DC on the cheap

This evening I came up with a way to use cutoffs/scrap to build a cyclone separator (lid) for use between a router table and a shop vac. It's not particularly elegant, but the price is right. :-)
Description and drawing on abpw.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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sizes of plastic hose for $15 at an auction. Is that cheap enough for you?
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Toller wrote:
| || This evening I came up with a way to use cutoffs/scrap to build a || cyclone separator (lid) for use between a router table and a shop || vac. It's not particularly elegant, but the price is right. :-) || | I bought a cyclone separator, a trashcan, and maybe 100' of all | different sizes of plastic hose for $15 at an auction. Is that | cheap enough for you?
You made a good find. As a one-time neener it's not bad - but I'm offering a *gloat* to _all_ readers (well, to all readers with enough cut-offs to make a 6"-high stack of 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" pieces)
How many useful shop projects can you think up for small cut-offs where type of wood and stock thickness don't matter? Post please, because I've got way too much wood in small pieces...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Don't know how useful some of this stuff is but I just bought machine to use those scraps. A lathe. Glue them up into blocks and make things. Always hated throwing away good wood even though it was realy to small to make anything with.

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CW wrote:
| Don't know how useful some of this stuff is but I just bought | machine to use those scraps. A lathe. Glue them up into blocks and | make things. Always hated throwing away good wood even though it | was realy to small to make anything with.
I've given that a bit of thought and promised myself that /someday/ I'd get a lathe, but I'm already fairly sure that construction lumber won't be the material of choice.
Most of the SPF wasn't beautiful to begin with. The cut-offs are bark-streaked, knot-infested, and generally ugly to everyone but termites. The only good thing about them is that they aren't as obviously warped as were the parent boards.
There's somebody at Menards who actually gets paid to put non-removable labels on every piece of oneby and (possibly another) whose job it is to affix a label with forty-leven staples to every piece of twoby.
Having given those warnings, I'll invite you to stop by and haul it all away for turning. <eg>
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Morris Dovey wrote:
| This evening I came up with a way to use cutoffs/scrap to build a | cyclone separator (lid) for use between a router table and a shop | vac. It's not particularly elegant, but the price is right. :-) | | Description and drawing on abpw.
I hooked it up and tried it for the first time yesterday. It works really well. Photos posted to ABPW.
Built from cut-offs and discarded/recycled materials - total cost $0
Not having to empty the Shop-Vac and blow out the filter after routing - priceless.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Morris Dovey wrote:
| I hooked it up and tried it for the first time yesterday. It works | really well. Photos posted to ABPW.
Oops! I almost forgot that not everyone has access to binary newsgroups. Last night I put all the photos on a web page at the link below.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Cyclone.html
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With absolutely no experience with this type of DC, I have to ask, where are the other pieces and how are they constructed? Your line:
"The basic building block is a 3-1/2" length of 2x4 with a 2.273" hole in the center. Five of these are needed to build the separator"
tells me there's more pieces somewhere that aren't shown in your pictures.
Thanks.
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Upscale wrote:
| With absolutely no experience with this type of DC, I have to ask, | where are the other pieces and how are they constructed? Your line: | | "The basic building block is a 3-1/2" length of 2x4 with a 2.273" | hole in the center. Five of these are needed to build the separator" | | tells me there's more pieces somewhere that aren't shown in your | pictures.
Beside those five blocks, you'll need:
* a small drum (although a fairly rigid _round_ trash can might work) * a piece of sheet goods stiff enough to not be sucked into the drum * a hose used to connect the cyclone to the tool * a shop vacuum capable of sucking up the chips you're making * glue - I used TB3, but for this project almost any glue would do
Four of the five blocks are glued together to make a 6"-long square pipe that's sawed diagonally in half (save the unused side for your /next/ cyclone).
The fifth block becomes the socket into which you plug the Shop-Vac hose.
There aren't any more pieces than I showed. It really is that simple.
As you might expect, it works best if you use an empty vacuum with an unclogged filter. I emptied mine and cleared the filter with a blast of compressed air (do outdoors!)
Things aren't always difficult... :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Way to go Morris! Good on ya.
I gotta make one of these.
Bob the Tomato
wrote:

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Bob the Tomato wrote:
| Way to go Morris! Good on ya.
Thanks! It's been fun to make, but didn't eat up as many 2x4 scraps as I'd hoped.
| I gotta make one of these.
Enjoy! I haven't done any real experimentation, but I'm guessing that performance may depend on size of the drum. If you do build one, please let me know your drum diameter and height and say a word or ten about performance. That'll let me suggest sizes to future builders.
FWIW, mine works well - but I think might work even better with a 55-gallon drum (I haven't tried a 55-gallon drum yet.)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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I made my seperator with a 35 gallon heavy duty plastic garbage can, a leftover piece of 1 1/4" subfloor plywood, and some pvc plumbing parts. It's connected to a Delta 50-850x DC, with a replacement 6' tall heavy felt bag. When I remember to empty the garbage can, I can ignore the bag on the DC. Right now, I need to dig in behind the woodpile, and clean everything up.
Or ignore it, and use handtools.
Morris' small system would be useful in a bunch of other applications.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:
| I made my seperator with a 35 gallon heavy duty plastic garbage | can, a leftover piece of 1 1/4" subfloor plywood, and some pvc | plumbing parts. It's connected to a Delta 50-850x DC, with a | replacement 6' tall heavy felt bag. When I remember to empty the | garbage can, I can ignore the bag on the DC. Right now, I need to | dig in behind the woodpile, and clean everything up.
Please take pictures! One day we should all post pix of our cobbled-up dust collection systems to ABPW. I think it might be a hoot.
It's the remembering part that's becoming difficult. One day I'm going to find myself with a separator lid in my hand wondering if I took it off to empty the drum or to add something to it. :-?
That's the problem with all of these dust collection systems. Seems like there ought to be some way to rig a sawdust sensor and a propane torth...
...well, maybe not. ;-)
| Or ignore it, and use handtools.
Right. Go for it - I just knew there had to be a reason why some people have such a strong preference for neandertools. It may not be those feathery shavings, after all. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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I've got an extra couple of 55 gallon drums here in Orey-gun. I'll put a stamp on one of them and stick it in the mailbox for ya. :-)
Bob the Tomato
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Looks nice, Morris. I'm wondering if you extended the exhaust through the lid inside by a few inches if it would help separation would be the only suggestion. Might reduce direct path from inlet to outlet.
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dpb wrote:
| Looks nice, Morris. I'm wondering if you extended the exhaust | through the lid inside by a few inches if it would help separation | would be the only suggestion. Might reduce direct path from inlet | to outlet.
Thanks! I've wondered about that, too. I thought about gluing the other half of the inlet to the underside of the lid - but decided to see how it worked in the most basic, simple configuration first.
To give credit where credit is due: I purchased two of the clear plastic cyclone separator lids from Lee Valley a few years back and have been very well pleased with their performance on 55-gallon barrels. I have actually spent a small amount of time (probably a grand total of 5 minutes) watching the "action" as the ShopBot carried out routing operations. If interested, you can see the 'Bot dust collection setup at the link below. Anyway, the clear LV lid does an excellent job of showing what happens inside the drum:
The air (with debris) enters and the chips spin fairly close to the drum walls all the way down. The debris on the bottom tends to form into a comma (',') shaped pile with the fat part of the comma close to the wall and the end of the tail near the center of the drum. The air currents in the drum continuously slide chips from the windward side of the comma-shaped pile to the leeward side, so the pile rotates slowly in the direction of the airflow. My impression (as a one-time desert-dweller) is that the pile behaves exactly like a sand dune and has exactly the same transverse cross section (convex on windward side with a flat slip face on the leeward side).
As with a real cyclone (I've experienced once in an F4 and hope never to repeat!) the center column is a low-pressure vortex of essentially clear air. Any debris that exits the top of the center column comes from the pile at the bottom of the drum - not from the intake opening.
Debris that travels to the Shop-Vac would seem to indicate that either the drum needs emptying or that the drum wasn't tall enough in the first place. I don't (yet) have a good handle on what the actual drum proportions might be for optimal operation, but the 55-gallon duo that I have on the 'Bot work /very/ well. This smaller unit appears to work well, but I don't have much experience with it yet and, to tell the whole truth, I don't really have much time to tinker and tune.
I have no clue as to whether the direction of rotation is important or not. Builders in the southern hemisphere may get better results by pointing the intake block the other way - or it may just not matter at all...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html
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Good description -- in a former life spent lots of time in a laboratory blowing pulverized coal around a loop so have a fair idea how pneumatic transport tends to work!! :) Also, living in SW KS have very strong appreciation for airborne dust transport and blowing and tornadoes. In fact, heading to Greensburg tomorrow w/ a group of kids from our church youth group to help w/ debris cleanup and finish demolish on a couple of houses destroyed by the tornado there. Then Saturday the Jr-Hi kids will be heading up on farther down the debris track to help walk fields picking up debris so can get combines in to harvest what wheat is still standing and be able to work the fields.
Anyway, I'd expect in the smaller container the cross-coupling to be more of an issue than in the larger drums but if it isn't, so much the better. The block "pipe" section would use up some more scraps ( :) ) but I'm thinking better aerodynamics from a short section of pipe might be better. Of course, one could attach the block w/ screws as a trial and take it back off it turned out to be a detriment instead of benefit...
I've got several old 100-lb grease drums -- thinking your idea well worth trying w/ one of them for the router table and perhaps the smaller shaper...
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dpb wrote:
| Good description -- in a former life spent lots of time in a | laboratory blowing pulverized coal around a loop so have a fair idea | how pneumatic transport tends to work!! :) Also, living in SW KS | have very strong appreciation for airborne dust transport and | blowing and tornadoes. In fact, heading to Greensburg tomorrow w/ | a group of kids from our church youth group to help w/ debris | cleanup and finish demolish on a couple of houses destroyed by the | tornado there. Then Saturday the Jr-Hi kids will be heading up on | farther down the debris track to help walk fields picking up debris | so can get combines in to harvest what wheat is still standing and | be able to work the fields.
Your knowledge and experience of this stuff far exceeds mine. Methinks I'd better give your suggestion a try.
Give my regards to the kids and let 'em know they have the approval of an old guy up in Iowa who thinks well of what they're doing!
| Anyway, I'd expect in the smaller container the cross-coupling to be | more of an issue than in the larger drums but if it isn't, so much | the better. The block "pipe" section would use up some more scraps | ( :) ) but I'm thinking better aerodynamics from a short section of | pipe might be better. Of course, one could attach the block w/ | screws as a trial and take it back off it turned out to be a | detriment instead of benefit...
You're probably right. I'm not sure I can do the pipe without having some kind of flange welded on (and I have no welding equipment) so I'm stuck with gluing on the wooden block.
| I've got several old 100-lb grease drums -- thinking your idea well | worth trying w/ one of them for the router table and perhaps the | smaller shaper...
Hmm. I hadn't thought about using one of these with a shaper - but will now. I'd been thinking more about my little 6" jointer, and how nice it might be to not need to clean up with a snow shovel... :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Well, unfortunately, it rained again last night so was really wet when we got there about 8AM this morning. Got in about an hour of picking through the debris field around an old two-story brick residence, separating burnable from non and making piles a Bobcat can get to and get it to the street where the larger front end loaders are picking it up to take to the landfill. So far, they had 4000 truck loads and counting -- heard estimates that they're approaching 50% of the cleanup after a month (last night, in fact). Then the rain set in again and after waiting until noon w/ no sign of an early let up, we came home...there will be an opportunity again, the stuff will still be waiting. About 95% of the entire town was leveled by an EF-5 that simply scrubbed houses down to the slabs or cleared them off to the first floor level if a basement except for the few really substantial ones.
The kids were pretty much in awe of what they saw and ready to go try to help again...

Well, a screw would work for a test run that would be removable easily. Actually, I was thinking of a plastic pipe section simply either friction-fitted or epoxied in, not metal. Although, a short piece of hard copper or the like of the right diameter might be the cat's meow, so to speak...

It's the shaper that's always been the most annoying chip-maker in the shop as the provided hoods are almost useless and they make so many chips so quickly, rivaled only by the thickness planer. But, at least the planer hoods work...
The jointer isn't too bad -- I have the 4" DC on it's chute so it isn't such a problem.
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Zero, now there is a price I can live with. I just bought a WWShop that conveniently came with a 3BR house and 2car garage. But, I work on found money. Budget is too tight. My DC for now.......
1hp ShopVac connected to 1 thirty-five pound plastic tub that used to hold cat litter.
1 piece of 1/8 in hardboard that fits diagonally in the kitty litter tub.
About ten feet or so of 1.5 in flex hose that forms the pickup and draws in dust/chips etc. Then another two feet of the same size hose that goes out from the KLT (Kitty Litter Tub) to the inlet on the SV.
When I turn it on the top of the KLT visibly contracts. I tried shortening the hose for even more suction but it was too much then and everything blew past the KLT.
I think the hard board is the secret to this particular success. Everything hits it and falls to the bottom of the KLT. There is an air gap to "complete the circuit" if you will.
BTW, Loved everyone's photos. As soon as my digicam is out of repair I will post a pic or two. What was the group that takes pics? I no habla the acronym used.
BTW, I am obviously a newbie to this group. With all the web based message boards I sometimes forget about Usenet.. Looks like a cool place to hang out.
Phil

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