Dust Collection and Climb Cutting

Suggestions for effective dust collection during climb-cutting operations. November 30, 2009

Has anybody figured out a way to collect sawdust efficiently from a climb cutting operation (stick profile) on a shaper? I have to run the stiles twice to make sure of a clean profile. I have recently built a new fence system with a low guide, 3/8", on the cutter side which seems to help some but is not completely adequate. The sawdust still doesn’t always come out of the 5/8" deep groove.

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor D:
The deep plows can fill up fast when climbing. Try mounting a 2' long hardwood strip on your outfeed fence that is almost as deep as your plow, and nearly as wide. Bandsaw the end so it wraps around the cutting circle of the deep cutter, and smooth your saw marks. Wax it up real good. If you do a lot of this, make it in aluminum. The "finger" can reach in and direct the flow of chops out of the newly made plow before they get a chance to pile up. Increase your dust collection at the area also, so everything can move at top velocity.

From contributor S:
Years ago I used to climb cut using a vacuum for collection before adding the machine to my central system. Strangely I almost found I got better results by using a box shaped guard over the cutter with the cutter protruding through a custom cut insert (advance the rotating cutter through the wood. I would emphasize that this should be done with the box clamped and isolated in runners attached to the table so that it has nowhere to go).

Somehow this made for better collection. Also, I find it very effective to have the collection pipe on the exit side of the cut and to add a wood handled shop brush (cut the handle accordingly) mounted on the exit side to project chips into the shroud. Effective collection is often a pain to contend with climb cutting but I think the advantages of feeding and dimensioning against a straight fence and zero blowouts far outweigh the disadvantages.

From contributor H:
I know this was not your question but I had the same dust collection issues with climb cutting. I solved them by clamping a straight edge on my shaper and using the powerfeed to push the stock into the fence. For example, if I wanted to run my stiles for my doors at 2 1/2" then I would clamp a straight edge 2 /12" away from my cutter and use the powerfeed to push into that fence instead of trying to line up my shaper fences and use the power feed to push into those fences. This solved the dust collection issues and gives a cleaner cut then climb cutting for most wood species.

From the original questioner:
I am doing both. The work, or stile, is between the cutter and a fixed fence. The direction of cut is "with" the cutter, climb cutting. The quality of cut with climb cutting is just too good (95% or more). This also gives a definite width to the stiles and rails. I am running the material twice, but still have the same width.

From contributor R:
I used to struggle with that as well. But when I got a bigger/better/smoother shaper, I was able to feed into the cutters with 95% yield. I never did find a way around the mess and clogged groove before I changed equipment.

From the original questioner:
I am using an older Oliver 285T that I have rebuilt. I seemed to have solved the problem of sawdust collection while climb cutting. The fence is a little different though. It has the work between a fixed fence and the cutterhead (to dimension the stiles). There are two pressure fences, one before and one after the cutterhead. These hold the work against the fixed fence with spring pressure. On the out feed fence section the contact is made at the bottom of the groove (5/8" deep) with a piece of 1/4" UHMW. The lead edge is beveled and removes the sawdust from the groove. I am now working to form the dust collection housing.

From contributor G:
We have used soft long bristle brushes with good results, they will let the wood past while conforming to the profile. The shavings at velocity do wear out the brushes though so be sure to have an extra set on hand.