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Thread: dust topper from home depot for shop vacs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    646

    dust topper from home depot for shop vacs

    I'm a couple weeks into a setup where I have a cart that holds a ridgid shop vac that is running 2.5" hose through a dust topper / 5 gal bucket setup from home depot. I use this to direct-connect to handheld tools as a supplement to a full dust collection system.

    I picked the dust topper for a couple reasons... Locally available and in-stock, good price point, easy setup (totally plug and play), and most importantly... low profile to sit inside the aforementioned cart.

    My initial usage was somewhat mehhhhhhhhhhhh. I felt like suction from the brand new and powerful shop vac was weaker than expected, and after some reading and reasoning I determined that lid fit to top of "homer" bucket wasn't perfect.

    So, I bought some 1/4" wide weather stripping, lined the top of the 5 gal bucket with that, and reinstalled the dust topper.

    Woah. Huge difference.

    In any case, I've seen threads on this here before (and even saw the inventor chime in one time) but thought I'd give a current day assessment. Overall, I'm satisfied with the fit for my needs at the price paid (including the minor customization).
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    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  2. #2
    Wow, good to know. Also just bought a dust topper, and also experiencing some meh performance. I was a bit disappointed because I had seen a video that showed it on par with the Dust Deputy, but much lower price, and profile. The profile is particularly important to me because the biggest annoyance I had with my previous one (DIY) was it kept tipping over, partially because it was top heavy.

    Could you post some pics of the sealing? I think I know what you mean, but I want to be sure. Also does it effect taking the lid off?

  3. #3
    You may have seen this comparison, https://www.shophacks.com/dustdeputy...stopper.html#/
    It seems authentic (not sponsored) and thorough. in his tests, the Dust Deputy has the edge.

    One thing I noted about sealing the collection bucket lid in the article is that the 5 gal bucket collapses a bit with typical vacuum pressure which causes the lid to leak. He recommends putting the collection bucket inside a second bucket to reinforce the walls. He also inserts a plywood ring inside the collection bucket which also keeps the collection bucket round.

    I like your cart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Tippecanoe County, IN
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    579
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    That looks like a well done test. Thanks for the link.
    Beranek's Law:

    It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.
    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.

  5. #5
    Actually I saw a YouTube video that also gave a slight edge to the Dust Deputy. I picked up the Dust Topper because they were close enough it didn't matter, and I can get the Dust Topper from Home Depot, rather than ordering via Amazon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    646
    I saw those comparisons too, and felt at the end of the day that it was "close enough", especially when coupled with my personal interest in lower profile and local/immediate availability.

    Now, I'll say I have a new/big/tough ridgid shop vac and mine hasn't buckled the bucket at all during use. At least not yet. Perhaps a wimpy batch of buckets or a super strong shop vac used in that test?

    As for sealing the lid... I bought 1/4" wide x 1/4" thick self-stick weather stripping from my local hardware store. I affixed it to the top lip of the bucket, pressed it on with my hand and put the dust topper back on. Worked remarkably well and instantly too. Now, I think next time I remove the lid, there's a chance I will damage the work I did... if so, I'll apply the next time inside the dust topper lip instead. For $3.79 I have enough weather stripping to go either way. :-)

    (thanks for the cart comment! I have a separate thread on that someplace... top is downdraft connected to main DC... shop vac housed inside for connecting to tools)


    Edit: Bonus tip... I wanted something that would hold 2.5" flex hose from a typical shop vac to the side of my cart - I wanted pressure fit so that I could easily put the hose away and/or pull it back out. And I wanted a bargain. I found that 2" j-hooks like this are a perfect fit (after I trimmed the pointy part of the hook off).
    Last edited by Bob Riefer; 02-11-2020 at 4:06 PM.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  7. #7
    I don't know what to make of the collapsing bucket comment. I've got a similar shop vac from ShopVac, and don't see that as being an issue.

  8. #8
    I mentioned buckling of the bucket only because Bob Reifer indicated a problem with sealing his system. It seemed to me that the root cause might be buckling. In any case I can provide the equations of buckling for infinite cylinders or thin rims under compression.

    TW

  9. #9
    You can actually get oh Ebay or Amazon and order an actual cyclone that is almost just like the Dust Deputy for under $30 shipped to your door. I am ordering two for my dedicated shop vacs that I leave attached to my router tables. I already have one on my “clean up” shop vac and am quite impressed with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    646
    Hi Dan - are any of those options as low profile as the dust topper?


    To recap posts above...

    In my case, I also have a full on 3 hp cyclone with 6" ducting throughout the shop.

    The shop vac and dust topper solution is just a supplemental option that I direct-connect to small-port handheld tools (like orbital sander, plunge router, jig saw) as I have found that reducing my main DC down to 2.5" is not nearly as effective as using a shop vac for these scenarios.

    Since I want to keep the shop vac filter cleaner for a longer period of time, while also keeping the entire assembly in side the cart pictured above (i.e. all the 'true cyclone' options are much too tall and would not fit), this was a good, locally available, low cost, and effective option.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    Of course the cyclone has a taller profile, but it also separates much more of the fine dust. See the link in a post above. So bottom line is that the dust topper is lower, but you'll clean the filter a lot more often.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    646
    LOL... yes, I get it... Sometimes trade offs need to be made. In my case putting the assembly in the cart was a requirement, and a pretty darn good solution was to use the dust topper.

    Sheesh!!!!!!!
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,352
    Hey Bob ,thanks for your post. Which Rigid shop vac do you have ?I found the dust topper at a home depot in Montana last summer. I really have not used it except to try it out when I first got it. I think I will try to build a cart for it to ride with my shop vac,I want to use it for my random orbit sanders. Thanks for the weatherstrip tip.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,352
    One other tip for anyone with Rigid shop vacs,Home Depot also sells the "Cleanstream "filters that are far better for fine dust,they are about 30 bucks. These are washable so they can be used over and over.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
    Posts
    646
    Hey Mike!
    I have this ridgid 12 gallon vac from home depot.

    The cart I have pictured above is about 2 x 4 dimension and the vac and topper/bucket fit nicely underneath. Any smaller, and I think it would be pretty tight.

    Also, in my case, the top 6" of the cart is the downdraft box... I found that I was running really short on room to be able to pull the vac in and out of the side of the cart as a result. Therefore, the entire top is on two hinges. When it's time to empty the vac or change the filter, I just open the top completely to gain access. When closed, there are a couple latches to keep it solid.

    I do also have hinged access on the back side of the cart for the more frequent task of emptying the bucket which is much shorter in height than the vac and fits easily. Faster to use the side hatch for that task.
    Last edited by Bob Riefer; 02-14-2020 at 2:20 PM.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

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