Garbage can cyclone - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Garbage can cyclone

I have to believe that someone here has done this so maybe you can shed some light on my dilemma. I bought a good 30 gallon aluminum trash can. Cut 2 holes in the lid, attached some inlets to the top and underside and 2 elbows facing different directions on the underside. Nothing super airtight, no gaskets yet, just wanted to see how it would work before i put too much time and effort into it. I hooked my shop vac to one inlet and another hose to the other. Turned it on and vacuumed some stuff. Sheesh, as soon as the suction of the vacuum met some resistance (in this case the surface of my workbench, the lid collaped flat, the sides of the can started to suck in. I guess it works but i was surprised that it had that much force without even sealing the lid or anything. Has anyone else experienced this? Should i reinforce the lid or something or was this just a bad idea from the get go? Thoughts? I'll supply pictured if anyone is interested.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 09:03 PM
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There are commercial 30 gal Plastic Cyclone Lids that
should have the airflow issues all worked out.
Does anyone have one of these.
Attached Images

Last edited by PaliBob; 07-24-2012 at 09:44 PM. Reason: modified pic with note
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 11:10 PM
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I built the same thing using a 55 gallon fiber barrel and fittings......used a craftsman 20 gallon 6.5 hp shop pretty darn good.....I wouldn't worry too much about the lid sucking down....if it causes a problem in the future then worry about it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 12:04 AM
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While those lids do work OK. I had one and it does let allot get threw.

Your much better off going with a Thien baffle separator. It's almost as good as a Cyclone separator and not that hard to make. Search the forum even if you browse the Dust collection section you will find many threads on them.

Here's my version of the lid separator before I built my Thien Separator. Yes I did have the commercial version years ago. No where as good as the Thien Separator otherwise known as a Thien baffle.

Here's my knew setup. 6" pipe instead of 4" but most use 4" for there separators.

I will have to update some pictures the last 2 were taken before I was finished.
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 08:24 AM
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I built one with a 45 gal trash can for my dust collector. No issue of the lid caving in.

I eventually stopped using it. The container was too small for the large airflow of a dust collector, so only the really large pieces remained. A lot of the dust went to the dust collector.

A shop vac would have less airflow, so perhaps may work. Also more static head, so more potential for lid caving issues.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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Google Thien Cyclone, I have built several, and they work splendidly. The style of separator lid works okay at best, the Thien baffle / cyclone does an excellent job at separation, and keeping the stuff dropped into the dust can where it belongs. I have one based on a 55 gallon drum with 5" side inlet and 5" top outlet. Been there for 3 years now I am guessing... I have emptied my drum countless times. I occasionally blow down the filter on my DC, and I still have less than 2 cups of material in the lower bag on my DC. The story might be different once I finish my drum sander build, but I am taking my own sweet time doing that...

If you notice rrbrown's pics above. The outlet to the DC itself is centered on the lid, this positions it such that the air flow to the dust collector is protected by the baffle. The inlet side has an elbow as close as physically possible to the side of the vessel. In my case the inlet is through the side of the vessel. The larger diameter portion of the baffle allows inlet air to go under, and drop its dust load, coming back up clean, air trying to come up through the middle, loaded with dust is physically blocked by the baffle.

It's these features that make the Thien design so effective.

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Last edited by dbhost; 07-25-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-25-2012, 10:43 AM
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I just completed one using a 30 gal galvanized can and it works great. I'm using a Delta 1hp 650cfm dust collector. After about an hour of running my planer the can was almost full and the lower bog of the dc was virtually empty.

I wish I'd built one of these a long time ago.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-27-2012, 07:04 PM
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is that 6 inch ducting ? whered ya get the flex dust ? thanks

build it right or not at all
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-27-2012, 07:25 PM
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I bought the plastic "cyclone" lid from Woodcraft and put it on a GALVANIZED trash can. I have a Jet 1100 CFM (I think) DC. It works great and doesn't try to collapse the trash can. What ever that plastic lid from Woodcraft cost, it has been well worth it.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-27-2012, 08:15 PM
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im trying to save space and move the dust collector outside and keep the motor inside.

i was thinking of just sticking a pipe out my garage wall with a quick connect from woodcraft to connect it to my trash can. that way i can just connect it when i need it and disconnect it when i dont.

and id throw a blast gate so nothing flies or crawls into my garage

nutty idea ? or good idea ?

build it right or not at all
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