After discovering their dust collection vacuum was blowing through filters and leaking powdered fiberglass dust all over their workshop, the folks at i3Detroit decided to take matters into their own hands, and built this awesome cyclone dust collector that requires no bags or filters!
They were inspired by a similar wooden sawdust collector, but as they cut many different materials, they decided to build a steel cyclone for durability. The build makes use of two 5-gallon buckets, a 5-gallon vacuum cleaner, and a meticulously designed sheet metal cyclone cone. The vacuum creates a strong suction force and the dust enters the cyclone, getting sucked to the bottom and into the blue bucket. This keeps the filter in the vacuum clean, and keeps all the debris in an easy to access bucket.
To build the cone they used galvanized sheet metal, and cut it to shape with a pneumatic nibbler. A sheet metal roller helped form the cone, which was then riveted together. To seal in the cracks they used duct sealer and foil tape. After adding some vacuum hose and accessories the build was done — approximate cost (minus the shop vac) was around $50, making it a very affordable and quick to pay off project considering the cost savings of replacement bags and filters.
To see another example of cyclone styled dust collectors, check out this one which can also be made using stuff you probably have lying around the shop anyway!