Contrary to their size, dust particles can cause serious problems. The damage ranges from deteriorating expensive tools to severely affecting your very own life. Along with it, cleaning the mess created around can be tedious.
Although miter saw manufacturers generally provide a dust collection system, it’s not always up to the mark. It either partially collects dust or completely fails to do.
The miter saw itself blows dust in all possible directions. One cut, and you will find dust everywhere. The dust collectors even if they are backed by a vacuum fail to take all that dust storm in.
If your dust bag is not working effectively or you don’t have one, this article is all you need to get one. From making the right dust bag to fixing it effectively, this comprehensive article will cover every possible confusion in your mind.
What is a Miter Saw?
A miter saw, also known as chop or drop saw, is ideal when you need to do trimming or molding tasks. This power saw will allow you to make cross cuts across the board at the desired angle.
However, there can be various types of miter saws. You can have compound miter saws to make miter and bevel cuts at once. Also, there are sliding and stationary mitre saws.
The stationary mitre saws can do simple jobs and cut logs. On the contrary, the sliding mitre has rails on which it can be slid to cover large pieces of board.
The prices of all vary with the ease they provide and the versatility offered. Deciding which one you should have is dependent upon the type of tasks you want to get done.
Why Do you Need a Dust Bag?
Before discussing the main tutorial, one must talk about how critical the dust bag can be. Here’s a piece of brief information about what injuries sawdust can cause:
- Sawdust on the floor can reduce friction. This can lead to accidental slips.
- Sawdust is easily combustible. Hot sparks emitting out from welding or other grinding jobs can light the fire.
- The wood dust can lead to clogging all tools in its access. Since wood contains a certain percentage of moisture, the sawdust lying on a metal object can lead to rusting.
- On exposure to sawdust, your skin and respiratory system can become sensitive to wood dust. You can suffer allergic reactions like asthma or dermatitis after exposure.
- You can also experience prolonged cold
- You may experience skin or eye irritation.
- Nasal dryness and obstruction are also a possibility.
- The adverse reaction can lead to cancer.
Hence, you can rightly estimate the intensity of loss these tiny particles of wood can do to you. However, taking preventive measures to counter sawdust can save you from all these risks.
6 Steps to Make Dust Bag
These 6 easy steps are all you need to get a dust collection system:
Step 1: Collect All the Essentials Required
Running to buy different things several times can be frustrating. We suggest you collect the required items first and then start the tutorial. You will need:
- Cylindrical plastic tubing
- A bag with zipper on it (synthetic bag is preferable)
- A zipper tie
- A measuring tape
- Industrial-strength glue
- Needle and thread/sewing machine
Step 2: Take the Measurements
At the end of the blade guard, you will find a vent. This vent is where all the dust comes out. Measure the tube’s opening on this vent. These measurements may also be found from the guide manual of your miter saw.
But if you can’t find the measurements then you can do it by yourself.
If your tube is inverted, make sure it fits in the vent snuggly, without exerting strong tension. Also, the tube should not be loose or it will displace while cutting.
If your tube is extended, make sure it rightly fits in. The adjustment should not be tight, as you will require casually removing the tube for cleaning.
Step 3: Length of Plastic Tube
You can have the plastic tube of your desired length. If you want the dust to be deposited at some distance from your saw, keep the tube a little longer.
However, a smaller tube is preferable as there won’t be any chances of blowing away the back of your saw.
Cut the tube length, leaving a few inches at the end. You can cut the excess at the end.
Step 4: Cut your Bag
As for bags, synthetic material is the best to opt for. It prevents corrosion due to sawdust. Your bag should be of medium size. It should be large enough to reduce the need for dumping dust frequently. And small enough that it won’t come in your way while operating.
Moreover, a zipper can provide you with additional ease. It won’t allow the dust to get out while it is being collected. Also, you can easily dump the sawdust out.
Cut the bag from the opposite side of where the zipper is. The cut should be large enough to fit the tubing in. In case you have cut excessively, you can simply sew the bag with a needle and thread or a sewing machine.
Step 5: Seal the Tie
Generously cover the point where the bag and the plastic tube is connected with industrial-strength glue. It’s better if the bag starts covering the plastic tube a few inches above from the tube’s endpoint.
Furthermore, the seal can be strengthened with a zipper tie. The tie should be strong enough to hold both bag and tube together. And light enough that it does not damage the tube.
Step 6: Make a Trial Run
Before starting to work on the actual work piece, it’s better if you try working with some old piece of wood.
Take a wooden piece and start sawing. If the sawdust is not reaching the bag, you might fix it by trimming the tube. In case if the pressure of dust starts dissociating the junction point, you may further seal it by an extra zipper tie.
Once the bag is half full, you can dump it by unzipping the opposite end.
Not having a proper dust collecting system can be troublesome. From short term disadvantages like the need to clean the area every time to long term health injuries, a dust bag can save you a lot more than imagination. However, if the bag is unable to effectively collect all dust, you can have other alternatives like a dust collection hood. In short, this meagre prevention can save you from great losses.