Cyclone for shop vac #1: Dust cyclone - with house hold trash bags blog

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-18-2015 05:58 PM 7338 reads 10 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cyclone for shop vac series Part 2: Dust cyclone - upgrade for the bin »

Dust cyclone
with house hold trash bags

Yes I got tired of the mess each time I had to clean the shop vac when it was full.
Also I was fascinated by these cyclones, have to admit I am a child.
So when the prices for one of these finally hit the floor here in Europe I had to give it a try.

Had two challenges, one that where my shop is, I have to deliver all trash in 15 liters bags, otherwise our trash suction system jams. Second, I wanted it to be standing under my saw, so it could not be to high.

As said I have been looking for a while, but prices here in Europe was sick.
But then I found a English seller, that sold them for 36 pounds or 50 dollar including shipping, so I made the buy.
Its called the: dust commander dlx, kind of a funny name, sure made me smile.

First step was to make a reinforcement ring, since I wanted to use a double plastic bucket.
It comes with a drill guide, screws and rings for fastening the hoses.

Then sawing the outside diameter.

Drilling the center hole.

I went to buy two plastic bucket and they wanted the same price as I have paid for the cyclone, no way!
So I bought two cheap bricklayers buckets at three dollars each.
Guess that leaves me with a reinforcement ring spare…
Well lesson learned.

Off goes the handles.

One of the buckets I will use as a inside holder for plastic trash bags, so this one needed a wee modification.

Top cut off.

Bottom also.

Then a cut down the side.
What a mess in the shop, with this black plastic.


Now with a bag.
When I need to empty I will just pull up the inner bucket and close the bag up.

So I need a lid.

And a rabbet to make it fit and tight.
Here routing it out and shaping the diameter also.

Then I drilled a hole in the center and put double sided foam tape.
The template made all the drilling so easy.

Cyclone are now fixed.

Guess we have the parts ready.

Bucket cyclone on the cheap.

Added bolts and wing nuts for making it completely air tight, don’t know if it’s needed, but I’ll try.

Fromm the back.

Here is what this is all about, saw dust.

And the mess when I have to empty the shop vac, especially when I have to put the dust in bags and clean filters.

Need I say why I had a cyclone on my wish list now?

Ok now all cleaned up, also the micro filter on the motor.

Temporary hose mounts.
Vac goes in the top, machines on the side.
But if you lookat the cyclone you can actually see it works, the spiral line are dust running down the bucket.

A little messy here…

And I said down the bucket!
It seems to work really fine.

Ahhh and the vac are empty. I am more than pleased for now.

Just one problem.
When will I need to empty the bucket?
So I drill a hole in the lid.

And make a plexi glass window.

Double sided tape.


Like this I can look into the bucket if the window don’t get too dirty, time will tell.

It fits fine under the saw, next to the vac.

That’s it and that’s that!
All hooked up and running.

Tried the cyclone today with the lunch box planer.

Once the cyclone started to get darker, I took the mobile flash light and looked in the window.

Nice clear view, so easy to see when it needs to be emptied.

Bag was full, it only took a moment to open.
My planer makes a mess on the floor even when the vac is running, guess that’s the game with a shop vac and not a real 100mm system, but it takes 99,7% of the shaves and all dust, so it’s still fair.

Inner bucket ring goes out real easy.

I can close the bag and be back running in a few minutes with a new bag.
So yes I like it!

Perhaps this can inspire others to get lazy.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

15 comments so far

View rhybeka's profile


4756 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 04-18-2015 06:48 PM

nice work Mads! Love it! I so want one of those but haven’t bit the bullet yet. I’m sure my shop vac would thank me. Thanks for the step by step!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View lew's profile


12939 posts in 4366 days

#2 posted 04-18-2015 07:23 PM

I was worried that the vacuum might suck the trash bag into the outlet- looks like my fears were unfounded.

Nice Job!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mafe's profile


12317 posts in 3700 days

#3 posted 04-18-2015 08:37 PM

Lew, that was my worry also, but it works.
I have a 1200W vac so if I close the hose, the bucket do get a wee deformed, so perhaps I will put a extra bucket inside.
rhybeka, yes I hope also mine will say thanks, I bought it ten years ago or more, so I smile each time I use it.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3415 days

#4 posted 04-18-2015 10:02 PM

Lookin good Mads.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3614 days

#5 posted 04-18-2015 11:31 PM

Great build, thank you for sharing

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2815 days

#6 posted 04-19-2015 12:42 AM

A very well made and presented post.
I did an even cheaper poor mans WW dust collector many years ago from two buckets, they still work well today.
A word in regard to static electricity, you may need to earth them as I received a huge belt (twice) from mine.
It was enormious a huge crack then a zap which almost unbalanced me, (above the normal)! then as I could not believe it could be so powerfull, I touched it again and guess what!

So some conductive A/C ducting foil tape was applied quickly!

-- Regards Rob

View playingwithmywood's profile


444 posts in 2208 days

#7 posted 04-19-2015 02:40 AM

yes the mighty blue dust hose clamping system that we also use in the USA

View mafe's profile


12317 posts in 3700 days

#8 posted 04-19-2015 05:35 PM

Thank you Roger, it was looking dusty before. ;-)
NormG, smiles.
robcastle, I will think of that, thanks.
playing, laughs, yes that’s universal.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View madts's profile


1923 posts in 2950 days

#9 posted 04-20-2015 12:34 AM

Yes I am ready for something like that.
Thanks Mads

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3149 days

#10 posted 04-20-2015 12:55 AM

Great project, It’s on my “bucket” list as well…heehee

-- I never finish anyth

View mafe's profile


12317 posts in 3700 days

#11 posted 04-20-2015 05:00 PM

Laughs, yes a sure favorite on the bucket list.
I was so ready also.
Best thoughts and thanks guys,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3444 days

#12 posted 05-03-2015 01:42 PM

Now I need me one of these. No wonder why my shop vac broke a fan blade resulting in a damaged rotor this time!
Nice setup buddy.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View mafe's profile


12317 posts in 3700 days

#13 posted 05-03-2015 04:55 PM

Thanks Thomas, found it on E-bay, PM me if you need help.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3945 days

#14 posted 05-19-2015 12:01 PM

The cyclone looks like a great product Mads and your shop made setup works really well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


12317 posts in 3700 days

#15 posted 05-19-2015 01:45 PM

Thanks Mike, yes it works really well have been running a while here now and I love it.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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