Adding a Cyclone to a Dust Collector?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by cmillsrun posted 06-09-2014 08:29 PM 6564 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cmillsrun's profile


34 posts in 2066 days

06-09-2014 08:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust cyclone dust collection dust collector question tip

Hi Guys,

I have a small-medium sized shop and just recently purchased the below small Grizzly Dust Collector (G0710).

The dust collector is working like a champ so far except for larger shavings, specifically from my jointer and planer, where it’s getting clogged at the fan. For each machine I have it cutting at the least depth possible (1/32”) so I don’t see how I could make the shavings any smaller.

Has anyone had any experience with this kind of issue and if so, what was your resolution? My buddy and I were talking about the possibility of adding on either a home made gasket sealed bucket (pre-fan) that could allow the larger shavings to fall into it (similar to a cyclone) or do you guys know of a company that makes an add on cyclone? (or is that just a dumb idea?)

Thanks as always for any advice!

-- -Chris

27 replies so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3496 days

#1 posted 06-09-2014 08:33 PM

I added a cyclone to my 2HP Harbor Freight DC to help keep the filter clean and to protect the impeller.
I am quite happy with it.
Click for details

I have since made a much smaller cyclone for my shop vac and it works equally well.

A Super Dust Deputy® is another option.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2457 days

#2 posted 06-09-2014 08:37 PM

top hat or a trash can seperator for a machine that size. You don’t have enough power to make a cyclone work properly. you can make either separator pretty cheap.

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2528 days

#3 posted 06-09-2014 08:39 PM

Here’s a good comparison of whats out there for cyclones, i think they’re intended for small shop vacs though:

If you have your own tub, I can recommend these:

I’ve been using them w/ a 55 gallon drum and they work like a charm. I would just be worried that the little wall hanging vac wont have enough “umph” to pull enough air through a large drum (I may be wrong)

View Chuck Anstrom's profile

Chuck Anstrom

90 posts in 3533 days

#4 posted 06-09-2014 08:40 PM

I have used the Oneida Super Dust Deputy with my 2HP Harbor Freight DC and am delighted with it.

-- Chuck Anstrom - Virginia

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 06-09-2014 08:48 PM

I would have some concern with a 1HP dust collector… But as you have already spent the money might as well make it work as best as possible for you…

Google “Thien Cyclone” and check them out.

I am about to come off like a jerk, sorry about this, but your safety and health may depend on it…

With the 1HP collectors, you simply don’t have enough suction and flow to effectively do much more than some basic shop cleanup, realize you are only getting the big chunks, the fine, dangerous dust just isn’t getting picked up, actually with that 30 micron dust bag, what you are picking up, is just getting pumped through back into the air… Use a quality respirator..

At a bare minimum, I would go with a 2HP HF type collector, a Thien baffle, and a 1 micron or better cartridge filter. Putting the thien baffle in a trash can separator arrangement keeps the stringy stuff from clogging your impeller…

Mind you, that is bare minimum... I honestly want a 5HP ClearVue but can’t afford one…

Probably one of the most knowledgeable people in the field of dust collection and cyclone design is Bill Pentz, take a peek at his page and brush up on some Engineer Speak and you will be in for some scary reading… But well worth knowing…

Best of luck, safety, and health to you!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2457 days

#6 posted 06-09-2014 10:09 PM

HP has nothing to do with it. what you need to refer to is the impeller size. Manufacturers seem to have lost reality with what HP is. The numbers they are claiming are just all over the map. If you are trying to make a fair comparison then you need to look at the impeller size and the amperage draw. Those are 2 numbers that can’t be fudged. as for the separator I second the Dust right setup. I have a homemade one in line before my cyclone just to expand my capacity. I plan to build another one for my hanging DC just like yours. I decided to use it for the jointer and chopsaw. It was way more cost effective since I already have the DC. They are on the other side of the shop and the 6” pipe/fittings are very costly.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4157 days

#7 posted 06-09-2014 10:52 PM

Try a trash can/oil drum separator. You can buy or make a lid.

I used one for a planer for awhile, powered by one of those
screaming Craftsman shop vacs. It was adequate to get the
shavings into the drum. 4” hose from the planer to the
drum, 2.5” hose to the vac.

View jonah's profile


2079 posts in 3808 days

#8 posted 06-10-2014 12:08 AM

You want a Thien baffle.

It’s not difficult to make one out of a metal trash can or one of those blue plastic drum things.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3480 days

#9 posted 06-10-2014 12:33 AM

A Thein baffle, or a cyclone; either one will rob you of power you have too little of already.
You just need a drop out box. That is simply a container with a removable lid and two connector ports for 4” hose on top to connect to your collector and dust/chip producing machine.
Put the drop out right next to your machine, connected with the shortest hose practical.
Then run hose (or pipe) from the other port to the fan inlet of your collector.
About 90% of the dust and all the large chips will drop out of the air stream into the container while the air and fine dust will go on to the collector.
Problem solved.
Been doing this for 40 years. It works. No problem.

View jonah's profile


2079 posts in 3808 days

#10 posted 06-10-2014 03:17 AM

You’d lose just about as much airflow from your “drop out box” as you’d lose from a baffle. Basically you are eliminating one 90 degree bend from the system. That single bend is not going to drastically reduce airflow.

View cmillsrun's profile


34 posts in 2066 days

#11 posted 06-10-2014 01:40 PM

Great! I’m planning on going down the route of the drop out box (like the dust rite separator from Rockler). Thanks for the great ideas everyone!

-- -Chris

View TheDane's profile


5690 posts in 4172 days

#12 posted 06-10-2014 02:03 PM

I added a Super Dust Deputy to my dust collector …

My only regret is that I didn’t go with a bigger trash can.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Crank50's profile


173 posts in 2085 days

#13 posted 06-10-2014 02:05 PM

jonah, there is a huge difference in a drop out box and a Thein baffle or cyclone.
The former provides one expansion of air which creates a reduction of velocity, and a quick change of direction coupled with a re-acceleration of the airflow. This typically costs about 1” static pressure drop.

A Thein baffle or cyclone, on the other hand, for it to work properly, has to increase the velocity and creates a vortex which amounts to the equivalent of at least ten 360 degree elbows.(that would be forty 90 degree elbows) A typical cyclone, like used in wood working, will impose a pressure penalty of 4” of static pressure at least. It works on the principal of inducing pressure drop to do its job. The higher the pressure drop, the finer particles it will capture.

I have designed cyclones as an occupation.
And a Thein baffle is just a baffle in a cylindrical tube used to create cyclonic action without having to have a cone.

View cmillsrun's profile


34 posts in 2066 days

#14 posted 06-10-2014 02:24 PM

Alright so from what you were saying Crank, and keeping in mind I’m dealing with a limited amount of power from the collector, would I have more luck (also sustaining air flow power) with a simple drop box set up similar to the Rockler Dust Right below or doing a small cyclone like the Super Dust Deputy (below as well){17F46883-40BB-471E-982F-E5F28583241B}



-- -Chris

View Kelly's profile


2428 posts in 3453 days

#15 posted 06-10-2014 02:45 PM

I have the Rockker separator lid and a Rubber Maid trash can I used on a little 1hp HF unit. It wasn’t the most powerful thing and the separator did knock down the air flow, but the combo worked well for what I had. All the heavy debris dumped into the fifty gallon can.

I had a 3 hp Oneida Cyclone that was the cats meow. I recommend it, highly. A five horse would be nice, but that’s a lot of amps, even at 220, for the average Jog Blow. My shop was pretty clean.

What ever route you go, try to position your collector so it requires the least amount of pipe possible.

And, as mentioned, swap those dust pumps (5-30 micron) bags the first chance you get. I just bought a 3hp four bag Jet and swapped the bottom bags for clear plastic and the top for 1 micron bags. On the other end of my little shop I have a 1-1/2hp Jet with a canister to tend my miter and band saw.

I turn my vac on rarely because the big collectors do such a great job (using a 4” pipe) of cleaning the floor.

Because I pick up nails, screws and the occasional tool, it’s nice having a Super Dust Deputy cyclone on the front end to protect my impellers and to minimize what gets to the bags or cartridges.

In the end, I wouldn’t give up or trade my cyclones.

I put the little Dust Deputy on my shop vac, for example, and was able to drop from a 16 gallon unit to a 2 gallon unit, since all the debris landed in the cyclone can. Too, the change was possible because the filter stayed clean far longer, so efficiency stayed high far longer.

Before installing the cyclone, fine saw dust and drywall dust clogged the filter so quickly, the big vac efficiency dropped below what the little vac offered and did so in less than five minutes.

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics