My $2.00 dust collector

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Project by Joedcatman posted 01-05-2011 07:41 AM 3631 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok my shop is kinda messy but that’s not the point. After years of putting up with tons of special made sawdust I decided to get a dust collector for my small shop.

Being Frugal (read that cheap) I scoured Craigslist/tool auctions/Harbor Freight tools and so on… Then I came across a ready made blower with a 1/2 hp Delta motor at a garage sale and purchased it from the nice lady for $2.00.

I made a roll around stand out of plywood and some recycled swivel casters. I plumbed the blower output thru some 4” PVC to a plywood box, cut 2 6” holes in the top and bottom and attached a couple old stainless steel mixing bowls with the bottom cut out of them too. Made a couple of canvas catcher bags out of some material I’ve had laying around for years. Sewed and clipped one end – slid the other end over the lip of each bowl. The clamps to hold the canvas bag to the bowl is just aluminum weather strip that I cut and bent around each bowl. The groove that is in the aluminum just fits over the lip of the bowl and keeps the canvas pretty tight. Bend, drill and put a small bolt through the ends and it clamps really good. I also hinged the top of the box with latches on the back so that it can be opened for easy clean out.

WARNING!! If you decide to make one of these, you need to ground the two bowls with bare copper wire to the motor/blower frame and through to a grounded plug. Static electricity can build up with the dust flow and could cause a dust explosion.

A Jet or a Grizzley it ain’t but it works just as good and ya just can’t beat the price.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

19 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4276 days

#1 posted 01-05-2011 10:05 AM

congrat´s with the find :-) lucky is it possiple to be :-)

good work there

take care

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


21678 posts in 4837 days

#2 posted 01-05-2011 11:16 AM

That looks like an awesome little build :-) Certainly much better than what you had before. I have never done enough ww to warrant dust collection. But I finally gave in a found one on craigslist. I have a air cleaner made from a free furnace ready to hang. I’m making progress, although a bit slow :-( I’m moving on to the next phase of migraine expirementation so I’ll have more shop time this year :-)) BTW, the shop looks good compared to my warehouse!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4974 days

#3 posted 01-05-2011 01:57 PM

Perfect :-)

-- Jiri

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4495 days

#4 posted 01-05-2011 02:07 PM

The ultimate shop-made tool. Well done. It’s inspiring to see such resourcefulness. Were those steel bowls made in China?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4122 days

#5 posted 01-05-2011 02:46 PM

$2.00????? I would have offered her $1.00 and smiled. I’m so cheap, they have my picture next to the word in the dictionary! Nice set-up and good advice on grounding.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5043 days

#6 posted 01-05-2011 03:05 PM

Sweet. That use of the bowls is pure genius.
Lots of good ideas there.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Burt's profile


38 posts in 4207 days

#7 posted 01-05-2011 03:33 PM

Very crative, I love it. Super use of the old noodle to save money and create an effective solution.

View HallTree's profile


5666 posts in 4928 days

#8 posted 01-05-2011 04:58 PM

I love to see projects like this. Any time a LumberJock can save a buck in the shop, makes woodworking more enjoyable.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View dbray45's profile


3414 posts in 3938 days

#9 posted 01-05-2011 05:18 PM

Good job, being creative is what it is about.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View steopa's profile


60 posts in 3950 days

#10 posted 01-05-2011 05:28 PM

I love cheap. The less $$ the better!

But I have to admit I’m interested in the project in the background of the 2nd picture. What is that you’re making? Looks almost as fancy as a wedding cake from here…

-- Steopa

View Joedcatman's profile


172 posts in 4276 days

#11 posted 01-05-2011 08:18 PM

Answers. I don’t know if the bowls were made in China. The wife did catering for years and collected all kinds of trays and bowls of every size. I found two of her big bowls that had pinholes in the bottom, actually she found them and I had been using them to mix dirt and fertilizer in the garden. I just reamed out the pinholes to about 6” with my angle grinder.

The project, sitting on the table saw in the background is a German candle-powered Christmas decoration thing. I don’t have any idea what it is called. I made it years ago and it got passed around the family. One of them decided to bring it back because they had no control over their little kids and it got broke badly.

I’m going to go with Red Green who said: “If the women don’t find you handsome, they ought to at least find you handy.” I think I may repair this ornament with duct tape and give it back.

-- JoeR Nothing that I could make will ever be perfect but I'll use it anyway.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4335 days

#12 posted 01-05-2011 08:26 PM

I think you just built yourself the Harbor Freight Dust Collector :-)

Very cool !

-- -- Neil

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4834 days

#13 posted 01-05-2011 08:29 PM

Thats a nice find.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4101 days

#14 posted 01-05-2011 09:23 PM

Me like. Resourceful, recycling. Well done!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Abe Low's profile

Abe Low

111 posts in 5007 days

#15 posted 01-05-2011 11:25 PM

Great job. I put my collector outside so that the ultra fine particles that escape the bags are floating in the atmoshpere rather than my lungs.

-- Abe Low, Fine furniture, Sacramento, CA

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