Build a See-Through Cyclone Dust Separator for Your Shop Vac

Here’s a rewarding weekend project that turns an ordinary shop vacuum into a capable mini dust collector. It creates a swirling vortex of airflow to spin out all the big chips and sawdust particles, so that only the finest of fines will exit the top to be captured by your vacuum. Plus it’s see-through, so your friends will love watching the cyclonic action, and you’ll get to brag, “Yeah, I made that!” This is an easy-to-build dust separator with a baffle based on J. Phil Thien’s well-known “cyclone” design. It works because the incoming air is forced around the outside wall, where the heavier dust and chips fall through a slot in the baffle, into the large trash can below. When driven with a blower like I use, the baffle removes the need for a standalone dust collection system (which not everyone has the money, space, or power to accommodate). When used with a shop-vac, this simple dust collector will greatly prolong the life of your filters and prevent the constant need to empty the vacuum bin, which is typically small and difficult to remove.”

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