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Thread: Shop vac with built in cyclone?

  1. #1
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    Shop vac with built in cyclone?

    I recently got a Ridgid shop vac for general shop cleanup but am finding that the filter clogs essentially immediately, dropping the airflow by a factor of 5-10. Cleaning it is a pain that typically results in me inhaling more dust than I would if I just went back to my broom.

    I've been looking at "dust deputy" like solutions, but it seems they all make for a very awkward package for dragging around the shop, both tall and cumbersome with two side-by-side containers. I've found a couple cyclone-equipped vacs made for floor finishers that are better, but cost ~$2k and are still huge, more like rolling dust collectors than shop vacs.

    It would seem that it should be possible to design a cyclone that would pretty much fit into and be integrated into the form factor of a big shopvac (it would probably have to be taller)-- the cyclone should eliminate the requirement for a 12-15 gallon tub just to house the filter, as one hopes most of the debris would be captured by the cyclone.

    There are mobile dust collectors, but again they seem unnecessarily huge to drag around for vacuuming the floor and the odd corners that are hard to sweep. Plus they don't give the kind of high velocity, low volume flow that makes shop vacs better suited to the kind of cleanup I want to be able to do. The volume of material to be vacuumed up is relatively small so it doesn't need a big container, all the serious chip and dust pickup is handled by the dust collector.

    So, anyone know of such a beast that anyone is producing?

  2. #2
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    Jay Bates and others have made build videos (YouTube) for a rolling cart that houses the shop vac and dust deputy. It is about five feet tall and takes little more than the floor area of the shop vac alone.

  3. #3
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    On my "some day" list is a project to take two (or even three) of those "bucket vacs", which are fairly inexpensive motor/filter units made to sit on a 5 gallon bucket, mount them to a minimum housing and use that to provide the "suck" for a dust deputy. With a little creative design, it should be easy to end up with a unit not much bigger than the dust deputy.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  4. #4
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    You would think somebody would make a moderately sized shopvac with a built-in separator but I have not seen one. I compromised and built a cart system using a Dustopper from HD. From what I’ve read, the Dust Deputy is more efficient than the Dustopper but I couldn’t live with the DD’s ~5’ height.
    This separation system works pretty good but not great. Using some weather stripping between the bucket and Dustopper made a big improvement in performance.

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  5. #5
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    I have a DD coupled with a 16 gal. Craftsman shop vac. It's a huge waste of space. That canister could be shrunk to a fraction of 16 gallons and it would save a ton of space. All you need is enough space for the filter and hose attachments. I can see a DIY modification somewhere in the future...
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  6. #6
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    Roger, I use a Ridgid shop vac piped to a cyclone on top of a five gallon bucket which is connected to 2" sch 40 pvc piping which has numerous outlets around main bench and scattered thru out the shop. Then for shop cleanup up use a 20' hose and have couplers to add more hose as wanted. Primary use is with short hoses to routers and sanders at main bench, also bandsaw and blade guard on table saw.. Granddaughter enjoys cleaning with it as I put the long hose on for her and she cleans all she can reach before I move it to a new spot and she cleans some more of the shop floor. I have three filters in the Ridgid shop vac and have yet to change any of them. Just dump the 5 gallon bucket from time to time. I also have one set up for the panel saw in the basement. All noticeable dust is collected in the five gallon bucket under the cyclone. Shop is cleaner than it has ever been still not as clean as pictures of other shops on here. Just need to find a nook to place cyclone and shop vac where it is out of the way and still accessible to empty
    Good luck
    Ron

  7. #7
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    I've got two setups. One sounds just like Ron Seltzer's: connected via cyclone to 2" PVC around the shop, with blast gates and switches near each connection that control a relay to turn it on and off.

    The other setup is mobile, consisting of a couple of 5 gal buckets stacked, with a bucket vac, all on wheels. The top bucket is a modified Thien baffle. This is the most compact and least top heavy of the cyclone setups I could find. It's a lot like Cosmas Bauer's setup of this video, but simpler and cheaper because it's made of two buckets and a vac made to fit a bucket. https://youtu.be/kF0zPiCarq4
    Last edited by Alan Schwabacher; 05-03-2021 at 4:02 PM. Reason: Spelling

  8. #8
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    The Bauer design is really slick! Well done.

    I really don't want to pipe another dust collection system around the shop-- I already have two. Looking to be able to clean up the stuff that escapes at the source.

    I just installed a new router lift in my saw table; this one had the option of a dust collector enclosure under the table. Just used it for the first time and am really pleased, it seems it will eliminate one of the few remaining dust and chip spewing operations in the shop. Not much to be done about the lathe though without a serious industrial solution. I do have a DC set up dedicated to sanding dust at the lathe, but it can't handle the chips from bowl hollowing and such.

  9. #9
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    I made this several years ago:

    cyc1.jpgcyc2.jpgcyc3.jpgcyc4.jpgcyc5.jpg

  10. #10
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    Jan 2010
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    Midland, MI
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    I use a dust deputy with a Rigid shop vac. It works well for keeping the filter clean. Floor space is at a premium so I mounted the DD on top of the shop vac.

    The gap under the shop vac handle is the perfect distance for a snug fit of 2"x construction lumber. I edge glued a couple of pieces of 2"x8", cut the profile on a band saw and slid it it place. I bought a dust deputy kit which came with 2 pails; I think the 2nd one is to keep the primary bucket rigid so it doesn't collapse under vacuum. Anyway I screwed one pail to the wood. I can disconnect the DD in about 10 seconds if I want to use the shop vacuum for wet vacuuming.

    Not as elegant or compact as some of the integrated units in the posts above. But it's an easy modification and saves some floor space.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    ya know..............if you'll just use the bags designed for your vac - your filter won't clog, right ?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    I have a DD coupled with a 16 gal. Craftsman shop vac. It's a huge waste of space. That canister could be shrunk to a fraction of 16 gallons and it would save a ton of space. All you need is enough space for the filter and hose attachments. I can see a DIY modification somewhere in the future...

    I moved to a filter box years ago. The space savings over the stock barrel make the DD addition more reasonable. I have moved to a wall unit with a reel but, the same principle applies to a mobile rig.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    ya know..............if you'll just use the bags designed for your vac - your filter won't clog, right ?
    I never knew that bags were available for a vacuum of this kind, but there they are, right on the borg web page. That may well be the easiest solution, thanks!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I recently got a Ridgid shop vac for general shop cleanup but am finding that the filter clogs essentially immediately, dropping the airflow by a factor of 5-10. Cleaning it is a pain that typically results in me inhaling more dust than I would if I just went back to my broom.

    I've been looking at "dust deputy" like solutions, but it seems they all make for a very awkward package for dragging around the shop, both tall and cumbersome with two side-by-side containers. I've found a couple cyclone-equipped vacs made for floor finishers that are better, but cost ~$2k and are still huge, more like rolling dust collectors than shop vacs.

    It would seem that it should be possible to design a cyclone that would pretty much fit into and be integrated into the form factor of a big shopvac (it would probably have to be taller)-- the cyclone should eliminate the requirement for a 12-15 gallon tub just to house the filter, as one hopes most of the debris would be captured by the cyclone.

    There are mobile dust collectors, but again they seem unnecessarily huge to drag around for vacuuming the floor and the odd corners that are hard to sweep. Plus they don't give the kind of high velocity, low volume flow that makes shop vacs better suited to the kind of cleanup I want to be able to do. The volume of material to be vacuumed up is relatively small so it doesn't need a big container, all the serious chip and dust pickup is handled by the dust collector.

    So, anyone know of such a beast that anyone is producing?
    Roger, perhaps I misunderstand you, but there are three components involved here, not two as you seem to depict. The three are a shop vacuum cleaner, the cyclone and - the missing third item - the bin for shavings. The aim of a Dust Deputy is to filter the waste, directing the large bits into the bin, and allowing fine dust to pass through the filter of the vacuum cleaner. A built-in cyclone must still accomodate a bin, otherwise it is simply sucking debris into the filter ... which will cause this to become blocked.

    Over the years I have had a Fein Dustex 25 with a Dust Deputy alongside it, then a Festool CT26E with a Dust Commander on top ...



    The was upgraded about a year ago to an Ultimate Dust Deputy separator kit for the CT26E ...




    Not the cheapest solution, but very efficient and "compact".

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    Nov 2006
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    roger - you asked, and your wish has been granted:


    how about seven cyclones?

    https://iqpowertools.com/iq426hepa-c...ust-extractor/

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