Improving Dust Collection on a Shaper

Catching dust and chips effectively from a shaper calls for a little creative customizing. September 24, 2006

Any thoughts on improving the dust collection on a PM27 shaper when doing raised panels? As it stands now, little or no DCing is happening. Using a 3hp cyclone with 6" line necked down to 4" right at the fence. Airflow is not the issue. Also, I taped the opening in the top of the fence casting. That seemed to help a little. The fence is set as close to the raised panel profile (consider it a zero clearance) and a feeder is used. The chips are all falling on the infeed side of the table, creating one big mess. Thus far I have avoided opening the fence/cutter clearance, as I am worried about the feeder pushing the leading edge of the work piece into the gap and causing a kickback. There has to be something I am doing wrong or overlooking.

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor J:
Try opening up that fence clearance a little. A fair amount of that dust is being made by the outer end of the panel cutter, and that dust has been thrown off the tool by the time the tool reaches the fence. If there's no clearance, the dust out of line with the tool path bounces off the fence, and goes in your face. On this shaper, the panels run better if you take 1/4" x 1" x 36" piece of aluminum and screw it to a 13/16" board, for a table. The panel rides on this board, and the panel cutter spins just over the aluminum fence. Then you get plenty of fence to keep the panels from diving in, and the dust has somewhere to go. Finally, I put a shop vac hose over the cutter, to catch stray dust.

From contributor R:
That is right on with the aluminum strip under an auxiliary fence. I have another similar fence with an aluminum strip located 1/8" off the shaper table for doing back cuts with raised profile in one pass. 4" is too small for DC on a shaper. I have both a #26 and #27, and the old fence style has a much larger opening for more air flow. It also helps to bungee another DC hose into position to catch chips on the front side of the fence, especially when climb cutting.