dust collector / separater

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Forum topic by jeffl posted 10-03-2011 02:54 AM 4363 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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288 posts in 3309 days

10-03-2011 02:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collection

I decided to build a dust separator for my shop vac . It works pretty good but alot of dust made it through to the filter. I bought a 2.5” hose and some plumbing parts at Lowes. It’s only a 5 gallon bucket. I routed a groove for the gasket and the lid is sucked tight during operation. It picks up small pieces of wood without clogging up which is what I was after. Any thoughts on the dust getting through? Just too shallow?

-- Jeff,

8 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7233 posts in 3353 days

#1 posted 10-03-2011 04:15 AM

You probably need a baffle to stop the vacuum from sucking in the dust in the bottom of the bin…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View jimboy's profile


28 posts in 2642 days

#2 posted 10-03-2011 08:24 AM

A larger collection bucket and a 2 or 3 micron filter, you wont stop all the dust getting through

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#3 posted 10-06-2011 12:18 PM

I think you need a cyclone to seperate the fine particles also.
The suction will bring the small once no matter what size the bucket is my feeling.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3559 days

#4 posted 10-06-2011 01:06 PM

A Thien separator works great. You can make your own for a few bucks. Mine stops everything except sanding dust.

Here is a link to the designer’s site. There is a wealth of info here including details of how to make one.

-- Joe

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1880 posts in 3559 days

#5 posted 10-06-2011 03:47 PM

Jeff: Here’s what a separator looks like.

-- Joe

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2692 days

#6 posted 10-06-2011 04:27 PM

You have the dust going into the bucket right (input), it goes in along the edge to start spinning around the inside and gravity will pull it down. Ensure the open end of the 90 degree elbow is pointing to the side of the bucket to create the tornado.
The problem that I see with yours is the vacuum attachment part (output) should be in the center of the lid where there is little debris, don’t use a 90 degree elbow here.
Picture the tornado effect inside your bucket… the vac (output) should be in the eye of the tornado where there is little debris.
The baffle is only needed to keep the debris calm once it is below the baffle, which would probably be a good idea when using smaller buckets. Without it, once debris is sufficiently high enough in the bucket the vac will start sucking it up.
So, you have the input correct on the side with the 90 degree elbow, the output to the vac should be in the center of the lid using a straight short pipe, no bend.
My center pipe is only ~3” long.
Try it and let us know.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View jeffl's profile


288 posts in 3309 days

#7 posted 10-07-2011 10:44 PM

Thanks Guy I doubled the bucket and it works the same so I think I’ll redo this with the vacuum in the center like you said. I just bought a magazine on my way to Lowes that had this setup in a advertisement. Jeff

-- Jeff,

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2782 days

#8 posted 10-11-2011 01:51 AM

Here is mine on a 5 gal bucket, or rather 2 of them end-to-end.
A word of note here: If you use this setup, you will have to make a support ring for the center of the bucket because they will flatten when you restrict the suction.

-- Website is finally up and

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