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Shopnotes Dust Separator

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Project by Jeremy Greiner posted 706 days ago 7009 views 34 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted about building a Thien baffle or tophat separator in the forums and gfadvm posted about his drop out separator he made from shopnotes issue #55. I’ve seen this issue, and I’ve seen his separator and it just seemed too simple to work.

Mostly out of impatience, I decided it was easy to knock out in an afternoon and I should give it a try. I figured it would most likely be a temporary solution anyways since I really want to run 6’’ ducts to my machines, but I’m still moving things around on a day to day basis so planning out ducting is a bit hard and I was tired of cleaning the dumb bag that comes with my Jet DC1100.

I made my own adaptations, so it would easier suit my needs, and make it a little faster to build. Instead of glue and screws I used glue and 1 1/4’’ brads for most of it. Screws seemed like overkill since the glue was involved, but I didn’t want to wait for the glue to dry in many cases.

The center baffle piece is melamine, if for no other reason than I had a 16’’ by 19’’ scrap of melamine and I needed a 16’‘x18’’ piece so it used up some scrap wood and I think the melamine might make less resistance for the air (though this may be a bad thing who knows).

I used metal ducting connectors for the in and out ports, the trick they had about slotting and cutting down the PVC seemed like a good idea, but the metal duct connectors where already exactly the size I needed. I originally was going to cut the hole with a harbor freight hole cutting bit. That almost ended disastrously as the bit flew apart on my drill press (I had everything as tightened as humanly possible). I picked up a hole saw, but I didn’t have the right sized center pushing for it so I decided to follow gfadvm’s advice and just cut the holes out on a bandsaw and glue the kerf together.

This actually worked out really well because I used an angled shim to spread open the kerf so I could slide in the metal duct connector easily enough and then I clamped the kerf together and it made a nice tight fit around the duct connector. I used polyurethane glue for this part because it will glue together wood and metal, but it expands unlike epoxy so I thought it would help seal in any gaps in my not so perfect circular holes.

Once I got it all built, I emptied out my dust collector’s bags to clean them out, and to see how well this thing could work.
Here is the sawdust from the lower bag:

This is the fine sawdust that was in the upper bag:

After emptying I sucked up all the dust with the separator to see how much actually gets separated.
Here is what was in the trash can:

This is everything that made it through the separator, and into the bag (sorry not the best picture):

A considerable amount of dust was captured by the sepator, and when digging through what made it into the bag, it was pretty much all fine dust.

It seemed to separate about about 90-95% of the dust, I don’t know how that compares to the thien baffle systems but from what I’ve read or seen they do a bit better than this.

Though not truely scientific since I don’t have a thien separator to compare too, I think it would perform better than this drop box style separator. With that said, this does a good job, and I’m glad I made it and will use it until I figure out my final dust collection system. If you don’t have a dust separator and want an easy one that gets most of the dust, I recomend this one without a doubt.

The major advantage, is my top filter bag doesn’t get overflowed with dust right away like it did without the separator, which I think will improve it’s performance until I get myself a wynn filter.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html





18 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

1662 posts in 1521 days


#1 posted 706 days ago

Another great idea. I can’t tell from your pictures, but I take it the saw dust comes from the tool it’s hooked up to, into your Separator (through a hole into the trash can…right?) and where does the other hose run to?

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View patron's profile

patron

12842 posts in 1841 days


#2 posted 706 days ago

looks like a quick way
to separate some dust

anything to help from those bags overloading
is a good thing

hawaiilad
this is between the tool
and the vacuum bags
as is the thein separator too
it keeps most of the dust
from filling up the bags

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

449 posts in 871 days


#3 posted 705 days ago

Jeremy:

You’re project is a testament to practical solutions.

For your filter, you may be at a point where you can install a HEPA-grade (sub-micron) version. These easily clog when an effective pre-filter separator is not used. If you’re interested, I can highly recommend Wynn Environmental 35A series – both ‘Techredneck” and I, as well as many others, have blogs on this site which go through this, and the Oneida Super Dust Deputy (a formal version of what you’ve accomplished, here). Oddly, the more dangerous particle size is the sub-micron stuff which escapes through you DC filter – this stuff is nearly invisible.

Again, an excellent solution toward an important problem. I believe you’ll find that the CFM through the DC system increases.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3467 posts in 2075 days


#4 posted 705 days ago

Great job Jeremy, and great blog to describe and show it.

I wish I would have gone to a separator sooner.

Emptying my dust bag was a big pain in the butt until I did.

It’s amazing what planing a few boards, and using the dust collector on a daily basis can produce.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

-- Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

567 posts in 1272 days


#5 posted 705 days ago

@MJCD
That’s my plan, is to get a wynn filter to attach to the top instead of the stupid bag, I just knew having a filter like that was worthless without a separator first because it’d clogged so fast.

I saw the super dust deputy and my only gripe with it was it goes from a 6’’ in to a 5’’ out and 5’’ ducting is much harder/expensive to get.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

937 posts in 1365 days


#6 posted 705 days ago

Cant really tell from the pictures but is the tophat section just two seperate chambers with the divider extending down into the trash can?

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

567 posts in 1272 days


#7 posted 705 days ago

I’ll take some better pictures today, but yes that’s pretty much it, it’s super simple

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109257 posts in 2077 days


#8 posted 705 days ago

Thanks for sharing Jeremey looks like a very useful and practicable project.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9542 posts in 1190 days


#9 posted 705 days ago

Jeremy, I knew you would be impressed with the simplicity to build as well as suprised that it works as well as it does.I have the cannister filter instead of a top bag on my Grizz and really like it. The flapper/crank to clean it is WONDERFUL!

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

View hjt's profile

hjt

765 posts in 1638 days


#10 posted 704 days ago

Jeremy – one day I’m going to ride my hog over to see your shop. I’ve been following you for some time (since you were looking for a good lumberyard) I find your projects are very well built. This project is no exception – quite the perfectionist!! Keep posting, brother.

-- Harold

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

567 posts in 1272 days


#11 posted 704 days ago

Gave this thing a workout today, holy smokes it worked great.
Posted the details and pictures on my blog: http://lumberjocks.com/jgreiner/blog/29978

But I also promised better pictures of the separator so I took those today as well.

Here is a picture top down so you can see inside of the separator

Here is a picture of the underside of the separator

Here is a picture of the side, so you can see how baffle works.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9542 posts in 1190 days


#12 posted 704 days ago

Did you use any type of gasket or seal between the ply top and the trash can?

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

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

567 posts in 1272 days


#13 posted 704 days ago

@gfadvm
I was going to put some weather stripping around the rim, but the suction is so tight I don’t feel any air leaking so I didn’t think it was needed.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

1662 posts in 1521 days


#14 posted 704 days ago

Jeremy, do you place anything between the top (plywood) and the trash can and to you use anything to hold the top down to the trash can like claps?

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

567 posts in 1272 days


#15 posted 704 days ago

@Hawaiilad
Nope nothing in between, and no clamps I actually tried to lift the separator off while the dust collector was running and it wouldn’t come off. The air suction pulled the separator tight to the trash can, and it won’t let go until you turn off the dust collector.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

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