How-To: PVC pipe vacuum dust separator

How-To:  PVC pipe vacuum dust separator
homebrew cyclonic dust separator.jpg

Instructables user neorazz has posted a tutorial on how to build a dust separator attachment for your shop vac. It is described as “cyclonic,” which it may or may not actually be (see the comments), but it does, apparently, work quite well at separating out the heavier bits of flotsam (which end up in the bucket) from the actual dust (which goes on to the vacuum).

4 thoughts on “How-To: PVC pipe vacuum dust separator

  1. Dustbuster7000 says:

    This may or may not be acting like the cyclone pictured on the right, but given the arrangement I doubt it. I think what it might be doing is providing a trap for heavier items to fall out of the airstream at the bucket. To get an effective cyclone, you need to introduce the airstream to the cylinder body at a tangent, causing the air to spin around on the inside wall of the cylinder. Anything with enough mass (any solids) will get flung to the wall and travel the helical path downward to the underflow point (where its says ‘dirt’ in the diagram). Light particles and much of the air form a counter-rotating vortex that travels up the centre of the device and exits at the top port. Smaller diameter cyclones will create larger centrifugal force and remove finer, lighter particles, which is why the newer cyclonic vacuum cleaners use a bank of small diameter cyclones, rather than the single or dual designs of a few years back.

  2. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    I probably should’ve been a bit more careful about juxtaposing that picture with that diagram. Thanks for taking the time to share your understanding.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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