Drill Press Dust Collection

The type of drill press dust collection system you set up depends largely on the sort of job you're using the machine for.

Drill presses are adaptable machines that can be used for a variety of operations. The addition of a compound sliding table enables them to be used for milling wood.

What simplifies using a wood dust collector on a drill press is the fact that the postion of the machining operation only moves vertically once the job is set up.

Drill Press Dust Collection: Drum Sanding

Using a drum sander in a drill press can be a useful way of finishing pieces which are irregular in shape such as carvings. Different sized drums can get into areas that would otherwise be difficult.

For drum sanding, a dust collection system should be attached to the machine in such a way as it allows you to drop the table to give as much access as possible to the sanding drum. This usually means fixing the wood dust collector's hose to the pillar of the drill.

The dust cloud produced by drum sanding is large, and made up of fine particles. It isn't thrown in any particular direction. Dust tends to stick to the drum for a while and can come off at any angle.

What you need is a collection hood at the end of the dust collection hose that measures about seven inches by seven. You also need a fairly high airflow through the hose so that dust from the entire work area gets sucked in.

Drill Press Dust Collection: Drilling and Milling

Here, dust is not so much a problem. The real benefit of a dust collection system in drilling and milling operations is keeping the work area clear of chips so that you can see what you're doing.

This is particularly important when performing repeated operations on a piece of work that's clamped in place and not easily removed to dust off without losing your settings.

The set up for drum sanding won't clear chips from the work area because the air stream isn't moving fast enough to pick the chips up.

What you have to do is reduce the size of the intake to the dust collection hose so that the speed of the airflow is increased.

The other thing you need to do is to move the intake so that it's preferably about an inch from the cutting operation.

The best size for this intake depends on the size of chip produced by the cutting tool being used. Forstner bits, plug cutters and spade bits make quite large chips and the intake should be sized large enough to collect the chips from that tool, and no larger.

Of course, the larger the chip, the more air speed it takes to lift it, and the larger the nozzle, the lower the air speed you get. The best setting will require some experimentation. Intake sizes for drilling and milling ought to be between one and six square inches.

Dust Collector Intake Position

I mentioned above that the ducting for drill press dust collection should be mounted on the pillar of the drill so that the table can be moved out of the way if necessary.

An adjustable collar capable of being locked into position is needed that keeps the nozzle where you want it. It's annoying to have to keep re-positioning the intake.

You need a collar on the pillar that will hold the hose securely, and is articulated so that you can position the intake precisely and keep it where you put it.

Here's a link that will give you some ideas for a homemade dust collection set up. I would replace the wooden dowel with metal rod, as it's a bit fragile.

Here's a video from PeachTree Woodworking that will give you more ideas and a commercial solution if you don't want to make your own.

Related Pages

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