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How can I prevent my separator can from crushing?

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Forum topic by doitforfun posted 04-06-2014 12:20 PM 1133 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


04-06-2014 12:20 PM

Hello and thanks for taking the time to look. I built a mini cyclone separator for my shop vac. It works great when it’s on a paint bucket. I recently rebuilt it to accommodate my new shop vac which comes with 2-1/2” hose. The old one had 1-7/8. The new one is more powerful and with the larger hose and more power it actually clears my planer, so I’m very happy about that. However the planer fills the 5 gallon bucket very quickly so I made an adapter lid to put the cyclone on top of a garbage can. With my first go around using a cheap residential can, the can would crush immediately from the vacuum pressure. And that’s with nothing blocking the hose. Then I reworked the lid to fit a brute can which is much heavier duty. This one doesn’t crush immediately but any blockage no matter how minor will cause it to also collapse. Is there any type of large can heavy duty enough to handle the suction? The blue plastic barrels are cheap. I’d like to get one but I don’t want to waste my money. I’m hoping some of you large can experienced fellows can point me in the right direction. Thanks.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY


13 replies so far

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#1 posted 04-06-2014 12:24 PM

By the way, the shop vac is a rigid 6hp one. It’s pretty powerful.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7147 posts in 2378 days


#2 posted 04-06-2014 12:31 PM

I use a 30gal Berens Steel can with a Grizzly brand separator on my 5hp Craftsman shop vac (w/hepa filter) using the 2-1/2in hoses. This is dedicated to my MS and works fine. The key is to not block the hose. High suction low volume will still collapse the can, so the key is to set it up in a way that does not allow 100% blockage.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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Monte Pittman

22019 posts in 1802 days


#3 posted 04-06-2014 12:32 PM

I have access to 55 gallon barrels which hold up great. Otherwise, try steel garbage cans.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#4 posted 04-06-2014 12:39 PM

Monte Pittman, are you referring to plastic 55 gallon barrels or metal ones ? If the plastic ones don’t crush them thats probably the way I’d like to go because they’re cheaper than steel.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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HorizontalMike

7147 posts in 2378 days


#5 posted 04-06-2014 12:52 PM

I think what Monte and I have found is that while these shopvacs have very high suction, their low CFM volume allows the large cans more flexibility/cushion before the can would eventually collapse. In others words, it takes longer to create the vacuum in a larger can.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#6 posted 04-06-2014 12:59 PM

Thanks. My first can crushed the second I turned the vacuum on with no hose restriction. It must be a powerful one. I guess I’ll try a blue barrel.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1413 days


#7 posted 04-06-2014 01:00 PM

I would shoot for a 30-50 gallon plastic barrel. On a side note, I wonder how it would act if you went to a 4” hose from the separator to the machine. In theory that would allow for less restriction, and more air flow. It might make for less velocity, so I don’t know if it would work right.

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#8 posted 04-06-2014 05:00 PM

Well I bought a plastic barrel this morning from craigslist for $25 and cut the top off. Fortunately for me, the circumference of the barrel top was slightly smaller than the brute trash can I made my lid for so a little spin on the router table brought it down to the right circumference. The lid fits snugly on the barrel but there was some suction loss which I solved with some weather-stripping I found in my garage. Everything is hunky dory now.

The picture shows the whole thing together. Man, this thing is big. I will probably go back to the paint bucket until I need to use the planer. The cyclone bottom is a glue can lid with a lock ring that fits perfectly on a paint bucket so I can swap it back and forth no problem. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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woodchuckerNJ

1154 posts in 1098 days


#9 posted 04-07-2014 02:15 AM

I built a check valve. it prevents my can from crushing. I have most of my equip hooked up to a vac with a thein separator. I also have a dc for some equip. The vac will crush the can.. a galvanized can. This even works when routing, since the router is much smaller than the 2 inch intake. You adjust the purge by moving the nuts on the all thread to adjust the tension. The brass tubes are sealed at each end, and necessary to prevent oscillation (when you are just on the edge)


-- Jeff NJ

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1185 days


#10 posted 04-07-2014 02:40 AM

A 55 gallon drum (without any big dents) should work well even with the high vacuum that a shop vac can generate.

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#11 posted 04-07-2014 09:57 AM

Yes the plastic barrel works great. One with a lock ring lid would have been easier to set up but I got mine sealed pretty well.

Woodcocker, that’s a nifty idea. I assume that’s between the vac and the separator, correct?

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

448 posts in 2639 days


#12 posted 04-07-2014 10:18 AM

isn’t the plastic barrel awfully heavy when full?

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doitforfun

199 posts in 1072 days


#13 posted 04-07-2014 10:42 AM

The barrel is really just for the planer so I don’t expect it to be that heavy. The rest of the time the paint bucket I normally use is fine for my small hobby shop.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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