Downdraft Table

Ever increasing the overall versatility of the Torque Workcentre, I’ve been working on the idea of having a sanding section (still with the fundamental requirement that any addition is not to have any adverse impact on the performance of the Torque Workcentre itself.)

Creating a downdraft section was surprisingly easy, with a matrix of small holes around the primary (Walko Clamp) holes.  It isn’t the largest sanding / downdraft area, and is based around the duct collector underneath.

Downdraft Top

Even during the drilling of holes, the dust collection was already being used, and proving that it does work.  The area looks a bit cleaner because the final step was a quick sand to ensure the surface was flat again, taking off the slight raised area around each hole.  There is also a couple of lines of oil splatter, from using the new PS Tools lathe on the bench- the oil used in packing the chuck found its way out, but hey, that’s what working surfaces are for.

Sanding was done with the Festool ETS 150/5, and whew’eh – giving those a good workout is going to be a fascinating session – a beautiful sander to use – smooth operation, responsive, powerful.

Dust Collection

Underneath it is very simple to produce the downdraft.  A machine dust collector plate (available wherever dust collection gear is sold) screwed to the underside of the table.  There is plenty of clearance between the collector plate and the support arm of the Torque, so the requirement not to impact on the Torque’s primary function is achieved. In addition, by protecting the integrity of the primary holes, the Walko clamps can still be used to hold down the workpiece about to be sanded.

So this makes a basic, functional upgrade that required a few holes (almost 200, 20mm apart) drilled (made very easy using the Torque as a drill press) and a plate screwed on.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Stuart, Funny you write this, i’m am looking for a similar design to start creating this weekend, if the blog allows me i will follow up with my success

  2. Hi there

    I am thinking about doing something similar to an outfeed table/workbench combo. I was wandering how the new hole affect the strength of the top in that section.

    Also what kind of performance do you get? What kind of dust extractor do you connect to it?

    Would you do it again?

    I am asking these questions because the top I am building is a torsion box and the downdraft portion complicates the design as it would span several sections. So if the benefits are marginal I may just skip this feature and keep the structural Integrity instead.

    Thanks in advance for your help

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