Vacuum Upgrade | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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I often use my shop’s vacuum cleaner for collecting dust on portable power tools. However, two things annoy me about most vacs. First, they are really loud. Secondly, when the aspirator fills up, and this can happen before you know it, the filter becomes clogged and the airflow decreases.

I solved both problems at the same time. I put my vacuum cleaner in a closet, connected it to a small cyclone separator (the Dust Deputy DIY) and ran the PVC hose from the separator to a flexible drop on my bench. Basically, I built a mini central dust collection system.

The cabinet, lined with 1 ″ thick foam, muffles the noise quite well. The separator collects most of the dust and chips. The vacuum cleaner now takes much longer to fill as it collects only the finest dust particles. I will empty the separator bucket many times before having to check the vacuum cleaner.

I used a stiff hose for the tracks, but you could also use a hose. I put a couple of loose 2x4s under the separator bucket so I could lower the bucket to remove and empty it. Alan Schaffter


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