Pantorouter dust collection experiments

A weaknesses of the pantorouter is dust collection. When cutting tenons, the pantorouter throws chips in every direction.

Personally, I considered dust collection for the pantorouter a lost cause, but this didn't stop Kuldeep from experimenting with developing a dust collection hood. He sent me a 3D printed prototype to try out.

The hood attaches to the front of the pantorouter.

The hood deflects all the exhaust cooling air from the router towards the bottom. It also has a ring of brush bristles that snaps onto the front of it to help direct the chips into the hood.

A limiting aspect of this hood, at least when used with my cheap MasterCraft router, is that it comes forward further than the router collet, which limits how deep I can cut with it.

I also don't like the idea of having my view obstructed by the brush around the dust collection hood.

The hood has a connection for a 40 mm dust collector hose, the same size as the Festool vacuum cleaner. I don't have a Festool, and I'm not a big fan of shopvacs, so I made a wooden plug to fit in the end of my 2.5" dust collector hose so I could hook my small dust collector to it.

Surprisingly, the dust collection hood worked, but there was always a pile of chips left in the bottom of the hood.

So I thought I'd experiment with making a wooden version where the chips are pulled out more towards the bottom.

A seemigly obvious solution would be to have the whole hose thing coming off the bottom, but there's no place on the bottom that the hose could come off without hitting the base of the pantorouter or the table at some point as the router moves through its full range of motion.

I drew up a layout on a piece of plywood, here showing how it will arrange with the router bit and the brush. The air path is curved to pull the chips out from the bottom.

After cutting the hole for the collet and collet lock, checking the fit on the actual pantorouter.

I decided to make this one less thick so it wouldn't limit the depth of cut as much.

I cut out some curved pieces of wood to form the shape of it.

Gluing it on the plywood, just weighing the pieces down for clamping.

I then cut around it with the bandsaw and also made a cover for the front.

I couldn't easily make a ledge for the brush to clip on to so I used several #4 countersink screws to hook the brush instead.

Testing the fit on the pantorouter again.

Initially, I had wanted to angle the hose downward a bit, then I realized if I did that, the hose would hit the table. So I had to point the hose straight out (upward) to clear the table.

Cutting out the hose mount.

The hose has to mount offset to help clear the table.

This leaves an opening in the back, which I'm closing by gluing a piece of plywood to it.

Trying it out. With the workpiece I tried it with, the hood ended up clogging up. Cutting a big tenon in the end of a 2x4 isn't the easiest to deal with (the chips are large and long), but given how fast it clogged up, I wasn't optimistic about this hood being usable for anything.

Next I tried the same test with the hood that Kuldeep send to me. It worked better than the one I built, but it too eventually clogged up after cutting several tenons.

Many have suggested on YouTube that the hose connection should be on the bottom to suck up the chips better. But with the range of motion of the router, there is no place on the bottom where the hose wouldn't hit the table or the base at some point.
Another suggestion was to just have the brush on top but not the bottom and let the chips fall down. But that would do little to capture airborne dust.

Part of the problem may be my homemade dust collector. This dust collector can produce a static pressure the same as 350 mm of water. That is quite a lot for a small dust collector, but a typical shopvac can produce about 1500 mm of suction (though at a relatively low airflow). Still, having more than four times the suction would probably clear most clogs.

At any rate, my "improved design" turned out to work much worse than Kuldeep's. Granted, Kuldeep's often leaves some chips in the bottom of the hood, but while cutting, whatever is in the hood gets stirred up quite a lot, and nearly all the chips got sucked up into the hose eventually.

The above tests were done in March of 2016.

Kuldeep continued to refine the design, and in July 2016 he sent me a final, injection molded dust collection hood. This one was a lower profile than the previous one so it would restrict the depth of cut less. Based on my experience with the prototype, I was skeptical. But testing it surprised me.

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