Just because you need a specific tool or item for your shop does not mean you need to always spend a ton of money on it. While yes things like your power tools or saws does make things much nicer to have a bit better of a setup something as simple as a separator for your dust collection does not have to be super expensive. Yes higher end systems are probably going to be a bit more efficient but sometimes that is just not an option. Even more so when you are working on a tight budget. With that in mind I used the collection can from my dust collector and tried to make the quickest and cheapest separator that I could with the materials that I had at he shop. Here is the parts I made. I did not make a video on the build as honestly it would not have been much of a video and I wanted to make sure it would work properly before publishing anything about the system. There is no need to show a system that does not work.
To start off I want to address the Rockler.com dust collector for the cnc. This collector is dedicated to the cnc and works great for it. The i2R-8 UCCNC has a 2 inch dust port on the dust boot and I plan on making one later on that will use the full 4 in hose for even better collection. Until then I am using a Rockler.com 2 inch to 4 inch adapter on the cnc. This system really does work well even though it is not as efficient as it will be with the 4 inch boot. I just wanted to address this system in case you are wondering why there are 2 dust collectors in this corner of the shop.
Now on to the reason we are here. The garbage can separator. This is made from a steel garbage can and lid with a few simple parts that I had laying around the shop. If you have a can that would work you can make one of these systems for around $30 to $40 depending on the parts you want to use.
The separator is connected to the dust collector by a short 4 inch hose. This can be modified to use other hoses or even attach directly to the dust collector but I wanted the separator to be easy to remove for emptying the can.
For the outlet side of the separator I used this dust port I had and this piece worked out well I was able to cut a hole that was a tight fit for the port and then screw the port into place and you can also use calking to help seal the port to the lid. I then used duck tape to seal the seam around the port from the top. This was a simple and cheap option and seems to have worked just fine. I also added a piece of scrap 4 inch pvc to the bottom of the port just to drop the hole down some into the can. This was to hopefully help with directing the air flow a bit better.
The inlet of the separator was a piece of 4 inch pipe I had that fit perfectly into the end of a Rockler.com dust right handle. As I had 2 of these handles at the shop I installed them on both ends of the Dust Right hose. You would not have to do this but I saw no downside to having two of the handles on the hose just in case I ever needed to transfer the hose to something else quickly.
The lid of the can is definitely not air tight so to hold the lid into place I used a couple of wood screws then with the lid in place added a strip of Duck Tape this would seal off the seam of the lid and help with vacuum loss. This seemed to work fine thought I will admit it is a bit of a pain to get off when emptying the can and has to be replaced. I might design a new lid later on with a seal inside of it to make it easier to take on and off. With this just being a temporary system for now I will just stick with this.
With the lid off you can see the baffle inside this design is based off of the Thien baffle witch most woodworkers have heard of. This system is designed to create a rotation in the air flow pushing the debris down through the slot into the bottom of the can. Most of these systems are built to be self contained and can be removed or even act as the lid (something I might do later). I needed to make something that would stay inside the can and also would not take up so much room within the can that I would be filling the separator up every couple of days. I used some scrap mdf and cut the shape out with the cnc. The slot is cut to be 2/3 the length of the circle and is attached by two pieces of plywood and screwing the entire baffle into place on the side of the can. Another thing you will notice is that the interior of the inlet is cut at an angle this is so hopefully it will help to create the rotation of the air being pulled into the separator. This honestly is maybe not the most efficient system you will see but with that in mind it does work quite well with the can catching most of the dust and debris pulled in by the dust collector.
The bottom of the can had a lot more debris in it than the bad did. This to me was a success I know it would not be perfect when it comes to separation but I did want it to work the best I could get it do with very little time and money put into it.
I made this simple system to help fix a problem that had arose and it is not a permanent though I will probably use it for some time until I upgrade my dust collection all together. So with that being said I am happy with the outcome. It does what the separator is designed to do. It catches the majority of the dust and debris coming into the dust collection system and helps to keep the air filter bag clean.
Let me know what you guys think of the separator. Yay or Nay?
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Thank you for reading and I will see you on the next one!