Hot New Tools Issue 81: Dust-Free Routing

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dust free routing

Routers are among the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal, but they produce massive amounts of sawdust. Manufacturers have made dust-busting advancements with newer routers, but these improvements don’t mean anything for thousands of older models. Fortunately, the folks at Oneida have developed an effective retrofit to solve this dust collection problem.

The clear polycarbonate Universal Router Hood is designed to replace the base on a wide range of routers (it won’t fit trim routers). The integral “dust dome” captures dust above the workpiece, and connects to a round port where you can attach a 1½"-dia. shop vac hose. Use this setup when routing dadoes or doing other interior routing operations and for plunging bits up to 1-1/4" in dia.

For edge work, attach one of two chip covers and catch dust below the base. The covers work great with straight bits and cutters up to 2-1/8" in dia.

I worried initially that the dome would obscure the bit, but I had a clear sight line and could easily see through the clear plastic. And there was no dust cloud to contend with. I was also concerned that the hose would get hung up or pull the router, but the hose connector handily swiveled out of the way. And the chip cover followed me along edges and around corners. Add this accessory to your handheld router for only $35, and breathe a sigh of relief.  

—Tester, Chad McClung

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