|Project by Vincent Nocito||posted 06-29-2011 07:37 PM||4325 views||30 times favorited||12 comments|
Like many others, I found myself constantly cleaning my dust collector because the cartridge was plugged with sawdust and chips.
I purchased a cyclone separator lid (photo 2) at a woodworking show and placed it on a 30 gallon metal trash can. While it did reduce the amount of debris getting to the dust collector, it was far from optimum. If the can was more than about 25% full, the turbulence would scrub the can and carry more material and fines to the collector.
The first improvement that I made was to add a pair of 90 degree elbows (photo 3). The inlet side elbow was angled toward the wall of the trash can and the outlet side elbow was oriented so that it was near the center of the lid. The thought was that the inlet would create a swirling effect and allow the dust and chips to settle. The outlet was in the center in a region of minimum turbulence. I saw an immediate improvement but there was still too much material getting to the collector. The loss to the dc became very pronounced if the can was more than half full.
The next stage was to add a Thien baffle. The height of the elbows was 6.25 inches so I measured the diameter of the trash can 6.25” below the lip. That dimension turned out to be 19.5”. The next step was to cut the circular baffle (photo 4). I used a circle cutting jig and a router to get the circle from 3/4” plywood. The next step was to cut the inner surface across 240 degrees of the disk. Photo 5 shows the cut out collector disk. The disk is reduced by 1.25” across 2/3 of the lid. The disk was then mounted to the collector lid using 1” hardwood dowels and 2.5” screws (photo 6).
I reconnected the hoses and ran through a large pile of sawdust and chips. Over 99% of the material ended up in the can and only a small amounts was in the dc bag. Overall impression is if you either don’t have the space or the budget for a cyclone separator this is a viable solution. Total time invested was about 2.5 hours and about $40 for the lid, trash can and elbows. The plywood and dowels were leftovers from prior projects.