Lathe Dust Collector

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Create a healthy turning station with this simple fixture.

Reader Jerry Bolin of Prattville, Alabama, sent in this dust-collector idea for mid- and full-size lathes. It attaches to the ways via a pair of shop-made clamps. Convinced of its merit, I had contributing craftsman and turner Bill Sands build Jerry’s collector and test it out, hooking it up to a dust collector, and then to a shop vacuum. While it was never meant to draw in large shavings and chips, it effectively sucked in the fine, hazardous dust from scraping and sanding–the stuff that could otherwise end up in your lungs or cover shop surfaces. Of course the dust collector had more pull, but the shop vacuum also performed well. The collector is simple to make, using 1⁄2ʺ Baltic birch plywood, scrap hardwood, jig hardware, and 4" schedule 40 PVC pipe.

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