These are modifications I made for my Down Draft Box Kit in my shop. They may or may not work for your shop. As woodworkers we all share ideas, and shop tips. Hopefully we can spark an idea or help each other with creative solutions…..
With more shop time available during the evening hours now, especially with the day light savings time change, day light gets shorter. I found myself gravitating back to the shop away from those outdoor chores, and revisiting the shop projects I’ve put off.
One thing I do know about woodworkers and their shops, any time spent in their shop even if working on modifications to tools, tool cabinets, out-feed tables, is time treasured. It also makes for an efficient shop when you have your tools and equipment set up to accommodate your projects.
I purchased a Down Draft Box Kit at one of the woodworking shows. Although very effective when joined with a dust collection system it lacked surface space when sanding large material. The box dimensions are 17.5 inches deep, 28 inches long and 6 inches high. . This box has a dust collection port of 4 inches on the side when joined with a good dust collection source it collects a great deal of the fine dust particles. Although I do use a dust collection attachment on my hand-held random orbital sanders, when coupled with the use of the Down Draft Box Kit it greater reduces the chance of air-borne particles.
My solution was to countersink my Down Draft Box Kit into my out-feed/work table behind my table saw. My out feed /work table is not your ordinary out-feed table off a table saw. Its 8 feet long and 4 feet wide 1 ½ inches thick and you can build most any project on it.
So here we go…
This project started out with me cutting a hole in the table with a hand-held jig saw by the width and length of the Down Draft Box Kit. I then attached two 6 inch vertical drops from the table just to the inside of the hole opening still allowing for the 1 ½ inches of table thickness.
Note: When I built the table I doubled the thickness by using two 3/4 pieces of red oak and finished the surface with a clear poly.. My only concern was if I cut up my work table how will it affect my large project lay out area?
With my table thickness added the total drop including the vertical pieces was 7 1/2 inches the box being 6 inches deep hence accounting for the additional table thickness, I then submerge the box into the table allowing at least a 3/4 inch clearance on the top so I can incorporate a lid covering the Down Draft Box Kit when it’s not in use.
Adding the lid will provide a closed off and flush/ flat surface when preparing large stock on the table saw, or using my original flat surface area for a large project layout.
I finished the bottom part of the base/cradle with a 28 inch by 17.5 inch 3/4 inch yellow pine to hold the Down Draft Box Kit in place. 3/4 inch thickness being strong enough to hold the minimal weight of the box assuring me it’s stable. I left the length sides of the cradle (17.5 inches) open because I needed to have access to attach the 4 inch collector hose.
To complete the project I used one of the top cut out pieces of the table ( notice is was not one with matching grain, I wanted a different look ) I cut out for a lid to close off the sanding area allowing me to continue the use of the table for an out feed table or project lay out area. For now it works great for me, until I build my Roubo Bench. !!
My objective was accomplished. I can now use the length and width of my out-feed/project table for layout work, while incorporating the Down Draft Box Kit to sand large stock, keeping all surfaces flush with the table.
Remember safety first when sanding, always use a certified dust protection mask, protective eye wear, as well a dust collection system to protect yourself and others in your shop from potentially harmful dust particles.
I hope this may have inspired an idea for your shop…See attached pictures:
Be safe, enjoy your shop time….