Shop & Tool Growing Pains #14: DIY Dust Deputy

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by pendledad posted 04-10-2013 03:59 AM 8848 reads 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Dam you Craigslist Part 14 of Shop & Tool Growing Pains series Part 15: Coming out of hibernation »

Bought some 8×24” hvac duct from home depot. 2 feet of 2” pvc. Some sheet metal screws and I hit the shop.

Problem 1: How do you take a rectangle of sheet metal and turn it into a cone?
Answer: 71º angle, and 2pir. I wanted an 8 inch top for the cyclone, so an 8 inch circle has about a circumference of 25 inches. I took a 26” long piece of scrap plywood and drilled a hole at both ends. I pivot at one end and draw an arc with a radius of 26”. I dont know if this is the right way to form a cone, but it made sense in my head. To be sure i did everything on paper first. Once i was satisfied i then transferred to the metal and cut it out.

With that complete, i formed the cone. I do not have pictures because this was the most difficult part for me. I drilled pilot holes in the overlapping piece and pulled the cone tight together with the sheet metal screws. Once that was complete, i cut out the intake hole with my dremel.

Now on to the bucket lid. I decided to use a plywood sandwich technique where i would pull the lid tight between two pieces. It was fast and worked quite well. It added some strength to the bucket lid too.

The last piece was the cone top, which i made from some 1/2” plywood.

I dry fit everything and did a test run. This was with no sealing or epoxy, just painters tape and suction… i was amazed at the results. It works extremely well … i cant wait to see what happens when i seal everything up.

I shot a video to show it in action:

Finished product with epoxy and sealant.

EDIT #2 (03/2014):
Make one of these. Even if you’re not going to use it for a wood shop, you really should make one of these for everything else. I use this to clean my couch, clean my cars, radiators, chunky plaster pieces, etc… If you have kids and they spill giant bowls of snacks/crackers/etc… and you wonder if that dyson or hoover can pick it all up without clogging … Just be a man, grab your shop vac, attach this thing to it … and suck it all up without skipping a beat.

I’m thinking I might actually hang this in the basement and buy a cheap shop vac with a switch. Use an existing hole in the kitchen area as an intake and I’ll have a built-in central vac for probably < $100.

8 comments so far

View MitchMan's profile


75 posts in 3436 days

#1 posted 04-10-2013 01:13 PM

Looks great! What was your cost? Curious about the dollars and hours, vs a Dust Deputy or whatnot.

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 3177 days

#2 posted 04-10-2013 01:37 PM

The hvac duct was $5.
Sheet metal screws $2.
Pvc pipe $4?
Pvc connectors $4?
Epoxy will be $5
5 gallon bucket and lid $5?
Ge silicone II … had on hand
Plywood had on hand

I would say definitely under $30.

I had a few extra shop nights this week so i did not mind trying this. Probably have 6 hours invested so far. Will be 8 once sealed and ready to go.

I am probably going to buy the HF DC and the Super Dust Deputy to build a big cyclone that way.

View MitchMan's profile


75 posts in 3436 days

#3 posted 04-10-2013 01:43 PM

Cool. Looks like it worked out well.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3954 days

#4 posted 04-10-2013 02:05 PM

It’s a very nice job of rigging up something useful. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View waho6o9's profile


9019 posts in 3664 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 02:45 PM

Well done.

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3929 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 04:30 PM

Thanks for posting your journey and solutions. I installed a two stage zoned furnace and ductwork in my little two story shop/barn. And I have duct material leftover. I’ve been thinking about making one of these, but still have a few shop projects to complete first.

Thanks again,

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4227 days

#7 posted 04-10-2013 04:35 PM

I actually got my dust deputy for something like $30 since I had a Woodcraft coupon.
At that point it was extremely hard for me to justify making my own.
Although I would like to make my own DC cyclone, I probably will end up making a top hat separator instead.

If you’re interested in making a full sized one this guy in japan shows you how he did it:

View pendledad's profile


190 posts in 3177 days

#8 posted 04-14-2013 03:13 AM

I posted the final picture after epoxy and sealant. It captures 99% of dust and small debris. It has a lot of power with a nice clean filter. I might try this on my table saw as a temporary dust collector.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics