Dust collector pre-collector

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Forum topic by Sawdust2 posted 04-02-2008 02:59 AM 1699 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4054 days

04-02-2008 02:59 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector pre collector question

Has anyone (else) tried a pre-collector, you know, one of those tops that fit on a plastic trash can as offered by Rockler, Wodcraft, etc.?

I made one out of PVC and the plastic top to the trash can and it worked fine, I guess. I found that it only got about half full when the chips started going into the bag at the collector, anyway. From time to time there may have been small loss of suckabiility when it pulled in the sides of the can thus loosening the seal where the top met the canister.

I thought the purpose of the pre-collector was to keep the chips from gong thru the impeller.If it will still suck the chips into the impeller but just after a short detour into the can, where is the advantage?

Inquiring minds would like to know. I’m about to remove it from the system unless someone can give me a way to improve it.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

9 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#1 posted 04-02-2008 03:22 AM

They are called separators. And I have used them before. They are really great for separating the larger
chips and saves you from having to empty your bag so much.

They are made to create a circular motion so that the heavy chips will settle in the bottom. Not sure if you have the geomerty right in your home made one.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4367 days

#2 posted 04-02-2008 03:50 AM

I’ve got one of the lids where you put your two hoses in. I get about 3/4+ full before it starts going into the bag.

If you keep emptying the trash can it saves the problem of taking the bag off. usually before every trip to the planer i empty it and during if I’m doing a lot of planing.

When it’s winter and the shop is warm I don’t empty it as often, because I need to open the big door to get to the can. The same if air conditioned. I’ll try to do it before the heat or air is turned on.

I’ve since bought this on ebay and I’m happy with it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View pipes's profile


57 posts in 3683 days

#3 posted 04-02-2008 04:05 AM

Hi Lee
This is the one that I found on the net and plan to build it soon. . The two stage lid alows the can to be filled closer to the top.

-- Larry

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3929 days

#4 posted 04-02-2008 04:29 AM

My dust collection is a Ridgid shop vac with a cyclone lid from Rockler on a 50 gallon drum. I line the drum with a 55 gallon trash bag and insert a 30 gallon plastic garbage can with the bottom cut out to hold the bag. As soon as I get some sawdust in the barrel, I lift the garbage can onto it and it holds the bag down and out to the wall of the drum. I do have to get the bag out before it is clear full though. If it gets full, I have to tip the drum to get it out and it is tough to get into the garbage can.( as you could imagine)

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4054 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 04:52 AM

I’ve made it with two holes, the infeed pipe has a 90 degree elbow the other is straight (in the can). I guess that it is cyclonic but I don’t see that as particularly necessary. I know that it is cyclonic in the bag ‘cause you can see that.

Maybe I’ll shorten the uptake pipe a little and see if it will leave more dust in the canister.

I just don’t see that I have any larger than “normal” chips. If i have a heavy day of planing and jointing I have to empty both the bag and the can.

Karson, that is cool but it looks like only a 30 gallon can. Maybe I’m just expecting too much. Does the cyclone help with the efficiency of the collector? I’m thinking of getting a 1 micron bag as I read that that WILL increase the efficiency.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View SteveM's profile


108 posts in 4134 days

#6 posted 04-02-2008 05:35 AM

Mine is the simple plastic lid you can buy from many sources. I made sure the connections to the inlet and outlet are sealed tightly and added foam strip to the underside of the lid for a tight seal with the trash can. Works like a charm! I also cut out a vertical window in the collection can and epoxied in a plastic window so I can see the level in the can. When its about half full I empty as it passes chips when its 3/4 full. I hardly ever have to empty the bag on the dust collector.

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4367 days

#7 posted 04-02-2008 05:43 AM


The Cyclone screws to whatever you want for the collector. it could be a 55 gal drum or and frame where you have a wooden collector on castors under it. Just remember that it needs to be air tight, so you are not sucking through your collector area.

And as Steve says if you are judicious with emptying the can, you don’t get much in the bag.

I want to contact Grizzly to see if they have a paper filter to go on the top of my vac and use a plastic bag for the bottom. It looks like their replacement filters are about the same size as my machine I’d just have to figure out how to attach it.

With the cyclone the can is full before the chips go to the bag.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3841 days

#8 posted 04-02-2008 01:28 PM

I have a small one on a 5 gallon bucket prior to the ShopVac. I think it works great.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3766 days

#9 posted 04-02-2008 02:10 PM

If you empty the can regularly, it should serve you well.

-- making sawdust....

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