Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Cyclonic Thoughts

Lately, I’ve been thinking and Keeking about dust extraction in my workshop. I’ve twice had to endure the dreaded bag-change on my large chip extractor during the process of making these chopping boards, which are very near to completion. At the other end of the workshop, I’ve been experiencing a long-term drop in suction, between my vacuum extractor and bandsaw, which suggests air or pressure is being lost within the Triton Dust Bucket.

Extraction setup for fine dust particles.

While investigating this without finding a single leak (by hand), I decided I would build a new stand for the dust bucket. In the photo above, it’s resting on an damp-ridden MDF construction that I’ve never fitted in my Workmate as a height-adjustable outfeed support… This has often been slightly too high, with the hose fouling the locking lever for the bandsaw’s rip fence.

Framing the Dust Bucket.

Using 3x3in offcuts from my fence repair job, I was able to construct a new stand with glue and screws. I did knock the edge off my weeks-old bandsaw blade by feeding it an embedded rusty nail but I now have a structure that prevents the lightweight drum from tipping over when after it’s been emptied.

Right at home.

I do think it all looks a bit neater and the hose no longer gets in the way of my rip fence. Still, that doesn’t address the issues surrounding the severe loss of suction…

Filter on the lid’s underside.

That photo was taken when I first bought the DCA300 Dust Bucket a couple of years ago now. You can see the filter that fits on to the underside of the lid. In my experience, this becomes clogged up too fast and too easily, which certainly contributes to the drop in suction. After clearing this dust away, I found that the suction improved greatly. Of course, that no means that all of the fine dust has made its way in to my vacuum, which is precisely what these units are intending to stop.

So, I’m thinking of upgrading the dust bucket to include a 50mm cyclone kit from Cyclone Central (as soon as they become available). I read lots of the cyclone systems before and never saw them as necessary. Now, I think I understand that they replace the ‘need’ for a filter, as all the very fine particles hang around within the cyclone unit and only follow the larger particles down in to the collection bin once the vacuum or extractor is switched off. In short; no dust should escape the cyclone to reach your extractor.

It could mean modifying (and potentially, ruining) the original orange lid. Perhaps I’ll even make a new one from MDF. For only £55 (plus postage and the optional accessories), I think it would be money very well spent, when you add up the costs of materials and time otherwise. These kits are all cut on CNC machinery as well.

Thanks for reading.

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