Homemade Cyclone Dust Collection System

Part 9: Conclusion

by Steve Silca

Well, I saved a tremendous amount of money building the dust collector. The dust collector itself only cost $350. Although the low end cyclones can be as cheap as $600, the cyclone that I built is probably at the same level if not stronger than the Woodsucker II unit at @ $750, or Oneida units upwards of $1000. I am thrilled about this aspect of the project. I don’t have access to gauges and meters to give actual CFM readings or any other readings, but I can say that this unit’s suction is phenomenal, that it captures the fine dust at all my machines, and that it will also suck up some surprisingly large chunks of wood as well. However, a fellow woodworker has gotten in touch with me via email and has graciously offered to send me the necessary equipment to measure the power of this dust collector. I will post those figures if and when I have them.

Building a collector this size locked me in to running 6” to every machine, or else it wouldn’t be worth all the effort. The ducting cost over twice as much as the dust collector itself ($816)! And it would have cost much more had I not made my own blast gates and floor sweeps, not purchased as much as possible at the large home centers, and not had all the 4” blast gates, spiral pipe, elbows, and flex hose from my previous system. Without all these money savers, I expect I would have spent closer to $1300 on the ductwork alone. I never saw this ductwork figure coming – it crept up on me as I spent more and more for the network of ducts to reach every machine.

All in all, this was worth it. For one, I fulfilled a New Year’s resolution a month and a half after the new year – I really wanted and needed to upgrade this aspect of my shop. I think that it has increased the overall caliber of my workspace. Secondly, this will keep the surfaces of the shop as well as the entire household much cleaner…forever. Most importantly, I have taken an enormous step toward a safer environment for myself and my family. You can’t put a price on that. To be honest, I feel that I found the cheapest possible way to create an extremely effective system that meets all my needs and my family’s needs. And, it’s a conversation piece that will last a lifetime…

Thanks for visiting this page. I hope you have found my ramblings useful, and that this page might help you decide where you want to go in your dust collection adventure. I say go for it – spend some time and money and invest in shop safety and cleanliness – you’ll be more than happy with the results. Good luck.

...Steve Silca
ssilca @ depauw . edu

(remove the spaces)


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