Dust Collector (this thing is great)

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Project by RMP posted 02-01-2012 05:00 AM 32074 views 175 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey LJ’s, I just had to share this with you guys. I’ve been in need of a dust collector for a while but just don’t have the money or space for one of those big units. I’ve been using a 3 hp shop vac but it’s getting to much dust in the filter. So I searched around and found one online similar to this one. So I can’t take credit for this design. It’s just a 5 gal bucket with 2 pieces of 5/8” particle board. The top has a rabbit cut into it so it fits in the bucket. The lower baffle is 3 1/2” deep with a 1 1/4” section removed approx. 2/3 of the circumference. It’s held together with 4, 5/8” dowels. The fittings are PVC 2”, which are held in with apoxy. The center one is used for the return to the shop vac and the side port , which is a 90 degree fitting, is the suction. I used an old pool hose, well because that’s all I had. But it works. As you can see in the pictures everything ended up in the bucket and very ,very little in the shop vac. The cost for this project ,0$. And I saved my shop vac. It took me about an hour or two to build the whole thing and it was well worth it. It really surprised me how well this thing works. If any of you guys out there have limited space in your shop and don’t want to spend a bunch of money, this is a great way to go. I hope this helps someone. Thanks for looking. RMP…........

29 comments so far

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3473 days

#1 posted 02-01-2012 05:07 AM

Interesting idea.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Woodbridge's profile


3691 posts in 2897 days

#2 posted 02-01-2012 05:47 AM

Thanks for the great idea. I was thinking of buying one of thiose cyclone things, but it looks quite simple to make on. Thanks.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View a1Jim's profile


117711 posts in 4056 days

#3 posted 02-01-2012 05:54 AM

Nice job ,glad it works so well.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6765 posts in 3832 days

#4 posted 02-01-2012 06:32 AM

Well done! It’s nice when someting goes right!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View dubsaloon's profile


622 posts in 3273 days

#5 posted 02-01-2012 06:33 AM

Seems like a super Idea to save your shop vac.

-- The works of evil people are not the problem. It is the "Good" people standing by and watching not speaking up. Dubsaloon

View Steve187's profile


34 posts in 2806 days

#6 posted 02-01-2012 06:51 AM

Alright! Now I know how to build a cyclone for my shop vac. Thanks for posting!!!

-- Steve (North Louisiana, near Ruston)

View judgesawdust's profile


36 posts in 3102 days

#7 posted 02-01-2012 07:03 AM

Looks like a “Thein” tophat to me! Good job. And thanks to Phil Thein for giving us all this design and the “how-to’s” to build!

-- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

View GlennsGrandson's profile


443 posts in 2788 days

#8 posted 02-01-2012 08:26 AM

Wonderful! I definitely need one of these, it’s on my list, and probably should be on the top of it.

The concept it probably fairly elementary but I’m not sure I get it, if anyone knows could you explain it to me?


-- Grant - N Dakota

View JohnMeeley's profile


255 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 02-01-2012 11:02 AM

GlennsGrandson- Search Thein on this site and you will get as much info as you care to digest.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View Simon2822's profile


72 posts in 2893 days

#10 posted 02-01-2012 02:03 PM

Great Idea, I’ll be making one of those

-- If it's not right, it's wrong

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2981 days

#11 posted 02-01-2012 02:29 PM

Those are good photos that we can all work off. Thanks for posting.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30428 posts in 2817 days

#12 posted 02-01-2012 03:20 PM

i’ll use a garbage can instead of bucket, but it is a must!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 4077 days

#13 posted 02-01-2012 03:31 PM

Thanks for the post, I will try it! I have been wanting something to help with all the dust….

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View ChrisMc45's profile


106 posts in 3338 days

#14 posted 02-01-2012 03:58 PM

Cyclonic separator, keep most of the dust out of the shop vac. I especially like the baffle to prevent (most of) the dust from making the u-turn.

View bondogaposis's profile


5515 posts in 2830 days

#15 posted 02-01-2012 03:59 PM

Nice job on the Thien separator.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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