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Use table & radial arm saws to cut lumber to proper widths & lengths for parts (A), (F), (G), (H), (I) & (J). Use power miter saw to cut the side cove moldings (C) to 45 degrees for the front corners and 90 degrees on the other ends so they will fit flush to the wall.
Use a power miter saw to cut both ends of the front cove molding (B) to 45 degrees and then glue and nail into position. Use a power miter saw to cut the side crown moldings (E) to 45 degrees for the front corners and 90 degrees on the other ends so they will fit flush to the wall.
Use a power miter saw to cut both ends of the front crown molding (D) to 45 degrees and then glue and nail to front nailer (H) and side crown moldings (E). If stain is desired, apply with a brush and allow to penetrate 5-10 minutes and then remove excess with a clean rag.
Wood fireplace mantel shelf design and finish changes can be made to fit your personal needs and preferences.
Mantel dimension changes may be required to fit the size of your fire place and firebox opening. This striking porch swing offers style and comfort when you want to relax after a hard days work. Repeat step #1 for seat supports (D), rear vertical supports (G), arm rests (H), and arm rest brackets (J). Transfer the pattern enlargements onto poster board, and use a pair of scissors to cut out the patterns. Measure 1" from both ends of each back slat (C), and using a pencil and a try square, draw lines around all four surfaces. Tilt the radial arm saw blade to 15 degrees to cut the notch and the rear end of arm rests (H). Use a drill press and a 1" diameter Foerstner Bit to drill two holes in the top of the arm rests (H).
Finish sand all parts with an orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper after the assembly procedure. Place wood glue in the mortise holes of the bottom back rail (B) and us a wooden mallet to tap in the back slats (C). Align the two front seat braces (E) with the center seat support (D) and mark them for the placement of the dowel pins (X). Place glue into the dowel pin holes of the inner end of each front seat support (D) and tap in the 1" dowel pins (X). Place glue on the ends of the top back rail (A) and the bottom back rail (B), and align them with the two rear vertical supports (G). Place the first seat slat (F) into position on the seat supports (D) and counter sink three holes in the seat slat and seat supports. Add decorative pebbles, rocks, pine cones, or whatever to make your terrarium look like a little garden world. One of the more interesting projects that Brookforge has taken on recently was a Submarine Test Tank. As the tank is for testing new pieces of under water equipment, provisions had to be taken for the possibility of oil leaks within the pool.
Directional water jets opposite the skimmers help direct any surface contaminants towards the skimmers. This web page provides general information on cyclone design, a detailed dimensioned drawing you can use to build your own cyclone from my plans, a spreadsheet that will let you design larger and smaller cyclones of this same design, and some of the details that led to developing this cyclone design. One of my most frequently emailed questions is why should I use your cyclone design when virtually every other small shop cyclone gets high magazine ratings and praise?
Like most others I stupidly threw money at my dust collection problem and ended up very unhappy. I am very stubborn and did not want to give up either my three generations of tools or my favorite hobby in spite of my doctors saying no more woodworking until I did not have such strong allergic reactions. Since I did that work in early 2000, our small shop market continues to be dominated by the same high budget advertisers whose focus is to sell equipment not provide health protection. Since 2000 over twenty thousand small shop users have built or purchased my cyclone design. I built my first cyclone in about 1995 using plans from Shop Notes magazine and it worked terribly.
The best improvement in airflow came from adding Jim Halbert's "neutral vane" which reduced horsepower needs by reducing the cyclone internal turbulence. With a choice of giving up on a forty plus year woodworking hobby, I chose to spend my recovery time putting my three engineering degrees to work. I went back to the basic swirl tube separation physics and cyclone design theory to come up with my own cyclone separator design.
Airspeed measured in feet per minute (FPM) defines what size and weight of chip we can pickup. Air volume measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) defines how big of an area we can collect over.
Unfortunately, most large stationary tools found in small shops are older designs that only have good "chip collection" built in. Ducting size is easily calculated once we know the FPM airspeed and CFM air volume requirements. Filter monitoring is done with a pressure gauge and recording the filter resistance after every cleaning. Filter rating is done in a variety of ways, but ASHRAE writes the rules for rating indoor filters designed to protect our health. Filter sizing is generally done based on recommendations from the filter makers based upon the fineness of the filter, the amount of airflow and amount of dust to be filtered. Stock filters supplied by most small shop vendors end up being a mess of confused advertising and performance numbers. Fan Tables let us use our calculated high and low resistance levels in combination with our required airflow to choose a blower housing that is the right size, an impeller (fan) sized to meet our airflow needs, and the right size motor. Cyclone Sizing is then done by then feeding in our CFM, FPM, dust loading, dust weight, resistance, etc.
Cyclone Efficiency is something that these calculators will predict, but almost all typical woodworking cyclones that we see outside almost every large woodworking facility provide a 99.9% separation efficiency on wood dust particles sized 30-microns and larger. Although this 30-micron separation may be ideal efficiency for a woodworking cyclone that blows the fine dust away outside, it is a very poor choice for running our air through fine filters. So in conclusion we need a cyclone that minimizes air resistance and maximizes how much of the fine dust it separates. Applying what I learned to the available small shop and even most larger facility cyclones showed woodworking fine dust collection is a mess. Every small shop vendor in 1999 sold cyclones with serious internal resistance problems that robbed about half the blower airflow, but even with the changes my friends and I came up with, but all other small shop cyclones continue to have such poor airflow, separation and filtering they often build dangerously high amounts of fine dust if vented indoors. This pushed me back into the basic separation physics literature of which a cyclone is a special case of a "swirl tube". Alf Toy does some work with making signs and suggests using the tough and long lasting sandblast resist sheets he uses in sign making to protect the inside wear spot on our cyclones.
Many just buy a small shop dust collector blower and use it to power their cyclone, but this is actually a very poor idea. I get a few people every week who want to power a cyclone with a typical air movement fan in the form of a big squirrel caged impeller, an inline duct fan, or a some kind of bladed fan. It seems only reasonable that the dust collector makers would sell just their motor blower units and maybe even sell a blower motor combination that was ideal for our cyclone sizing.
In addition to not offering very efficient blowers, you need to know most hobbyist blower vendors advertise extremes, not practical working efficiencies for motor horsepower and cubic feet per minute (CFM) output. CFM is a similar case of what you see advertised by the small shop vendors is not what you are going to get. The reality is something very simple that sadly many small shop vendors don't understand themselves.
Most have to use simple material movement impellers that are built like tanks to handle material hits from pieces of wood. These facts let you make an informed decision on what a blower can really produce instead of having to rely on totally useless sales claim information. Dust collector makers have to protect their motors from burning up when allowed to run wide open with no airflow restrictions. Building a blower is not too difficult and actually costs less than buying a far less powerful dust collector or commercial blower. After enough requests, I got serious about finding an impeller maker willing to supply top quality direct drive impellers that we can use to more optimally power our cyclones.
I've received so many questions on every detail of how to build the cyclone that I finally gave in and put up a detailed set of Cyclone Building Instructions - click here. A local sheet metal firm agreed to build the cyclone body in 24 gauge galvanized steel for $78, plus the cost of the steel. 2658 Square Feet (247 Square Meter) (295 Square Yards) 4 bedroom house design by Indlands Engineers & Builders, Kerala. Cute looking double storied house architecture in 1600 square feet (149 square meter) (178 square yards).
A custom made shelf mantle will adorn your fireplace and help achieve that special focal point of interest in your home. To be sure you are complying with the code, it is suggested that you check with your local Building & Safety Department. Also it is the perfect place to share a starry night with that special person in your life. For example, you could plant all succulents (including cactus), because they need very little water.
For example, aquarium of any size, goldfish bowl, cookie jar, pickle jar, vase with a broad bottom, brandy snifter, or even a shallow dish with a glass bowl turned upside-down over it.
When you remove them from their little pots, carefully tease the roots apart and remove some of the old soil so they will fit nicely in the terrarium. The container has just a small opening or sometimes even a lid to completely enclose the container.
Brookforge developed a sluice system using custom made skimmers that would remove the top layer of water quickly with minimal wastage. The plant room equipment included two twin multi cyclone systems that help remove debris from the water before entering the commercial filters.
The following Build Cyclone web page provides more detail on the steps to build this cyclone. The simple answer is my cyclone design moves more air, uses less power, and provides over five times better fine dust separation which is what we need if we are going to use filters fine enough to protect our health. I thought I did lots of homework and installed the top magazine rated cyclone with vendor designed and supplied ducting, plus vendor recommended fine filter upgrade.
Unlike most, my engineering background allowed me to do some serious testing then come up with my own far better fine dust separating cyclone design.
I oversaw the testing of every major brand and size of small shop cyclone during 2007 and 2008 and since 2000 have overseen four different magazine tests on dust collectors and cyclones. Not just first time cyclone users, but those who are on their second and third cyclone and have experience with high-end commercial cyclones all send letters and emails that greatly praise this design. Hayes wrote, "I use my large shop vacuum as my dust collector when turning batches of pens. Wang wrote, "Like you I bought a 3 hp top magazine rated cyclone and it did not collect the fine dust as well as my 1.5 hp dust collector it replaced.
As an incurable addict who has to figure out why something works poorly and needing to make repair I spent considerable wasted time researching, changing, and testing my existing expensive cyclone to try and improve its dismal airflow and separation efficiency.
When all was said and done I changed the cyclone dust chute outlet on the bottom of the cone, changed the cone angle, changed the cyclone diameter, changed the inlet size, changed to a rectangular inlet, changed the blower sizing and design, added a filter stack with lower cleanout, and changed the cyclone outlet tube to a more efficient size. I tilted the neutral vane inlet, added a helical baffle known as an air ramp, plus changed the inlet and cyclone geometry so the fine dust also got separated out. To use one of these spreadsheets you need to know the airspeed and air volume we will be working with, the amount of material to be separated, and the sizing of this material.
Because woodworking makes a range of chip sizes we normally pick the airspeed for the largest type of material we use. Air engineers have spent decades figuring out how to fix our older tools to get good fine dust collection. Every length of duct, duct fitting, tool hood, tool port, and filter will add some resistance. This fine dust trapped in our filter pores is made up of small sharp particles that will cut and tear their way through the filter matrix. ASHRAE requires indoor filters to be rated when clean and new which is when they pass the most air and the most fine dust.
Most small shop vendors advertise their filtering level not when clean and new as required by ASHRAE, but instead based on a fully seasoned filtering level which leaves our lungs doing the filtering for sometimes two years and more while the filter seasons. Good fan tables also tell us the correct diameter for our blower opening which is also the same size we should use for our ducting main.
Roughly 15% of all wood dust by weight is made up of these 30-micron and smaller airborne dust particles.
When I did my research there were no such cyclone designs available for woodworking and no other kinds of cyclones provided the needed airflow and separation efficiencies without using greatly oversized motors and blowers. Only a couple of the largest dust collection vendors that actually certify and regularly test their customer air quality after installing a dust collection system provide good fine dust collection. The top magazine recommended cyclone I installed in 1999 to protect my health less than two months later landed me in the hospital.
Reducing the cyclone height to fit it under an eight foot tall ceiling forces use of a prohibitively large motor. This information was not of that much help either because the traditional approach to getting better dust separation is to move the air faster. This much cleaner airflow allows this cyclone to provide a five times better fine dust separation efficiency.
Innumerable people have built and purchased little 6" diameter cyclones to use with their 2.5" heavy duty shop vacuums. He says, "We use this resist to mask off areas on sandblasted cedar signs and the same material is used with the even heavier sandblasting used to make granite gravestone markers. HVAC fans, evaporative water cooler fans and all different kinds of other bladed fans can easily move the 1000 CFM I recommend.
Most say they sell blowers separately, but only a few do, and those charge as much if not more than buying a whole dust collector.
Sadly, many of our small shop vendors rate their compressor motors like their shop vacuum motors based on how much they pull during startup. Current truth in advertising allows anyone to claim whatever they can show if even for only an instant. Performance for small shop blowers almost always comes down to one simple thing, the diameter of the impeller. With all virtually identical in performance, you can look at a good ACMA certified fan curve table for an industrial blower with the same size impeller running at 3450 RPM.


PSI, Grizzly, and Delta are known to build in restriction into some of their dust collector inlets to prevent this problem, but others put a caution in very fine print that says the warranty is void if the unit is used with no ducting or oversized ducting. You still do want to take the time and care to make one that will hold up and be safe to operate. Friends and familly can also enjoy carefree afternoons and warm evenings as they gather together. But if you see a lot of water condensing on the lid, remove it for a while, then replace it. The back wash systems on the filters were automated with the use of besgo valves that made sure that the filters were always running at their optimum efficiency.
I believe most woodworkers can use these plans and building instructions to end up with not only the most affordable to install, but also the best fine dust collection system available today. I admit initially contributing to the misinformation about cyclones by supporting and recommending this system and vendor. My emergency room doctors and consulting respiratory physician determined I had a severe allergic reaction. The airflow testing showed my expensive magazine top rated cyclone moved less than half its advertized air volume and its actual flow was far less than my dust collector it replaced.
Rather than admit in these tests that the true measure of a cyclone separator is how well it separates, these vendor dominated magazine tests ignored cyclone separation and focused on airflows. These experienced cyclone users consistently reported their 3 hp and smaller cyclones moved too little air.
Worse, I borrowed a friend's Dylos air quality meter and discovered that this cyclone came with such an open filter it saved up and filled my shop with the fine dust I wanted to avoid every time I turned on my cyclone.
In addition to gathering up changes recommended by other woodworkers I also extensively studied the cyclone research literature.
Before these improvements roughly one full horsepower of a 1.5 horsepower cyclone blower went into nothing but turning the air inside the cyclone.
Wearing a mask was not good enough because the fine dust lingers for months and would continue to get tracked into my home, office, and vehicles. Although I had a much better working cyclone as of 2000, it still took me a couple of years to design then build, test, and refine my design into its current configuration. These cyclone spreadsheet calculators will then compute the overall resistance for each of the different cyclone types along with expected separation efficiency.
During normal woodworking we make fairly large chips all the way down to very fine dust particles that are so small they are invisible. In short if we know what air speed we need and the size of the area we need to cover we can compute how many CFM we need. To collect the fine dust on our typical older tool designs we must upgrade hoods, often provide larger dust collection ports, and provide a bubble of air around the working areas of the tools that pulls in the fine dust. A 5" diameter duct is just about perfect for carrying 550 CFM and a 6" diameter is near ideal for 800 CFM. This is a well studied area and we can use a good static calculator such as the one provided on my pages here to get a good working estimate of the lowest and highest potential resistance or static pressure in our system. As the filter dirties the air pressure increases forcing these particles through faster speeding up this damage. Otherwise we would be using our lungs to filter the air in the sometimes up to two years it takes a small shop cyclone filter to fully season.
The main filter makers say the 0.5-micron polyester cellulose blended filters need a minimum of one square foot of filtering area for every 2 CFM of air carrying this much fine dust. Most size their bag and cartridge filters based on clean and new air resistance which can be one tenth and less the actual working resistance of our filters when they fully season. The good ones like the ESSCO cyclone calculator will show the sizing and estimate the efficiency of each of the major well known kinds of cyclones. The woodworking industry considers particles sized under 30-microns to be airborne dust because when blown outside they will quickly dissipate with no trace. Most instead provide cyclones that provide terrible separation, blowers that move far too little air, filters that filter so poorly the air should not be returned indoors, ducting that will not begin to move the airflows shown by decades of air engineering as the minimums needed for good fine dust collection, plus most don't even pay lip service to the key requirement of having to start with upgrading most tool hoods and ports. My personal testing of every major brand and size of small shop dust collector and cyclone found only the 3 hp and larger dust collectors and the 5 hp and larger cyclones moved enough air to even meet the relatively easy OSHA air quality requirements.
The prior design problems coupled with poor separation and bad airflow helped me define what I wanted in a better cyclone. Increasing the cyclone size enough to use a smaller motor kills separation efficiency and keeps us from fitting the unit under an eight foot tall ceiling.
The faster the air moves the more particles that a cyclone will spin out of that airstream. This means we can use smaller filters which is good news because good fine filters are expensive. The medical school testing on these smaller units ends up being just as impressive than the separation on the larger units. Most commercial wood working cyclones tend to fail from wet abrasive dust causing rust out and wearing a hole on the inside of the cyclone where the dust and air first hits. This tough adhesive backed rubberized material is easy to apply, holds up well and sticks tight enough that the high pressure air from a sandblaster does not pull it loose. For our small shop cyclones this is typically from a low of about 4" of static pressure to a high of about 12".
Unfortunately, they also need to move this much air at a real 4" to 12" of pressure to do any good with a cyclone. Jet, Wilke Machinery, PSI, RBI and Laguna Tools all sell motor blowers without having to buy a whole dust collector, but prices are high and the impellers are too small until you get into their larger units which come with more motor than most need. A typical small shop 5 hp compressor motor is really a 3 hp motor when running but is designed to start a heavy load so will have a heavy duty starting circuit typical of a 5 hp motor. With clever inlets and no filters or cyclones, small shop vendors have figured out a way to rate their blowers at just about double what they can do for real in a working environment. That table will instantly let you know not only the expected CFM at different resistances, but also the needed horsepower to drive an impeller at that load, and even the size of the inlet needed by that impeller.
The two keys are making it solid enough and ensuring your motor does not overheat from trying to push too much air. Another sheet metal firm agreed to build the whole unit in welded 22-gauge stainless for $230. Even the novice woodworker can achieve a sense of accomplishment and have great success with this project.
This finely crafted cypress swing will resist decay and the varnish finish will help give it permanence lasting beauty. Sunlight enters through the glass and warms the air, soil and plants the same way that sunlight coming through the atmosphere warms Earth’s surface. By 2004 thousands had already built their cyclones from these plans and building instructions.
Having a recent allergy test that showed no allergies, I refused to believe that diagnosis until new allergy testing proved that was what was happening. This low air volume reduced the airspeed in the ducts so much that my ducts plugged constantly. Those with particle counters such as the inexpensive 0.5-micron meter sold by Dylos Products report that if they also upgrade tool ports and hoods as I recommend, my cyclone design keeps their shop air cleaner than found outside. Although this filter works great, when turning I have to constantly take the vacuum outside to clean that HEPA filter because it plugs very quickly.
One of the best sources of information was the work done on the Cotton Site that shares research and testing of various cyclone designs. All of the major small shop vendors today now use variations of my modified cyclone design that I shared and put on my Cyclone Modifications web pages. The shared knowledge from those dust collection firms who guarantee customer air quality all say we must capture the fine dust as it gets made then get rid of that dust.
Major blower makers that provide equipment to use air and ducting to transport different types of material provide charts that tell us how much airspeed and the minimum pressures needed to transport various types of material. To just collect the same sawdust and chips we would otherwise sweep up with a broom, known as "chip collection", most large stationary small shop tools can use existing hoods and tool ports and get good "chip collection" with about 350 CFM. Although that bubble only needs the air moving at 50 FPM and faster to overcome normal room air currents and pull in the fine dust, the size of this bubble is large, almost fifteen inches in every direction. That highest resistance is going to be our longest ducting run plus the highest resistance we expect from our filters. Over time filters "season" meaning they build up a cake of fine dust in the filter pores that does not come out with normal machine shaking type cleaning. Cleaning our filters forces these fine particles through the filter but even faster, so cleaning also quickly breaks down our filters. Filter material makers also provide a filter rating that gives the expected level of filtering once the filter is fully seasoned, plus the resistance level for a fully seasoned filter.
The thicker all spun bond material 0.5-micron filter material can get by with one square foot of filter area for every four CFM.
This combination ends up with their providing far too small filters that quickly load up killing airflow and soon leaving us with filters that quickly fail and no longer provide us with good fine dust protection. We don't really need a fancy calculator because once we know our ducting size from our fan table we can multiply that by three to get the diameter of our cyclone. Virtually all woodworking cyclones provide exactly this same 30-micron separation and are designed to simply drop the heavier sawdust and chips into a collection bin while blowing the fine dust away outside. This dust ends up quickly plugging our filters killing the needed airflow, requiring constant cleaning, and leaves greatly reduced filter lives. This really did not make sense at all until I got deeper into the literature and discovered that dust collection is a strongly contested war between a few well meaning medical experts versus our fourth largest group of employers in the country. I found most small shop cyclones now use portions of my earlier design shared on my Cyclone Modifications web pages, but all continue make serious design compromises to make them easier to build, to use a much less expensive and powerful motor, and to force fit them under an eight foot tall ceiling. Using a shorter cone length causes the cone to plug when processing larger chips and to suck the fine dust right out of the dust bin and put it into our filters.
Unfortunately, my calculations showed I needed a 12.5 hp motor to double the fine dust separation. Minimizing the internal turbulence inside the cyclone lets the same airflow get rid of far more fine particles. It also means we are going to get many times the filter life and go far longer between filter cleaning cycles. In short, the best approach is to size our blower then go looking for what makes the most sense. I engineered a special airfoil impeller that will provide up to about 8" of pressure which is just about the minimum for a one car garage sized shop.
The 3 hp dust collectors with a 14" impeller provides a 1900 maximum CFM and these are the best compromise I could find. We need this heavy starting circuit to handle the high load while starting up our heavy impeller wheels. If the sales claims don't match, please don't be surprised as many of today's hobbyist blowers appear to look pretty but their designs are so bad that almost any hobbyist with just a few minutes time can build a far better performer using the same impeller. This means the smallest viable cyclone that is moved from machine to machine with no ducting needs to be a 3.5 horsepower motor turning a 14" impeller. I've built many blowers for myself and other woodworkers, plus have had lots of help from people who visited this site and offered suggestions.
Many sizes and shapes of moldings are available so that one can easily vary the design of the fireplace mantle shelf to create the look you want. If you put a fern with a cactus, one or the other might not do well (the fern if it gets too dry, the cactus if it gets too wet).
At that time Clear Vue Cyclones began making these cyclones for those who did not have the time or patience to build their own.
By the time I got over all the damage this fine dust did, I lost 42% of my respiratory capacity and still over ten years later require supplemental oxygen. Particle testing showed that this expensive top rated cyclone separated no better than a $25 trashcan separator lid. These tests did not even look at working airflow but instead focused on maximum airflows which are about double what we will get with ducting and tools hooked up and a filter that is no longer brand new. Tired of the filter cleaning disrupting my turning I bought an XXX brand cone type cyclone that sat before my vacuum. After gathering this information I then built, tested and in many cases improved the various modifications and shared a little of what I did up through 1999. Thanks to these efforts these cyclones move more air with less horsepower, are easier to empty, and it is far easier to clean the cyclone filters. I found some excellent small commercial cyclones and dust collectors from Felder, AAF, Torit-Donaldson, Dust Vent, etc. Although this is probably not that interesting to most, knowing much of this information will make the difference between your having a shop that looks clean and a shop whose air protects your health and the health of those close to you.
For fine wood dust such as created when using fine sandpaper we only need about 50 FPM airspeed to overcome normal room air currents and move this dust.
Tool makers like Fein and Festool have shown us we can get excellent fine dust collection with a big shop vacuum. This large area is bad news because airspeed for sucked air drops at about the same rate as the surface area of a sphere expands meaning about four times Pi times the distance squared. If we use an oversized impeller and a little stronger motor we generate enough pressure to let us move this 1000 CFM in a 6" diameter duct.
A seasoned filter will often filter ten to twenty times better than a brand new filter, but it will have a much higher resistance. Filters that get too dirty quickly fail and so do filters that are cleaned too often, plus most small shop woodworkers tend to over clean our filters causing them to fail even faster. This resistance level is then used as part of the static calculations used to size the dust collection system.
If you read further the filter material makers further recommend using double the minimum filter area because that will reduce static pressure filter resistance four fold, extend filter life four fold, and reduce cleaning cycles four fold. Although this may make for more filter sales, it is not a very good way to care for their customers and invariably ends up using filters with far too much airflow robbing resistance. All the major cyclones then use this diameter dimension (D) to let us compute the sizes for all the other features of our cyclone.
This is also almost exactly the same separation efficiency found in trash can separator lids, except the trashcan separators need huge trashcans at the much larger airflows needed for good fine dust collection. These folks continue to spend big dollars to purchase the best studies that money can buy which prove woodworking makes no fine dust, the fine dust made by woodworking has no negative health effects, and the exposure levels are so tiny as to be of no importance. Not one of these units as of my testing done in 2006 provided a cyclone filter that when clean and new provided even 10-micron filtering. The cone needs designed to reverse airflow direction so the natural air reversal point is just right to let the dust, chips and shavings fall while the cleaned air escapes upward.
Aiming that incoming airflow to push the dust down toward the dust bin further improves separation but creates a new set of problems.
It also means that I can power this cyclone with a 5 hp motor and get better airflow and separation than other designs can get with far larger cyclones and motors.
This creates a fast corrosion process aided by the sand blasting from the high silica content in sawdust and other materials sucked in.


The adhesive on the resist is the same as used on the vinyl material that sign makers use to make decals for automobile lettering which can last for 7 or more years. For a cyclone what makes the most sense is an oversized blower housing and impeller attached to a good motor. Although these airfoils and other caged impellers are far more efficient, they are just plain not safe to use with woodworking dust. Unable to find what I wanted, I worked with a few vendors to provide the right sized blower wheels and motors to work best with my cyclone design.
I gave up on the traditional small shop motor suppliers after having too many motors burn out and shifted recommending the Leeson American made real 5 hp compressor motors that can handle the heavy startup current and then run with a full 5 hp of capacity. Using a small blower inlet may save the dust collector motors, but kills the airflow we need to power our cyclones and still collect the fine dust.
One of the easiest to make uses a couple of pieces of plywood or MDF as a sandwich that holds a metal spiral. The first couple of impeller makers I tried did not exercise good care in making their impellers, plus their preparation for shipping was dismal.
In early 2013 over 20,000 people worldwide use and love these cyclones because they work incredibly well. None except my cyclone provides much better separation than the inexpensive trashcan separator lids and one cyclone remains so bad it is only about 85% as good as a trashcan separator lid.
This substantial expensive cyclone separator simply moved the chips and sawdust to its collection bin with no noticeable improvement in keeping my fine filter clean.
Now the air quality in my shop consistently tests better than the excellent air quality we have outside here on California's northern coast. Regardless, of these improvements the bottom line is separation efficiency on that basic cyclone design that all still use remains little better than a $25 plastic trashcan separator lid. The fire and building codes require that dust collectors and cyclones either be placed outside behind explosion and fire proof barriers or that these units be certified as fire and explosion proof. Rather than cover this information more than once, you can read it over on my Dust Collection Basics web pages. For typical sawdust we need to move the air at about 3800 FPM and for larger chips we need to move the air at about 4500 FPM. So we need to move lots more air for good fine dust collection than is required for "chip collection".
Knowing that 6" duct is readily available and inexpensive but larger is not available or readily available, I designed my blower to have enough pressure to move a real 1000 CFM in a 6" diameter duct.
This is why most large commercial installations use a pressure gauge and record the air pressure after every cleaning. Typical small shop dust collectors with bag type filters generally have less than 50 square feet of filter area when with their claimed 1000 CFM of airflow actually need about 250 square feet of these spun bond bag type filter area whether in a bag or cartridge. These interests delayed the OSHA air quality standard for woodworking for nearly thirty years and forced this standard to be fifty times easier than recommended by the medical experts. All small shop vendor dust collector and cyclone vendors advertised maximum airflows that were more than double the airflows these systems provided in real use. I wanted this cyclone to provide much better fine dust separation to permit using smaller and more affordable fine filters that quickly get ruined with cyclones that do not provide good separation. The cyclone research models all say the best fine dust separation occurs when the cone length is 3 times the upper cylinder diameter again creating a too tall cyclone. Since the bin and connection to the bottom of the cyclone is sealed, that downward moving spiral of air is going to reverse direction and head up and out the cyclone exit. Moreover, when teamed up with an oversized impeller, this high efficiency allows using all 6" diameter ducting instead of needing to use 7" or in some cases even 8" ducts for good fine dust collection. Even shops that make multiple 55-gallon drums of MDF dust daily find they can go six months and still see almost no fine dust in their filters. You should go to a gravestone store and ask for a foot square piece of resist or whatever size you need. Woodworking makes long stringy curls and shavings that can get caught on any of the impellers that are not self cleaning. Most other vendors more appropriately limit maximum airflow by choosing smaller diameter impellers. By using thin insulation in grooves on your MDF and long bolts on the outside of that metal, you end up with a very solid blower housing that is easy to make, easy to take apart, very safe, and relatively quiet because the wood dampens the sound.
My son sold those kits for a few years until he left to attend school out of state in 2003. Many have provided their suggestions, feedback, and questions to help improve these pages enough that most can build their cyclones without needing to contact me for additional help during the building process. Digging into the engineering charts showed at typical dust loading and dust collection airflows my vendor used less than one quarter of the minimum filter surface area required.
Most dust collector and cyclone vendors advertize and sell fine filters that freely pass the fine invisible unhealthiest dust.
Getting that certification is so expensive that all of the more affordable commercial dust collectors and cyclones required putting them outside.
Ideally we should move right at 4500 FPM airspeed for picking up the normal range of wood chips. That pressure will steadily rise as the filter "seasons" then fall off as the filter breaks down. Most small shop cyclones claim 1000 CFM airflow and come with the poly cellulose blended cartridge filters that are typically under 250 square feet in area when they really need a minimum of at least 500 square feet of filter area.
These same interests successfully challenged that easy OSHA standard before it even went fully into effect. All small shop dust collector and cyclone filters ranged from five to twenty times too small for their claimed filtering level, and were even too small for their actual filtering levels. I also wanted to power this cyclone with an affordable motor that would run on normal household current. I tried modifying the traditional cyclone design that all still sell, but nothing ended up with much better fine dust separation without creating a cyclone that was either too tall or needed too big of a motor. I needed to get that inlet aimed just right to minimize turbulence and adjust the cone sizing so the airflow reversed direction in just the right place.
The additional pressure generated by this larger impeller also minimizes our hood and port changes to our tools. Because our small shop cyclones are generally much smaller we can make the whole unit of stainless steel, one of the new very tough plastics as the Clear Vue Cyclones used to use, or coat the contact area inside your cyclone. Material handling blowers are built to be self cleaning and are the correct type of impeller for us to use. In either case, if you put the overhead of ducting, filter, and cyclone on top of the manufacturer limiting airflow, you are going to be lucky to get one third of the dust maker's maximum CFM rating at your machine.
That extra horsepower lets us turn a 15" diameter impeller which means we move more air and that makes our system more effective.
For detailed step-by-step instructions for making your own blower you can go to my Building a Blower page with pictures (takes a while to load for slow connections).
Before you dive into building your own cyclone or blower, please be aware that if built improperly this equipment can cause property damage, hurt, and even kill, so please read the disclaimer make sure all you do is safe.
Finally, our small shop forums are filled with vendor paid shills and forum administrators who get paid to recommend the same poorly performing cyclones.
Many said they got very good results with your mini cyclone, so I bought a 6" diameter cyclone of your design. When used with fine filters these cyclones put out so much fine dust the filters clog very quickly. The ones setup for indoor use cost far more than my budget, plus required quarterly changing of many expensive cartridge filters. Many air engineers design instead at 4000 FPM because this airspeed is ample to pick up the material most fire marshals consider dangerous.
A vacuum nozzle only picks up right next to the nozzle and just moving a tiny bit away so reduces the airspeed we get no collection. They must replace filters when the pressure drops too low because the filter is no longer working well.
In short, dust collection today for woodworking is almost entirely up to the customers to decide and then trust that the vendors will provide what they claim in their advertising. In short, small shop dust collection remains the same dismal mess it was when I got inspired in 1999 to come up with better solutions to help small shop workers better protect our health. The traditional cyclone designs had already shown that making the cone dust chute outlet the same size as the cyclone inlet and making that cone three times as long as the cyclone diameter created the best fine dust separation for a cyclone with a perpendicular inlet. I designed one of these for a huge cement processing facility and they went from having to replace filters monthly to every five to six months, plus were able to use a much smaller horsepower motor. It costs more than double to build one of these cyclones in a tough plastic like Clear Vue Cyclone used and about $40 more to build from stainless steel. Likewise, with these being one of the less efficient impellers we need a big enough motor and large enough impeller to drive the air at the pressures we want. Just like a water hose size limiting how much water can flow, the size of your ducting is critical to airflow. That firm and its successor both talked a good story, but their work was sloppy and caused so many problems I finally closed down those efforts in early 2004. With no sheet metal experience, most can build their cyclone in less than ten hours work, their blower in about six hours work, and their entire system with a full shop of ducting in under forty hours of work. I was kicked off a popular forum that I helped get going because one of the vendors paid that forum owner to advertise their products.
That clogging kills the airflow we need for good fine dust collection and quickly destroys our filters because the higher pressures force the fine sharp particles to cut and tear their way through the filters.
Most also used large commercial three phase motors that my home electrical service would not support without getting a phase convertor which was expensive. Air engineers calculated the minimum airflows at each size and type of large stationary tool then refined these values over decades of experience to create CFM requirement tables for each size and type of tool.
In small shop dust collection this situation is so dismal that the "best" magazine rated cyclone vendor puts out a cyclone that actually increases our airborne dust level in our shops to far higher than if we just worked with a fan running in an open doorway.
For a tilted inlet I needed to calculate an ideal reversal point based upon my inlet angle and air speed. The owner of that facility said his cost savings in energy and filters pays him back more than he spent to build this unit every three months. To work plastic or weld stainless, you do need specials tools, so most end up building from galvanized steel.
Standard hobbyist 4" ducting and hose supports the up to 350 CFM we need to get the same dust we get with a broom, but for the 800 to 1000 CFM needed to capture the finest most dangerous dust we need either a huge blower or all 6" or larger ducting and flex hose.
Air starved means the impeller and motor are loafing unable to get the air they need to work at full efficiency.
My cousin and I did considerable testing and settled on recommending a 15" diameter impeller driven by a 5 hp Leeson motor for one and two car garage sized shops and a 16" impeller for the larger shops that only use one tool at a time. If you don't want to take the time to build your own cyclone and blower, then you should seriously consider buying a Clear Vue Cyclone or a kit from my son. Everyone knowledgeable about dust collection ducting design knows that air at these pressures is like water and will barely compress at all.
Likewise, these same forums are filled with first time cyclone buyers that are still convinced that because they spent so much, they got a great product. Almost all the fine dust ends up in the cyclone bin and I can go at least five times longer between the HEPA filter cleanings.
These tables show our larger stationary small shop tools need to move about 800 CFM to meet the OSHA air quality standards, about 900 CFM to meet the five times tougher ACGIH standards, and only about 1000 CFM to meet the fifty times tougher standards set by the EPA, medical experts and the European Union.
Unfortunately, the airspeed is not a constant but is near zero on the cyclone walls that are carrying the fine dust out and climbs close to the initial velocity from the inlet. I've heard similar reports from a plastics maker, a coffee bean roasting firm, and innumerable woodworkers. If you make your cyclone from steel or stainless steel then you should use a replaceable rubber blast plate that sits right where the air first hits inside the cyclone to minimize the sandblasting wear. Over the normal pressure range in our shops the motor turning this sized impeller will pull as much as 3.5 hp. In terms of dollars and sense it is faster, easier and less costly to buy the right impeller and motor for your cyclone plus either build or buy a good blower housing. As a result any small tool port, overly restrictive tool hood, undersized duct or hose, or dirty filter will add enough resistance to all but kill the airflow we need for good collection. This why I only recommend traditional cyclones should only be used without filters and vented directly outside.
My research convinced me that a cyclone was the best solution, but none of the seven fairly well studied cyclone designs offered a combination of fine separation with minimal power usage.
It was not easy as too high causes the cyclone to plug when processing larger chips and too low sucks the fine dust right out of the bin. Many have even built these units with oversized cyclones to permit them to use smaller motors.
My cyclone has a rubber sheet (from some old cupboard liner) glued on with polyester caulk where the material hits to provide a little extra protection.
With motors coming in 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 5 hp, I strongly recommend getting a good quality 5 hp motor.
Most find they really need a full 5 hp motor turning a 15" impeller to power a cyclone and take care of a typical two car garage sized shop and get really good fine dust collection. My vendor still uses a free computer ducting design program that specifies duct so restrictive in size it kills the airflow needed to keep the vertical runs from plugging. Although I don't particularly like this idea because too much fine dust is not captured if the blower does not move enough air and separation efficiency goes way down, many successfully power my cyclone design with 1.5 hp motors.
Although we can get 3 hp motors that have an extended service factor allowing them to produce 3.45 hp, it seems stupid to me to buy a motor that is straining for our most heavily used motor in our shop.
The particle testing showed the expensive filter upgrade I purchased freely passed the invisible 10-micron and smaller invisible dust particles known to cause the most health damage. I found for my optimized design the ideal reversal point occurs 1.64 times that upper cyclone outer cylinder diameter. Instead of building my recommended 18" diameter cyclone, those with 3 hp motors should make 20" diameter cyclones and those with 2 and even 1.5 hp motors should use 22" diameter cyclones. In short I recommend a real 5 hp motor which lets us turn a real 15" diameter material handling wheel with the backward curved (BC) blades needed to minimize noise. This creates a cyclone that will move a real 1000 CFM and will just barely fit under an 8' ceiling with a small dust bin. Often these bigger diameters end up requiring mounting the blower to the side as the result would be too tall with a top mounted blower, but regardless they still work very well.
I designed a cyclone that moves more air with less power and provides more than six times better fine dust separation which is what we need to protect our fine filters that respiratory physicians recommend. If you need a more powerful than 5 hp cyclone, have medical problems, or need to collect from more than one machine at a time, I recommend you seek professional engineering advice.



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