Shop-made Dust Seperator/Cyclone

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Project by Gianni posted 01-01-2014 12:56 AM 3307 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, since everyone else is posting pictures of their extraordinarily well thought out and constructed dust seperators, I thought it would be good to throw up some pictures of the one I recently built.

For those artsy types, I should give it a name… How about “Simple, Functional, POS?”

The top is a leftover piece of 3/8 ply from cutting a new chair bottom for a friend. The bottom is 1/8 hardboard. The standoffs between are 6” long 1/4 bolts running inside 1/2” pvc cut to about 5” lengths. I used 3 because that way any nonuniformity in length wouldn’t bend the bottomm funny. I figured that would really mess with airflow.

I dug through my bucket stack and chose two that nested with a standoff. I cut about the top third off the inside bucket. I had actually purchased an orange plastic lid from home depot, but, oddly, it didn’t fit on a non-home depot 5 gallon bucket (??!!? What the heck, hd?) When i tried to force it, it cracked… There is a dollar fifty I’ll never see again. After that, i just cut the ply circle.

The hole for inlet tube I cut out with a jigsaw. Probably not the safest operation, but it worked. I inserted the 2” pvc pipe and used a file to make the hole oblong until the edge of the pipe rested against the side of the bucket. I cut an angle on the pipe end facing the inside of the bucket, then drilled through both pipe and bucket and captured the end to the side with a #8 machine screw and a nylon lock nut on the outside.

Last, I positioned the bottom plate on the center of the top using a precise method known as “eyeballing” that I’ve developed over the years. I drilled three holes for the bolts, assembled the top/bottom/standoffs through the bucket around the inlet pipe (make sure holes for standoffs clear this pipe when drilling, you could measure and stuff, but… really?)

To seal the inlet and top, I just used hot glue/craft glue. It filled the hideous gaps from my jigsaw-file fiasco well, and since I didn’t follow plans I thought I wanted some adjustability to experimemt. I used it for about a week, playing mostly with the height of the outlet/suction tube. Unbelievably, it worked best when this was higher in the chamber (taller air column underneath) which was exactly the opposite of my expectation. Once I got happy enough with the results to justify the $6 or so I’d invested, I used a 2” coupler sliced in half to sandwich the pipe to the top.

I did go back and add a rubber coupler to the intake, bringing the total to $9. I splurged.

It’s extremely effective with chips and shavings. Sanding and fine dust, well, maybe it gets half or so. The pics are after a morning with the scroll saw, table saw, and router. I love shop projects where the results raise eyebrows with their ugliness, and win friends with their function. This is exactly one of those projects, and I think it’s beautiful, red overspray and all.

5 comments so far

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2696 days

#1 posted 01-01-2014 01:13 AM

Gianni you know what they say”Purty is as purty does.”

Good job.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View NormG's profile


6428 posts in 3334 days

#2 posted 01-01-2014 03:45 AM

Looks like it work just fine, well done

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2437 days

#3 posted 01-01-2014 08:25 PM

That’s a lot of bang for the buck. A nice $9.00 shop upgrade that anyone can afford and anyone can do. I like it.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View Todd's profile


413 posts in 2007 days

#4 posted 01-01-2014 11:17 PM

You can’t argue with something that works. It’s shop equipment. You can spend your time making other stuff pretty. Great job!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 2758 days

#5 posted 01-02-2014 06:06 AM

You were lucky the plastic lid cracked, you ended up with a much sturdier product that really works well.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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