Super Simple Separator For $14.99

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Project by gfadvm posted 02-13-2012 12:06 AM 7769 views 58 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been needing to build a separator as I hate emptying the bag on my dust collector. One of my LJ buddies sent me old Shop Notes and I saw this model but thought “that’s too simple to work”. I built it this weekend and am totally amazed by how well it works. It is built entirely of scraps except for the 4” hose. I built a base to raise my DC up where the ‘plumbing would fit easier. I used floor underlayment to seal all the potential leaks and intended to bungee the lid on but you can’t pull it off when it’s running so didn’t need that. Thanks Thelt

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

19 comments so far

View rance's profile


4178 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 02-13-2012 12:08 AM

Now that’s darned spiffy Andy. Nice job.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View bowtie's profile


910 posts in 1348 days

#2 posted 02-13-2012 12:30 AM

nice set up , i hated emptying the lower plastic bag so i modified my d c, looks like you have a seperate area for your compressor and dc , nice modification.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View Roger's profile


17480 posts in 1806 days

#3 posted 02-13-2012 01:12 AM

very ingenious Andy. wow! simple stuff. where did you get the blue barrel? this is the one you were cutting on you table saw the other day wasn’t it?? thnx

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View gfadvm's profile


13551 posts in 1692 days

#4 posted 02-13-2012 01:57 AM

Bowtie, My big compressor and the dust collector live in the shop garage so I don’t have to listen to them (especially the compressor). That PVC pipe goes through a closet wall into the shop. Roger, My LJ buddy Kenny gave me this barrel but I see them all the time on CL for very cheap. This one had some kind of soap in it so was really easy to clean.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View woodshaver's profile


3211 posts in 2355 days

#5 posted 02-13-2012 02:02 AM

No cyclone action and it works! How simple can it get!

Crash and burn! Or Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!!

I love it!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Viking's profile


857 posts in 2197 days

#6 posted 02-13-2012 02:51 AM

Hey Andy;

Can you remember which issue of Shopnotes? I have all of them.

Thanks for sharing your build. I too was wondering where your post on cutting the plastic barrel with your TS sled was headed.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2310 days

#7 posted 02-13-2012 04:01 AM

Looks like a nice setup Andy. Anytime you can make something like this yourself it has alot more meaning to it.
Especially good since it works better than expected.

View gfadvm's profile


13551 posts in 1692 days

#8 posted 02-13-2012 05:00 AM

Rick, Sorry I didn’t post that. It is issue #55 of Shopnotes. NOTE: If I had thought to build the stand to raise my dust collector first, I would have used the whole barrel but when I started I thought that would be too tall. Greg, The best part is I only have $14.99 in it! (Woodcraft had the 4” hose on sale today). Thanks for the kind words all.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 1641 days

#9 posted 02-13-2012 05:35 AM

Way to go, Doc. Glad to see you thinking outside the box. There’s a non-thien and non-cyclone separator plan that comes with the Dust Right Master kit that is a roll around box baffled much like yours. I almost built it, but decided to be different.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View vonhagen's profile


527 posts in 1366 days

#10 posted 02-13-2012 12:58 PM

i love it. way to go andy

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View Roger's profile


17480 posts in 1806 days

#11 posted 02-13-2012 01:10 PM

thnx Andy, appreciate it

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View StumpyNubs's profile


6551 posts in 1802 days

#12 posted 02-13-2012 02:17 PM

You don’t lose too much of your air flow with that setup? I’d like to know more!

Very well done! Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
Blue Collar Woodworking? FINALLY, a woodworking show for us morons! ” -The Hoboken Evening Review

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View lazyoakfarm's profile


144 posts in 1799 days

#13 posted 02-13-2012 02:58 PM

works sort of like a septic tank…
I like the clear lid so you can see when its time to empty it.
And we thought it had to be complicated. Thanks for the idea.

View schloemoe's profile


691 posts in 1940 days

#14 posted 02-13-2012 05:53 PM

I.m in the process right now of putting a d/c system in my shop I can already tell i’m not going to like emptying the bag on my collector I going to build one just so I wo’nt have too as often. Thanks for showing this….....................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View lumberjockey's profile


14 posts in 1766 days

#15 posted 02-14-2012 12:37 AM

So…...if working with a 5 gallon bucket, I guess just down size the dimensions. As has been mentioned, no “cyclonic action”. HHHHMMMMMM….........color me intrigued!

-- Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

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