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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little while ago, I asked the question about the Dust Deputy cyclone and whether or not it would help to keep my filter in my shop vac cleaner. A local tool supplier had it on sale for $89 for the whole kit, and $45 for just the cyclone section. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn't justify purchasing the cyclone until I tried some other methods first.
I spent a good part of today constructing a seperator complete with a Thien baffle to help with the dust. Using the vague pictorial on Paul Thien's site, I started in.
I wanted the collector to fit a 5 gallon plastic pail. Space is at a premium in my shop and I needed something that could sit behind a tool.


Measuring the top of the 5 gallon pail, I cut some plywood into 12 1/2" squares and marked the center point on each.
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Using one of my band saws, I rough cut the first circle to fit the top of the pail. I know that some of you are pretty disappointed that I would use a band saw instead of the ever popular scroll saw that I seem to favour. I was giving my scroll saw a rest. :laughing:
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After sanding up to the line and test fitting, I measured the interior dimension of the bucket and set up the router table to cut the rabbet required to have the "lid" sit tightly inside of the pail. A test fitting proved to be perfect the first try. I guess my measuring skills are improving.
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From this point, I needed to mark and cut the holes that would hold my 90 degree bend and my shop vac attachments. So as to not disappoint the members of WWT, I used my scroll saw for this action.
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I then test fit the 90 degree bend in the hole to the outside of the lid. The hole required a little bit of sanding with the oscillating sander, but in the end, I got a nice tight fit.
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to be continued..................
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
At this stage in the process, it was time for me to add the vacuum attachments that would accept the hoses from my shop vac. Using some 1/2", #8 screws and some #10 flat washers, I measured, marked and secured both pieces.
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I then needed to make the baffle. I measured how far down the pail the 90 degree bend would extend and took measurements of the interior of the pail. Following the same steps as I did with the lid (minus the rabbet cut) I made the piece that would become the baffle and test fitted. I then marked and cut the openings that would allow the debris to fall into the bucket. Initially, I cut the opening at 1/2" in from the edge of the circle leaving 120 degrees uncut. After testing, I found that I needed to increase this measurement to 3/4", still leaving the 120 degrees uncut.
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Using 1/2" dowels and a little bit of electrical tape, I dry fit the entire assembly together. I used the electrical tape just to get a good friction fit of the pieces for testing.
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I then took my shop vac out of its sound proofed cabinet and removed the extremely clogged filter.
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I then banged the filter out on the floor of my shop, getting almost all of the dust out of the filter. I then dumped the entire contents of my shop vac out on the floor. I figured the best way to test my seperator and baffle was to suck up the same material that had clogged my filter in the first place.
IMG_8639.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So here sits my 5 gallon seperator, tucked neatly behind one of my band saws. The one hose attaches to the 2 1/2" vacuum conduit that I have installed around the perimeter of my shop and the other end goes into a sound insulated cabinet and attaches to my shop vac.
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My initial testing proved that I needed to increase the size of the opening in the baffle. Once this was done, this is the result. After sucking up the entire mess that I dumped onto the floor, including all of the wood flour that had clogged my filter in the first place, this is what actually got into my shop vac.
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And this is what the filter looked like after cleaning up the mess on the floor.
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This was an extreme condition test. I would never be sucking up this amount of dust at one time. In fact, I was trying to get the system to fail and clog. I was very pleased with the results. I cleaned out the filter again and dumped out the shop vac and just used it normally throughout the afternoon. There was no dust in the shop vac at all and the filter remained clean. Full suction with no loss of power at all. The lid on the 5 gallon seperator fits so nicely that when the shop vac is running, I can pick up the seperator by the hose without the lid coming off the bucket.
All in all, I am very pleased with the results of this seperator and I will not be purchasing the Dust Deputy.
It's a no brainer...........$89 + tax for the Dust Deputy, or $10 + tax for the vacuum attachments and a 90 degree abs fitting. :huh:
Move over Dust Deputy, there's a new sherrif in town and his name is Kenbo. :thumbsup:
 

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oh the anticipation! :cry:

edit: he beat me to it :) and it was awesome! I use a shopvac too... I just found my next shop project! WOOT!
 

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That's a great job, well done! I'm going to make one for my shop vac now! Can I ask you how you soundproofed your cabinet for the vac? A set up like this would be a great help to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Kenbo,

That is a good build, but obviously you didn't read the incredibly well written "Here's The Plans" thread. (Not that I am biased or anything...)

Actually, I started reading your post and just assumed that it was for the garbage can or drum baffle. I guess what I was looking for was something that was more user specific to me and my measurements. However, the photos on Paul Thein's site served me well to get mine made. :laughing:

Can I ask you how you soundproofed your cabinet for the vac?
The cabinet that the shop vac is in, is actually an old bathroom vanity cupboard. I installed a 2X4 frame on the inside with 16" centers. I insulated the entire cupboard on all sides, top and bottom with Roxul safe and sound insulation. For the door opening, I constructed a removable frame with 2X4 and sandwiched insulation between peg board. It is very effective in reducing the shop vac scream.
 

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Thanks very much for the info kenbo. My vac was one of my best buys but the noise can get irritating at times.I'm in the middle of planning a couple of roiling carts so I must try and incorporate this feature into one of them. Thanks again!
 

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Your project makes me want to continue with my five gallon dust separator.

Which hose goes to the vacuum, the center one?
 

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HALL OF FAMER
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, the center hose goes to the shop vac. The outer hose is where the dust is brought into the pail. Give it a try, it was completely worth the effort it took to make this. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
If you have any questions about it, or need some help on how to make one or advice on how to go about it, feel free to PM me or post on this thread. I'd be glad to help you out.
 

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I had been working on a five gallon unit very similar to yours. I had forgotten about it and it has been sitting in the corner collecting dust (passively versus actively) until I read your post. Instead of plywood I used another lid for the baffle.

Anyway, I am going to hook it up and see how it does. Thanks for jogging my memory!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Your baffle looks good, however, it doesn't appear to have enough cut away on the bottom lid. I believe that the baffle should have 240 degrees cut away, leaving 120 degress the original diameter. It looks like you have that reversed.
 

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You have a good eye. I thought I would try it this way first and see how it works out. Any idea why 120 is optimum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not really sure why the 120 is the number. I would think that it's only purpose is to give the material a smaller ramp to ride on before it start to "cyclone" down the pail. If the opening is too small, it may not allow the dust to drop down below the baffle.
Let me know how your design works. I'd be interested to see the results.
 

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Ken, what happens when the collector fills up? My first inclination is to think that the rest of the stuff goes to the shop vac, but I'm wondering if what really happens is that suction drops to zero and the whole unit stops working. Any idea what happens when it fills?
 

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I'm not really sure why the 120 is the number. I would think that it's only purpose is to give the material a smaller ramp to ride on before it start to "cyclone" down the pail. If the opening is too small, it may not allow the dust to drop down below the baffle.
Let me know how your design works. I'd be interested to see the results.
I was taking the opposite tack; a smaller opening would limit the ability of the material from being sucked back up by the vacuum. Maybe there is a happy medium in there I dunno. I did try my unit out last night for a brief period using my 12 inch disc sander. After sanding several small items, I checked the bottom of the bucket and there was material in there. I have cleaned the filter in the vacuum and will see how it looks after some more sanding.
 
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