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Mods 18

 

 

Dust Collection Modifications for the New Type Channel

 

Chris Dahl recently sent me an article on how he modified his new type channel WoodRat to improve the dust collection. This is one of the first new channel modifications that I have received and Chris has made it very easy for me by writing up the article himself!

 

"I just received my WoodRat this last Monday. I am a modification mechanic for The Boeing Co. in Wichita, Kansas. I have also been a structural mechanic for Cessna, Beechcraft and Learjet. My job sometimes involves hand making parts from extruded aluminium, flat sheet aluminium, graphite, fibreglass etc.... When I bought the WoodRat I decided to go about the modifications needed for dust collection as I would building a part for an aircraft. Looking over the what other people have done I just didn't see anything I liked. So, here's what I did:
 
I had several small pieces of 1/8 inch Plexiglas just right for a project like this! Plexiglas is very easy to work with. Score it and snap it!! You can use sand paper and coarse files to get a perfect fit.
 
The first thing I noticed was the sloppy anodizing (anodising) job! It may be the non visible side but it still shows a lack of quality control."

 


 

"The need for an efficient dust collection port drove me to design a way of directing the waste down and out of the WoodRat channel. Even if you don’t have a dust collection system you need to keep the waste from collecting inside the WoodRat channel. Wood dust is FLAMMABLE! All it takes is a spark to ignite!

 

Without some way of directing the waste out of the WoodRat channel you’re stuck having to use an air hose to blow it out or using a long extension to vacuum it out. I didn’t like the way the manual dealt with the waste. Without blocking off the east west ends of the channel it seemed to me that too much vacuum was being lost out the ends."

 

When I unpacked my new WoodRat it came with a plastic “dust chute” that fits very neatly into the cutter opening but doesn’t really do much except keep the waste from getting down into the moving parts of the WoodRat channel. I decided that it was necessary to extend the “dust chute” to the waste collection pocket cut into the mounting wall plate. My original idea was to just use masking tape and  2 pieces of packing foam.

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This will work fine but I wasn’t satisfied! I decided to use Plexiglass. (acrylic) It’s easy to work with and I wasn’t in any hurry!  I enjoy doing things like this!!

I started by measuring the size of the channel end and then hand fitting the side pieces so they’d just slide in without binding.

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Once both pieces were made I slid them into place then made the ramp and a support piece to strengthen the whole assembly.

I used super glue to bond all the pieces together. It’s not shown here but all you need to do is put a piece of tape on the side to hold it in place once it’s all bonded together.

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With that done, I marked out the pocket location on the wall plate.

 

I used a hole saw to drill out a 1 ½ inch hole for the vacuum line then routed out the pocket.

 

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I cut a short section of vacuum extension line and bonded it in place with JB Weld (2 part epoxy).

(I believe this is available in the UK as a metal filled epoxy resin filler...Aldel)

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I re-attached the mounting plate to the wall and hung the WoodRat. It works like a charm!!
 

 

 

The red marker signifies the location of the parts and where the adhesive goes.

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Here is Chris's 'Rat mounted on the wall.

Just look at all that free space!!!   I am envious or what?!

 

Well thanks for sharing your designs with us Chris. In truth I believe that simple dust collection modifications like yours should be included with the WoodRat from new as the cost would not be high especially if laser cut in bulk for the parts.

Do you still get wood chips thrown out when the router is pulled towards you?

Chris replied: "The dust collection isn't 100%! But I think it's as close as we're going to get! "


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