Homemade Cyclone Dust Collection System

Part 4: Installation

by Steve Silca

I bought the bin from Oneida since it was the ideal size (a low height yet it still has a pretty decent capacity (35 gallon)), its top was self-sealing, it was cheap, and there was free shipping from Oneida. I cut a hole in the top myself. I used a 6" starter collar, cut tabs in it, riveted it into place, and sealed it up tight with epoxy.

Motor mounted to motor mounting board.
Note that all bolt heads are recessed.

The motor was mounted to the motor-mounting board first (see blower page), and the hole where the arbor pokes through was sealed with silicone.








2x4 Hangers

Original Installation

As the pictures show, originally the motor-mounting board was attached to two 2x4's in the rafters. The bolts that mounted this board to the 2x4's had to be recessed since the top of the blower housing would sandwich right up against this board (see picture above). The motor mounting board was connected to the 2x4's in the rafters with four 3/8" bolts and 8 nuts for safety sake (don't want these things vibrating loose). I bought 8 anti-vibration pads from McMaster-Carr, drilled 3/8" holes in them, sandwiched one between the motor mounting board and the 2x4's, and put one on top of the 2x4's between them and the 3/8" nut/washer that pulls the motor mounting board up tight against the 2x4's. The idea was to make a break in the wood-wood and metal-wood connections, which would help isolate vibration and keep it out of the rafters.

Impeller mounted to motor in rafters.
The space between the plywood and the 2x4's
is from the anti-vibration pads

Then, the impeller was slipped over the bushing and tightened in place (with lock-tite on the set screws) about 1" below the surface of the motor board. This would put it right where it needed to be in the blower housing.

Note heads of screws that attach
blower housing to top of cyclone.

Since I had a 14" diameter access hole on top of the blower, I first attached the circular piece of plywood within the top of the cyclone with screws from the outside. Then, I set the blower on top of the cyclone making sure the outlet pipe in the cyclone lined up with the blower inlet, and that the bottom of the blower sat flat on the top of the cyclone. I screwed from the top down - through the bottom of the blower to the top of the cyclone - since this was easy to do through the 14 " access hole. I put a bead of silicone around the outside of the cyclone cylinder where it meets the blower housing.



Notice foam on top of blower housing
to seal against motor mounting board

Finally, I bought 50' of " foam strip that is about 3/8" thick before compression from McMaster-Carr. I put a circle of this around the 14 " diameter hole that would compress up against the motor-mounting board and seal that joint, yet still allow it to be taken apart. You can see this piece of foam in the picture of the blower on top of the cyclone. At this point, the blower/cyclone assembly was bolted to the motor mounting board with four 3/8" bolts and fender washers. These bolts were tightened well enough to significantly compress the foam on top of the blower.

Unfortunately, when the dust collector was turned on for the first time, I discovered that the anti-vibration pads were utterly useless. They reduced vibration slightly to be sure, but the entire area around the dust collector vibrated like crazy when this thing was on. The master bedroom is located right above the shop, so this would not do.

I pondered making a big stand and mounting the whole thing right to the cement floor. This would interfere with emptying the bin, however. So, I decided to fashion wall hangers out of angle iron. This would allow me to bolt the unit to the poured basements walls, which would eliminate vibration in the rafters above and diminish the overall cacophonic sound this unit sends through the house. See the discussion below for details on the Second Installation.

Once the cyclone was in place it was just a matter of connecting it to the ductwork, and using about an 8” piece of 6” flex to connect it to the drum. I have yet to experiment with lining the bin with a bag so it is even easier to empty the dust, but I plan to soon. I used about two feet of 6” flex to connect to the right end of the filter housing. However, I found in my attic several lengths of 6” flexible insulated ductwork, and thought about using this to connect the blower to the filter. This is supposed to reduce the noise by about 5-8 decibels. It wasn’t terribly loud in the shop, only in the room above where everything was vibrating since the motor was mounted in the rafters. Once this problem was solved with the wall hangers, sound throughout the house was greatly reduced. As well, when I put my ear to the blower, it seems to me that more noise emanates right from the actual blower (right through the sheet metal sides of the housing) rather than coming out the blower outlet and through the clear 6” flex hose. So, it didn’t seem to me that changing the hose which connects the blower to the filter was not going to significantly reduce noise. I have elected not to experiment with the insulated duct muffler.


Second Installation

Wall brackets with a close-up of the welded joints

The impeller falling off the motor gave me additional motivation to redo the installation to eliminate the vibration. As mentioned, I used angle iron to create basic 90 degree angle brackets capable of supporting the entire weight of the cyclone and blower (this probably amounts to around 100 lbs.). I used Tap-con screws to attach 2x4’s to the cement wall – I had to do this because my mounting procedure had to span the window opening you can see in the pictures. I made the brackets in my shop, bolted them together, ensured that they were the right size, and took them to my machinist friend to weld all the joints. This may or may not have been necessary, but it will make this set-up even more secure. The 2x4’s and the brackets were painted the same machinery grey as the cyclone.

It’s difficult to get into the details of this second installation, but hopefully the pictures and my explanation will help a little. The angle brackets had to be far enough away from each other so that the blower housing can fit between them. For me, this meant about 27”. Now, the motor mounting board is not nearly that long, so I had to effectively extend the motor mounting board so it would reach the brackets. For this I used 2 1/4” solid oak, since these would bear the weight of the entire dust collector, and put the unit at about the same height it was at before.

Motor board mounted to oak hangers with anti-vibration pads

Notice some bolt ends cut off
so they don't hit oak hanger

I first mounted these two oak hangers to the motor mounting board using Grade 8 bolts, the anti-vibration pads, and two nuts for security (see top picture at the side). Then, I drilled 3/8” holes at the two ends of each oak hanger, lifted that assembly, held it in its place between the brackets, marked a hole on each bracket where the new 3/8” holes were located on the hangers, drilled the four holes on the brackets, and bolted the oak hangers to the wall brackets.

Note that some of the long bolts that squeeze the blower housing together had to be cut off on the top so they didn’t protrude above the motor mounting board and run into the oak hangers (see bottom picture).

Motor & impeller mounted to new wall brackets

At this point, the procedure was the same as it was during the original installation. I attached the impeller (this time with hardened steel set screws and a roll pin – see the Blower page), affixed the blower housing/cyclone assembly to the motor mounting board, and connected the cyclone to the collection bin, filter housing, and the network of ducts throughout the shop.




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© 2003 by Steve Silca . All rights reserved.
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