Terry's Downdraft Box

Perfect for larger sanding and routing needs.

SHOP OWNER: Terry Hatfield
LOCATION: Springdale, AR

    I just worked this downdraft box up today and thought it might be of interest. I have seen this basic design before, but they all seem to be too small to fit my sanding/routing needs and use connections that are not big enough to be very effective, especially for one this size.
Bottom View Inside View

    The box is 36" x 48". The sides are 5 1/2" tall and cut from a 1" x 12" pine board. The bottom is a 14" wide piece of " ply screwed to the ends of the box. It is actually two pieces joined together with biscuits because I didn't have a scrap piece wide enough. The angled sides are " ply attached with some staples to pine backer blocks. I sealed all the seams with bathroom adhesive caulk.
Hose Connection

    The pegboard was too flimsy in the middle, so I added a 1/4" x 1" piece of aluminum stock on edge across the interior of the box for stability. It is held with a few more pine blocks and staples.
    I used a 4" x 10" x 6" HVAC register boot for the connection. While routing a large piece of MDF, I noticed the air moving through the remaining open holes was very loud. To reduce the amount of noise, I first tried drilling the peg holes larger on a piece of scrap but I could not get a clean hole. Next, I laid out a grid in between the peg holes and drilled 165 " holes (not shown) with a forstner bit. This method worked very well and it is much quieter now.
Holder Blocks Holder Blocks

    I made these "holder" blocks from " Baltic birch ply to help keep the piece being sanded or routed from sliding around on the pegboard.
Performax Connection

    I reconfigured an existing DC gate that was for my Performax so it can serve both functions. The 6" flex is connected with a piece of 6" snap lock pipe that just slides over the crimped end of the starter flange on the gate. When I need the Performax, I just connect it's 4" hose to the gate. I mounted a 6" x 4" HVAC reducer on the Performax hose so it just plugs on also.

. . . Terry Hatfield



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