What is a downdraft table??? I’m glad you asked.
It’s just a surface that has suction pulling air down (hence the name) and is great for extracting dust from the air right above it. It’s great for removing dust and fine particles from sanding or similar tasks.
There are some really expensive (but really powerful) downdraft tables that you can buy, but I wanted one that could be run by a wet/dry vac, or in my case, hooked up to my homemade dust collection system.
I went the route of building this INTO my workbench, but you could also just build this as a stand alone box. The box would be almost identical to what I built in my vacuum former project. If you did build a box instead, it could easily serve both purposes!
It’s a simple project, but really helpful in keeping your workspace clean!
Cut mdf or plywood down to size for the sides, front (2″) and back (4.5″).
On the sides, draw an angled line from 2″ to 4.5″.
Match that angle with a taper jig.
Use the taper jig to cut the side pieces at angles.
Put a slight bevel on the top of the back panel.
Connect the box panels with glue and brad nails.
Cut a panel of 1/8″ plywood to match your box size.
Attach it with glue and brad nails.
Clamp on a backer board (to stop blowout), then drill a hole to fit your vacuum hose.
Cut out the matching area in your table. (I did a plunge cut with a circular saw, but you could also use a jigsaw).
Finish cutting the piece out with a jigsaw.
Hold the box in place with clamps, and screw it to the table frame.
Caulk all seams to close any gaps.
Drill a finger sized hole in the cut out, to use as a handle.
Cut a piece of pegboard to match the hole, and measure the difference in height.
Cut strips to make up the difference in height. Glue and clamp them on to dry.
Drill another finger hole in the new surface.
Attach your vacuum, and it’s ready to go!