Mini-Cyclone vs Trash Can lid separator

I recently set up a central vac system for the shop and wanted a separator before the vac. I looked at the mini cyclone from Clear Vue and Oneida and decided they were too expensive, so I got a trash can lid separator instead. I had a little bit of money left on a LV gift certificate, and as everything else I'd like to get from LV costs a WEE bit more than a "little bit" I figured using it for this was actually saving me money ;)
Wasn't too happy with it. It didn't get much of the finer stuff which is what I wanted it for. I don't really care whether I have to empty the chips out of the vac or a different can, it's just the filter I don't want to have to clean every half hour. Plus the Rubbermaid trash can I had it on would crush if I hooked it up to the ROS, too much pressure.
So back to the mini-cyclones I went, and I ended up getting the Clear Vue Mini CV06 over the Oneida. The Oneida's inlet is smaller than the pipe for my system which I didn't think was good. Plus Oneida tries to get you for $15 for an adapter to go from their 2" outlet to 2-1/2" hose to the vac, which rubbed me the wrong way.
I'm really impressed with it. It's still hard to swallow the cost of it, especially alongside the cost of the Fein vac, but the thing just plain works. I've only had it a few days, but I've used my drum sander quite a bit in that time and there's practically nothing on the vac's filter and nothing in the vac's container.
I watched the video on the Clear Vue site, and I thought yeah, he must have run that pile of sawdust through the cyclone 2-3 times first so all the fines already went past it, changed the filter and then started the camera. Nope.
In case anyone is interested in having a look at my setup, there are some pics and too many words here:
http://www.krtwood.com/vac.html
But the pics should be sufficient.
Now I just need to get a remote for the vac, but it's not in the budget for a while. Still reeling from the sticker shock...
-Leuf
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all the fines; so my filter clogged just as fast as before. I bought an Oneida two weeks ago. I have put a lot of dust down it, and while I haven't checked the filter, the suction hasn't changed so it must be working pretty well. I expect Oneida deliberately uses a small inlet to speed up the air and improve the separation; since I am using 1.25" hose it is not an issue for me.
Doesn't your drum sander say it has to be hooked to a DC instead of a vacuum? I can't imagine a vacuum moves enough air to do the job.
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It says whatever I want it to say because I built the damn thing :) It's a little bit smaller than normal, 14" drum width and closed at both ends. The shroud fits closely to the drum so if you figure a 1/8" gap on both sides over 14" that's 3.5 square inches, which is pretty close to the inside area of the 2-1/2" hose, so it should have the same velocity as in the hose. I've been totally satisfied with the collection with the shopvac, with the exception of what it did to the filter before now. Of course I can't say as to whether it's actually catching the invisible sub-micron stuff. When I sand walnut by other means I usually get a bitter taste in my mouth if I don't wear a respirator, but that doesn't happen with it. That's sort of my benchmark for good collection lacking anything scientific.
-Leuf
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Thanks for the review! I've been half-considering one of these mini- cyclones, and even made a half-baked attempted at making my own (didn't try too hard). Anyway, your first-hand info is helpful! Andy
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I was always under the impression that these separators/cyclones were suppose to filter/separate out the heavier large debris so that you don't have to empty the smaller container so often. From what I understand the dust continues on to the filter area.
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Leon wrote:
| || || Wasn't too happy with it. It didn't get much of the finer stuff || which is what I wanted it for. I don't really care whether I have || to empty the chips out of the vac or a different can, it's just || the filter I don't want to have to clean every half hour. Plus || the Rubbermaid trash can I had it on would crush if I hooked it up || to the ROS, too much pressure. | | I was always under the impression that these separators/cyclones | were suppose to filter/separate out the heavier large debris so | that you don't have to empty the smaller container so often. From | what I understand the dust continues on to the filter area.
I have two separator lids (on 55 gal drums) in series. The first grabs all the chips and the second eats the dust. I've had a cheap HF DC doing the work for the past five years and haven't needed to empty the bag yet...
I haven't used my little shop-built mini-cyclone enough yet to judge its performance, but I have been well-pleased with the tandem LV lid setup.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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I just sanded down some badly warped lauan panels on a drum sander. There was 3" of fine dust in the drum, but almost nothing on the filter. This was on a Oneida Portable. Until last month I had a DC with a separator. I would have had to clean the filter several times with that arrangement. The same seems to be true with my Oneida Dust Deputy on my vacuum.
The other difference is that cyclones have better suction than DCs with separators. My cyclone is about the same as my old 2hp DC, but you stick a separator on the DC and it's power is cut by almost half. So cyclones are dramatically better than DCs with separators.
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Gotcha!

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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 14:51:39 -0500, "Leon"

That was my experience with the lid. It also swirls around the stuff in the container so much that it's constantly sucking a little bit of the lighter stuff that it did catch whenever you run it.
There's a study from John Hopkin's on the clear vue page where they tested what percentage of what size particles the cyclone separated. But basically just about everything you can see it gets. The HEPA filter in the vac gets the rest.
If the thing wasn't clear you'd swear there were little dust eating elves in there.
I do plan on getting an air cleaner for the stuff the system isn't collecting in the first place, but I think that's going to have to wait until christmas.
-Leuf
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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 14:59:08 -0500, Leuf wrote:
[...]

Thanks for posting this. Cost was a problem for me, too. So I'm now building a mini version of the Bill Pentz design at around $100 total. My beginning was an old Delta 50-179 DC that I got on craigslist for $75. I figure the 1.5 HP motor and impeller were a good step above my so-called 6.0HP Ridgid vacuum, although the 4" inlet/outlet sizes mean I still can't pull more than 450 CFM, only half of the 800 CFM Bill recommends. But better than my 2-1/2" shop vac, though. :)
Throw in $25 for sheet metal and maybe 20 hours to put it together for a (hopefully) similar capability. I'll post pictures when done.
--
Steve Hall [ digitect dancingpaper com ]

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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 21:32:56 -0000, digitect

I really thought about making my own little one, in fact I even printed out the plans and assembled it out of paper to get an idea of it, but after witnessing the shop vac crush the trash can like a tin can I decided I'd rather not spend who knows how much time just to watch the thing implode or not work right in an attempt to save a few bucks. That air ramp that spirals around inside looks like a pain to get right.
Plus, it's neat getting to watch the stuff circle around inside ;)
-Leuf
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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:07:31 -0500, Leuf wrote:

I'm stuck on the air ramp right now! I decided to rivet mine together, didn't want to deal with all the prep required to solder galvanized. But there are no tabs on the ramp to rivet! So I'm soldering, and it isn't going quickly. But I was surprised how fast shaping and fastening the cylinders and cone went, I have some sheet metal experience, but wasn't expecting to do it in half a day.

I bet, I must have watched that video half a dozen times.
--
Steve Hall [ digitect dancingpaper com ]


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I had a similar situation occur when I fabricated a separator for my DC by using a plastic Rubbermaid trash can. The plastic can wanted to implode/collapse when I started to use it. I should have used a metal trash can, but I didn't. To fix the problem, I cut out a ring in 3/4" plywood to fit the top/inside of the plastic trash can. On my particular trash can, there's a lip on the inside, that's about 6" down from the top. My plywood ring sits on that with a snug friction fit. This re-enforced the trash can enough to stop it from wanting to collapse. One down side though with this fix, is that some of the finer dust seems to want to settle on that ring and I think that gets pulled through to the DC. Ideally, my ring would be more rounded or have some kind of bevel on it to help prevent the dust from settling on it.
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I bought a HEAVY DUTY Rubbermaid trash can, and built my seperator lid from subfloor scrap plywood at 1 1/4" nominal thickness. Nothing flexes very much. The top sits on the can with a routed groove, and needs no further gasketing.
But the can was $30... It owuld cost me that much to get an oil drum or similar.
Patriarch
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On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 14:28:29 -0500, Patriarch

That's probably what I was going to try if I had decided to keep the lid. Then I thought I was going to feel pretty stupid wasting a good sized piece of ply and have it still not work.

I bought a 20 gal Rubbermaid "Roughneck" can after it completely crushed the original can I had intended to use. It was fine as long as I was using 2-1/2" hose, but when I hooked it up with 1-1/4" hose to the 1" opening on the ROS it crushed it enough to open up a leak at the lid and then didn't crush any further.

I ended up with a 20 gallon fiber drum from mcmaster.com, which was about 20 bucks plus $7 shipping, though I was ordering some other misc stuff at the same time. They had sizes between 15-55 gallon going up to about 40 bucks, which was quite a bit less than for a steel drum. The drum has a gasket, and a metal locking ring that I left off because it was really difficult to get off. Haven't actually tried it with the ROS yet, but I did accidently close the only open gate once and it tried to pull the whole cyclone/drum assembly over but it didn't crush.
I ended up replacing the old shop trash can with the rubbermaid one, which is nice because the old one was square and though it flared out on the way up at the top it flared back in, and the handles were bolted on with the heads sticking out. This was a recipe for tearing open the bag every time I tried to take it out if I let it get too full. One of those things that annoys the hell out of you, but not enough to actually do anything about it.
-Leuf
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<snip>

There are several 55 gal fiber drums out in the back shed, loaded with family treasures that we haven't looked at in at least 15 years. But LOML wasn't at all sure she wanted one of those converted to catching planer curlies. And it was really a bit tall for the spot, just to the left of the tablesaw.
This weekend, I need to get into the shop early, and fire up the air compressor, and blow all the dust and crap out that's accumulated there while my son built his !#$^#^ing laminated surfboard in my shop.
Patriarch
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wrote:

<snip>
I made my own cyclone. Using a heavy-duty metal trash can I cut an accept hole in the middle of the lid and an elbowed intake off center. The accept flares out to 6" diameter where it ends in the middle of the trash can. I cut a plastic window in the side to see when the can is half full and needs emptying. I wanted to see the cyclone-shaped sawdust one day so I put a flashlight in the cyclone trash can and turned out the shop lights--really neat to see. The galvanized tubing solders well the trash can lid. I lined the trash can lid with self-stick foam weather stripping. Works well, and very inexpensive.
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You made your own separator. Cyclones are rather different.
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You can spend $500+ on a cyclone or make one for a lot less. Either way you won't get a perfect setup so it makes sense to make one if you have the time. It helps to have engineered/designed hydrocyclones (sometimes called "cleaners") for several years.
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Sorry this is such along link but the tinyurls make a lot of folks nervous. There's a pretty affordable cyclone at the end of it. HTH. Chuck
http://cgi.ebay.com/Cyclone-Separator-for-Dust-Collector_W0QQitemZ280142644091QQihZ018QQcategoryZ11704QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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