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Homemade Cyclone Dust Collector

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Blog entry by jcoulam posted 07-15-2009 06:02 PM 11551 reads 43 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I will try and share as much information about my cyclone as I can.

When I first got started I went to Home Depot and to just see what they had. I found an 8” x 24” duct that was split down the middle, next I found cut off pieces of 2” PVC 24” long, in the plumbing area I found 2” rubber couplers with band clamps on both ends, all I needed now was a 5 gallon bucket and I had all the parts I needed.

I didn’t take any pictures during construction so I will just try and describe what I did. I got 2 small C clamps and clamped the top of the duct together then just twisted the bottom until the diameter was about 3” and clamped it. Then using the small self tapping sheet metal screws like you would use for rain gutters I put about 4 screws down the seam. So now you should have a cone about 8” at the top and about 3” at the bottom.
This was a real pain and it took a few tries to get right so don’t give up.

I then cut a piece of 3/4” plywood in a circle the size of the inside of the top of the cone and put a hole in the center using my hole saw for the top pipe. Then I put this piece in the top of the cone, it really helped make it round. Then just put a handful screws around to keep it in place.

For the bottom I cut a piece of ¾” plywood to fit the lid of the bucket. Then cut a hole that the bottom of the cone would fit in with a little bit of metal going all the way through. Then the part that was sticking through I made some little cuts and hammered the little tabs over onto the wood and put some small screws to secure them.

To cut the inlet pipe I just held the pipe above the cone and drew the curved shape on the PVC pipe and cut it out with my band saw. I then put that cut curved part against the cone and outlined the shape. Then cut out that shape in the side of the cone so the pipe would fit in the side. I used 2 part epoxy to glue the inlet pipe in place.

This is very tough to describe I hope you aren’t totally confused.

Now that the basic cyclone is made I used caulk to seal up all the cracks. Then cut I hole in the top of the bucket lid put some caulk between the lid and bottom piece of plywood and put a bunch of screws to connect the two.

You should now be mostly done, just make sure there is an air tight seal everywhere so you don’t lose suction. When I put the pipe in the top I made some little braces to keep the pipe vertical.

I hope this rambling makes some sense, you can ask me specific questions if needed. Good luck to everyone who tries this. I’m really surprised at how well this works, and it was well worth the time and trouble to make!

I will post a drawing to the project page.

-- Jeff Coulam, Lakeway Texas



16 comments so far

View SimonSKL's profile

SimonSKL

184 posts in 1990 days


#1 posted 07-15-2009 06:44 PM

Jeff,
Thanks for posting the instructions. Very helpful! Just two questions, how far was the top pipe (outlet pipe) inserted into the cone? I would imagine it passes the opening of the inlet pipe inside the cone, but by how much? Also how far was the inlet pipe inserted into the cone?

Thanks again!

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 2077 days


#2 posted 07-15-2009 06:57 PM

LOL…I had the same question…how far down did the outlet pipe go. Very good instructions…thanks for posting them for all to share. I am going to make one for my radial arm saw. I have a dust collector for all my big tools….but use a shop vac (same as yours Ridgid) to use on my smaller tools and the radial arm saw. And as you said, the filter gets clogged so fast at times it becomes a real pain….this should really help out !!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View jcoulam's profile

jcoulam

53 posts in 2151 days


#3 posted 07-15-2009 07:18 PM

I finally got a drawing posted to the project. To answer the question though, I just made sure it was deeper than the inlet pipe. I don’t really have a good measurement, hopefully the drawing will help. Good luck guys, post yours when there’re done.

-- Jeff Coulam, Lakeway Texas

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2742 days


#4 posted 07-15-2009 07:26 PM

Does it work? By which I mean does it work any better than just putting the inlet & outlet into the top of the 5 gallon bucket.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View jcoulam's profile

jcoulam

53 posts in 2151 days


#5 posted 07-15-2009 07:33 PM

I think so. I’ve seen 2 people who had the plastic thing you can buy for 5 gallon buckets and those would get the big chunks but a lot of the dust still ended up in the vac and clogging the filter. Like I said in the post, I’m on the seventh bucket and I have nothing in my vac or filter. It has really surprised me how well it works.

-- Jeff Coulam, Lakeway Texas

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2742 days


#6 posted 07-15-2009 07:34 PM

Cool :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View SimonSKL's profile

SimonSKL

184 posts in 1990 days


#7 posted 07-15-2009 08:20 PM

I think the cone shape helps reduce sucking in the larger chips. The air velocity is being reduced as the air travels up the cone because of increasing volume thus heavier chips fall back to the bottom. That’s why it works better than the plastic lid with two openings side by side.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View DJeansonne's profile

DJeansonne

1 post in 1988 days


#8 posted 07-15-2009 09:06 PM

I work with Coulam and let me tell you he is very meticulous about any and all projects that he decides to embrace and this is one of those projects. Its very simple but yet very effective. You will find that all debris falls into the 5 gallon bucket thereby saving the Ridgid Vacuum from any type of harm or failure. You did it again JC.

Daniel

-- "No Matter Where You Go, There You Are!" Buckaroo Bonzai

View screwge's profile

screwge

80 posts in 2041 days


#9 posted 07-16-2009 07:16 AM

How far in (the cyclone) does the inlet pipe go and; how far down does the exit pipe stick into the top of the cone (does it have to extend further down than the inlet pipe)? – does that make sense???

-- Imagine It... Build It... Enjoy It!

View Billp's profile

Billp

784 posts in 2950 days


#10 posted 07-17-2009 01:39 AM

Thanks Jeff, I on this tomorrow.

-- Billp

View arw01's profile

arw01

55 posts in 2364 days


#11 posted 07-25-2009 03:36 PM

I got a chance to look inside a Dust Deputy yesterday at woodcraft. The inlet extends 0” into the interior. It is strictly surface welded right up against the side.

The outlet was maybe 1-2 below the inlet.

The dust deputies are WAY shorter. They obviously do not use a 3-1 cone ratio. And like Jeff’s they are strictly a V no body section at all.

-- No good deed goes unpunished!

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2070 days


#12 posted 09-07-2009 07:28 PM

Perhaps this post will bump the blog back up to the top and start some more discussion…

Has anyone built this using 4” outlets? I was thinking of doing that to hand some particular large shavings I am getting off my planer. It’s clogging the crap out of my air handler and slowing EVERYTHING DOWN….

ACK!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View jcoulam's profile

jcoulam

53 posts in 2151 days


#13 posted 09-07-2009 08:09 PM

I would really like to hear if anyone makes one of these with 4”. I think I’m ready to get a bigger dust collector, like Milo my planer and jointer make more shavings than the shop vac can handle, I need more CFM.

I really like the “Super Dust Deputy” by Oneida air “http://store.oneida-air.com/thesuperdustdeputy.aspx”

But this looks like something us smart woodworkers can make too. They give their dimensions for a 6”, I think we can just scale it properly and using the same kind of materials I used for my small one it should work.

-- Jeff Coulam, Lakeway Texas

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15088 posts in 2426 days


#14 posted 09-08-2009 01:03 AM

It should work in 4” if there is enough room for the larger shavings. Might want to do it with a garbage can ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2070 days


#15 posted 09-08-2009 10:15 PM

I REALLY like the Super Dust Deputy too, but it cost 6 times the it’s little brother! I don’t have 300 bucks to blow on it. My wife would KILL me if I did that…

Jeff, did you use a tube for the original construction, or a sheet?

As for jointer shavings, I have a big metal tub they fall into rather nicely….. ;-)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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