I have declared war on dust in the shop. My shop is in the basement/garage and I have been spending more and more time there. Recently I was planing/jointing around 100’ of rough cut cherry for a project which produced a lot of sawdust from all the power tools used.
As a hybrid woodworker, I like to get my wood from the mill and prep it myself, saving money. Once I get the stock flat and square and within 1/8” or less then I switch to hand tools.
I purchased a Delta 50-760 DC unit and Wynn filter over a year ago, along with a trash can separator from Woodcraft it worked fine for the most part. Then I started into a pile of cherry and quickly realized that the can would get about half full and then a lot of the chips were going into the bag, clogging the filter and dropping the suction.
I found that Oneida has a cyclone for the smaller DC units and the Super Dust Deputy received a Best Buy from Fine Woodworking. I ordered one directly from the factory and it arrived in a few days. I wanted to mount the DC unit right on top of the cyclone, and with a lot of measuring and some planning.. here is the result.
If you are still interested, read on and I will explain how I put the system together. It has NOTICEABLY improved air flow to the machines, leaves nearly nothing in the bag and works as advertised. 99% captured!
Materials used were parts of the original Delta unit, about five 2×4’s 8’ long, lleftover leveling feet, some good flat dense insulation in a roll, a 4” by 5” piece of plexiglass, a bunch of 2.5” decking screws, a 6-5” metal reducer crimped on the 6” end, wide metal ducting tape.
Legs of the unit are just screwed together at right angles, I ran them across the jointer to square them up.
Be sure you build the base wide enough to hold your can. Here you can see the completed base with the base of the original Delta upside down. Use the base to mark the holes you will drill in the top of the new base. I used a 1” forstner bit and wend down about 1.5” on all four corners.
I made the lid from 3/4” ply, routed a groove about 3/4” wide to fit to the top of the can and added the gasket material (firm closed cell about 1/4” thick and 3/4” to 1” wide. Put the lid on the can and the SDD on top where you want to position it. Trace around the bottom of the cyclone and mark the mounting holes.
Find some thick wood to use as a “clamp” for the cyclone. On the bandsaw, cut the boards and taper them to fit the cyclone in this position. The cyclone top with the reducer should fit into the intake of the Delta. It is a little loose and that is good, you can seal it up with metal tape later. Pre-drill and screw the two boards into the frame to hold the cyclone.
Here is the top prior to cutting the hole and drilling for the bolts. I used a compass to measure from the edge to the opening at the bottom of the cyclone. Add another 1/8” or so because you want material to fall freely inside and not hit any part of the lid. Sand the inside smooth to avoid any dust buildup. Drill the holes for the bolts with a small bit on center. Flip the lid over and use a forstner bit to countersink for the bolts provided with the cyclone. Then drill the holes to size from the top. The bolts are short unless you purchase new longer ones. I cut another square hole in the lid and put a viewing window in so I can see the level of chips in the bin.
Attach the lid to the bottom of the cyclone, Here I tipped it over to add some leveling feet.
Here is the finished unit. It stands 7.5’ tall and actually takes up less floor space than it did with a separate pre separator. They provide a piece of pipe with the cyclone that accepts the Delta “Y” connector. The bottom goes to the table saw and the top runs to the main line of the DC piping. Here is the interesting part… instead of lifting the unit to remove the can, all you need to do is set the can on some boards or on the floor and place some wedges under the can to move it up into the groove made on the lid.
Wedge the can up until it accepts about 1/2 the weight of the entire unit, nice and snug. To dump the can, remove the wedges, drop the can about 3/4” and slide out. I may design something better but this will do for now.
Here is a view of the lid portal. Double sided foam tape and held with screws. I only had tapered screws so I tapered the holes. Keep a cheap flashlight on top of the can to look in and check the level.
This retrofit has drastically increased the flow of the entire system, I cleaned the filter with compressed air but it has already been seasoned. I then went to each of the machines to test. Jointed and planed several boards to final thickness, then went to the table saw, opened the side and shoveled handfuls of dust into the DC port to test. As you can see, the bag has only a small amount of dust (probably because I tapped the sides) and all the chips went into the bin with no loss of suction. Exactly what I was looking for, and costs about half the price of similar cyclone units on the market.
-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle