Table Saw clean-up/fix-up

201404 Table Saw cleanup 1The table saw in my shop is a General International 50-075L185M1 (No, it’s not a saw stop, but that is on my radar now that I have grandkids starting to play in the shop with me). It’s a contractor style that I’ve built into a cabinet with a router table. Unfortunately, the base peice is a sheet of 3/4″ MDF braced with 2×4’s – which has started to delaminate after 6 years. This clean-up may result in a bigger project 🙂

A while back I built some 1/4″ ply baffles to reduce the openning in the back of the saw. I cut a hole in the base where the saw sits to install a plastic dust port – however at the time I mismeasured and ended up using duct tape to seal it in. I’ve had it fail a few times, and I plan to try to patch this up better this time during the cleanup.

201404 Table Saw cleanup 2 201404 Table Saw cleanup 3

I removed the baffles and was greeted with a wall of dust buildup. The most recent projects invovled quite a bit of ripping and that showed in the shavings.

Because the rip blade leaves long strands rather than small chips, they tended to weave and pack in the base of the saw. I used the dust collector to suck out as much as I could with the 4″ hose, then switched to a shop vac hose to get into more of the nooks and crannies. One thing about a dust collector, it’s not got the vacuum pressure of the shop vac, and the final vacuuming needs the stronger suction. Once all that is done, it’s time to inspect the dust collection pan attachment.

The hole in the base was originally supposed to fit the dust pan, however in my haste at the time, I scribed around the inside of the base of the saw, rather than the size of the pan – and cut to that line. I tried blocking the hole with strips of plywood and duct tape – which works for a while, however the dust and time weakening the tape seals and eventually the tape breaks down at the seams.

This time, I removed the saw from the base. That’s a two person job by the way – me and Mr. Gravity. I cut a new 1/4″ piece of plywood and then measured and cut a clearance window for the dust pan. The plywood was glued down to the top of the base cabinet with liquid hide glue, and left to sit over night. My plan was to seal the pan in with caulk or bathtub cement, however I just ended up screwing it to the plywood by drilling starter holes, and using a total of 18 screws around the edge. And then I sealed it all down again with duct tape (still a believer!). I put the table saw back on the base, and bolted it down. Mr. Gravity was absolutely NO help this time! I reattached the short pipe that connects the bottom of the pan to the dust collector port on the back of the cabinet, and the saw is ready to reassemble.

Except that the base has that delamination, and I really want to rebuild the router cabinet while I have the whole unit pulled apart… stay tuned…


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