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Thread: FESTOPPER an inexpensive cyclone for Festool Dust Extractor

  1. #1

    FESTOPPER an inexpensive cyclone for Festool Dust Extractor

    While it is clear that the addition of a preseparator can significantly extend the life of the vacuum bags, the existing options all had problems that I believe I have now solved. While I have, and like, Dust Deputy cyclones, the ones that I have in my shop are unwieldy as are the ones that I have seen mounted to the tops of Festool Dust Extractors. This is particularly true of those that are mounted on top of the Festool Dust Extractor. The Oneida design, which is adapted to be mounted on top of the Festool Dust Extractor is extremely tall, as are the DIY versions that I have seen. Further, at $299 each, Oneida's Ultimate Dust Deputy Kit ( ) is by no means inexpensive.

    Since its introduction, I have noted a great deal of interest in the newly introduced Festool CT Cyclone CT-VA-20 ( ). However, there is no question that $375 is a bit more than most hobbyists, and even many professionals, are eager to spend on a preseparator, even one that carries the Festool name.

    I recently became aware of a relatively new product called a Dustopper ( ). The Dustopper is a "Thein-type" baffle that is sold at Home Depot and is ready, out-of-the-box, to be mounted on a Home Depot "Homer" 5-gallon bucket. The Dustopper carries a list price of only $39.97 ( ). Problems that have been reported by users include the unit's failure to adequately seal to "standard" 5-gallon buckets, although Home Depot's response has been that their Homer buckets are made to much higher tolerances than typically available 5-gallon buckets, whereby the sealing issue is not present when an actual Homer bucket is used. Another problem that has been reported is that the clips that attach it to the bucket are prone to break if the Dustopper is repeatedly attached to, and removed from, the Homer bucket.

    It occurred to me that I could build a plywood box that has a bottom configured to fit the top of my CT 22 E and CT 26 E Festool Dust Extractors so that it would lock onto the top of the Extractor, just like the Oneida and Festool designs do. However, when I initially attempted to modify a Homer bucket to be fitted to such a box I learned that the diameter of the bucket (about 285 mm) is extremely close to the width (295 mm) needed to fit the top of the box, whereby once the circular opening was cut into the top it would provide no support for the bucket. Nevertheless, after several design iterations, I discovered a way to modify a Homer bucket to fit and connect to the top of the dust collection box, to make the device airtight, and to have the collection box's top removable to empty the collected sawdust, whereby it would not be necessary to remove the Dustopper from the top of the collection box in order to empty the sawdust, thereby eliminating the clip breakage issue.

    In making the various modifications, I also discovered that I could modify the Homer bucket in two different ways. In the first, I retained the portion of the bucket that includes the handle. While this results in a somewhat taller unit, it does provide the user with a convenient handle to move the Extractor with the Festopper attached. In the second version I eliminated the handle portion of the bucket, resulting in a lower overall height, which could be a benefit to those wishing to be able to place their Extractor under their MFT/3 table. In either case, the overall height of the collection box can be modified so as to minimize the height of the Festopper or, alternatively, to increase the capacity of its collection box. The cost of the Festopper, including the purchase of the Dustopper, the Homer bucket, and various other items was about $60.

    If there is interest in the design, and the various "tricks" needed to connect the modified Homer bucket to the collection box, I would consider making a set of plans and instructions available.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Don't Mess With My Texas!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford Asman View Post
    ... If there is interest in the design, and the various "tricks" needed to connect the modified Homer bucket to the collection box, I would consider making a set of plans and instructions available.
    Please expound on your project. I've been looking for an interim DC to use until my shop gets a bit more finished, then I can send it next door to my son and grandson for their use.
    These words are my opinion, WYLION. Any resemblance to truth or fiction is accidental at best.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford Asman View Post
    If there is interest in the design, and the various "tricks" needed to connect the modified Homer bucket to the collection box, I would consider making a set of plans and instructions available.
    Good project. Thanks. Are you thinking the plans/instructions would be free or would there be a fee?
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Beautiful design. Thanks for posting.

    Gentle reminder: beware not to advertise. If you wish to post the set of plans for free that's fine, but if "making...available" implies for fee, we shouldn't do that here.

  5. #5
    Sure, a set of pictures and some comments on how you did your project would be appreciated. You can put them in this thread.

    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    I can see an advantage in using the Dustopper's "Thein-type" baffle, in that it is low profile. The result looks far more appealing than that from the tall Dust Deputy when placed on top of a Festool vacuum cleaner. I use a Dust Commander on my CT26E. Dust is collected in a steel bin. The bin is attached to a low profile Systainer, and it easily removed/attached when emptying dust collected. I am very tempted to take a lead from Sanford and redesign my system.

    The reason for the Dust Commander, which I believe is a French design, is that it is made of anti-static material. It is connected to the 26E with anti-static hoses and fittings. Overall, this set up does a fabulous job, and I have not managed to collect much, if any, dust in the 26E's bag over a period of 3 years.

    The issue of static was raised some years ago, and it has been stated by Festool that they would invalidate any warrantees if the cyclone and related attached fittings were not anti-static. My previous vacuum cleaner was a Fein, and it handled/grounded static differently. Static was never an issue for Fein vacs.

    So, two questions: (1) Is the Duststopper anti-static, and (2) What is the issue with static and the Festool vacs?

    Regards from Perth


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Derek, one benefit to your setup is that it provides height to keep the hose off the saw table top when going to your blade guard. A lower setup may not provide this same clearance and might prove frustrating in use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Mid Michigan
    The static issue was with a circuit board inside the vac.
    I have the oneida one made for the Festool vacs when it was not anti static I got small shocks only
    when sanding. Oneida sent a kit to fix the static, no problem since.


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