PET Soda Bottle Cyclonic Dust Separator


Do you need a small, effective workshop dust extractor with parts you probably already have lying around?

 I did.

This one works great at sucking up and separating fine particles from cutting & sanding materials like wood and foam . It can separate chalk dust from the air. A device like this one will save both to save your lungs and vacuum cleaner bags.

After reading a few other dust extractor related Instructables posts, i got the basic idea of how to make a cyclonic dust extractor

But instead of messing around fabricating all the parts out of flat sheet stock i tried making one out of recycled PET soda bottles that had the same basic cone shape already. They also had another advantage, which was the built-in thread that could act as an easily removable attachment point for the dust catchment container.

This, coupled with some PVC fittings and some flexible hose, resulted in a project that was simple, cheap, compact and highly modifiable. Suction is provided by an old vacuum cleaner.

Obligatory disclaimer: I don't take responsibility if you hurt yourself or destroy anything making this. This design probably won't compete with any commercial grade dust extractor and wont provide the equivalent performance. It is not a substitute for a good mask or respirator either. Always observe safe practices when in a workshop environment.

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nmohammad4 months ago
Nice work, Been looking for a simple and cheap dust collection systems for a while I guess you nail it with this one! awesome!
thinkpadt306 months ago
Very nice 'ible! I particularly like how you used found materials and cheap other parts. Yours works very well for a small fraction of the cost of a commercial one, and you have the added bonus of the satisfaction of having made it yourself. I am always seeing vacuum cleaners beside waste containers on trash day, most likely with the only problem being with the brush section. That means that the total cost of this whole project should cost $20 or less. I'm impressed!
Another useful By-Product. use the wood dust, add some White Glue, Throw in some Colors, and use it as Wooden-Clay-Putty-Stuff... Or make some more wood boards out of it, by making a thick paste of wood dust, and glue, and sadwhiching them between two parallel sheets of veneer... presto, more Wood Board for less...
rimar20003 years ago
Very good work!

I use the wood dust from the collection bag of the sander, is it very useful to fill flaws, mixed with glue and water. Also you can mix it with only white glue to make a very hard (when dried) putty.

But this contraption seems much more useful, I should make one.
Nanotech Tech Tool (author)  rimar20003 years ago
yeah its great that a device like this will not only keep the place clean and a bit healthier, but also give you a recycled material to use as a filler. Bonus!

I think i will try adding the sawdust with body filler to make it go further. i'm keen to see the kind of finish it creates tho.
what would be even better, would be if you used that dust as the material for a 3D-printer, CNC Cutting working along side 3D Printing; that'd be awesome.
Wood filler you buy is just wood dust (think MDF) mixed with PVA (white glue) make it and save $$$$$
OK, thanks!

I discovered that adding a bit of water is important to have a not so hard fill.
When I must attach two timbers at 90º, I add that putty in the inner angle, it reinforces a lot the joint.

I kept the putty in a polyethylene container, but it took several months without using it. When I took it off from the bottom, it was a very hard piece of plastic, I was surprised by its toughness.
Excellent engineering, and a really creative use of materials, in a nicely documented project.

Well done indeed.

its funny you mention good engineering, cos i mostly improvised and just made it to look like pictures i'd seen! the only measurements were on the fits of the routed parts.

i know a lot of maths & geometry goes into making dust extractors efficient, but its amazing how well this one works for how quickly i made it.
Very often the commercial solution is far too big for the hobby workshop. A smaller and lighter (and cheaper) option is really what we need.

My dust extractor at school wouldn't fit in my workshop! but it did feed a circular saw, band saw, planer and some portable equipment
Well "Good" engineering isn't about precision or accuracy or efficiency, it's about solving a problem with the resources available. I'm sure you could make a much more efficient model if you had a bigger budget, (not just funds, but time and space too) but you achieved something very impressive.
Well written and clear instructions. Good use of common materials anyone should have laying around. Been thinking about making one but they were to big for my small shop, now I have no excuses!

I hope you do make one of your own too, good luck. You just need to find a cone shaped bottle. I don't know if a dome shape works, or like a coke bottle shape. Might be worth experimenting with different bottles...

its definitely a small footprint in the workshop, mainly because the collection container is quite small, but is suits my applications.
Like the cyclone.
RedMeanie3 years ago
Nice Job! Also on that CNC machine you built, do you have a plan set for it or plan on doing a Instructable on it?
Thanks For Sharing
Nanotech Tech Tool (author)  RedMeanie3 years ago
Im not skilled enough to build a cnc machine unfortunately :( im not good at electronics.

I bought that one (i know this is blasphemous to admit that I didn't build my own CNC machine gasp! )

i acquired it recently for work. im an industrial designer. i use it to make models/prototypes.

if you are interested, it is a K2 KT2514. and it is an excellent machine for personal use. powerful and very accurate.& not too expensive.

Stay tuned though! im planning to make a vacuum hold table for it. hopefully running off the same vacuum system as the extractor.
We tried several designs of vacuum tables at school and found that almost invariably they quickly clog up with dust/waste and let go at the worst moments.

In the end we returned to the simple engineering idea of bolts/screws holding down wooden fingers to hold the material - This way if the router hits a finger it isn't damaged.
SeamusDubh3 years ago
Nicely done.

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