Stop laughing, it works.
I mentioned last time that I would cover the dust collection for my planer as a separate item, and now you understand why.
First, the reason for this madness. If you look closely (and are old enough to remember), this is one of the original Ryobi 10″ lunchbox planers – one of the first portable planers ever made. I have been using it for around 25 years, and it’s still going strong. Made with reusable blades, and a unique set of fixtures for installing and aligning them, it was revolutionary.
The problem is that dust collection was truly an afterthought with this thing. It came with a dust chute that ejected the shavings back on top of the board, and a vacuum adapter. This “adapter”, however, had to be sized UP to fit a standard shop vac – not a paragon of efficiency. When I added my new dust collector, I started searching for a solution. My inspiration came when I was browsing through the local box store’s HVAC section, looking for something that would fit the bill. When I saw a 10″ floor duct, the light bulb went on.
The port is a simple box, with 1/4″ plywood top and bottom sandwiching spacers the same height as the ejection port of the planer. The long, extended top matches the area normally covered by the stock dust chute, and is secured by two rather flimsy little screws. This is the source of the sag you see, since this was never intended to hold something that has the weight on the outside of the planer. I’m playing with adding some sort of hose support, but haven’t settled on a design yet.
There is a hole the shape of the floor duct in the top surface, and 1×1 cleats are used to secure the duct to the body. The beauty of the floor duct is that it allows a more efficient “funneling” of the airflow to the hose, rather than the abrupt transition of a simple 4″ connector. Connecting this to the hose was a chore, requiring creative crimping of the duct outlet to allow the hose to slip into place. This was further complicated by the fact that this is the “boa constrictor” hose of the previous post. As you can see from the photo above, it has no desire to expand, preferring to stay in its contracted state, and vigorously resisting any attempts to persuade it otherwise. I’m thinking of using that to my advantage when I rig a support, letting that pull hold the collector in position as I raise and lower the cutterhead.
How does it work? Beautifully! The only chips lost are the ones that blow back out the infeed side from time to time – less than a cupful after a typical thicknessing session. Total cost? Under $10.