Tired of sawdust all over your workshop or garage? Make this simple miter saw dust hood and hook it up to your shop vac or dust collector to keep everything clean!
Welcome back to Workshop Wednesday! You can see all the posts in the series here. One of the biggest problems in any workshop is sawdust. The miter saw is the worst offender, spewing it EVERYWHERE! In a previous post, I rounded up the best miter saw dust collection ideas I could find. But they were all either too expensive, too labor intensive to make, or didn't work with my 12" sliding miter saw. I decided to create my own miter saw dust hood instead, using a baby tent!
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It's no fun to clean up the piles of sawdust behind my miter saw stand. And I'm always afraid I'll burn the house down someday when a rogue speck finds its way into the electrical outlets!
I liked the idea of a dust hood, which is lightweight, flexible and captures any dust that shoots out the back of the saw. But they're way out of my budget!
But that shape reminded me of something else . . . a baby tent! You've probably seen one in use at the beach or park. It protects your baby from the sun and prevents them from doing baby-like things such as eating grass or sand.
I searched for one that didn't have vents or screens, which would defeat the purpose. As tempting as this pretty princess castle was, sadly, it wasn't quite the right shape.
Instead, I settled on this simple, inexpensive tent (UPDATE: Unfortunately, the exact tent I used is no longer available. This one and this one are both similar in size and shape, so they should work the same way). Any baby tent without a "window" screen will do! With some scrap wood and a few dust collector accessories, I turned it into the perfect miter saw dust hood!
Materials Needed for Miter Saw Dust Hood
Instructions for Making a Miter Saw Dust Hood
Start by creating a platform for the tent to rest on. This will be attached to the back of my miter saw stand. You can find my tutorial for building your own miter saw stand here.
I scrounged up a piece of scrap plywood that's approximately the width of the tent opening and about 1 ½ feet wide. It will overlap the miter saw stand by 2", so I marked the hole for the dust funnel starting at that point.
Cut out a hole for the dust funnel with a jigsaw, and test the fit.
I wanted the tent to rest at an angle, to allow the sawdust to fall into the dust funnel in the middle. These strangely-shaped scraps of plywood from my rocket bookshelf were pulled out of the trash and put to good use!
I clamped the platform to the edge of my workbench and placed the tent on top. Then I slid the angled pieces underneath to prop up the back.
Once I got it the way I wanted, I marked their positions on the platform. Drill a couple of pocket holes in each angled piece, or attach them from the underside.
Attach the platform to the back of the miter saw stand, making sure the dust funnel is centered behind the saw.
Center the tent on top of the platform, and mark the position of the dust funnel with a marker.
Use scissors to cut an X from corner to corner.
Take out the dust funnel and position the tent over the hole. Press the dust funnel into the hole over the tent fabric, and attach it to the platform with screws and washers.
I attached the other end of the hose to this Y fitting. It has a 4" and 2 ½" input, so both the dust hood and the dust port on the miter saw are attached.
The other 4" end goes to my trash can dust separator (similar to a Dust Deputy). It looks like an octopus invaded my workshop! You can read more about my dust collector set up here. UPDATE: I've switched over to a wall mount dust collector to save space in my small workshop, and it works great!
To keep the tent front from curling up, I stapled it down to the miter saw stand.
Isn't it beautiful? Not as good as a pretty princess castle tent, but it'll do. 🙂
So how well does it work?
I couldn't wait to try out my new miter saw dust hood! I grabbed a scrap piece of 2 x 4 and started making sawdust.
It worked like a charm! You could see the dust getting sucked right out of the air and down into the funnel. Some of the heavier pieces made it past the vacuum, but got caught in the tent. When I finished cutting, I just lifted each side of the tent to dump the excess sawdust into the funnel.
I could make mitered cuts easily without the dust hood getting in the way. Apparently my saw has the same range as a crawling baby! 🙂
The lip of the funnel is causing some sawdust build up along the edges. I'll suck it up with the shop-vac when I'm cleaning up the rest of the workshop in between projects. I read similar complaints about the expensive dust hoods as well.
Want to see it in action? Check out my video below, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
A clean workshop inspires me to build more, so stay tuned for more woodworking projects soon!
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