It turns out that making a cyclone dust separator is a fairly simple process, and the DIY version seems to work as well as a commercial separator. Small scale (shop size) cyclone dust separators typically attach to an intermediate tank (like a trash can or 5-gallon bucked) and separate the dust and large chunks of debris from the air being sucked into the vacuum system. This helps keep your vacuum system clean and can help prevent damage caused by large pieces of debris hitting impellers on larger dust collector systems.
Dan Clark walks us through the process he used for making his own cyclone dust separator using a bit of sheet metal, some tubing, and a Shop-Vac. Here’s an excerpt from Dan’s step-by-step walkthrough of the project (which is free for download and linked below in PDF format).
“I do a lot of cutting and CNC routing in MDF which creates a powdery dust that quickly plugs up my shop vacuum filter. I was always having to take the vacuum apart and clean the filter, especially during long CNC routing operations. I started searching on Youtube for ways to keep the filter from clogging so quickly and found several different types of separation systems others have made. After reviewing many different concepts I decided on the cyclone style separator and began designing my own system. My system is running now and is performing far better than I had hoped.
Before you begin building you should know there is a separator called Dust Deputy made of a plastic material available for only $39.00 that could save you a lot of time.”
If you’re still interested in making your own, download the free PDF plans below.
If you’d rather purchase a commercial dust separator, many inexpensive solutions can be found on Amazon. Here are just a few examples (click images to view price on Amazon):
Or a more robust, larger capacity (1o gallon) solution:
Buy or DIY, either way a cyclone separator can really help keep your dust collection system running clean and trouble free.
If you would like to share your experiences (preferred brand, size considerations, etc) with the rest of us, please leave a comment via the forum (see link below).
Thanks for sharing your project with us Dan!
Cyclone_dust_separator.pdf (1.1 MiB, 682 downloads)
NOTE: You need to be a registered member (and logged in) to download this file.
- HOW? You can register using the yellow "Register" link in the upper right corner of the website. If you've registered previously you just need to log in using the "Have an account? Log In" link located in the upper right corner of the site.
- COST? It's currently free to register and become a member of this site.
- PRIVACY? Your email address will be encrypted and kept private.
YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE SPAM FROM THIS SITE!
- BENEFITS? Registering for the site allows you to download plans and other documents. Registering will also grant you forum access, allowing you to log into the forum using the same username and password you used to register for the site.
- RSS? Subscribing to the RSS feed or subscribing to receive email messages whenever the site content is updated is not the same as registering. If you would like to receive email notifications you still need to sign up for that service. AND WE STILL WON'T SPAM YOU! We will, however, send you an email whenever the site is updated with new content. That's typically about 1 email a month or less.