Cyclone sizing for bucket/shopvac system

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Forum topic by wildbill001 posted 04-13-2011 06:34 PM 3176 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 2606 days

04-13-2011 06:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust cyclone shop vac shopvac question

I’ve got limited space in my shop, or rather garage, so a fixed cyclone dust collection system is not an option. Been researching what folks have been doing with a 5gal bucket, a shop vac and homemade cyclones and that looks like a very viable option for me.

But what I’m seeing is a lot of differences in the actual length or size of the cyclone. I’ve seen 12in, 18in, 24in, etc. Does it really make a big difference? Would a 24in long cyclone work better than the 12in? If I use a 10gal trashcan instead of a 5gal bucket, would that affect the size of the cyclone? Should I just pick a size, build it and see what happens?



-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10250 posts in 3611 days

#1 posted 04-13-2011 06:57 PM

I’ve never had a cyclone, but I’ve used a simple trash-can separator
lid for years to collect planer chips. I got the lid from Lee Valley. It
gets probably 95% of the chips or more when I use it.

I won’t argue as to whether a carefully engineered cyclone system
is better for getting the finer dust, but if getting the big chips into
a trash can is your goal, the very obvious approach works. I’ve seem
it done with a couple pvc pipes stuck in holes in a plywood circle.

The suction from the vac/dc sucks the lid down too.

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16274 posts in 4182 days

#2 posted 04-13-2011 07:13 PM

Bill, I have a Dust Deputy with a 5-gallon bucket and it works great. If you are making your own, I would go with the assumption that the people at Oneida knew what they were doing, and copy their dimensions.

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

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111 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 04-13-2011 08:10 PM

Good point about the Dust Deputy.

-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

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5705 posts in 3195 days

#4 posted 04-13-2011 08:17 PM

If you need something you can roll around, I would suggest you look into a portable cyclone (Oneida, Grizzly, others make them) OR maybe start with a single stage dust collector like a Delta 50-760, and install a trash can separator like a Thien Cyclone with a side inlet directly under the impeller so that it is all in one rolling frame, just run it machine to machine… You will be much better off with those results than anything you can capture with just a shop vac…

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111 posts in 2606 days

#5 posted 04-13-2011 10:35 PM

Yeah, but that would require an ok from my CFO for that kind of expenditure. Hmmmm, maybe if I track enough sawdust into the house…...


-- "You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their back" -- Unknown

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2796 posts in 3005 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 03:57 AM

Now you are thinking Bill. Start coughing and weezing til the CFO coughs up the $$$ for the DC. :~)

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David Grimes

2078 posts in 2603 days

#7 posted 04-14-2011 06:48 AM

Do a you tube search for a home made cyclone. I came across it the other day and it basically was two 5 gallon buckets stacked with the top one outfitted with a large metal funnel and the lower was the catch and empty, of course. This guy was from EU (he said to get it at a tin shop), but it seemed to work well. I remember thinking that one of those orange highway cones (buried witch’s hat) might make a good cyclone size and shape for a 5 gallon bucket.

I’m waiting on my 30 gallon drum and lid from Global any day now so I an start working on my setup… but not for a shop vac. I will be separating for a HF DC.

Good luck.

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

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