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Alternatives to Oneida Dust Deputy

by MJClark
posted 10-03-2018 04:15 PM

4 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


605 posts in 3256 days

#1 posted 10-04-2018 12:04 AM

Both Oneida and Clearvue Cyclones make excellent systems; and my preference is to go with either one of these. The Thein Separator, and its many variants, has a high capture %, but the CFM loss due to the design is significant. Oneida introduced a molded plastic version: this is a fine solution for wood particles, but is not intended for highly abrasive materials. I recommend spending the money to do it right, rather than cobbling it together: your lungs and ears deserve it.


View Desert_Woodworker's profile


3589 posts in 2099 days

#2 posted 10-04-2018 12:34 AM

Dust Stopper is what I find to be the best value for the money. You purchase it from Home Depot for about $40 plus a bucket. (it even includes a flex hose-) I am on my second month trial of testing it, so far 5 Stars. The cost will be recouped by not having to purchase expensive filter bags and it is a great quality product.

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Tom Huntley's profile

Tom Huntley

58 posts in 4124 days

#3 posted 10-08-2018 11:11 AM

MJClark: ”The Thein Separator, and its many variants, has a high capture %, but the CFM loss due to the design is significant.

ALL separators are restrictive. In nearly all circumstances, designing a separator with a lower cut point causes a decrease in flow flow (CFM). Restriction to air flow also occurs with media based filters, i.e. paper, foam, etc., when they are made to separate particulate having increasingly smaller diameters. There is no reason for a Thien, or a “variant” to be more restrictive than a conventional cyclone, unless a DIY version violates some basic principles of flow dynamics. An example would be a gross mismatch between hose size and input/output ports diameters. I have measured the flow restriction of the Oneida, the Nantong Suning Environmental (a Chinese import very similar to the Oneida), and the Dustopper, and their restriction to flow is very close to the same. On all three, there is about an 8” loss in dynamic water lift when configured with a typical wet/dry vac having roughly 150 CFM, and a maximum suction of 45” of water lift.

I am not aware of any flow-type separator that can be classified as a HEPA device having a cut point of 0.3 microns. For this reason, there should always be a HEPA filter present (usually a pleated paper type) if the exhausted air quality is to meet OSHA standards. Therefore, the cyclonic separator you use is less important than the final filter. Other considerations, such as cost, flow capacity, physical size, ease of setup, and more, may be important to the user.

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan

View Lazyman's profile


5864 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 10-08-2018 02:30 PM

I threw together a separator for my Craftsman shop vac several years ago using a 5 gallon HD bucket as the collection bin with a 3 gallon paint bucket inverted on top for the “cyclone” part with a Thien baffle between them. It was just an experiment and is pretty ugly but it works so well I never made any improvements. Only a little of the finest dust makes it through the separator. I did a non-scientific test a while back using a crude homemade manometer and there was a slight drop in the suction comparing with and without the separator but not enough to notice. In fact, the hose by itself caused approximately the same lose in suction as just the separator without the hose.

Additionally, I really like the Cleanstream shop vac filters. They are cleanable so last many years but are only slightly more expensive than the standard disposable ones. I can simply rinse it off when it needs to be cleaned (about every 4 or 5 times I empty the separator). When the filter is new, you can just tap them (or even just bounce the shop vac) and most the dust just comes off. Mine is over 4 years old now and going strong. It does show a little sign of wear, probably from using compressed air a few times to clean it, but I never see any dust coming out of the vac exhaust.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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