Router Dust Collection for Field Work

Tweaking dust-catchers to work in odd situations outside the shop. April 6, 2007

I've got to modify a cabinet on site. The job will entail plowing out some MDF on the sidewall of a tall cabinet in an office. The cabinet is full of electronics and A-V equipment that can't be removed, only covered. For obvious reasons, getting dust all over the place is undesirable. Any ideas for buying or building a dust collection chute to mount above the baseplate of a PC 690 router (or between the base and sub-base)? I can make a new baseplate with a larger hole so as to suck the dust up into a chute, but was hoping for ideas and a reasonably elegant solution for that chute and the connection to a shop vac. I hear the Festool router will do what I want. Since I already have about 12 routers, it's really hard to justify buying another for this job (especially at $400).

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor F: has Porter Cable router dust collectors (models 39690 and 39700).

From contributor L:
Thanks. That is certainly the idea, but for my application that bottom piece will be in the way. I need to route straight across the width of the case so the entire pick-up needs to be above the base.

From contributor R:
Actually, that device will work… I've got one. Bottom piece is removable (couple thumbscrews), as is the one out the side. The idea is you use the bottom one with an edge bit, and the side one with a bit that is fully captured in the material - like a dado (you mentioned "plowing"?).

From contributor K:
If you can't find an add-on for your PC, I just did a similar task with my Dewalt 621 hooked up to a Fein vac. I was quite happy with the lack of any dust in the work area, and you can get one for under $200.

From the original questioner:
The job required being on a ladder with the router, hogging out the side of a mahogany skinned, MDF case in an office full of very high end video electronics. I figured there would be dust everywhere and I'd spend the rest of the day cleaning. This morning, on your recommendation, I bought the PC dust collection base for a #690 router. I am seriously impressed by how well it worked (hardly a speck of dust escaped). There really was no way to know from the picture or any literature that I could find that the PC dust adaptor could be used either as an edge based unit or (by removing the shroud) when working to the middle of a piece. For that kind of real world info, I had to ask you guys. Thank you for responding so quickly!

From contributor G:
Wow! What a great dust collection adaptor. Does anyone know if they make one of those for other manufacturers?

From contributor R:
Not sure, but I do know this same one also fits my DeWalt 718. The DeWalt has multiple mounting holes to allow other base plates (like the PC690 ones) to be attached.