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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need opinions on the Dewalt DW618 router dust collection abilities. I have a Festool CT26 I can connect it to. Under product description Dewalt claims "Integral through-the-column dust collection collects 95 percent of the dust and provides superior bit visibility"

Sounds great but does anyone have any experience with it that backs this up? I will be using it for making dados in 3/4" MDF and plywood using a Festool MFT with guide rail. I have an adapter that will allow me to use the Dewalt router with the guide rail. I have a PC 694VK that the adapter works with but I cannot find any dust collection adapter and last time I used it for MDF dados I couldn't breathe or see worth a darn for all the dust. I realize the perfect solution is the Festool router, but it would be almost $600 to get the EQ 1400 plus the rail adapter, versus $175 for the Dewalt kit.

Also, what about the Makita RF1101? does that dust collector work?

Thanks!
 

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I do not have experience with the Dewalt/Makita/or Festool router's DC. I do have experience with 2 other brands DC arrangement and it was so horrible that it was useless, maybe even dangerous since the vac hose connected to the router made things quite unhandy (I guess the Dewalt setup helps with this). I've read a few posts about the Festool, and most claim it works no better. My opinion is that the router is one of those tools that would be very hard to tame when making a blind cut like a dado. Long ago I started routing MDF only when I can do it outside. The only thing this does is clear dust well (on a windy day) and keeps it out of the shop. I hope someone else chimes in; but I fear you're after the holy grail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Fred. I really hope to find a solution to this.

I also thought about trying the new Porter Cable 891 with the gripvac but am extremely concerned about the build quality of the "new" PC line as their parent company has positioned the PC brand as a lower tier. If I could find a "new-old stock" model that I knew was 5+ years old I would probably go that route.

Taming the router is not that difficult with the Festool guide rail and router guide. That guide rail when used properly makes everything much more stable, repeatable and accurate.

With regards to the comment about Festool being no better - I checked out the router at my local Woodcraft and found the dust collection to be excellent when used with the guide rail. If you plunge the router into the work piece about 1/2" from the edge the vacuum gets virtually everything, and then move the router forward to do 98% of the dado, coming back for that last 1/2" at the end. If you try cutting the dado by starting the router off the work piece and then go right into the board then some of the dust escapes through the dado you just cut. Kind of hard to explain but it is remarkable how well it worked using the 1/2" in technique, and it works so well because of a piece that probably costs about $2 to manufacture that basically encases the base/vac port/work piece.

Well, I need to make a decision this weekend as I am at a point where I can't go much further without completing the dado cuts.

option 1 - use old PC 694VK and deal with the dust ($0)
option 2 - get new DW618 and use with Festool vacuum and hope for the best ($175)
option 3 - get Festool router and a few accessories ($600)
 

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Well, I wish you luck with whatever your choice is!:thumbsup:
 

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I have experience with the PC 890 series plunge routers. The through-the column dust collection is very good and increases visibility immensely.

I can't imagine that DW 618 would be any less effective. The dust collection function is simply a tube.

The DC hose does have a tendency to get in the way.

If you're going to perform dado operations at a designated work station it might be advantageous to rig a hose over the work station that's long enough to allow free movement of the router with no snagging or dragging.

You could leave the hose in place and move your vac to it while dadoing.
 

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I splined 1000 ft of MDF ...outside.

The dust was horrendous.
Since you have the router married/locked onto the guide track, you really don't need to see what's going on, right? A lightweight, flexible dust hose can be made from a household vacuum OR this: Amazon.com: Hyde Tools 09165 Dust-Free Drywall Vacuum Hand Sander with 6-Foot Hose: Home Improvement

I use these all the time on my ROS and 1/4 sheet and belt sanders.
I have made adaptors to attach the hose to the tool from the household vacs tool kit. Household vacs are roadside picks on trash day. One approach would be a curved section of plastic bottle with a hole fro the hose and secure it to the router over the opening in the base. Almost any router can be made "dust free" in this manner. :yes:
 
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woodnthings said:
...I use these all the time on my ROS and 1/4 sheet and belt sanders.
I have made adaptors to attach the hose to the tool from the household vacs tool kit. Household vacs are roadside picks on trash day. One approach would be a curved section of plastic bottle with a hole fro the hose and secure it to the router over the opening in the base. Almost any router can be made "dust free" in this manner. :yes:
Yessir.


These are also helpful. You can cut them apart to use the different diameters for different machines.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/flexiblestepadaptermedium.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So the final outcome was keep trucking along with the PC 694VK. I am working on improvising a dust shroud for the unit and then temporarily attaching the vac hose. woodnthings is right, since I'm using the guide rail I don't need visibility to the bit, so I think I can encase the router opening with a little bit of thought and, more importantly, some nice and shiny Alabama chrome (a.ka. duct tape). It won't be pretty but as long as it's functional I'll be alright. I'll be sure to post pics of the setup. I used the money I would have spent on a new router to get some Bosch L-Boxxes to help with organization. Bosch is having a $25 off $100 of accessories, and I did three separate orders just over $100 to get the $25 off applied to each order, saving me $75.

Looking forward to making some dust this weekend and hopefully containing it.
 

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Another router manufacturer that is pretty serious about good dust collection is Triton. The area from the base to the motor is well enclosed. I have one but in honesty, haven't tried it with a shop vac attached to it yet. This is a pic from their site:



Bill
 

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I need opinions on the Dewalt DW618 router dust collection abilities. I have a Festool CT26 I can connect it to. Under product description Dewalt claims "Integral through-the-column dust collection collects 95 percent of the dust and provides superior bit visibility"

Sounds great but does anyone have any experience with it that backs this up? I will be using it for making dados in 3/4" MDF and plywood using a Festool MFT with guide rail.
It's been awhile since your original post and I see you have a solution. But just fyi... I've got a DW618 and I've used straight bits to cut 3/4" dados in MDF. It's... a mess. Though it's true the dust collection with the plunge attachment does a pretty good job of collection. I'm not sure if it's 95%. I don't know if I'd call it 80% or 90%, but I would say it does do an amazing job compared to nothing. MDF just puts garbage everywhere.

Now it's important to understand I had this hooked up to a 4 gal Ridgid vac, which does ok, but isn't hardly the most powerful of collections systems out there.

Scott
 
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