Cyclone separator diy

Cyclone separator diy DEFAULT

Build your own cyclone separator

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All DIY-ers know the problem of clogged vacuum filters or overflowing vacuum bags in the workshop vacuum cleaner.

Just when you are about to give the final touches to your job, the vacuum begins to fail.

A remedy to this problem could be a pre-filter that not only filters coarse dirt, but also a large part of the fine dust and routes the "dirt" into a separate container. There is less load on the vacuum filter and the vacuum bags thanks to this prefiltering. We are talking here of what is called a cyclone separator. We will show you, how you can make your own cyclone separator, that will help you not only save money and but will also spare you some stress...

Cyclone separator principle

Before actually beginning to build one, we would like to give you a brief overview of the principle on which the cyclone separator works. The cyclone separator is a somewhat large upright pipe, which has a connection on the side for the suction hose and a connection for the vacuum cleaner, through a lid on the top. Under the separator, there is a container that is connected to the pipe, into which the dirt falls.

The vacuum cleaner creates a low pressure in this structure, which creates a counter balance through the vacuum cleaner outlet. The chips get sucked in and fall in the pipe, Because the connection is on the side, the chips hit against the wall of the pipe and are slowed down. They fall into the container due to gravity and are not captured by the suction hose above. Simple and very effective!

Material list

  • 18 mm multiplex birch wood
  • a plastic  drum or glue wood , OSB or plywood panels for a collecting container
  • water outlet pipe 250 mm diameter around 300 mm length
  • PVC pipe 50 mm diameter
  • PVC angled tube 50 mm diameter
  • 1 piece wooden beam around 70x70 mm and 140 mm long
  • Assembly adhesive
  • Wood glue
  • Screws

Tool list

  • cordless drill
  • router (optional, but ideal)
  • cordless jig saw or band saw
  • multitool or hand-/ hacksaw
  • drill hole (51 mm)
  • bench drill (optional)
  • ruler and angle (geometry set square will also work)
  • pencil
  • folding rule

Structure of cyclone separator

The body

You can cut the 250 pipe to the right length using the jig saw, or like I did, with the table circular saw and sliding table.

You can also get such a pipe in a construction materials shop or a civil engineering firm, which have such small pieces lying around as sections.

The lid

A router is best suited to make the lid. You will need a simple template and the copy sleeve of your router. You can use this to first cut a circular groove that is the wall thickness of the pipe and properly cut the lid one centimetre from the edge of the groove.

For the groove, I set the router depth to approx. 10 mm and it took me three passes to shape it.

The template

For the template, you will just need an approx. 1 centimetre thick small board. On one side, drill a hole whose size is the outer diameter of the copy sleeve. If you do not have a suitable drill bit, take the largest drill bit you have and enlarge the hole with a round file. Now measure from the outer margin of your groove the radius of the circle that has to be shaped and drive through a nail. The nail is now the centre of the circle.

The advantage of this type of template is that you can turn the router within the hole. In this way you avoid the clutter of cables and tubes.

If you do not have a router, you can first cut a round lid that is one centimeter larger than the diameter of the pipe. Then cut another lid, which corresponds to the inner diameter of the pipe and glue both the lids together. 

The suction hose

For the suction hose, use the hole saw to make a suitable hole in the middle of the lid for the PVC pipe. 

To fasten the suction hose, you must glue one or two reinforcement rings. Make another hole in a multiplex piece and then place a ring some 20 mm around the hole. You can do this with the band saw but a jig saw will also work very well. I have, in addition to this, made a 50 mm hole on a square board, glued on a ring and drilled 5 mm holes for screws. The suction hose should go approx. 200 mm into the body. At the end of the pipe a wooden plate with 200 mm diameter is screwed. To screw the plate at the end of the pipe, you can take one of the sawed pieces from the hole saw and glue it along with a wooden dowel in the middle of the wooden panel.

The section should pass through the suction hose tightly, if required, mill it properly. You must beforehand also cut the suction slot in the pipe. For this, cut a 100 mm long slot in the middle of the pipe. The width of the slot should be a little over a third of the pipe's circumference.

The pipe is stable enough to hold the plate and in spite of that there is still enough air coming through. We will first put aside the finished pieces.

The hose connection

Let's start with the slightly more complicated part: the connection for the vacuum cleaner hose. This must be exactly tangential to the inner wall of the body, so that the vacuumed material is guided along the wall. Any unevenness leads to turbulence, which can then be absorbed via the vacuum cleaner directly through the intake manifold. To do this we take our section of the 70 wooden beam and drill a centring hole with a 6 mm drill from both ends. Now we saw the hole for the pipe with the hole saw or a suitable Forstner drill. The piece of wood should later sit flush with the body. For this we have to mark the outer radius for the wood and the inner radius for the connecting pipe.

Now put the suction pipe for the vacuum cleaner connection and fix it on both sides with thin wooden wedges, so that it does not shift during the subsequent sawing. Saw off the rounding for the inner radius with a band saw or a jigsaw. Then pull the pipe out of the wood and saw along the marking for the outer radius. To transfer the opening to the body, you can apply a piece of paper to the curve of the block of wood and use a pencil to take on the inner contour. So that the paper does not always slip, the use of spray adhesive, which you spray onto the paper and allow to dry briefly, is recommended. Use a sharp knife to cut out the inner contour and transfer it to the body. Now drill a hole and saw out the opening with the jigsaw.

For the final details, it is best to work with a file and sandpaper. Now you can secure the piece of wood with assembly adhesive and screws inserted from the inside. You also insert the tube into the piece of wood using plenty of mounting glue. Make sure it is flush with the body and work with sandpaper if necessary. Everything has to be completely sealed later.

When the mounting glue is dry, you can put all parts of the cover together. First glue the suction tube and the reinforcing rings together. Make sure everything is angled.

Once everything is secure, insert the suction pipe into the hole from the cover and screw the plate into it with four screws. Then attach the lower wooden plate to the intake pipe with two screws.

Now you can put the whole construction into the pipe, i.e. the body and fasten from the top with four screws. As the pipe has a wall thickness of approx. 10 mm this does not pose a problem.

The collection vessel

A good option is a 60-litre plastic clamping ring drum. The disadvantage of such a vessel is the fact that it contracts rather quickly in the generated negative pressure. A rigid vessel is therefore a better option. I have just made myself a wooden box for this purpose, where I can open a door and insert a refuse sack.

The wooden box must of course also be sealed. To ensure this, I have provided wooden slats inside as a stop for the door, which I have stuck with sealing tape.

A hole corresponding to the inner diameter of the body is cut in the upper cover of the box with the jigsaw. The chips should later be able to fall through the hole unhindered. You can also use the router again here. To achieve a bit more stability, I have provided a plate at the top and bottom from the leftover wooden box with a corresponding hole. The hole in the bottom plate corresponds to the inner diameter of the tube and thus serves as a support.

The refuse sack is later hung in a ring and inserted between two strips. I glued the strips on the inside and pinned them with a compressed air pistol.

The ring for the refuse sack can be bent out of thick wire; that's stable enough.


Finally, the tube comes on the cover and is glued with assembly adhesive. Pay attention to where the connections point so that you do not have problems with the hoses later. Incidentally, I've screwed four rolls under my collection vessel, so I'm flexible.

Your cyclone separator is now ready to use! The vacuum cleaner is connected at the top and the suction hose at the front.

If your construction does not have enough suction power, you should seal the inner edges of the collection vessel with silicone. After the "air leaks" are eliminated, the extraction system works really well!


Adding A Pre-Separator To Your Dust Collection System

Adding a pre-separator to your single-stage dust collector will save you time and money. It’ll save you time because it’s a lot easier to empty one of these than the lower, or “chip,” bag of a bag-over- bag collector. It’ll save you money in the long run: Your dust collector will last longer since the impeller won’t be under a constant barrage of heavy chips, or damaging bits of metal such as the occasional screw or nail that finds its way to the floor. And it will allow your filter bags to do their real job—filter out dust, not collect chips. 

As I discussed in Chapter 1, a filter bag loses its ability to filter efficiently as the lower bag fills up, because as it fills, the filter surface area shrinks. Less filter, same pressure—more blow-through. This occurs at a much slower rate when you’ve got a pre-separator attached between the ductwork and the collector. Note: Here again, this pre-separator will add resistance to your system. Typically, it’ll add anywhere from 2” to 3” of static pressure loss. 

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How to build a 99% efficient Cyclone Dust Collector

This applies more to the SO3 than the Nomad since the SO3 can fill up a shop vac in a relatively short time. However, a smaller version would be helpful for the Nomad also…


  1. The 5 gallon bucket is very easy to empty
  2. You can see when the bucket is getting full
  3. Your vacuum filter will last 50x as long before it needs to be cleaned or replaced
  4. Its more fun to make chips when you can watch them spin in circles around a translucent bucket :wink:

Video of the cyclone in action here

WARNING: A cyclone is very good at removing particles 5 microns and larger which are the ones you can see. Cyclones are terrible at removing particles less than 0.5 microns… and these are the ones that get deep into your lungs and cause long term heart and lung issues over time… So, never use a cyclone without a good (80% or better for 1 micron or smaller particles) filter on your vacuum or dust collector downstream.

If you aren’t familiar with how cyclones work the vacuum cleaner attaches to the top center and pulls air up the center of the clear cylindrical tube. This causes a vacuum vortex to form in the clear cylinder which pulls air in from the hose attached to the side of the cylinder (you sweep up your mess with this hose). The debris enters the cylinder and spins at a high velocity and moves down to the bottom at the same time, emptying the debris into the bucket. The air in the bucket is also spinning which keeps the heavier particle trapped near the outside diameter because of centrifugal forces. The air returns up the center and to the vacuum cleaner through the center tube at the top of the cylinder. Its not exactly intuitive to understand at first but after you see some illustrations on YouTube you can get a good feel for how everything works, if you care to.

I made this cyclone using a 22 quart translucent bucket from Amazon ($12)

The two boards are 3/4" plywood. MDF or anything will work. I just had some ply laying around so that’s what I used. The bottom board has a 7" diameter hole cut in the center and a dado cut around the bottom side that aligns it to the top of the bucket. I spread caulk in the dado and put it on the bucket to form a shape that allows it to seal from the vacuum pressure created when operating (I.E. no latches required if you aren’t going to move it around). My caulk seal was sloppy and could be done much better but it works so I didn’t redo it.

The clear tube is a sheet of 0.070" thick polycarbonate. It inserts into a groove in the grey 3D printed cone shown under it. I solvent bonded them together. The gray rings help the Polycarb tube stay somewhat round but they don’t work very well. I should have used a thinner material for the cyclinder which would have made it MUCH easier to work with. The top wood plate has a 3/8" circular pocket to hold the top of the Polycarbonate round. I expected to have to make changes to this design so I just duct taped everything together. However, it works so well i’ll probably just leave it alone and focus on more important things.

The red vacuum port at the center top is a 3D printed part that includes air straightening vanes inside to help reduce pressure losses. Its also a " bell" shape which may or may not make it more effective.

The piece that mounts the vacuum hose to the side of the Polycarbonate cylinder is another 3D printed part but it wasn’t very strong and didn’t transition well so I ended up using a LOT of duct tape there. I think a 3D milled assembly would work much better there. Feel free to post better designs here. I encourage collaboration to make these designs better for all of us.

.STL files attached CYCLONE SYSTEM STL (1.2 MB)

I suggest NOT using the Inlet Port design and use 0.030" thick PETG for the vertical clear tube. The “Tube Ring” is designed so that two of them can be printed at once.



4" DIY Dust Separator Cyclone Kit

If you've ever wanted a cyclonic dust separator but didn't want to invest in a large dedicated cyclonic system, or didn't like the readymade aftermarket options available for one reason or another, the Infinity Tools 4" DIY Dust Separator Cyclone Kit might be the solution you're looking for. This kit turns virtually any container** into a cyclonic separator that can be attached to your 4" dust collector. The kit includes easy to understand instructions, cutting and drilling templates, and all necessary mounting hardware, so will be up and running in no time.


  • (2) 4" flanged straight ports for mounting to the top of the lid
  • (2) 4" flanged curved ports for mounting to the bottom of the lid
  • (2) 4" keyed hose clamps for quick, tool-free hose attachment
  • Drilling and cutting templates 
  • All necesssary mounting hardware included

**Note: while a standard lidded round trashcan will work, we have found the most effective containers to be locking, gasketed drums (steel, plastic, or fiber). The tighter the seal, the less suction will be lost in the cyclone chamber. When purchasing this type of drum make sure you get an "open" style head, as a "closed" style will not allow you to mount the ports or easily empty the container when full. If using a standard trashcan, try to find one with a lid that is as flat as possible, as it will allow the port flanges to conform more closely to the lid.


Diy cyclone separator

Introduction: DIY: Cyclone Dust Separator From Two Buckets

This time I'll show you, how to make a cyclone dust separator from two buckets.

How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions bellow.

For this project you will need:


two buckets (bigger and smaller)

Epoxy glue

16mm plywood

16mm long wood screws


50mm of diameter PVC pipe and 30 degrees elbow


Jig saw

Drill and bits


Utility knife

Step 1: Preparation

For this build I'll use one bigger bucket with cover and second smaller bucket.
Big bucket will be container for sawdust and shavings, meantime smaller bucket - will be acting as cyclone dust separator.

To join them together I made a ring from 16mm plywood. Marked bucket outline. Eye balled and draw a second line to form 25mm ring. Drilled two, 50mm of diameter holes and marked baffle line. All was cut with a jig saw. That’s how they are looking.

Step 2: In Progress

Marked a surface on a bucket cover, which will be cut out later. Also marked a line, which indicates thickness of plywood. This will be a guide to drill and screw ring to the bucket. Used 16mm wood screws with flat head.

With utility knife cut a hole in bucket cover. Clamped, predrilled holes for screws and marked cover position. To get tight seal, I used silicone. Also applied silicon between bucket and plywood ring. Nice, tight seal.

Step 3: The Inlet

To make dust inlet, I used 50mm of diameter and 30 degrees PVC elbow.
Drilled a hole in a bucket, marked reference lines and with utility knife shaved it to proper shape. I repeat it few times until I get tight fit.

Drilled 3mm hole in elbow and regarding that - drilled a hole in a bucket.This will be a fixing point. In opposite elbow side, drilled 7mm hole, to be able to reach wood screw with a screw driver. Used small piece of plywood and tight up all together.

Step 4: Vac Connection Point and Baffle

On top of bucket, drilled 50mm hole to prepare connection for a vac hose.
From 16mm plywood made an adapter for 50mm PVC pipe. Drilled 4 holes, applied silicone and screwed in place. Time to measure a good place for baffle and screw it in place. Holds very firmly.

Step 5: Last Step

With two components epoxy glue sealed PVC pipe and bucket joint line.
For vac connection cut 85mm of PVC pipe. Used silicone to glue and seal it in place. And that’s it, cyclone dust separator is finished. Total separator height is 52cm.

Step 6: My Vac With Cyclone Inside

I’m using small, but powerful vac which already have a small cyclone inside. The problem is, that dust container is
ridiculous to small for woodworking. That’s the main reason, why I build this separator.

Step 7: Testing..

It’s time to test, does it works at all.
I cleaned my miter saw workplace. This separator won't reduce suction power, so I’m very have with that. The only question is - what about efficiency?

Vac dust container looks nice and clean like before. That means, all the sawdust must be in the bucket. I’m really excited with that cyclone efficiency.

Step 8: Conclusion

This cyclone dust separator let me to use my small vacuum cleaner with no power loss. Also will keep it running without filling up dust container and clogging internal filters.

2 People Made This Project!

Did you make this project? Share it with us!


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How to Make Cyclone Dust Collector for Vacuum Cleaner at home

15 Cheap DIY Dust Collector Plans

Having a tough time cleaning your woodworking shops? Want to save your lungs from the airborne dust that often makes you feel suffocating? Then go with these 15 easy to make and cheap DIY dust collector plans that will help you easily clean your workshop and will provide so many different structure modules to choose from. Most of these DIY dust collector projects involve using the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector. Use the trash cans, barrels, and 55-gallon drums to attach as giant collectors, and you will get the amazing guides for using the best filters that will not let the filters or hoses clogged. Do you want to build your own cyclone dust collector?

Just browse this collection of 15 DIY dust collector ideas that are impressive, cost-efficient, power-saving and will not be too loud to cause pain in your ears. Time to make it super easy to clean space by quick dust extraction and separation. These DIY dust collector plans will provide step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and even video tutorials to build one stage or two-stage cyclone dust collection like a pro.

15 Cheap DIY Dust Collector Plans - DIY Cyclone Dust Collector

Get the best out of your plastic buckets by making a dust collector, use 1 or 2 buckets to build a dust collector, will just work fine. You will get a whole bag of tricks too about how to upgrade a dust collector so it will work fine for the current situations. Don’t buy the expensive dust collection as you can make them at home with the same functional behaviors. These DIY cyclone dust collector projects will provide all the tips to build a lovely one in no time.

Explore these “150 Simple Woodworking Projects for Beginners” to craft anything for your home.

1. DIY Wall Mount Dust Collector

DIY Wall Mount Dust Collector

Make it super quick and easy to clean your home with this wall mount dust collector. Grab the Harbor Freight 2HP Dust Collector Motor with a 0.5-micron canister filter to make this wall mount dust collect. Next, you need custom filters, expandable dust hose, and miter saw dust collector, etc. to make it. thehandymans

2. Build a See-Through Cyclone Dust Separator

Build a See Through Cyclone Dust Separator

Get here free plans to build a custom DIY cyclone dust collector, will surely impress with its super functional behavior. Make the dust collector using plywood, a trash can, and custom pipe fittings. Next, add it up with a normal shop vacuum to make this see-through cyclone dust collector. makezine

3. DIY Cyclone Dust Collector System

DIY Cyclone Dust Collector System

Get here a free plan to build a quick DIY cyclone dust collector system, will give a big helping hand in home cleaning. Build this cyclone dust collector using a shop vacs, and this will not let the filters clogged but will keep them running smoothly. Time to save a lot of home cleaning time using this system. imgur

4. Cyclone Chip Separator for a Dust Collector

Cyclone Chip Separator for a Dust Collector

If you are having dust allergy, then time to keep your lungs safe from the airborne dust using this cyclone chip separator will help keep your home clean and tidy. This system uses a 2HP model from the Harbor Freight and uses the plastic drums as trash cans. One of the best DIY Dust Collector. Details here instructables

5. Dust Extraction for Home Workshops

Dust Extraction for Home Workshops

Save a lot of home or shop cleaning time with this dust extraction, made for home workshops. It is super quick to compose, and the whole system will cost you much less. Grab the rigid 4-gallon shop vac and a mini DIY cyclone dust collector to build this dust extraction system. Details here woodworkingfor

6. Homemade Small Dust Collector

Homemade Small Dust Collector

This dust collector is small but is fully functional. It will not consume so much power and with being much silent while cleaning your home. On the other hand, shop vacs make great noise and consume too much power. This system is based on a 1/3HP motor and works really fine. Details here woodgears

7. Dust Collector System

Dust Collector System

One will surely fall in love with this dust collector system that is super budget-friendly to build also. It is well-engineered and will allow you in easy dust extraction and separation. The system will rock to collect the dust on a router table, table saw, and other woodworking tools of this kind. Details here diybuilds

8. 2 Stage Harbor Freight Dust Collector

2 Stage Harbor Freight Dust Collector

Check out here another harbor freight model of DIY Dust Collector will surely impress with its creative design. This is here a 2 Stage Harbor Freight dust collector, and it features a super dust deputy cyclone. A highly functional model of the dust collector to make in no time. Details here youtube

9. Cheapest DIY Dust Collection System

Cheapest DIY Dust Collection System

Make some cheap investments like $5 and build most of this DIY Dust Collection System, will be magical in quick home cleaning. You need a bucket and a couple of plastic pipes to make this dust collector, will rock for any office or workshop. It uses an old ship vacs filter and will work up super quickly. youtube

10. Cyclone Dust Collector

Cyclone Dust Collector

This dust collector is an amazing transformation and is super quick to build also. Just grab the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector and then convert it into 2 stage cyclone separator using a piece of 24 gauge sheet metal, 55-gallon barrel, and some scrap wood. Details here diybuilds

11. Simple Cyclone Dust Collector

Simple Cyclone Dust Collector

Build this fantastic cyclone dust collector using 2 buckets, ABS pipe, ABS connectors, and rubber caps and elbows. This dust collector is super functional and will save you a lot of money for sure. A one of the best cyclone dust collector system to make at home in just no time. Details here youtube

12. Harbor Freight Dust Collector

Harbor Freight Dust Collector

Get here the step-by-step instructions about how to update a Harbor Freight Dust Collector model so it will work in a more amazing way. This quick makeover requires to use the Super Dust Deputy XL From Oneida Air Systems. You also need a 55-gallon barrel for this dust collector. grayhousestud

13. Cyclone Dust Collector from Two Buckets

Cyclone Dust Collector from Two Buckets

Get here step-by-step instructions to build a quick dust collector from two buckets, will surely impress at a very first look. Just put together the 2 buckets with custom fittings and install a vacuum to get it working. Use a lot of scrap wood to build the complete structure model. Details here youtube

14. Handmade Dust Collector

Handmade Dust Collector

Willing to get your workshop neat and clean? Then do build this dust collector using a Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector, wynn environmental filter cartridge, trash can, trash can cyclone lid, dust collection hose, and custom hose clamps. Do get the free instructions here to build this DIY dust collector. thehandymans

15. DIY Tyler Dust Collector

DIY Tyler Dust Collector

Get here the free step-by-step video instruction about how to build a 1 stage or two-stage dust collector that will help clean your wood workshop quickly and easily. You will get the pro tips here about how to build a custom model and how to upgrade a model to perform in a custom way. Details here youtube


Do you take great pleasure in doing woodworking projects? Then you will surely be having a lot of wood dust in your workshop. Sorting out the best ways to keep your workshop neat and clean? Then you only need a heavy-duty dust collector, and you can really buy them expensive. If you are afraid buying a custom one will break your bank, then consider making a custom one at home without getting expensive. Look through these DIY Dust Collector Projects that too creative to win one’s heart and will give you a big helping hand in easy cleaning of your workshops.

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