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30 Minute Swarf Separator / Cyclone for the Shop Vacuum

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  • 30 Minute Swarf Separator / Cyclone for the Shop Vacuum

    I've been meaning to do this one for awhile. Last night I took 30 minutes (and spent more time editing the video ) and made an inexpensive chip separator (cyclone - although I'm not sure how much cycloning action is going on in this one) to go in front of my vacuum.



    https://youtu.be/vvVokh3UNVM

    The music isn't nearly as 'annoying' as the last one , but I haven't had a chance to incorporate any baroque music yet. Maybe the next one.

    It cost me about $10 for the fittings as I had the pail and abs pipe laying around. I purchased another vacuum hose - but I probably would have done that anyway if I purchased a dust deputy or something.

    I'm not sure how well it would work for fine dust / sawdust, but for metal chips it works great. The video is pretty self explanatory if you want to do it yourself so I figured a drawing was a waste of time .
    www.thecogwheel.net

  • #2
    I have one of those dust deputy cyclones, works great on just about anything that will fit in the shop vac hose.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by paul463 View Post
      I have one of those dust deputy cyclones, works great on just about anything that will fit in the shop vac hose.
      Me too. Love the things...

      Pete
      1973 SB 10K .
      BenchMaster mill.

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      • #4
        That hole cutter made me say OUCH just watching..... Id a' used a clamp on the worktable edge.........
        CNC machines only go through the motions

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        • #5
          Originally posted by paul463 View Post
          I have one of those dust deputy cyclones, works great on just about anything that will fit in the shop vac hose.
          I agree with you both, but up here where the northern peso prevails a dust deputy is north of $100. Naturally the money I saved will probably be spent on more tools for the shop

          I actually found someone who tested these things with fine dust online (and of course now I can't find the link) and while the Dust Deputy works excellent, the simple ones like I've made work pretty good as well, even for fine dust. The person testing it used nutmeg powder or something. I was shocked how well it worked.
          www.thecogwheel.net

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          • #6
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            That hole cutter made me say OUCH just watching..... Id a' used a clamp on the worktable edge.........
            I only use that thing for cutting holes in thin plastic and the like. It was turning a lot slower than shown in the video - speed multiplication has a tendency to make things look crazy fast .

            But you do need to be careful with them. I know some people use them to cut wood. I definitely clamp that, or probably just use a proper hole saw. If the hole was huge I'd use the jigsaw.

            What I really liked about it is I could cut the approximate minor diameter with it so the threaded ABS fitting would thread into the lid.
            www.thecogwheel.net

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            • #7
              Great work as always, Justin! Still debating in my mind whether to do the same or to continue filling the shop vac with chips.
              Max
              http://joyofprecision.com/

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              • #8
                I would be interested in photos of what shows up in the shop vac tank after a thorough cleanout and then a period of use with the separator. Dust? Lint?
                Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                • #9
                  I made up a similar deal awhile ago fro my blast cabinet. Mine is a little different as I drilled the incoming hole into the side of the pail and stuck a tube in at an angle to follow the wall of the pail to create the vortex action.

                  I have used it for quite a few things over the years including sucking up oil off the shop floor after a major spill. Handy little deal these things are!
                  Andy

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                  • #10
                    I've been using an ash separator cyclone from Aldi in the workshop for about 5 years, it has steel mesh and paper filters and seems to catch everything, I haven't had to look in the vacuum since fitting the separator.
                    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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                    • #11
                      Hey, that sucks!

                      Nice quickie job.

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                      • #12
                        I made something like this over christmas, hoping I could use it to stop getting my small shop vac hose clogged. Now I just clog the hose entering the separator instead.

                        Seems the only way to stop clogging the hose with long swarf curls is by using a giant 10 gallon shop vac with a huge hose. I guess I'm still stuck just picking it out before vacuuming the small chips.

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                        • #13
                          I like it. Have the same vac too. Like it a lot.. going to make one of these too

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                          • #14
                            Nice work, bet it's going to save having to clean the filter all the time...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mattthegamer463 View Post
                              I made something like this over christmas, hoping I could use it to stop getting my small shop vac hose clogged. Now I just clog the hose entering the separator instead.

                              Seems the only way to stop clogging the hose with long swarf curls is by using a giant 10 gallon shop vac with a huge hose. I guess I'm still stuck just picking it out before vacuuming the small chips.

                              The larger the hose the better it works provided your vacuum can keep up. While I'm not into promoting products generally, I find the Ridgid vacs are really good for the shop. The smaller Ridgids have an 1 7/8" hose which is much larger than the smaller Shop Vac hoses. I had a small shop vac that I was using, but the smaller diameter hose would plug fairly often.

                              The larger Ridgid vacs have even a bigger hose (I think 2 1/2") but the hose is a bit to drag around. The 1 7/8" isn't perfect (plugs occasionally) and yes if you have a bunch of really stringy chips (like when I'm cutting 316) it's better to just pick them up and dump in the scrap box first. I generally try to break a chip so usually it isn't too bad. That is one of the benefits of using HSS on small lathes - most carbide inserts need significant depths of cut to break a chip.
                              www.thecogwheel.net

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