I like the idea of having a cyclone separator for my shop vac.
Not only would it be fun to see the dust swirling to its final resting place at the bottom of a bucket, but from what I’ve read, you can significantly increase the efficiency of your dust collection by putting a cyclone en route to your shop vac because the filter in the shop vac does not get clogged with dust as quickly.
So I like the idea of spending $13 for a sheet of plastic and trying to make my own cyclone separator, like this guy did.
The first step was to take my sheet of plastic (clear acrylic) and roll it into a cone (or funnel, depending on your perspective).
I started out by using a heat gun to soften the acrylic as I rolled it. This worked okay at first but, as the funnel started getting taller and taller, I had a larger and larger area to heat for each increment of progress. It took me altogether too long to realize that I had a better tool for this.
A few minutes after starting with the propane torch, I had the beginnings of my funnel.
Now I needed to cut the excess bits off the top and the bottom, and so began another process of trial and error.
First I tried to cut the acrylic with my jigsaw. This immediately started to grab and crack the acrylic, and didn’t improve with any combination of coarse or fine toothed blades and low or high speed settings on the saw.
So I tried using a hacksaw, and had limited success on the small end of the funnel, but holding the piece still while cutting was difficult, and the hacksaw would be too small and cumbersome to use on the wider end of the funnel.
And so I used a cutting head on my rotary tool.
Finally! The right tool for the job.
Now that I have one of the key components to the system, I can start working on how to attach it to the vacuum hoses and the bucket that will collect the dust.
To be continued…