Workshop equipment: a cyclone for a vacuum cleaner with your own hands

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Today we will tell you about a cyclone filter for a vacuum cleaner in a workshop, because one of the problems that you have to deal with in woodworking is dust removal. Industrial equipment is quite expensive, so we will make a cyclone with our own hands – it is completely easy.

Workshop equipment: a cyclone for a vacuum cleaner with your own hands

What is a cyclone and why is it needed

In a workshop, there is almost always a need to clean up garbage of a fairly large fraction. Sawdust, small scraps, metal shavings – all this, in principle, can be caught by a regular vacuum cleaner filter, but it is highly likely to quickly become unusable. In addition, it will not be superfluous to remove liquid waste..

The cyclone filter uses aerodynamic vortex to bind together different sized particles. Spinning around in a circle, the garbage manages to stick together to such a consistency when it can no longer be carried away by the air flow and settles at the bottom. This effect almost always occurs if the air flow passes through a cylindrical container with sufficient speed..

Cyclone filter operation scheme Cyclone filter operation scheme

Filters of this kind are included in the set of many industrial vacuum cleaners, but their cost cannot be called affordable for the layman. At the same time, the range of tasks solved with the help of home-made devices is not at all narrower. A handicraft cyclone can be used in conjunction with planers, punchers or jigsaws, and to remove sawdust or shavings from all kinds of machines. In the end, even simple cleaning with such a device is much easier, because the bulk of dust and debris settles in a container, from where it can be easily removed..

Difference between wet and dry cyclone

To create a swirling flow, the main requirement is that the air entering the tank does not follow the shortest path to the exhaust hole. For this, the inlet pipe must have a special shape and be directed either to the bottom of the tank, or tangentially to the walls. By a similar principle, it is recommended to make the exhaust duct rotary, optimally if it is directed towards the device cover. The increase in aerodynamic drag due to pipe bends can be neglected.

Homemade cyclone filter for vacuum cleaner

As mentioned, the cyclone can potentially remove liquid waste as well. With the liquid, everything is somewhat more complicated: the air in the pipe and the cyclone is partially rarefied, which contributes to the evaporation of moisture and its breakdown into very small droplets. Therefore, the inlet must be placed as close as possible to the surface of the water or even lowered under it..

Cyclone filter for water

In most vacuum cleaners, air is fed into the water through a diffuser, so any moisture in it is effectively dissolved. However, for greater versatility with a minimum amount of rework, it is not recommended to use such a scheme..

We make from scrap materials

The simplest and most affordable option for a cyclone tank would be a bucket of paint or other building mixtures. The volume should be comparable to the power of the vacuum cleaner used, approximately one liter for every 80-100 W.

The lid of the bucket must be intact and fit tightly on the body of the future cyclone. It will have to be finalized by making a couple of holes. Regardless of the material of the bucket, the easiest way to make holes of the correct diameter is to use a homemade compass. Two self-tapping screws need to be screwed into a wooden rail so that their points are at a distance of 27 mm from each other, no more, no less.

Do-it-yourself cyclone for a vacuum cleaner

The centers of the holes should be marked 40 mm from the edge of the lid, it is desirable that they are as far as possible from each other. Both metal and plastic are perfectly scratched out with such a homemade tool, forming smooth edges with virtually no scoring.

The second element of the cyclone will be a set of sewer elbows under 90? and 45 ?. Let us draw your attention in advance that the position of the corners should correspond to the direction of the air flow. They are mounted in the housing cover as follows:

  1. The knee is inserted all the way into the flare rim. Silicone sealant is pre-applied under the side.
  2. From the reverse side, the rubber sealing ring is pulled with force onto the socket. To be sure, it can be additionally squeezed with a screw clamp..

Do-it-yourself cyclone for a vacuum cleaner

The inlet pipe is located with a narrow turning part inside the bucket, the bell is on the outside almost flush with the lid. Should the knee be provided with one more turn at 45? and point obliquely down and tangentially to the side of the bucket. If the cyclone is made with the expectation of wet cleaning, the extreme elbow should be extended with a pipe cut, reducing the distance from the bottom to 10-15 cm.

Do-it-yourself cyclone for a vacuum cleaner

The exhaust pipe is in reverse position and its bell is under the bucket lid. You also need to insert one elbow into it so that the air intake takes place at the wall or make two turns for suction from under the center of the cover. The latter is preferable. Do not forget about the O-rings, for a more reliable fixation and elimination of turning the knees, they can be wrapped with plumbing tape.

How to adapt the device for machine tools and tools

To be able to draw in waste when working with handheld and stationary tools, an adapter system is required. Typically, a hose for a vacuum cleaner ends in a curved tube, the diameter of which is comparable to the fittings for dust bags of power tools. As a last resort, you can seal the joint with several layers of double-sided tape for mirrors, wrapped in vinyl tape to eliminate stickiness..

Connecting the cyclone filter to the instrument

With stationary equipment, everything is more complicated. Dust collectors have a very different configuration, especially with homemade machines, so you can only give a few useful recommendations:

  1. If the dust extraction of the machine is designed for 110 mm or larger hose, use plumbing transitions of 50 mm diameter to connect the corrugated hose of the vacuum cleaner.
  2. It is convenient to use press fittings for HDPE pipes 50 mm to dock with a dust catcher of home-made machines.
  3. When designing the hood and dust trap, use the convection flow generated by the moving parts of the tool for greater efficiency. For example: the sawdust outlet from the circular saw must be directed tangentially to the saw blade.
  4. Sometimes it is required to provide dust extraction from different sides of the workpiece, for example, for a band saw or router. Use 50mm sewer tees and corrugated drain hoses.

Homemade dust collector for the machine

Which vacuum cleaner and connection system to use

Usually, a vacuum cleaner for a homemade cyclone is not chosen independently, but the one that is available is used. However, there are a number of limitations in addition to the power mentioned above. If you want to continue using the vacuum cleaner for domestic purposes, you will at least need to find an additional hose.

The beauty of the sewer elbows used in the construction is that they ideally fit the diameter of the most common hoses. Therefore, the spare hose can be safely cut into 2/3 and 1/3, a shorter length should be docked with the vacuum cleaner. Another, longer section, as it is, is fed into the mouth of the cyclone inlet pipe. The maximum that is required in this place is to seal the connection with silicone sealant or sanitary tape, but usually the fit is quite high. Especially with an O-ring.

The video shows another example of making a cyclone for dust removal in a workshop

To pull a short piece of hose over the exhaust nozzle, the edge of the corrugated pipe will have to be leveled. Depending on the diameter of the hose, it may be more convenient to tuck it in. If the straightened edge does not fit a little on the pipe, it is recommended to warm it up a little with a hairdryer or indirect flame of a gas burner. The latter is considered an excellent option, because this way the connection will be located optimally in relation to the direction of the moving stream.

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