DIY Cyclone Dust collection tower with cam operated barrel platform.

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Project by That_Weird_Uncle posted 03-04-2019 09:24 PM 3079 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I created a cyclone unit tower using a 3HP shop fox blower and super dust deputy. The frame is 3×3 steel (I found it on the side of the road) that i welded up. i made a blower unit mount out of two L shaped steel pieces drilled and tapped the blower units hole mount pattern to the L pieces and bolted it together. To help with noise and vibration the L mount is hung from the frame on 1/2” threaded rod stock that has 1.5” rubber chunks on the bottom of the L and on the top of the frame the theory is with a super stiff frame and rubber between all surfaces that may vibrate i should minimize noise. The cyclone is bolted to a 1” thick plywood circle that i then bolted to the steel frame a 6” tube connects the top of the cyclone to the blower unit. The plywood disc is precision fit (at least my my standards) to the 55 gallon barrel and i made a gasket out of foam weather stripping and duct tape. the barrel sits on a platform that raises and lowers on a big cam. I have about 2.5” of travel on the cam block the barrel is indexed in place simply by some wooden blocks when you drop the cam (barrels full) the barrel lowers ao you can empty it. To replace the barrel simply load the empty barrel onto the platform and raise the cam. The cam assy hinges on a couple of 1/2” bolts with some bearings i salvaged out of a copier. I think the bolts will be heavy enough to resist bending even with a full barrel but time will tell. The cam surface slides on the bottom of the platform on some 1/2” thick uhmw plastic i pulled out of my junk pile. The uhmw has a very low friction co-efficient and the ply slides much better then i ever thought it would. You will notice the cam assembly is very crude. I actually made it from a couple of plywood pallets i got from work. I wasn’t sure if i would like the design so i threw it together with the intention of using it a while and then remanufacturing it later to make any design changes (cam travel, the 1/2” bolts i am pivoting on and the cam angles were things i was mostly not sure of as i made this up as i went along) At this point it seems to work well but i haven’t got my unit in operation as of yet since i’m waiting on installing a sheet metal ceiling to support my new insulation and didn’t want to work around the hanging ducting. In total the unit is about 9” tall i luckily have a 17” ceiling so the bottom of the barrel is 5” off of the ground. This allows me to use space that is otherwise pretty wasted in the shop.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

7 comments so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


703 posts in 583 days

#1 posted 03-05-2019 11:26 AM

Well done. I don’t have the height to put a 55 under mine, but just as well, as it is a pain as is to empty.

View That_Weird_Uncle's profile


57 posts in 522 days

#2 posted 03-05-2019 07:31 PM

I would have probably gone with a smaller barrel myself, i just had this one laying around and was trying to be cheap :). I’m not too worried about it though with the cyclones they want you to empty the barrel at about %50 full to maximize the efficiency of the system/prevent dust from being pulled from the barrel to the filter. I’ll likely be emptying it between %30-%50 full. I’m just a hobby guy so i don’t create much dust and it really won’t affect my workflow significantly.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

830 posts in 2096 days

#3 posted 03-05-2019 08:20 PM

Very innovative. Let us know how it works.

-- James E McIntyre

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


3341 posts in 2298 days

#4 posted 03-06-2019 01:39 AM

Nice idea.

Judging by height of window, that height looks sort of scary to remove a full drum?
Seeing the pictures, my Klutz mind immediately had vision of me standing there wearing an entire drum of sawdust as I attempt to drop it down. Sure hope you are not a distant relative of klutz family. :-)


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3212 days

#5 posted 03-06-2019 04:21 AM

Interesting application. I too can see me trying to empty a full barrel and wearing it. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View That_Weird_Uncle's profile


57 posts in 522 days

#6 posted 03-08-2019 07:23 AM

Nice idea.

Judging by height of window, that height looks sort of scary to remove a full drum?
Seeing the pictures, my Klutz mind immediately had vision of me standing there wearing an entire drum of sawdust as I attempt to drop it down. Sure hope you are not a distant relative of klutz family. :-)


- CaptainKlutz

It is a little on the high side but the logistics make it a lot easier than you would think. It’s about 4’6” off the ground and im a 6 foot tall guy. The plan is to bearhug the bottom of the barrel then all i need to do is pivot 90 degrees right and i have my table saw outfeed there (hence why its so high it provides clearance for the few times i rip something over 10’ ive only got 12.5’ from my saw exit to the wall and didn’t want the dust collection in the way). loosen up on the barrel and let it down to the outfeed table which is a much more manageable height.

This was my thinking initially at least. I just spoke with my dad and he wants to pass on my grandfathers wood collection to me. Needless to say i’m a lucky guy, there is wood in there that you literally can’t buy anymore. He had a piece of old growth ash that made my jaw drop 4” thick 16” wide clear grain and i think it was 10 or 12’ long. Lots of mahogany and zebra wood and much of it equally jaw dropping. Grandpa was a woodshop teacher back in the 60’s and 70’s and when something special came along he bought it for his stockpile. Im now thinking of welding up a steel frame about 3.5’ x 10’ and mounting it just above the window so i can have vertical wood storage in a stable climate that doesn’t eat into shop storage space for the heirloom wood collection. It’ll be a lot of work but i’ll have an excuse to build another elevator on that side of the shop to service my ~50 sqft storage above my other storage room as well as this shelf and I would love to look at grandpas wood collection for the next few years until i think im worthy to touch it. Essentially i’ll just be making a really big really heavy duty shelf if that’s easier to envision. Some of the really longer pieces won’t fit on it but i should be able to do the bulk as there’s only a trailer load or so of it left. So anyway i might end up pulling the whole dust collection tower down mounting it outside the shop and just putting two big holes in the wall one for the dust collection pipe and another that’s a return to a filter in the shop i’m in the high desert so in winter its common for it to be well below zero on a regular basis and i didnt want the heated shop air to be pumped outside.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

View ChristopherJames's profile


45 posts in 1900 days

#7 posted 03-21-2019 06:55 AM

I’m itching to see this cyclone in action to be honest! I would love to see just how much power you’re getting out of it and how effective it is in keeping the place dust-free.

-- Christopher James:

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