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Dust collection on the CHEAP - ideas?

2655 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  pianotuner
First of all, I do not have a dedicated shop. I have a small workshop in the basement of my home.

I am in need of a way to collect dust and get it out of the house so that it doesn't infiltrate into other rooms. (Namely my wife's office which is directly above as she works from home) This shop doesn't get daily use. It is just the occasional project here and there. I have been using an old central vac unit, but it has died and there are no motor replacements available that I can find. (It was a 1950's unit)

I just dont' think I can swing a full fledged dust collection system right now. I do have a big 'ol shop vac with suction and blower ports. I'm thinking of just removing the filter and connecting the blower port to a PVC pipe that exhausts to the exterior of the home. That way anything I suck up will exit the home with any larger pieces/chunks getting trapped in the shopvac.

Any thoughts on why this would be a bad idea? Or other inexpensive ideas?

At least until I can come across a good used system for a good price.

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You definitely don't want to exhaust the dust to the outside. If you do you'll realize you greatly underestimated how even a little bit of sawdust will coat everything. :)

You can find lids for garbage cans / buckets that work pretty well as a pre-stage in dust collection. The advantage here is that you can still easily disconnect your shop vac for more directed cleanup.
So, the shop vac looks like it will work quite well. I just need to add a second cyclonic barrel to collect most of the debris before it gets to the shop vac.

Thanks for the link to the google search Chagrin! The obvious is such a great thing!
yeah running that shop vac with no filter will clog the little blade in seconds. then you got to take it apart and clean it out
One such cyclonic pre-vac stage is the Dust Deputy from I haven't used it, but I have built the same thing in principle a couple times. I once had a 55 gal barrel cut to 2/3 height that had a 2 stage cyclonic separation and on-board vacuum head with regular filter. Only thing that ever have it to the filter was powder finer than flour. I also now own Bissel's version of the Dyson bagless upright and have used it several times to draw the dust off the belt sander when I had to use it in the house, it did a great job of collecting the dust with minimal clogging of the filters.
Simplest way I have seen is a box fan with a furnace filter taped on!
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