Shop Tools #1: Building a Wood Cyclone

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Blog entry by htl posted 08-04-2016 07:01 PM 4052 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop Tools series Part 2: Mallets »

I was thinking about building a bigger wood cyclone but really the one I have works great so why build a bigger one, then it hit me I really never showed all the pictures of this build so here’s a how2 of my build a year or so later. 4/13/15
Before this I built a Thien baffle style outfit.
It was a self contained two bucket system that worked just about as good as my wood cyclone.
Here is a picture of the two systems working together but saw no need for the two bucket job once I had the cyclone all figured out, I put the vac in the box to quiet it down and it works great.

I then built a safety cone cyclone but didn’t spend too much time on it because the cones are just to soft to get the job done.
I really think I was just having fun playing with the different ideas.
Then I started getting interested in the wood cyclones and there are 3 or 4 really good looking ones out there but Ronald Walters videos are what sold me on making one.

Ronald’s videos give you all the main details so not going to go back over them[really don’t remember] but will show my pictures and ideas on building one and what i did differently.

Ronald Walters great how to’s start here.

There are a couple other videos you could check out, there’s one in Spanish that I can’t under stand what’s being said but his step by step is worth watching.

My project post is here.

I must say this is a very interesting and fun build way over in left field from my usual projects up to that point.

First some picture of it all up and running to get the idea.

Now on to the build pictures.
First I cut the pine strips down to 1/2”.
[ find some old furniture or old shelving for this build these slats are thin and need to be straight, dry wood]
I really wanted the cyclone longer but cut the strips on the miter saw to fit my Crosscut Sled.

Now we need to set the table saw to the right angle of [4 degrees] and slice the wood down to 1/2” at one end and 1/4” at the other.

The Crosscut sled works really well for this.
PS If I did this again I might try using the router with a roundover bit, when you start searching about diy cyclones I’m sure you’ll see this being used[especially if building a bigger one].

Then off to the band saw to make the top and bottom.

I had some lengths of all thread around so made my clamping jig adjustable to get just the right fit.

Many of the how2’s say use painter’s blue tape but i would have got in big trouble if I would have went that way.
I just happened to have some of that aluminium duct tape that is super sticky and strong.
Get some you’ll be glad you did.
Whatever you do don’t use a fast drying glue you need time to glue up all those slats on both sides, the more glue the better.

I don’t have any pictures of the gluing up but you’ll see it done on the videos.
I got it in my head I needed one extra slat so when it all came together I have some space but that’s not a problem that some extra glue won’t fix.

Notice that I bolted the all thread to a board and then screwed it to the table so it wouldn’t be moving around while clamping it all up.

I used some big rubber bands to hold it together whiled it dried.
The duct tape really held it together just added some more to be safe.

Here’s what you get when your done.

Now sanding the outside and some on the inside.
I really didn’t do much sanding on the inside, once you wipe up all the glue while it’s drying there’s not much need to sand at least in my case.

Now we need to make and put in a inlet pipe.
One thing I wish I would have done was point my inlet down just a little to force the air down as it spins.
When mine sucks up something heavy I can hear it keep spinning and not going down right away.
It doesn’t seem to hurt the way the cyclone works but just know that there’s some swerling going on.

After I epoxied it up I sanded it all smooth.

Then gluing on the base the top was glued on when the sides were clamped.

I hope this is helpful to some wanting to make their own cyclone, the funny thing is they’re so cheap to buy it really doesn’t pay to make one but it’s the build that counts here not the $$$$$.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

7 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4775 days

#1 posted 08-04-2016 09:52 PM

I’ve had this project in the back of my head for a number of years, I hope mine turns out as well as yours has when I get around to it. I now also have your trail to follow which is pretty cool. Thank you.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View crowie's profile


4516 posts in 3013 days

#2 posted 08-04-2016 09:56 PM

With the amount of work to make it and how good it looks, it should be art rather than a functional piece to workshop equipment….well done Bruce.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View htl's profile


5398 posts in 2221 days

#3 posted 08-05-2016 01:02 AM

I’ve got where I use it everyday some time more, I just love sucking up the sawdust and in my small space that’s a good thing, keeps it out of the house so the better half stays happy.

I love these screw on 7 gal. pool bleach buckets [but be careful if there’s any bleach left in the bucket it can be really strong smelling.
Lowes has a screw on lid for their buckets for if I remember right $8 over in the paint section.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View oldrivers's profile


2530 posts in 2629 days

#4 posted 08-05-2016 01:09 AM

Very good thanks for sharing

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


6979 posts in 1883 days

#5 posted 08-05-2016 03:39 AM

I glanced at your initial post but as I already had some bought Dust Deputies I dismissed it as something I might envy but not a necessary read. However for fear of risking the missuses pleasure in me not posting stupid comments, I had to comply.

... so why build a bigger one,

- htl

You will never make a ”Tim the Toolman Taylor”...

year or so later. 4/13/15

- htl

You’ll never make an Albert Einstein, especially with your bleeding American imperial system… It is now August (08 month) and there is no 13th. month… 08 minus 13 just doesn’t add.

However, in the words of Crowie,

... it should be art rather than a functional piece to workshop equipment…
- crowie

you did make a work of art and just seems too good to simply ”suck”.
Another great job B4 and a foremost worthy tutorial.

they re so cheap to buy it really doesn’t pay to make one…

- htl

Only half right, so you could have saved some typing by just saying ”they re so cheap to buy” and left the out ”it really doesn’t pay to make one” part…
Price compromises on quality.
I have good workshop suckers and after a while all the lids (I have 3 DDs) started to collapse (sucked in like I was). I did overcome this by making some lid reinforcements, but it was at the expense of an unnecessary waste of my time.

On hindsight I’d probably still buy one, but I’d much rather look at yours… the cyclone that is…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View htl's profile


5398 posts in 2221 days

#6 posted 08-05-2016 02:32 PM

Here’s the locking lid from lowes, the inner part unscrews works really well.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View bushmaster's profile


4124 posts in 3344 days

#7 posted 08-05-2016 08:56 PM

Nice looking cyclone, many people will clone it for sure and will appreciate your work for sure.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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