Dust Collection -- Is this a bad idea?

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Forum topic by felkadelic posted 06-24-2011 05:08 AM 2079 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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218 posts in 2718 days

06-24-2011 05:08 AM

I’ve been considering building a separator box for my dust collection system, and I had an idea the other day. Instead of building something, what if I were to buy a Rubbermaid plastic tub and install the separator components in the lid? Would static build-up be a concern? Any reasons not to do this?

4 replies so far

View TechRedneck's profile


769 posts in 3035 days

#1 posted 06-24-2011 05:51 AM

Personally, I would not run a DC system without a separator. I was working with a shop vac and little else for a couple years and finally had enough. In my opinion, if you are using power tools and don’t invest a little in some dust collection you not only have a hell of a mess you are risking your health.

I would love to have the money for a large cyclone to handle everything, but I decided to have two systems dedicated to specific tools based on the volume of dust they collect.

Here is my Delta with a store bought separator. It works fine but I plan to build a Thein style unit and sell the separator lid. I upgraded to the Whynn filter because I purchased a drum sander that puts out one hell of a lot of fine dust and the bag was not up to the task filtering the fines out of the air.

For the spindle sander, belt sander, router table, bandsaw and jigsaw I built a high velocity system that works great with the 2 1/2 inch ports for those tools. Less volume of air but lots of vacuum. They use a cyclone that dumps into a 25 gal bucket. This works great for me.

Static is not an issue with any of my 4” or 2.5” piping.

Bill Pentz (The DC expert IMHO) may say these systems don’t get all the fines, but for a hobby shop, you have to make due with what you can afford and fit in a shop. Just google Bill Pentz and you’ll get more information than you ever want on DC for woodshops.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View ddockstader's profile


158 posts in 3440 days

#2 posted 06-24-2011 09:42 PM

I have a Rubbermaid trash can that I use for a separator. Pros – Cheap. I got it as a promotion from the local hardware store when I moved in. Cons – I have a 1 1/2 HP DC and the first time I used it, it sucked in the side to where I thought it would be about 6” around. Shut it off quickly. Built 6 wooden ribs (about 1×2) and screwed them equally around the inside. Turned on the DC and now it sucked the can in equally – top and bottom. Turned it off again. Cut a masonite circle on the band saw and cut 6 notches for the ribs to fit into. Forced that down to about the middle of the trash can. Put the lid back on and I’ve been using it for about 2 years that way. Granted, the dome lid sunk in and it looks a little funky, but no big chips have hit my impeller blades yet. No problem with static build up. But be advised that the DC can create quite a vacuum.

View felkadelic's profile


218 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 06-25-2011 04:03 AM

I hadn’t even considered the impact of the vacuum pressure! Sounds like I’m probably better off building a custom separator box (I have a specific place in my shop for this, so the typical metal trash can won’t work)

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


244 posts in 4100 days

#4 posted 06-25-2011 04:22 AM

I had a rubbermade brute for a separator in my first shop. Worked fine but did build lots of static.Having 4 in. S&D ductwork didn’t help any either. Now I have a metal cyclone with a metal trash can under it. All metal ductwork and the cyclone grounded to a 6’ copper rod. Fixed the static problem for good. My outside planer building has a homemade 4×4x 6 separator on a cart for the neighbor to come and get when its full. He uses it for bedding on his farm

-- mike & judy western md. www.

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