Again With the Cyclone-Vac System Again

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Project by Kelly posted 10-31-2021 03:40 AM 1234 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A buddy liked how well my shop vac-cyclone system worked so much he asked if I’d build him one. Because I was down to a few thousand projects, and had escaped favors to family members, I said I would.

As you, probably, know, Dust Deputy cyclones, normally, sit atop a five gallon bucket, but his is going to get worked hard, so he bought a 20 gallon can, with a flip ring lid, which I recommended, so he could open and close it without tools.

Once he had the cyclone, collector can and a vac, he brought them over for me to start playing with and, from then on, I was unsupervised (insert manic laughter here).

I had one piece of black pipe left from building mine, to move the intake port from the side to the bottom of the can. So that was a done deal.

Couldn’t remember what I’d done to alter it to fit the input on the cyclone, so I turned a cone, with a slight taper, which I used to expand the pipe to fit the top of the Deputy, after heating the black pipe with a heat gun. Also, used my Foredom grinder and a quarter inch rasp bit to grind much of the interior away, just cause (that’s all I got on that one).

I had a six foot piece of Allthread I picked up for walking sticks, so donated a few feet of it to the cause (there’s still enough left for a cane). That and some fancy tubing I had took care of two front posts, to support the vacuum atop the collector can lid.

I cut the two tubes to a length that put the vac level on the can lid. Their length is, with the vac mounted, the same as the distance from the bottom of the vac to the bottom of the cyclone.

I cut the allthread long enough to go through the bottom of the vac [with a washer and nut on the end, in the vac can] down through the tubes, through the collector can lid, through any supporting plywood and with enough extra to add washers and nuts on that end.

I had some monster, 2” washers. I used them above and below the tubes covering the Allthread, where the tubes rested against the plastic bottom of the vac and the plastic top of the cyclone collector can.

I offset the position of the cyclone on top the collector can lid. Because the altered vacuum port has to be at the outer edge of the vac can, to avoid conflict with the filter, this put the vac at or near at center of the lid, when mounted.

The system really pulls down on the top of the can, when you close off the intake, so I had to reinforce it with plywood. I won’t show you pictures of that, because I refused to cut a good piece to donate to the project, so made a really scary/major ugly support system, which solved the problem.

Once everything else was done, I added a view port to monitor the fill level. Which has proved invaluable on the other three cans I’ve done this to.

When it was all said and done, I used a LOT of hot glue. Every hole in the cyclone can lid and the bottom of the vac can had to be sealed. The pipe for the modified vac intake has a lot, to hold it in place, just in case. Last, the view port needed to be well sealed.

I buy my glue sticks in ten pound boxes and they are the long ones. In all, I, probably, used about ten or twelve.

9 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


10249 posts in 2072 days

#1 posted 10-31-2021 06:29 AM

I got one of those Vacmaster Beast’s at Sam’s, like this one. Mine was 69 bux, and it will pull a car down the road, powerful little thing. It’s on a to do job in the shop. My list sounds like yours, plus I’m an old fart with plenty of Doc’s visits thrown in for good measure.

Lately Oneida has been having a lot of good discounts going on. If anyone is interested in setting up a cyclone DC or Shop vac, get on their mailing list.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Kelly's profile


3899 posts in 4442 days

#2 posted 10-31-2021 07:04 PM

Real Steven, buddy just came over and picked it up. He seemed pretty tickled with the unit. Test drove it for him and ALMOST was able to get the area around the miter cleaned up before he called me out for filling the cyclone drum.

Yep, those little vacs really pull. With the cyclone, efficiency should stay up there far longer.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27828 posts in 4603 days

#3 posted 11-01-2021 11:43 AM

Nice work on that one,Kelly. I see you sent to a bigger barrel. I have mine a thin wall 33 gallon barrel and the vac is on the floor behind it. when I first turned it on, it sucked the barrel in to half it’s size. I had to screw in 3 wood ring on the inside the barrel to hold the shape from the vacuum created. Those Dust Deputies are the nuts! I also out a splitter on top and two waste gates to direct the vacuum to 2 different areas.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View AndyMB's profile


16 posts in 5200 days

#4 posted 11-01-2021 02:24 PM

Nice setup~! Looks like something I need to do with mine…go vertical. I have my vac and DustDeputy bucket sitting on a furniture dolly, so it has about a 2’x4’ footprint.

View Kelly's profile


3899 posts in 4442 days

#5 posted 11-01-2021 05:02 PM

Jim, I lucked out on the barrel. It’s heavy enough plastic I don’t notice any flexing in it. The lid did drop down though, so it has a 10” ring of plywood under it with some of the ugliest spokes you’ve ever seen. Now, when you cover the intake, you see some minor flex at the outer ring, but that’s it.

Andy, the stacked version really is nice for the smaller footprint, AND improved suction, since it does away with a bend and a hose.

I wish I had the barrel I used for my home made Rainbow vac. It only had about 20” diameter and was of heavy duty plastic. It must have been around a 25 gallon capacity, so wouldn’t take up much room, but could handle a lot of material between emptyings.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27828 posts in 4603 days

#6 posted 11-01-2021 09:11 PM

That’s good , Kelly. Your friend will really like that system….........Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Kelly's profile


3899 posts in 4442 days

#7 posted 11-01-2021 09:18 PM

He picked it up and had it a quarter full in minutes. He complained of finding a place for it. I suspect if he vacuums the sawdust in his shop, requiring him to empty it at least four times (more likely 7 or 10), he’ll have room he’d forgotten he had.

I’m not exaggerating.

View Woodforbrains's profile


90 posts in 240 days

#8 posted 11-05-2021 05:55 PM

Looks great!

I have dust deputy, but that is as far as I’ve gotten.

If you were to make another one, are there any improvements or changes your would make?

Is the 20 gal can with flip ring lid a good option? does it seal up nicely?

-- Go team!

View Kelly's profile


3899 posts in 4442 days

#9 posted 11-05-2021 06:10 PM

I’m thinking of modifying my own to copy the one I built for him. When I do, I’d add a handle and wheels, like I put on my Super Dust Deputy. Aside from that, I cannot think of anything else I’d change.

I have a flip-ring top on my metal Dust Deputy. For both the one I made and my DD, I think they beat the hold downs and gaskets I had to use on my Super Dust Deputy.

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