Woodpeckers has announced their new downdraft dust cabinet, a dust-containment system for router tables. It can be secured to their router tables without any drilling, and can be easily mounted to other brands’ router tables.
There’s a 4″ dust collection port at the rear, and a large hinged and removable door on the front to access your router. There’s also a strain relief for passing through your router’s power cord, and a blast gate so that you can shut off air flow to the router table if connected to a fixed dust collection line.
It measures 14″ tall at its largest side, 9.2″ deep not including the 4″ port, and 12.9″ wide. The shape slopes towards the back, presumably to help direct chips and sawdust towards the dust collection port.
Made in the USA.
ETA: April 30th, 2019
More Info(via Woodpeckers)
I’ve been shopping around for something just like this, flip-flopping between going with one of two store-bought products, or perhaps a DIY approach. There’s the Rockler Dust Bucket, which retails for $90, and the Incra CleanSweep, which retails for $97 at Carbide Processors.
$120 seems like a reasonable price for what you get, and I just might allow myself to be an early adopter.
On a similar note… any thoughts on the upcoming table saw extension router tables they’re advertising? https://www.woodpeck.com/extension-wing-router-table.html
I figured I’d let that percolate a little before posting, partially because there will be fewer people interested in a table saw router table extension than an accessory that can fit any router table.
Is there any danger or increased wear on the router being enclosed like that affecting proper cooling?
Potentially yes, but probably no.
Makers of accessories like this one have in the past recommended that they only be used with a dust collector equipped with a 4″ port. Using a dust extractor or shop vac that’s equipped with a standard 2-1/2″ hose connection simply won’t move enough air to adequately cool down the router motor. Most router motors are air-cooled, and require adequate ventilation to maintain proper operating temperatures. Enclosing the motor can lead to higher ambient air temperatures that cook the motor over time, but this is alleviated with adequate airflow.
Woodpeckers says that the accessory will lengthen the usable life of routers, but I don’t whether that’s true or not. All I do know is that insufficient airflow is commonly believed to shorten the lifespan of an enclosed router table motor.
You know, I never thought of that. Thanks for the info!
I have a Bosch RA1171 cabinet-style router table which encloses the router and, although there’s a hole for a shop vac hose on the bottom, I don’t have it hooked up (I just use the upper port). Maybe I should connect it as a precaution… albeit from what you’ve said, the 2.5″ hose isn’t enough – but that’s the size of the hole in the table. Maybe it’s different because the cabinet is definitely not air-tight?
I’m not terribly concerned because there’s just a relatively cheap 2.5hp Ryobi router in there right now – but I’ve certainly contemplated upgrading it.
It depends on a lot of things, such as motor design, the size of the enclosure, and how long the router is used per session. All I know is that 4″+ collectors have in the past been recommended for the enclosures that come with 4″ ports, not just for chip clearance but for the purpose of providing adequate airflow.
I would bet that heat build up won’t be an issue even with a 2.5” hose. My dust extractor is rated for 130 CFM. Try placing a temp probe in there and see how much it rises with just an extractor. The 4” recommendation is mainly about having good dust colllection.
Everyone is entitled to make bets with their own equipment. Connecting a shop vac won’t be effective in terms of dust collection either; 130 CFM is a fraction of what a woodworking dust collector with native 4″ port can provide.
I bought a dust collector last year because while my dust vac does a good job with the dust port on my router table fence, or either port on a portable table saw, it does an abysmal job with any combination of a 2.5″ port and anything else.
Incra says this about their Clean Sweep:
Note: Important: The CleanSweep cabinet is intended for use only with conventional woodworking dust/chip collectors rated at 350 cfm or greater that have a minimum 4″ inlet diameter. The CleanSweep is NOT compatible with typical Wet/Dry Shop Vacuums with 2-1/2” inlet diameters.
Motors run hot when under load, and hotter when in a low-airflow environment. Will this lead to accelerated wear on a router motor? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m inclined to think that yes, it can, at least under the right conditions or longer use.
But I also know that a portable dust vac or shop vac is going to have the power to pull chips and dust through a fence dust port AND the 4″ port in a dust box like this one. Performance will suffer all around, and it’d be more effective to choose one over the other – I’d go with a fence port and deal with cleanup below the router table separately.
Agreed! My point was merely on the heat build up issue (or non-issue). Any dust containment box with a 4” port will not work adequately with a shop vac and that’s the reason to get a proper dust collector.
The only way a dust extractor/shop vac can be remotely effective is if the router has a provision for dust containment and extraction close to the bit, meaning the dust above the base of the router is encapsulated with one escape path, the extractor. In this scenario you can maintain a reasonably high air velocity to capture the dust. Very few routers offer this ability and it won’t address the fence side collection. I do this right now, with one extractor connected to the router base and another at the fence. It’s not ideal but you might be shocked at how clean this set up is! Ultimately the entire rig will be replaced with a incra table, dust collection box and a dust collector that handles fence and table extraction together the way you explained…because that’s how it should be done.
Pulling air through the router and getting the dust away from it will decrease heat build up. This will INCREASE the life of the router. I wouldn’t enclose it without dust collection.
Seems that sucking air through the enclosure would keep it cool. Much of that air will be passing through the router.
Using the enclosure without a dust collector is something I’d avoid.
I think rocklers comment about prolonging the life has nothing to do with motor cooling and everything to do with no dust in the housing or lingering in the bearing ways.
My Issue the more i think about it – depends entirely on the direction of the routers fan airflow. I assume most routers are setup so the cooling fan pulls air from the top of the router and down around the bit. which makes the vac hoods work so well when they enclose most of the base openings.
On a router table that’s not upside down. now the fan is working against the airflow from the now bottom of the router. OR the router fan has to pull in air against the flow of the vacuum around it. If you use a standard off the shelf hand held router. Maybe I’m wrong – but it does seem odd. There are other closed router table designs that don’t seem to have any issues with this and don’t box in the motor either but rather capture near the collet.
I’m probably over thinking it a lot. I know I won’t be buying either anytime soon – but if I was to rig a router table today – with the router I have – I would use it’s vac attachment piece – and then route a spot to hose from that out under the table to my cyclone. And I would then above the table have a Y and a scoop behind the bit/fense .
Yes, specifically, Woodpeckers says:
Enhance your work environment and add years to your router’s life with Woodpeckers new Downdraft Dust Cabinet. Porting the dust out the back of the fence gets a good portion of the chips off most routing operations, but the dust that does go down works its way into the motor windings and spindle bearings of your router.
I think the main benefit will be the dust containment. Router motors can wear, but they’re also designed to be used around sawdust.
I’ve had a box around my 7518 for 20 years.