Introduction: Diy Cyclonic Dirt Seperator From Pvc Bits and a Bucket

heres how i build my unit for my micro to keep my shop clean and never have to change my filter or lose vacuum pressure from loose fittings this design allows you to maintain your shop vac in stock condition
ill try to describe the parts as best as possible most should be available at your local orange box  (or blue if your like that... :)
 the theroy goes like this (as seen on dyson vacs)  get the dirt spinning really fast like a tornado
the heavier particles of dirt cant get to the top of the canister to the exhaust port  and fall thru the small opening into the waste container  (i.f. 5 gallon bucket)

the distance between the intake and the outflow is key... too close and the dirt jumps the gap  the 2" outflow pvc is pushed down into the main chamber a couple of inches creating a secondary air current up the wall across the lid and back down into the chamber pushing the dirt away from the  from the exit and back into the main wall cyclone )  if i can find a camera small enough ill video the interior ...the irony is if  i put something in there to film it its going to change the air flow
"no fair you'll change the outcome by measuring it " ...hubert farnsworth

Step 1: Parts Acquirement

5 gallon bucket with air tight lid
these were about $4 make sure it has the rubber seal ring
apiece of ply is good for supporting the lid for longevity
4" pvc  had laying around
2"pvc   ditto
there was a cart of short pre cut pieces at my store so you didnt have to buy 10' sections
1 toilet floor mount adapter
4" 3"  flat adapter
2" to 4" cone adapter
4" to link with 2" t  45  not 90
4" coupler
4" to 2" flat adapter
2x 2" couplers
a tube of rtv red gasket maker
i had this from a auto store you can get this for chimneys stove to so it may be at a hardware store

Step 2: Prep

to start  we need to cut the lid  we need a hole very close to the size  of the toilet flange also at this point make shue your cut out fits into your bucket and tight to the bottom of the lid without binding on the sides so you can close your bucket to get a good airtight seal

Step 3: Assembly

assemble as shown in pictures the pvc lenghts probably matter but i just cut without measuring
trial and error would create the best possible vortex

Step 4: Test /results

i would guess about 95% of the stuff i vaced  ended up in the bucket  not bad for 30 minutes

Step 5: BONUS.. Videos... Web Rebuttals.... Improvment Ideas

OK first off all i built this knowing of a couple of products already on the market
like this and that was stolen from here i hadn't seen this design but seems to be more of a general separator from what I've read
i didn't have $50-$1200 to spend on something that's easy enough to build from leftovers

the camera has trouble focusing on the small particles flying by so fast   but you can clearly see a downward counterclockwise then i tried some toner it adheres to the plex blocking the camera view

in this video you see the cyclonic action is good at the bottom of the chamber and more chaotic at the top the ability of this design  and the  size wight of the stuff your trying to separate is key to success  it works great up to a point  heavy objects just drop heavy aerodynamic objects spin around and drop  lighter particulates have a 50/50 chance of going out or down (this is where improvement is needed... if you need hepa3 grade separation)

at the beginning of this video we see a chunk of something stuck in the vortex  my guess is the cyclone vortex is started by the constant air exchange from the higher volume lower container to the lower volume upper chamber  this would also explain the chaotic flow at the top as the effect dissapates up the chamber ..why better designs have a v shaped chamber to pull the effect closer to the intake (how do you do this with pvc ? progressive reducers?) then various toner tests trying to catch the vortex without dirting up the plex

results the smaller the particles (toner is as small as.03 micron) don't collect as well

possible improvements : spiral intake after a cubed chamber ...multiple vorticity chambers 
more of a total startover if i wanted to goto a much higher separation  but ill see what i can do with what i have available without scrapping what i have