Canadian Woodworking

Reduce jointer dust

Author: Chester Van Ness
Published: December January 2003

Make your jointer more efficient at dust collection.


This cabinet not only contains the motor and drive belt but also has a built-in shavings chute.

From the outside this looks quite nice and you can even get a plastic cover plate for the chute that will allow you to hook up a dust collector to pull off the shavings.

Once you have hooked up your dust collection system to the cabinet your goal is to ensure that all the shavings will go to the dust collector and that none can find their way into the bottom of the cabinet. We’re going to take a closer look and see if there are some areas that can be tuned up to ensure that all the shavings head for the dust collector.

Let’s start at the base of the jointer. If you look at the casting foot, where it fastens to the base, you will see that there are some openings that can be sealed up with weather stripping to help ensure that all the shavings make it to the chute (lead photo).

The arrows indicate areas along the side of the casting that can be sealed with weather stripping. On this unit one end also has a small area to be sealed.

Now let’s take a look at the cabinet.

You can see that the heads for the bolts that secure the motor are on top of the floor of the chute (right arrow, photo 2).

Also the adjustment slots go right through the floor of the chute. One way to tune up this area is to substitute carriage bolts for the regular bolts and make a long sheet metal plate for under the head of the bolt. This smoothes out the floor of the chute and seals up the openings (left arrow).

Now look at the top of the cabinet. You will find two other areas that can be tuned up to help the shavings go the right way. You can see the inside of the chute (photo 3).

The arrow points to an area that is open into the cabinet. This is the same on both sides of the chute and you will want to close this in.

Use a piece of cardboard to make a tight fitting template first and then make it out of metal (photo 4).

Both the template and the end product are shown. Note: you will need to make two of these corner fillers. If you put tabs on them to rivet them in place then they will have to be mirror images of each other (photo 5, below).

Measure the width of the jointer-casting base and compare it to the chute opening. In my case, after looking at the drive belt opening (as shown in photo 3), I realized that I would need to install a narrow flange so that the weather stripping I had placed on the base would have a place to seal against. I made a strip ½ inch wide for this area.

Now that you have taken care of the areas that might have potential leakage let’s take a look at how to hookup the unit to a dust collector. As I mentioned, the manufacturer may supply a plastic adapter plate for this. The plate is designed to allow a 4-inch flex hose hook up. The best way to tune this up is to utilize an HVAC fitting that is called a “side take-off”. For this application a 5-inch side take off will work beautifully as it is the same width as the chute opening. These fittings are available from most hardware stores.

If you go back to the fourth photo you will see weather stripping on the inside of the flange. This provides a seal. Measure and lay out a piece of sheet stock so that the inside bottom of the fitting will line up with the bottom of the chute (indicated by the arrow in photo 6).

I made the flange portion of the hood 8 ½ inches by 9 inches and then added ½ an inch on each side so that I could fold up the edges to stiffen the flange. Next, centre the opening and then cut it to fit the flange on the side take-off fitting. The fitting has tabs on the back. The tabs fold over to hold it to the flange that you just made (these are best flattened with a hammer).

Use a silicone sealant around the outside of this joint to seal all the cracks and voids.

This particular stand had four prethreaded holes for attaching the hood so I used a paper template to transfer the l location of the holes to the flange of my new hood. Now you’re ready to bolt on the hood and hook up to your dust collector.

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