Ever use your table saw while wearing a flannel shirt? You’d think you wouldn’t make that mistake more than once. Most table saws dust collection systems capture dust generated below the workpiece, but do a poor job capturing the dust that the blade throws above the work piece — usually right at your shirt.
What we need is a way to capture the dust that comes off the top of the workpiece. Blade guard dust collection systems are nothing new, but they’re usually priced at a good percentage of what you paid for your table saw. This blade guard dust collector from Penn State Industries looks to be a solution that the home wood worker might afford.
It can be used on any table saw with an extension, or you can mount it to the ceiling. The guard is large enough to accepts blades up to 16″ — I’d like to see that table saw — and will still cover your splitter and anti-kickback pawls. It can be used with dado blades and will cover the blade on 45° cuts, too.
The guard portion is a single piece of clear, shatterproof plastic. A 4″ dust collection hose connects to the 83″ steel boom and the mast is made from steel too. The guard is counter-balanced, which makes it easy to position and adjust for different wood thicknesses, and if the guard interferes with your operation you can simply swing it out of the way.
You can buy the dust collection guard for $150 total at Amazon. If that’s still too rich for your blood you can pick up plans to make your own for $6.