Wood dust/shavings separator / Static shock

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 05-20-2012 12:38 AM 3826 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a 90mm dust extraction system installed in my work area.
I found that I was constantly either unblocking the extractor grid or the associated pipes when I was using it.

There is a circular and quadrant arm device in the base of the extractor to prevent solid objects getting into the rotating vanes and damaging them. I was reluctant to remove it to prevent blocking occurring and then run the risk of impeller damage so it stayed.

So I researched putting in a separator between my dust extractor and individual machines.

All were very complex or expensive, so I had the materials available so decided to make my own to see if it worked.

It consists of the following:
2 x Plastic drums inverted and pressed together at the tops
A short length of 90mm PVC pipe, one in the top and one in the side, (see the grey sections)
Some silicone sealer to retain them and provide air tightness, then attached to the existing system.

The Total cost of the project (for the separator only) was about the cost of 1 x tube of Silicone. (I had the other items available as garden/guttering remains.

Does it work? yes it does. From my estimate 95% of solid matter stays in the buckets.

Now all I have to do is take the buckets off go to the compost separate and empty them

To separate the two buckets all you need to do is full the two handles apart.

Cheap as and fully functional

Why did I use 90mm in stead of 100mm, well I guess the answer is I didn’t know any better at the time, and I had off cuts left over from my water trap harvesting system seen to the left with the garden hose at the bottom.
The horizontal pipe you see was made to go across my yard ( overhead) and be supported at the end by the fence. It was a classic design fail as I was constantly banging my head on it so its now redundant.


If you are interested in doing something similar and want some measurements/ other details or more photos let be know and I can provide more, as I dont want to be seen as cluttering blogs up with no interest info/junk


-- Regards Rob

3 comments so far

View able339's profile


47 posts in 3658 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 05:32 PM

It does look interesting! I ran across another system the other day which is relatively inexpensive and seems to work well. It can be seen at: (I am not sure that is the exact web address but it is close.)

Any day above ground is a good day.

-- TNJames

View MGguy's profile


3 posts in 3976 days

#2 posted 07-12-2012 07:41 AM

It’s Drop the m off com.

View robscastle's profile


8294 posts in 3487 days

#3 posted 04-05-2014 11:51 PM

DC Mod,

I got a huge static electricity shock off my DC when I was emptying it some time ago.

Event No 1. I dismantled the collector and walked from the area I had it set up in to the back of the house were I have a composting activity going.
I was holding the bucket by the metal handle and reached inside to grab a fist full of sawdust to spread about then whamo I received a huge shock the crack was very loud and the shock made me drop the bucket.
I staggered about for a sew seconds and then realised what had happened.

I was impressed with the report and intensity of the shock and thought ” That was big !) and attempted to continue not thinking it would happen again put my hand in again, whamo I got another one! this time it was in the annoying category so I dropped the bucked and up ended it with a stick.

Didn’t give it much more thought until yesterday.

Event No 2.
I had just finished sanding the cedar slab I blogged about and as I wanted to save the fine sanding dust for repairs I dismantled the DC and had the bucket on the grass, put my hand in to grab some dust and whamo again!
this time it was on the ground and I was standing next to it, just the same it still gave me a huge shock.

So after the second occurrence I decide to ground the bottom bucket using metallic AC duct tape.

I was surprised that the plastic was able to hold such a large amount of charge as the characteristic crack accompanied the discharge definitely pointed to Static discharge and this one was even nastier than the first.

After the fix I managed to collect about four bags of fine sawdust from my drum sander.

-- Regards Rob

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