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STL241: Dust collectors vs. dust extractors


Question 1: 

My next shop purchase will either be a new jointer, or a better dust collection solution. 

 While a new jointer is much more exciting, my dust collection is pitiful right now, and consists of a shop vac I found in my basement that I think must have been abandoned by a contractor a few years ago. I am looking at either the Grizzly g0860 which got a favorable review from Anissa, or a Festool dust extractor. I know these are kind of two different things, but they cost about the same so I will have to pick one or the other.  Which do you think would be better to get first and why? 

I have a table saw, jointer, planer, bandsaw, all the hits, but I also use my compact router a lot. 

My inclination is the Grizzly would do more for me, but I would be interested to hear y’all’s take on dust collection, and if fancy dust extractors like the festool are really worth the cost over a more typical shop vac.

All About Dust Collection

Learn how to protect your lungs with top-notch dust collection tips and techniques.

The Dawn of the Quiet Shop Vacuum

About a decade ago I basically stopped sweeping up my shop. No, I’m not up to my armpits in sawdust and shavings, I simply switched to vacuuming up the detritus rather than sweeping.

Question 2:

From Joshua:

I’ve been a hobbyist woodworker for 20 or so years. As my projects have moved more in the direction of fine woodworking, I’m starting to see the shortcomings of my existing tablesaw, specifically the fence. Is it worth spending the time in the shop to improve the usability of the saw, ie; mounting the saw into a frame and adding an outfeed table, making a crosscut sled, and trying to find ways to get straight cuts without a fence, or should I start saving for something now? There are no aftermarket fences available for this saw, and I’ve had to grind the safety nubs off of the miter slots in order to make any kind of sled runners.

Aftermarket Tablesaw Fence Systems

There are many ways to keep a rip fence parallel to a sawblade


Segment: All-Time Favorite 

Vic – All time favorite tool: cordless chainsaw

Which Cordless Chainsaw Should You Buy?

Three different brands of battery-powered saws are put to the test.

Ben – Smooth move: Thinking he would remember to trim up one piece later

Mike – Smooth move: Bringing a piece into the house before it was really completed

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to [email protected] for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.

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