Improved dust deputy

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Project by mikehues posted 08-08-2013 07:51 PM 20785 views 24 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m hoping this counts as a project. I’ve seen several of these types of modifications on here in the past. But I haven’t been on the site for a while and I was a bit thrown by the new warning message that pops up when you post a new project now. I had made the little dovetail box previously. It happened to be the right size to mount the cyclone, so I went with it. That’s gotta count for something, right? ;)

I was never truly happy with the recommended setup of the dust deputy. Attaching the 5 gallon buckets to the side of my shop vac took up too much floor space. I have a small shop, so I like to use vertical space whenever possible. Also, it always seemed silly to collect the majority of the saw dust in a 5 gallon bucket while only the fine dust went through to my 12 gallon shop vac bucket. This new setup solves both of these issues and makes it a little easier to empty both buckets.

For now, gravity holds the top half onto the base. It hasn’t been necessary to add any sort of latch. I routed a groove and smoothed a bead of silicone caulk into the bottom. This creates a nice seal with the lip around the top of the shop vac bucket. To empty, I simply lift the top half and dump the bucket.

Since the dust deputy instructions had me drill several holes into one of the 5 gallon buckets to attach wheels and the like, I found no harm in cutting it in half to repurpose here. Attaching the top half of this bucket up around the filter provides a nice mount for the second removable 5 gallon bucket and also gave me room to mount the elbow coming from the top of the dust deputy. I positioned the elbow off center, creating an additional cyclone inside the 5 gallon bucket. I thought this may help to keep more of the fine particles out of the filter itself. I can’t really prove this, but I figure it can’t hurt.

-- @mikehues on twitter

14 comments so far

View Kwash's profile


8 posts in 3300 days

#1 posted 08-08-2013 08:04 PM

Very cool Mike.

This encourages me to improve my dust collection setup. I think what sets this design apart from others I’ve seen here is its novel cascading approach to receptacle placement. I really like the way you stacked the buckets and arranged the funnel. This configuration saves a great deal of floorspace and avoids the cumbersome side-by-side arrangement Oneidea suggests. Your use of the 90-degree pvc connector is brilliant and clean. And the “hidden” router and other work you did probably make this the great solution it is. Nicely done sir! Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Kris, MA,

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2878 days

#2 posted 08-08-2013 08:16 PM

Picture #1 reminds me of a Dalek.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3514 days

#3 posted 08-08-2013 10:15 PM

Your set up is nice, but

I prefer my way where I have the shop vac and collection underfoot and in my way, where I am constantly tripping over them. And when I give a tug on my sander, I knock the darn thing over and the disconnected hose sprays dust over everything while frightening the napping the dog half to death…

And the way you have all the vacuum attachments handy is too simple, I like to hunt and peck thru my shop looking for them.

Well after reviewing, your set up has a lot of merrit to it,

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3636 days

#4 posted 08-09-2013 12:29 AM

This is a really smart set up. Lots of great ideas.
It is getting bookmarks for sure.
Thanks for posting this great idea.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View mikehues's profile


10 posts in 2364 days

#5 posted 08-09-2013 01:00 AM

Exterminate sawdust!

thanks for the kind words and laughs

-- @mikehues on twitter

View BalloonGuy's profile


93 posts in 2316 days

#6 posted 08-09-2013 02:28 AM

Mike, it’s a great idea. I can’t tell from the pictures what keeps the top bucket in place. Is it a friction-fit, or is there something propping it up? I think I see something peeking out in photo #2, but it’s hard to tell. Thanks for posting!

-- Tom Peterson, Omaha, NE

View mikehues's profile


10 posts in 2364 days

#7 posted 08-09-2013 03:06 AM

Until I think of a more elegant solution, I’m using a couple scraps of wood. I have a 1/4” thick strip of wood a little longer than the diameter of the bucket, which is what you see sticking out in photo #2. I just wedge a block of wood under that strip to hold the bucket in place.

-- @mikehues on twitter

View Ken90712's profile


17671 posts in 3582 days

#8 posted 08-09-2013 08:18 AM

Well done, I had one of these and loved it….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Deadeye's profile


36 posts in 2281 days

#9 posted 08-09-2013 12:25 PM

Love it, great job!

-- Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.

View scarpenter002's profile


617 posts in 4298 days

#10 posted 08-09-2013 01:44 PM

Nice job Mike. Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View Bluepine38's profile


3380 posts in 3478 days

#11 posted 08-09-2013 02:47 PM

Great adaptation of the dust deputy, should keep your air a lot cleaner.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Spur's profile


87 posts in 2420 days

#12 posted 08-09-2013 04:20 PM

I have the same problem with floor space mike, and I did a similar setup going vertical. After two weeks I built the side by side thing I use now, tucked it in the corner out of the way, and got a 25’ hose for it, and use my little garage door opener keyfob which controls the plug that the shop vac plugs into as well as the garage door.

The vertical was way too cumbersome for me to use. I hope yours meets your needs much better than my first attempt met mine :)

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View Don Niermann  's profile

Don Niermann

219 posts in 4365 days

#13 posted 08-09-2013 05:17 PM

Looks good

-- WOOD/DON ( has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

View madsensh's profile


1 post in 1216 days

#14 posted 02-24-2016 12:04 AM

Nice work, I have limited space in my garage as well and am planning something similar. Thanks to your post, I have a couple more ideas to work with.

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