Cyclonic dust seperation

[Don] was having issues with dust when working with MDF. He had a shop vac overheat and die because of it. When looking for solutions, he saw several systems that used cyclonic dust seperation. Not wanting to buy something he could make for cheaper, he left the store and started scrounging parts. You can see his home made system in the video above. This seems like an absolute must have item for any workshop. Great job [Don].


  1. Alexander says:

    This is how the ‘Dyson’ vacuum cleaners work.

  2. grovenstien says:

    Interesting how he said he cut the 45 degree expecting the dust to go one way, only to find it go the other, i suspect this has something to do with the coriolos effect! Depending on whether he is based in the northern or southern hemisphere?

  3. the coriolos effect has about as much impact on this as the earth’s magnetic field does on how neodymium magnets stick to your fridge.

  4. Mono says:

    @grovenstien, possibly, or maybe by cutting the pipe it just exposed that direction of airflow first. at 2:16 you can see the input is offset… if he wanted to direct the airflow counter-clockwise he could leave the pipe straight or even rotate that 45 cut 180 degrees to encourage the air to hug the wall of the cup. if it wasnt offset it would just be a matter of angling it to the right.

  5. Dan says:

    The coriolis effect is significant whenever something is rotating and your frame of reference is rotating with it (be it your body, a video camera or just your “mind’s eye”), just like centripital force. Since a cyclone is rotating, the coriolis effect may play a part. But you are correct that it doesn’t have anything to do with whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere. The earth rotates so slow that this only makes a difference for extremely large things like oceans. Likewise, the centripital force due to Earth’s rotation is not very significant (or is that centrifugal force? I can never remember).

    There is a nice video on youtube showing the coriolis effect when some kids are tossing a ball around on a merry-go-round. When you are standing on the ground, the ball goes in a straight line, but when you are spinning with the merry-go-round the ball’s path appears to be a circle.

  6. Wwhat says:

    Pretty damn nice!
    Cheap and practical and useful and intelligent.
    Oh and environmentally friendly I guess.

  7. Chris says:

    I’m not sure where he got his source for a $100 cyclone, but oneida ( make a great one for shop vacs for only $59.

  8. Don Bailey says:

    Your right the dust deputy is $60 for the funnel, $100 for the kit that contains the bucket, hose and all relevant parts to hook it up. I think it is a good deal, I just wanted to see what I could come up with since spare money is lacking at the moment. No disrepect to anyone intended, if I had the cash I would have just ordered it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s a sweet t-shirt

  10. amk says:

    a real geek would have used various sized beer cups instead of zoo cups and Chinese food containers. this is clearly why the cyclone spins the wrong way.

  11. grovenstien says:

    Hmm interesting, i thought that the coriolos effect, effected even tiny bodies of water like that of the one in a sink goin down a plug hole.

    @mono i see what your saying.

  12. dnny says:

    Coriolis does not effect tiny bodies of water.
    Here is a bit of reading for you:

  13. dnny says:

    and here is the correct link :)

  14. dnny says:

    hmm… seems the links are not supporting caps… so the end of the url is Bad/BadCoriolis

  15. dnny says:

    OK. Forgert it.

  16. nebulous says:

    @ dnny
    This site came into existence before caps were invented. Someone should do a hack to allow proper grammar.

    Anyway, your second link looks wrong, but works fine.

  17. barry99705 says:

    i figured the cups would collapse. tried converting a garage trashcan into a big ass shop vac container once, it would collapse.. I guess the smaller diameter and the top edge rings help. Cool setup though.

  18. abbott says:


    just how powerful of a vacuum device were you using? either way, might have tried putting rolled up strips of sheet steel in there to keep it from collapsing.

    Excelent hach, ive thought about trying the same thing for a little while, just didnt have the immediate need to actually make it. keep it up.

  19. I like beans

  20. don bailey says:

    Here is the shop vac model I am using:

    Model Number 584-04-00
    Peak Horsepower 2.0 Peak HP
    Cubic Feet Per Minute
    (CFM) of Air Flow 135
    Sealed Pressure
    (in inches) 54
    Electrical Ratings 120V 60Hz 6Amps
    Peak Air Watts 215

    I have a new problem, every plastic tumbler I see looks like a cyclone… walmart had some really big ones a while back that would have made a perfect funnel…

  21. barry99705 says:


    cheap ass 5Hp from the big orange church. same with the trash can. one of those big grey industrial looking ones. i gave up and used a 55Gal drum from work. :)

  22. This is a great job. It’s nice and cheep, works well and seems sturdy. A little spray paint and it would look almost professional

  23. Jack says:

    The Thein Cyclone lid for a dust drum or bucket works about as well and is just as simple to build. The forum and web site have the information on how to build your own.

    Nothing taking away from this build either, just a different option without going to the big Bill Pentz design like uses for their cyclone separators. … That is what I would get if I could afford it. is Bill Pentz pages and it includes how to’s to design and build your own killer dust collector cyclone! (A design and cutting patterns are there if you are realy gung ho… )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,562 other followers