Dust Right Lathe Dust Collection System

An efficient way to control wood chips and dust at the lathe.

Dust Right Lathe Dust Collection System

Dust Right Lathe Dust Collection System



I have a midi lathe that I use primarily to turn door and drawer pulls, and the occasional tool handle. Even these small turnings produce a lot of wood chips - that normally end up all over the lathe, the floor, and me. It's a bit of nuisance, as I'm constantly brushing away wood chips during the turning session. And, when done, it's out with the shop vac to clean things up.

Rockler has added another accessory to their extensive line of 'Dust Right' fittings and accessories, the Dust Right Lathe Dust Collection System (#52981), specifically designed to address dust management at the lathe.

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Assembly is quick and easy

The Dust Right comes as a kit with half a dozen components and all the hardware items needed for assembly. The black flex hose and blue dust scoop are made of what looks to be a thermoplastic polymer while the rest of the components are steel. Expect to spend less than five minutes putting it all together.


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Stepped plate may be too large for some midi lathes

The Dust Right is attached to the bed of the lathe by means of a connection plate, which goes above the bed, and a stepped plate that goes under the bed. On my midi lathe the stepped plate is too wide to slide in through the end of the bed (left, photo above). If you decide to leave the Dust Right permanently installed this won't be an issue. However, it is somewhat inconvenient if you'll be regularly removing the unit.

Half way along the length of the bed on my lathe is a support block – the plate is too thick to slide past this block (right, photo above). Most lathes have such a support block. The result is that I end up with only 7" of travel along the bed (from the head stock). Because I usually turn short stock this isn't a major issue – however, it may be if you primarily do spindle turning – to use the Dust Right closer to the tail stock you may need to remove and re-position the stepped plate.

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You'll likely need an adapter

There are a variety of options when it comes to connecting the Dust Right to a dust collection source. You can connect it to a shop vacuum, or to a duct collector. I tested the Dust Right using both methods, and found that it worked noticeably better when connected to a dust collector. A shop vac is great for fine dust, but isn't as efficient moving larger wood chips. Plus, the small waste canister fills up quickly, needing to be emptied more frequently.

I chose to connect the Dust Right to my dust collector via 4" hose. I needed to buy a 2-1/2"-to-4" adapter to connect the black 2-1/2" flexible hose that comes with the Dust Right to the 4" hose. The kit includes a 4" hose clamp, but not the adapter.

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Easy to adjust

You can adjust the Dust Right horizontally along the lathe bed ("A" in the photo above); vertically from the bed ("B" in the photo above); and, you can adjust the dust scoop for maximum chip collection ("C" in the photo above). 

I recommend placing a washer between the 3-star knob and the connection plate ("A" in the photo above). The kit doesn't include a washer. I think it provides a more secure connection between the Dust Right and the lathe bed.

As you can see in the photo above, due to the configuration of my lathe, and the width of the stepped plate, the Dust Right won't rest flush up against the head stock. Fortunately, this doesn't have much of an effect on the performance of the Dust Right.

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Residual wood chips without and with the Dust Right

You can see in the photos above the difference that the Dust Right makes. The top photo shows a typical session without the unit installed; the bottom photo shows a session with the unit installed. Both pieces were the same original size, and turned down to about 1-1/4" diameter. Keeping the hose between the dust collector and the Dust Right as short as possible, and keeping the dust scoop positioned as close as possible over the turning helps quite a bit.

I found that the Dust Right worked best on spindle work, less so on face plate turning. The Dust Right could be installed on a full size lathe, but at only 9" wide you would likely be constantly moving the unit back and forth along the bed to facilitate chip collection.

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Sweet!

While the Dust Right won't catch all the wood chips you produce in a turning session, it does a very good job. I find it reasonably quick and easy to re-position the unit along the bed, and easy to adjust the angle of the dust scoop while turning. My only complaint is the size of the stepped plate, which seems a bit too large for midi lathes – or at least my midi.

For anyone with a bench top lathe, who does primarily spindle turning, the Dust Right is a profitable, effective way to significantly control wood chips and dust.


KEY FEATURES:

  • Dust scoop: 3'' x 9''
  • Mounting post: 3/4'' x 15''
  • Connection plate: 1/4" x 15''
  • Adjustment Range: 6-1/2''
  • Flex hose: 2-1/2'' i.d. x 20"

COMPANY:Rockler
MODEL:52981
PRICE:$69.83
MADE IN:USA
SOURCE:Rockler

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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