Vacuum Separaters

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Project by ca8920 posted 01-04-2016 04:21 AM 1228 views 5 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While reviewing various blogs I found several references to the use of a shop vac cyclone separators and how well they worked. I’m forever having to clean my shop vac filter and I hate doing it so I decided to take the plunge and give a cyclone separator a try.

I ordered an Oneida Dust Deputy from Amazon and bolted it to a Homer bucket when it came in. I was amazed at how well it works…. Almost all vacuumed material ended up in the bucket and virtually nothing ended up in the shop vac and my shop vac filter is not clogged at all…. After finding out how well the cyclone worked, I looked through shop vac sled plans and built a vac sled from 3/4” plywood.

The Dust Deputy worked so well, I decided to add a separator to my big 4” vac. I ordered a fiber barrel off Amazon then followed a set of directions I found on Instructables to make a custom cyclone with 3” black PVC. It works almost as well as the Dust Deputy. Virtually none of the heavy material I vacuum from my table saw, cut off saw or router end up in the vacuum bag, it stays in the fiber barrel.

If any of you are wondering about cyclone separators, they work really well. Loving mine.

-- Chris, Sparks Nevada,

5 comments so far

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1140 posts in 1053 days

#1 posted 01-04-2016 04:31 AM

The real problem is not necessarily the large pieces, it’s the small fines too, they choke the filter. That home made one will not prevent the fines.
You need to move the egres pipe to the middle, and divert the ingress to the sides. And add a baffle like the Thien baffle. to preven the fines from clogging your filter bag. I have a .5 or 1 micron filter bag, and did not want it clogging up with fines. That’s the big thing. A thien baffle keeps 99% of the fines in the barrel.

-- Jeff NJ

View Bill_Steele's profile


115 posts in 1151 days

#2 posted 01-04-2016 03:09 PM

Good job Chris!

I agree on the power of the cyclone. Here are mine:

I noticed that Oneida has a slightly larger version of the Dust Deputy called the “Super” Dust Deputy—seems perfect for your application. The Thien baffle is another good option. There was an article in Fine Woodworking years ago that looked more closely at these pre-separator options.

View WhoMe's profile


1441 posts in 2663 days

#3 posted 01-04-2016 06:17 PM

Been a dust deputy shop vac setup fan for years. Bought a used jet 650 dc and will add a separator to it when I hook it up. Just not sure what kind.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View htl's profile


2015 posts in 579 days

#4 posted 01-04-2016 09:14 PM

I love my home made cyclone works great.

Here’s some build pictures.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Bill_Steele's profile


115 posts in 1151 days

#5 posted 01-14-2016 07:15 PM

I love my home made cyclone works great.

Here s some build pictures.

@htl: Wow—amazing job! So many small pieces (staves?) to be cut with compound angles. Then to glue them up and hold them in place while the glue dries and then sand smooth—seems like it would take quite a bit of time to do this project. It came out perfectly!

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