Dust Collection Lid

Bill Pentz is an engineering professor and woodworker who has done a lot of study of dust collection. The vertical upwards return flow towards the vacuum outlet starts at the center of the cyclone near the bottom. I had predrilled holes all around the perimeter and just screwed the cyclone to that donut and was done. The air ramp is not supposed to fit tight to the cyclone center outlet tube or flush with the bottom of the inlet. If the material being collected is valuable enough to be reused or repurposed, it may warrant the inclusion of a cyclone separator in the system.

The airflow with dust is rotating in high speed in the cyclone dust collector, under the function of centrifugal force, the dust is gathered upon the inner wall of the cyclone dust collector, and then upon the function of gravity, the dust finally falls down and comes out through the discharging hole. If you don’t have a kit, then carefully draw the patterns right on the wood using a protractor.

The filter on the JET Cyclone Dust Collectors is made of pleated material that captures even the smallest particles down to one micron and below. When cut into little pieces, they make great adaptors for the whole system if you need them. An example of this was that I wanted to have the cyclone extend an additional 6″ from the wall to accommodate my existing ductwork.

In order to utilize the DIY Dust Deputy cyclone, you need to acquire a 10 gallon or smaller drum with a lid. Bill Pentz designed a cyclone for optimum performance and published the plans on his web site to allow woodworkers to freely (no royalty) build one for their personal, non commercial, use. The Cyclone’s filtration is enabled by a micron filter that reduces fine dust to a particle density of as small as 0.5 microns. Most don’t replace their fine filters because they cannot see or measure the fine dust.

Process heat and humidity in the air stream create a difficult challenge when it comes to dust collection. The trailer needs to be airtight because I don’t have a rotary airlock at the bottom of the cyclone. Regardless how good your dust extraction may be, there is still ambient dust that escapes from it, especially if you are sanding or routing you need something which is easy to use, portable, and powerful to suck the dust from your tools. Below is a picture plus dimensioned drawing for a cyclone top with the air going out the side.

Unlike the below picture that shows how I used to attach the air ramp to the outlet cylinder, now I find that soldering the air ramp to only the cyclone outside cylinder instead of the outlet cylinder works best. Choosing to upgrade to our Wynn Environmental filters with all of this extra surface area means your cyclone will move more air, do a better job of collecting the fine dust, and go much longer between filter cleanings. You might try adding some water in the bottom of the bucket since static electricity doesn’t build up quite so easily in moist environments.

Cyclone separators are found in all types of power and industrial applications, including pulp and paper plants, cement plants, steel mills, petroleum coke plants, metallurgical plants, saw mills and other kinds of facilities that process dust. In any workshop with electric machinery and various trade materials, effective control of dust and sawdust is required for both health and safety regulations.

Word spread quickly through the various Internet woodworking forums that my cyclone worked very well. Careful testing shows that reducing that airflow to 900 CFM ends up with five times more airborne dust. You still end up having to grind off the screws inside the cyclone to keep strings and shavings from hanging up on the screw threads that stick inside the cyclone, so I prefer using pop-rivets. Their efficiency is poor below 10 µm. However, they are capable of treating relatively high dust concentrations without becoming plugged. Small garage workshops gather dust and dirt quickly, but many dust collection systems are too costly or large to install in smaller shops.


Now I find myself with a cyclone lid that approaches true cyclones in separation efficiency, and which isn’t susceptible to the scrubbing that all the commercial offerings I tested suffered from. It has the advantage that it never clogs and that it can, depending on the bucket capacity, remove huge amounts of dust from the air. And with a lot of dust that I could see, it was also mixing the fine dust (that I couldn’t see) into the air for me to breathe. Both models of Cyclone dust collector come standard with a radio frequency remote control with timer function. I have seen trying to think of a way to remove ash from a wood stove that is dust free.

If the vacuum wasn’t designed for HEPA—with a filter shaker built in or an additional internal bag to collect the chips and dust before they reach the filter—your new HEPA filter will clog quickly, choking off airflow. With that top secured and sizing rings in place, then expand the air ramp to make a tight fit to the outer cylinder wall by pushing the bottom of the air ramp toward the bottom of the inlet. You can form a left handed (LH) or right handed cyclone by flipping your cut cylinder metal over before forming. Cleaning these filters frequently gives us a dust bath exposing us to the fine dust we should avoid.

The award-winning design of the Dust Deputy cyclone uses centrifugal force to cyclonically separate and remove over 99% of dust and debris from the air-stream before it ever reaches your vacuum’s filter, eliminating clogged filters and suction loss! Instead, purchasers should look for a cyclone that shows efficiency based on CFM to water pressure drop and choose the appropriate cyclone for their application. Installed before a bag house on high heat processes, a cyclone can act as a spark arrestor, collecting the larger particulates which can retain enough heat to ignite a filter bag. I played around with the excel sheet and some poster board, it doesn’t seem to hard to make.

The spinning air creates a secondary vortex in the middle of the cyclone that that exhausts the clean air out the top. Plus the product is American made by a small, innovative company using the cyclone design of Bill Pentz, an iconic figure who has been a major advocate for modernizing small shop dust collection, and whose research has influenced much of my own thinking on this topic. Now that I have the more powerful cyclone, it pulls medium size chips to the cyclone, and only drops the largest at the separator, so I only get about 5 bags of chips for each bag at the dust collector.

The first model traces the blower before the cyclone and needs to be motorized by heavy material handling fans. When my dust collector was operating at peak performance (right after the filter was cleaned), it was picking up most of the chips and larger dust particles, but far too many of the fine dust particles were ending up in my nose and lungs rather than in the dust bag. Enter the wet dust collector By switching to wet dust collection, many companies are improving their fire safety compliance and putting the kibosh on the chances of a major explosion ruining their financial future.

But most small workshops can benefit greatly from a movable system based on an ordinary wet/dry shop vacuum and its standard 2½” hose — like the cyclone separator described here. Ed Morgano so liked my cyclone design he built for his son, he built one out of clear plastic and created Clear Vue Cyclones turning that into the number two producer of small shop cyclones before Ed retired. Then as you install the hose and tighten down the hose clamp, the wire inside the hose will make solid contact with the metal C flange of the blast gate or pipe you’re hooking it up to. It’s best to bare the wire in a couple of places around the inside perimeter to ensure that it makes contact with the pipe or blast gate.

Each JET Cyclone Dust Collector features a radio frequency remote control that turns on the dust collection system from a distance of up to 50 feet. For operations that need the larger-scale filtration, it’s frequently wise to combine wet dust collection with other methods of filtration. Because almost 100% of the dust never actually gets to the filtration area the filters stay very clean for much longer periods of time. We run new specials almost every week on a variety of dust collection systems and components. I use these to collect dust and chips from my router table, bandsaw, lathe, and sanders. ProVent can help you make the proper selection based on your specific application.

The cleaned air reverses direction and travels at a lower speed (due to the larger volume of the container compared to the pipe) upwards along the outside of the pipe into the vacuum fan collector at the top. Before cutting out the cone, cut out and stand the unsoldered cyclone top cylinder bending it to fit onto your cone drawing. Those who now use my cyclone design swear by it, often having clean shop air for the first time in a lifetime of woodworking.

It only fits close to the center cyclone outlet cylinder and that joint should not be soldered or sealed so we can take our cyclone apart to clear plugs or trapped debris. I actually made the top first because I felt if I could make that I diffently could make the cabinet part. After soldering I use caulk to make a smooth joint and seal that connection between the ramp and outer cylinder wall.

My build varies from the plans to take advantage of some scrap wood I had on hand, but it works the same way. A water bath pre-filter from the sander and other machines that produce the very fine dust might just be the ticket. This website thoroughly explains how a cyclone separator, in conjunction with a home-made blower and filter set-up, effectively collects woodshop dust. Note that the blue bucket was at all times on the cyclone separator, and the grey bucket was at all times on the vacuum. Busy Bee stocks the most complete selection of cyclone dust collection equipment.