DIY Cyclone Dust Collector

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Project by SimonSKL posted 07-17-2009 11:44 PM 99579 views 113 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was inspired by Jeff (jcoulam) who posted the first cyclone dust collector a couple days ago. I do not want to take away any credit from Jeff for his brilliant design and willingness to share his work. As I was building this dust collector, I took a few pictures to document my progress. I will be glad to write a blog later and share with you how I built this project.

The most difficult part was the cone. I tried Jeff’s suggestion and just couldn’t twist the metal sheet enough to form a decent cone. I managed to get a small cut in my hand in the process. Ouch! So I decided to learn from my wife who uses paper pattern in making her clothes. I cut a paper pattern that can form a cone and then traced the pattern onto the metal sheet. I then bent a lip on each edge of the sheet so they can hook on each other. Instead of using sealant, I decided to solder the seam.

The intake tube was cut exactly as Jeff described and I taped a piece of sandpaper to the cone so I can sand the tube to the same contour. I then use 2-part epoxy to glue the tube to the cone. I use a dust collector adaptor to anchor the collector to the 5-gal bucket. Other than the adaptor I use the same materials as Jeff used. Here are a few pictures of the construction.

The final product works extremely well and exactly as Jeff described. Once again, I want to thank Jeff for a wonderful idea. It took me a couple days of off time and about $20 to build this collector. Thanks for looking.

PS. In order to make this whole system mobile this is my latest upgrade to this system.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

26 comments so far

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3892 days

#1 posted 07-17-2009 11:52 PM

Looks great…..Glad it works well. I may try to make one myself in the next few days.

-- Don S.E. OK

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4812 days

#2 posted 07-18-2009 12:59 AM

I have got to make me one of those things. They look absolutely perfect. The one 4 inch one I have works like a charm but the 2 incher I have on my shop vac seems to plug up all the time and the bucket collapses. I mean the walls of the bucket will squish right in and touch each other. Thanks for showing how it’s made again.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4030 days

#3 posted 07-18-2009 06:07 AM

Great work and it’s nice how you gave credit where credit was due. Looks like a fine product and great inspiration for me to get busy. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View a1Jim's profile


117800 posts in 4143 days

#4 posted 07-18-2009 06:11 AM

great job

View arw01's profile


55 posts in 4180 days

#5 posted 07-18-2009 03:47 PM

It looks great, and glad to hear it is working well for you. Do you find it a bit tippy because of the tallness of the cyclone vs what the Dust Deputy looks like?

PS Does someone have the original thread that started this saved for a link?

-- No good deed goes unpunished!

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 3805 days

#6 posted 07-18-2009 04:04 PM

arw01, you are right about the smallness of the Dust Deputy which measured about 14” tall and about 6” dia at the top. My diy collector overall height is about 28” and weighs about 5 lbs. Surprisingly it sits pretty solid on the oversize 5 gal bucket that I used. I am thinking putting both the shop vac and the cyclone on the same platform with casters so they can be moved together.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View Charles Mullins's profile

Charles Mullins

94 posts in 4277 days

#7 posted 07-18-2009 04:21 PM

Hummmmmm——I wonder how a larger version with a 2 HP motor would work. I really need a cyclone in my shop.

Charlie M.

-- God makes the wood beautiful--I simply rearrange it to make it more useful, hopefully.

View Timber_Cruiser's profile


56 posts in 4383 days

#8 posted 07-18-2009 07:48 PM

awesome job. what size hp shop vac is that?

-- Don't delay, do it today! If God is your Copilot, switch seats.

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 3935 days

#9 posted 07-19-2009 04:58 PM

Great looking cyclone! I will be looking forward to your blog, so I can build one myself.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

743 posts in 3855 days

#10 posted 07-20-2009 08:35 AM

Hi Simon, you did a great Job and I would like to do something same. I think that for effectiveness, there is a need for a certain proportion between the length of the pipe which goes into the cone and the length of the cone itself what about the diameter proportion between the diameter of the pipe and the top side of the cone, what about the proportion between the top side of the cone and to bottom side of the cone. I afraid to do other diameters and have a cyclone which is less effective. thanks a lot

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 3805 days

#11 posted 07-20-2009 02:38 PM

Hi Eli,
I think you are absolutely right about the proportions of all those you mentioned. To me the most critical part was how far the outlet tube goes into the cone in relation to the position of the inlet tube. If the outlet tube extends too far down into the cone, it will pick up the dust and chips before they fall to the bucket. Same is true if it is too close to the inlet tube inside the cone. My outlet tube extends about 6 1/2” into the cone so it passes the inlet tube by about 2 1/2”. I have not permanently sealed the top yet so I can take the top assembly out and reduce the length if I need to but so far it is working extremely well.

Here are some dimension of Oneida’s Dust Deputy. I don’t know how well you can see in the picture about the outlet tube inside the cone.

Here is what I noticed in the Dust Deputy dimension:
1. The top diameter is about 3 times (6”) of the 2” outlet tube.
2. The top of the inlet tube is about 1” from the top.
3. The end of the outlet tube inside the cone passes the inlet tube by about 2 to 2 1/2”
4. The bottom diameter is about 3.5”

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View jcoulam's profile


57 posts in 3966 days

#12 posted 07-21-2009 02:59 AM

Great Job!! You have some great assembly tricks, I like the sanding jig. I really like your pictures and your blog. I really hope to see more of these, they are so simple to make and they work so well.

Jeff Coulam

-- Jeff Coulam, Lakeway Texas

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 3805 days

#13 posted 07-21-2009 03:37 PM

Thanks for the compliment. Coming from the original designer of this homemade tool means a lot to me!

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 3855 days

#14 posted 07-24-2009 05:22 AM

Looks great, just one question, where you attach shopvac would seem to be a weak spot. What do you do to give it a little strength? Thanks for sharing.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View SimonSKL's profile


185 posts in 3805 days

#15 posted 07-24-2009 06:28 AM

Thanks for the comment. I think the weakest spot is where the inlet tube goes into the cone. The epoxy has very little surface to grab on and the sheet metal is thin. The outlet tube connected to the shopvac is in fact quite strong as the PVC is glued on to the 3/4” plywood and the PVC elbow also provides additional stability to keep the outlet pipe in place.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

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