When it comes to dust in the shop I think we can all agree the miter saw is one of the biggest contributors. In recent years, many miter saw manufactures have put more thought into collecting dust, and actually have come up with some pretty efficient dust collection. Not ridgid. Before you say “shame on you ridgid”, you should know ridgid has kept their miter saws “no frill” for a reason, price. If you compare the price of the ridgid to any other 12″ miter saw on the market you will see it is a really bargin. This is my second chop saw from them. The first one had a tough life in the construction world and it held up really well. I still use it for jobs outside the shop jobs. So when I purchased the second one I knew what I was getting, a quilty saw, built tough but maybe not all the new fan dangle frills.
My new shop is in the basement of my house now so dust collection has become more of a priority for me. So how to get all that dust from the miter saw to the dust collection hose? Well I started experimenting with different ideas to see what i could come up with. After a few failed attempts, I came up with something that could possibly work.
I had a shop vac attachment lying around that I decided to screw to the back on the saw. This overcame a few key issues, getting the port lower where the dust comes off the blade, low profile enough that the saw will still slide all the way back, and still allows the saw to rotate to all the angles. This test was shocking to me because with such a simple attachment, I was able to collected a huge amount of the dust. With this prototype I decided to make something a little more rigided and also something easier to remove for when I bevel the saw, I can just remove it easily.
The design was simple, A 1 1/2″PVC street 90 fitted into a plywood bracket. I added some rubber matting with hot glue around the 90 to increase the area the dust would have to enter the port. The whole thing would be attached to the saw by the thumb bolt that holds the depth stop to the saw. The results are impressive.
I would have to say if you have the ridgid miter saw you NEED to do this modification. You will be surprised how much dust you can collected with just a shop vac.