Is a cyclone to much for a weekend warrior garage shop?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by juicegoose posted 08-20-2010 03:53 PM 2630 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View juicegoose's profile


116 posts in 2486 days

08-20-2010 03:53 PM

In my ongoing search for what I want for dust collection in my new 3 car garage I’ve had a lot of people recommend going with a cyclone system over a canister type system. The school of thought seems to be that although a canister will give you more cfm for the hp, that cfm will drop a lot very quickly where as a cyclone will just keep on chugging.

Honestly I’m a weekend wood worker not a professional and don’t mind paying the premium for say a clearvue if the benefits would be usefull to my needs. Currently I have a drill press, contractor saw, planer, jointer, scms band saw, and various hand held tools. I would imagine that under normal circumstances I would be using just one at a time.

Would a clearvue cyclone be a worthwhile investment for the future or would something like the Grizzly 2hp canister be all I would ever need and then some.

11 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 08-20-2010 04:04 PM

a clearvue cyclone can be mounted permanently, and you can then plumb your shop/garage to all your machines and will do a better job than a 2HP canister 1 stage collector.

here are the benefits of the cyclone in a nutshell:
1. better constant suction that doesnt reduce as much as a 1 stage collector (1 stage collection starts dropping when the bags/filters start to clog up, whereas a cyclone being a 2 stage collects everything before the bag/filter)

2. better protection of the impeller (large particles drop before going through the impeller, only fine dust goes past it, whereas 1 stage collectors pass everything through the impeller)

3. ease of emptying (less hassle with the bags off the collector of the 1 stage collectors)

sure you can mod a 1 stage collector to simulate a cyclone – but if you have the funds, I’d forgo all the extra work for less power, and just get the real thing – spend your time woodworking instead ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View juicegoose's profile


116 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 08-20-2010 04:19 PM

I’m just afraid that it would be overkill in means of wasting money.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3161 days

#3 posted 08-20-2010 04:45 PM

You will not be wasting money on a good cyclone system. It is a small investment in the long run. Your shop will stay cleaner and you will be able to work in a healthier environment. It is the fine particles that are the most important to collect. A cyclone will do a much better job than any canister type system. Make sure you get at least 2 Wynn filters for the cyclone. They are design this way to get full potential out of the collector. ONe filter will starve the return side.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2407 days

#4 posted 08-20-2010 04:46 PM

I have attached these To my shop vac and Grizzly dust collector and have been happy with their performance in my shop. The draw back is that I have to go from machine to machine. This was the cheapest way for me to go, although I do plan to go to the cyclone style as I do more than just weekends in the shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

317 posts in 2506 days

#5 posted 08-20-2010 05:45 PM

I have a Clearvue cyclone in the corner of a 3 car garage and really like it. My workshop takes one stall with an internal wall to be separate from the cars. The Clearview fits tightly in a 46” by 30” closet in the corner to help reduce noise.

I don’t consider the Clearview to be overkill for a small shop.

-- Steve

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2656 days

#6 posted 08-20-2010 06:14 PM

While not quite a full on cyclone, I have a Thien separator on a 55 gallon drum that works excellent. Simply put, a cyclone, or a separator is meant to keep your filters as clean as possible, as long as possible by dropping as much dust and debris as possible out of the air stream.

Unless you are filthy rich, and have the space to burn, a full on cyclone like a Clearvue might be overkill for a small shop. Take a look at the site gregn listed above for info on the Thien… Phil’s design is simply put, brilliant…

With proper ducting design, a HF 2HP DC fitted with a Thien separator and a Wynn cartridge can do a fantastic job keeping your shop air clean. Mind you, NO dust collector system, cyclone or not, gets 100% of the dust, for that, you will want good respirators, and an air filter system. But that is a different issue all together.

Boiled down to soup & nuts as it were. Yes full on cyclones rock. But they are EXPENSIVE, and HUGE.
If you like building shop projects,the best portable DC solution would be to grab a Delta 50-760, and a 30 gallon open head fiber drum. Build your Thien separator out of that drum. Preferrably with a SIDE INLET (to eliminate 2 quick 90 degree turns which rob CFM). Mount the drum directly under the impeller, and mount the intake on the DC facing down so you have a straight shot going from the separator to the impeller. Lastly replace the bag filter with a Wynn canister to improve air flow, and filtration. Unless you plan on washing it, I would go with the paper blend filter… Fast, reasonably inexpensive, very effective, can support a small shop ducting system.

Of course you COULD mod the tar out of a cheap HF DC like a lot of guys do. Similar results, more effort, less money…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3642 days

#7 posted 08-20-2010 07:20 PM

I use a Dust Deputy with my shop vac. Works very well for my weekend warrior needs.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TheDane's profile


4939 posts in 3087 days

#8 posted 08-20-2010 09:58 PM

I, too, am a ‘weekend warrior’. I have a rig similar to Charlie’s. It works and I am not unhappy with it, but it is not ideal.

If I had the space, I would have cyclone in a New York minute! I think I would have a cleaner shop/garage, and more far efficient duct collection.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2539 days

#9 posted 08-20-2010 10:17 PM

yep something like charlie´s will do it

and make a search here on L J there is a bunch of homemade dustcollectingsystems
with or without wacumcleaner


View TheWoodNerd's profile


288 posts in 2616 days

#10 posted 08-20-2010 10:59 PM

The tipping point for me was concerns about wood dust exposure. I guess I’m getting a lot more health and safety conscious as I get a little older. Look at the benefits and amortize the cost over the lifespan of the equipment. It’s not that much more. And it beats the snot out of moving a portable around from machine to machine.

Grizzly G0441, btw

-- The Wood Nerd --

View ChefHDAN's profile


798 posts in 2274 days

#11 posted 08-21-2010 12:37 PM

I’m a weekend jock, it’s more rewarding and cheaper than a shrink! I’ve got a Steel City 2hp DC I got at WoodCraft for $250. I’ve got a 2car garage & use 10’ sections of 4” hose to reach all of my tools and have been totally satisfied with the performace. If I had the option of plumbing my DC out I would consider a Cyclone because of the CFM drop for the extra pipe. What do I dislike?.... It can get annoying stepping over the hoses, but I only use one tool at a time, and since all my tools are mobile I can set up however I want. I’m planning to add a line along one wall for the CMS to clean up the mess from that tool, & once I get a breaker changed for 220v, I’ll get a remote… that’ll be real nice!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics