amp electrical circuits in addition to the 20 amp circuit used for the electric saw.  Cords and extensions must be rated for the tool's power requirements, be inspected regularly, replaced when damaged, and used in combination with ground fault interrupt circuits.

As is the case with any construction equipment, users should follow manufacturer safety recommendations and comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations.
 


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Pullman-Ermator Cyclone Pre-Separator
To obtain information, visit http://www.pullman-ermator.se or contact 1-800-282-1024 info@pullman-ermator.se

Rockler Dust Collectors
To obtain information, visit http://www.rockler.com or contact 1-800-279-4441

EXAKTOR EXOA-2 Blade Cover / Dust Collector
To obtain information, visit http://www.exaktortools.com or contact 1-800-387-9789 info@exaktortools.com

Delta Dust Collector Replacement Chip Bags
To obtain information, visit http://www.mikestools.com or contact 1-714-558-8360 mike@mikestools.com

Festool Authorized Dealer
To obtain information, visit http://www.festoolusa.com or contact 1-800-365-6677

Penn State Industries
To obtain information, visit http://www.pennstateind.com or contact 1-800-377-7297

DeWALT DW744X Table Saw
To obtain information, visit http://www.dewalt.com or contact 1-800-433-9252

Delta Dust Collectors
To obtain information, visit http://www.cpodeltamachinery.com or contact 1-800-710-4979

Keen-Products, LLC
To obtain information, visit http://www.keen-http://www.woodcraft.comproducts.com/links.htm or contact 1-800-535-4486

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.