Dovetail Jig Dust Collection
I created this device to capture dust and chips when I rout dovetails. The upholstery brush slides on the rod, so I can position it wherever it's needed. After gluing together an L-shaped plywood assembly, I cut a hole in the face and drilled a 1/4-in.-dia. hole through the end. I ran a length of 1/4-in. steel rod through the assembly and then bent both ends to fit around the lower knobs on my dovetail jig. Then I installed the upholstery brush, a common vacuum cleaner tool. The brush rests just below the jig's fingers, so it catches chips as they come off the router.
For dust collection, my shop has PVC pipe buried in the dirt under the concrete floor. Compared to other types of ductwork, PVC is economical. But there's a catch: Nobody makes compatible blast gates. So I designed my own, using a pair of PVC water closet flanges.
I cut a U-shaped opening in a piece of 3/4-in. MDF and sandwiched it between the flanges. Then I cut blast gates from 3/4-in. plywood, one to block the air and one to allow it to flow. As 3/4-in. plywood is thinner than 3/4-in. MDF, the handles slide easily. I painted them red and green to indicate function.
I mounted the assembly on the floor pipe and attached the flexible hose. Now a quick glance tells me if the gate is open or closed.
I use a low-tech setup to clear chips when I'm mortising. I simply tape my shop vacuum's hose on top of an old can that's filled with sand. A one-quart can puts the hose at the perfect height to remove chips directly from the bit's ejection port. The result is a cool-running bit and a chip-free mortise.
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