My version of a Dust/Chip Seperator

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Project by Dusty56 posted 02-23-2010 01:45 AM 14356 views 17 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was going to purchase a second “cyclone” lid from WoodCraft , but decided to make my own instead by gluing up a panel made from Pine leftovers. I made two panels just wide enough to fit through my planer , and then joined them together with glue and threw in some pocket hole screws just in case the middle was weakened by the 4” hole in it. I then made a circle cutting jig for my Bandsaw and cut the panel to size and as seen in the third picture , I routed a groove in the underside of it to accept the rim of the 30 gallon metal trash can. I got the connectors and elbows from WoodCraft along with a new 10’ section of 4” hose.I also went with fellow LJ fredf to HarborFreight and purchased a cheapy hole saw kit to bore the 4” holes with.
The groove provides an airtight seal ( no leakage at this time ) when I turn the DC on and as you can see in the 5th picture , it works ! : ) I connected it in series with my other seperator to check for escapees , and am glad to say that none were found in the second barrel or the bag of the dust collector.
At this point , I don’t find it necessary to add the “Theil” baffle to this model. : )
Thanks for checking this out and have a great day !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

27 comments so far

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3977 days

#1 posted 02-23-2010 01:56 AM

It looks to pretty to put on top of a trash can. Job well done !!

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 4235 days

#2 posted 02-23-2010 02:03 AM

I tried the exact same thing with a 5 gal bucket hooked up to my shop vac. I only got about 50% of the material in the bucket. Also, when sanding much of the fine dust still made it to the filter. I deemed it a failure. Maybe the bigger can works. I’m glad yours is working for you.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4398 days

#3 posted 02-23-2010 02:08 AM

Great use of leftover lumber for the shop.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View SchotterWoodworking's profile


113 posts in 3838 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 02:14 AM

I am wondering if a 55 gallon steel drum would work for a cyclone separator? Anyone have any insight on this?

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4496 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 02:35 AM

Regarding the 55 gallon steel drum … do you plan on emptying it ?
The point of this project other than collecting the debris before it gets to your dust collector is to make it easier to empty : )

If I wanted to wrestle with a 55 gallon drum , I’d pay my ex-wife a visit !!!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3981 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 02:38 AM

In theory, couldn’t you line a 55ga drum with a bag, making for (relatively) easy removal and disposal?

Nice job on your separator.

Definitely one of those gizmos that prompts a “Hmm. Do I buy one or do I make one?” conversation, internally.”

-- -- Neil

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4496 days

#7 posted 02-23-2010 02:54 AM

Hi Neil , I tried to put a bag into my original 30 gal can and it was fine and dandy until I turned the DC on… LOL , I can’t even imagine trying to get a bag full of debris out of a 55 gal steel drum , but go for it if you really want to : ) Let me know how you make out : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MrPukaShell's profile


49 posts in 3853 days

#8 posted 02-23-2010 03:41 AM

Why not make it fit the recycle “Yard” Can that the city picks up. Wheels and all, just wheel it out on trash day and put it back in the shop when empty. Just a thought.

-- Robert, So Cal, My Turn or Yours.....

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1917 posts in 4479 days

#9 posted 02-23-2010 03:46 AM

Very nice!! Love it!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4116 days

#10 posted 02-23-2010 06:19 AM

I use a 55 gallon 2 mil thick plastic contractor trash bag tto line the bin of my dust collection drum. My drum is 35 gallons and when the bag is 3/4 full I empty it. Depending on the wwood you have used, it can be quite heavy, just as different woods are heavier than others.
When I first started using the bags I had the problem of the bags being partially sucked up into the cyclone. I installed a vaccum pump that is hooked to my dust collector motor and problem solved.
It is much easier to pull out the bag from the drum and carry it out as opposed to carrying out the drum.

View blackivory69's profile


84 posts in 3824 days

#11 posted 02-23-2010 11:12 AM

Hi to everyone. I, also have a 55 gallon drum but it’s the white semi clear plastic one. The secret is empty it when it’s half full.

-- blackivory69

View ellen35's profile


2748 posts in 4240 days

#12 posted 02-23-2010 01:30 PM

Clever… and if I could manage that 55 gal can filled with sawdust, I’d consider it!
Of course, you could always come empty it for me!
Frankly, emptying it half full is too easy for me… I like to do it the hard way!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6869 posts in 4787 days

#13 posted 02-23-2010 09:17 PM

Hi Dusty,

I was with you right up to the ex wife comment!! LOL

You’ll probably end up paying for that.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View jack1's profile


2150 posts in 4835 days

#14 posted 02-24-2010 12:24 AM

If he’s not already!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View SchotterWoodworking's profile


113 posts in 3838 days

#15 posted 02-24-2010 04:59 AM

I was actually thinking about mounting some casters on the bottom of the 55 gallon drum or mounting the drum on a wooden base with casters. I have considered splitting the barrel in half for emptying ease. We’ll see soon enough. I’ll make a post for sure. Thanks for the advice.

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