Super Simple Separator For $14.99

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Project by gfadvm posted 800 days ago 5246 views 50 times favorited 17 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

17 comments so far

View rance's profile


4107 posts in 1666 days

#1 posted 800 days ago

Now that’s darned spiffy Andy. Nice job.

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

View bowtie's profile


739 posts in 851 days

#2 posted 800 days ago

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


13076 posts in 1309 days

#3 posted 800 days ago

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


9579 posts in 1195 days

#4 posted 800 days ago

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


2597 posts in 1858 days

#5 posted 800 days ago

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 , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Viking's profile


857 posts in 1701 days

#6 posted 800 days ago

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 Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4748 posts in 1814 days

#7 posted 800 days ago

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.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View gfadvm's profile


9579 posts in 1195 days

#8 posted 800 days ago

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

2071 posts in 1145 days

#9 posted 800 days ago

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


463 posts in 870 days

#10 posted 800 days ago

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


13076 posts in 1309 days

#11 posted 800 days ago

thnx Andy, appreciate it

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

View StumpyNubs's profile


5979 posts in 1306 days

#12 posted 800 days ago

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 1303 days

#13 posted 800 days ago

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


688 posts in 1443 days

#14 posted 800 days ago

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 1269 days

#15 posted 799 days ago

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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