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Thread: A cheap carbon dust collector solution.

  1. #1
    digitus impudicus
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    A cheap carbon dust collector solution.

    Quite some time ago, I was fixing a Dyson vacuum cleaner and finally got to have a close look at how the tiny centrifugal dust collectors work.
    I find the entire concept rather cool.
    Spin the hell out of the airflow and the crap in it separates, then falls away on inner surface of the wall.

    It's just like the gravitron for dust particles. What really impressed me was how fine the collected dust was.
    It was finer than the dust that adheres to your fingerprints on the windows of your car.

    If you look at properly designed bagless vacuum cleaners, they'll often have a similar type of mechanism that collects fine dust via a centrifugal mechanism. I initially thought mine was just a aesthetic design feature, but then noticed that fine dust built up there regularly.

    Anyway, quite a few clubs have arrow saws. I've noted that ours gets more use than I thought it would. I've also noted the build up of carbon dust around the area which concerns me a little bit. Carbon dust isn't your friend.

    Since upgrading our arrow saw, the vacuum which is supposed to be used with it isn't regularly used. I had plans to make the bench into a vacuum table by drilling holes in it and pulling air through with the vacuum, but it's not going to work because of the saw base plate being pretty solid.

    I'll have to make some sort of ducting.

    The real issue is the carbon dust. It's fine stuff and eventually clogs all sorts of filters. If the filters aren't fine enough, it goes through some vacuum cleaner motors. Conductive dust is generally bad news.

    I've been keeping my eyes out for dust extractor separators and a couple of weeks ago, some reasonable sized ones turned up on ebay.

    <$18, including delivery? I'll have a play at that price.

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    They turned up today (I bought two, expecting this to work)

    I went to Bunnings and walked around looking for ideas for a container. Originally, I thought a 20 liter bucket would do the job and it would have, but the lids that were available were pretty rubbish, so I went to plan B which was a meter of 150mm PVC pipe and two end caps.

    I put one cap on the pipe in the shop and then tried to cap the other end. It actually didn't want to seat as the seal compressed the air inside. The top kept popping off.

    This is a good thing. I can be super lazy.

    I grabbed a rubber 50mm adapter and some 30 mm step down fittings as well as I don't have enough large diameter vacuum hose to link everything up.

    Once home, I cut the 150mm pipe in half and just pushed a cap on one end, then drilled the holes to screw the separator to the middle of the other cap. The hole in the middle is 60mm to let the dust fall into the pipe container. My guesses were good for the pipe adaptors and some sticky tape provided the minimal sealing to hold the small hose on.

    With the big hose perfectly joined with the rubber 50mm to 50mm adaptor, I decided it was time to test this. I have to admit that the reduction in diameter isn't optimum. I would be losing a reasonable amount of flow.

    Providing the suck is my trusty and much abused Shop Vac Pro 20.

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    After vacuuming the gaps in the floor boards, I decided that this was totally pointless and went looking for some suitable dust. In the end, I discovered that there was some corn flour left over from carp bait experiments and just tipped it all over the floor. There was a good amount of it. Easily half a litre spread over a square metre or so.

    I figured that white would be easy to see, so vacuumed it up slowly.

    It turned the filter into a huge static generator. I've never experienced better.

    When it was all finished, I popped the lid on the PVC pipe and found what looked like all of the flour in there. Then I popped the lid of the shop vac to see how much made it inside.

    That's when I discovered that it was reasonably full. Apparently I've vacuumed the floor some time in the last year. However, there was no find white dust coating which I expected.

    So I went out and emptied the vacuum and cleaned the filter roughly, then dumped all the flour out and did it again.

    To my absolute amazement, there was not a single trace of the flour making it to the shop vac compartment. I would have thought that SOME would have. I actually still can't believe it.

    I have no idea how long it would take to fill 8.8 litres with carbon dust from an arrow saw, but I can say that I wouldn't expect to be checking it more than once a decade.

    If anyone else is a little bit concerned about containing their arrow saw dust and is using a vacuum cleaner for it, something like this will keep the filter from progressively getting worse.
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  2. Thanks Steve B, iandall thanked for this post
  3. #2
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    Ingenious!

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    Master of Grumpiness GrahameA's Avatar
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    Morning.

    Cyclone Dust Extractors are not new they have been in use in Coal Fired Boiler plant since at least the 1940s.

    Many Wood Workers use them as part of their dust extraction filtration system. There is lots of information/experiences on the various woodworking forums for those interested have a dig around on the forum posts ..
    https://www.google.com/search?sclien...k1.TcHi-ijSvHo

    Carbatec sells the small cyclones locally. Buying via the internet is probably cheaper.
    Regards, Grahame.

    Shoot a Selfbow, embrace Wood Arrows, discover Vintage, be a Trendsetter.

    Kathy Kirby

    Imagineering is Creative.

  5. #4
    digitus impudicus
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    You will note that I didn't claim that this was a new invention or groundbreaking technology.
    The bit that I bought for $17.80 is designed for dust extraction and you may purchase something very similar from Carbatech with delivery for $127.

    A new Ryobi 20 litre shop vac at Bunnings is $89, leaving you $20 to knock up some sort of collection container.

    About the only thing even mildly innovative is using PVC pipe and fittings as a container.
    There's nothing stopping you mounting the cyclonic fitting to a bit of craft wood and sitting it on a Bunnings black $5 bucket. As long as it's two flat surfaces, it probably won't even need a seal.
    It's what I would be doing if I had a higher volume of dust.

    I'm about being cheap and effective through harnessing the power of the internet and international commerce.
    But mainly cheap.
    If I didn't admit that employing simple physics is entertaining, I'd be lying.
    Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
    Performance cannot be purchased.

    "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.


  6. #5
    digitus impudicus
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    Addendum:

    I did some more vacuuming just now and then dumped everything out again and vacuumed it up again.
    With three complete cycles of about half a litre of corn flour, wiping a finger on the side of the vacuum cleaner container left a mark. The corn flour is slowly making it in.

    I also discovered that there is fine flour escaping the joint between the cyclone and container. This doesn't make sense to me as I assumed that the entire container would be under vacuum load and things would leak IN rather than out. All may not be as it seems.

    So yeah, seal it with silastic or something similar. It obviously needs more than what I expected. I couldn't find a suitable sized O ring to do the job so went with "I expect it will leak in, so I don't care that much" attitude.

    And I was wrong.

    If you're not likely to open the container often, you can get away with the lids, but for more frequent opening, I'd fit a screw top to it.
    Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
    Performance cannot be purchased.

    "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.


  7. #6
    digitus impudicus
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    As per usual, once I get to a topic that I don't know enough about, I just keep reading.

    I've always worn PPE in dusty areas when I was employed to be in there. It happened reasonably often when I was in the RAAF.
    Most people who work with fiber reinforced plastics know about how bad sanded fibers are. My interests have covered that bit, and basic precautions.
    I don't do the woodworking thing much, so haven't had any real reason to look into dust removal systems.
    I now have reason to believe that I should have been paying more attention.

    I expect that most wood workers know about this stuff. If not, I would really encourage you to read through Bill Pentz's website.

    He covers dust collection basics, hazards and equipment.
    Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
    Performance cannot be purchased.

    "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.


  8. Thanks iandall thanked for this post

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