In the world of woodworking product development, one idea usually leads to another. After creating the Dust Cutter, a dust collection system specifically for table saws, Keen Products' president Dick Keenan started getting customer requests for another aftermarket kit to fit router tables. He went back to the drawing board and came up with the Dust Router, introduced at IWF 2010 in Atlanta, capable of capturing dust from the top and bottom of the table.
Designing dust collection for a router table proved to be a tricky process, as Keenan describes:
"The table helps woodworkers do long runs and they're excellent for accuracy and speed. With that, someone developed a router table fence and added a dust port for the dust collection to get the dust from the top with a shop vac, but no one really evolved how to get the dust from the bottom, especially with the dado cut where all the dust is going down. Motors were burning out and the cleanup was horrible. Routers throw an awful amount of sawdust."
Keenan says he had to come up with a design that wouldn't restrict airflow for cooling the motor. He also needed to make sure it was adaptable to a vacuum.
The Dust Router comes with two hoses and necessary fittings. One hose connects to the top-side dust port, while the second hose connects to a special cup - referred to as the dust cup - underneath the table.
"The dust cup is made out of silicon rubber so it will collapse [and allow] the change of router bits from the top side of the table," says Keenan.
A T-connector brings both hoses together, which are then connected to a shop vacuum or dust collector. The kit will fit almost every commercial router table and sells for about $40.
Contact: Keen Products, P.O. Box 3051, Kingston, RI 02881 Tel: 401-783-3813. www.dustcut.com
This article originally appeared in the February 2011 issue.