Today I’m going to show you how to build a DIY Downdraft Sanding Table to help eliminate dust in your shop! This is actually and update to an earlier downdraft table and sanding box I made last year. I wanted this one to be a little bigger and I refined the design a little too.
Now I know you love sanding your woodworking projects, right??? You strap on the respirator, grab your sander, your preferred sanding grits (80, 150, 220 for me), now stand there for an hour or more working through your grits while your hand goes numb and you look like Indiana Jones coming out of the sand storm.
Okay, so we all (at least the sane ones) hate sanding. BUT, I hate it a little less after making this awesome downdraft table / sanding box. It’s a super simple construction and I made mine from scrap cutoffs of 1/2″ MDF and plywood along with some 1/4″ pegboard and a dust fitting. I made mine to accept a 4″ dust port, but this will work with any vacuum or shop vac, you’ll just have to gauge the suction and make sure you don’t go too big where it isn’t effective. After you build this, your lungs will thank you!
Here is what you’ll need for the project:
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Building the Downdraft Sanding Table
The build is very easy and I’ve used readily available items that were actually all leftover material from other projects in my shop. The finished downdraft table will be 19″ x 25″, but you can size yours as you need it.
- Cut the Pegboard and Downdraft Table Sides
- Assemble the Sanding Box
- Mount Cleats to Hold the Top
- Make the Dust Chute
- Build the Downdraft Knockdown Sides
Begin by cutting the pegboard to size. I cut mine to 18″ x 24″ for a nice sized sanding area, but it’s small enough to not need support across the middle.
Next rip your 1/2″ MDF into 6″ wide strips for the sides. Crosscut the sides to make 2 long sides of 24″ and 2 short sides of 19″.
Next layout the position for your dust port on one of the short sides. It should be centered on the board and about 1″ up from the bottom.
Now you can assemble the downdraft sanding table box. Turn the side with the dust port upside down and use the pegboard top to square up the assembly. I joined the piece with a quick setting glue and a brad nailer with 1″ brads.
The top of the downdraft sanding table is supported by a series of cleats around the top edge. First I Cut an 18″ long 1-1/2″ cleat from 3/4″ material to go on the side opposite of the dust chute. Then the other short side gets an 18″ long 1″ wide cleat and the long sides each get a 22-1/2″ cleat 1″ wide.
After that I used a small offcut of the pegboard to position the cleats. They should be positioned so the pegboard is flush with the top.
4. Make the Dust Chute for the Downdraft Table
Firstly to make the dust chute, cut a section of 1/4″ plywood to 18″ wide and dry fit it in your downdraft table before trimming to length.
Next cut the chute to size so it sits about 1/8″ down into the box. Note the side away from the dust port should be firmly seated on the underside of the 1-1/2″ cleat and the other end will be close to the dust port.
To secure the dust chute cut 14″ cleats from 3/4″ x 3/4″ strips and glue the faces that will touch the side and dust chute. Nail the cleats to the side with 1″ brad nails.
To finish off the box I drilled holes for the dust port and attached it with 5/8″ pan head screws.
Caulk the inner seams for an air tight seal and to direct all airflow from the top.
After that the downdraft sanding table is done! But I did add some knockdown sides for extra efficiency as well.
The downdraft sanding table knockdown sides are made from 1/4″ plywood. The sides are 12″ tall and the full sized back piece is 25″ and the two sides are 17″ long.
The sides are joined together with duck tape for the hinges. Put the panels a pencil width apart then tape the panels together with a strip of tape.
Next flip the panel over and apply another strip of duck tape to the other side, pressing the tape into the seam and sealing it against the tape you already applied.
Then fold the panels along the hinge then secure the outer edges of the tape to the panels.
Finally, repeat this on the other joint and you have your knock down panels for your downdraft table.
Now sand to your little heart’s delight knowing your DIY Downdraft Table is a great little sanding box keeping your lungs clean.
If you want more great shop projects go check out my Shop Projects page.