DIY: Cyclone Dust Separator From Two Buckets




This time I'll show you, how to make a cyclone dust separator from two buckets.

How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions bellow.

For this project you will need:


two buckets (bigger and smaller)

Epoxy glue

16mm plywood

16mm long wood screws


50mm of diameter PVC pipe and 30 degrees elbow


Jig saw

Drill and bits


Utility knife

Step 1: Preparation

For this build I'll use one bigger bucket with cover and second smaller bucket.
Big bucket will be container for sawdust and shavings, meantime smaller bucket - will be acting as cyclone dust separator.

To join them together I made a ring from 16mm plywood. Marked bucket outline. Eye balled and draw a second line to form 25mm ring. Drilled two, 50mm of diameter holes and marked baffle line. All was cut with a jig saw. That’s how they are looking.

Step 2: In Progress

Marked a surface on a bucket cover, which will be cut out later. Also marked a line, which indicates thickness of plywood. This will be a guide to drill and screw ring to the bucket. Used 16mm wood screws with flat head.

With utility knife cut a hole in bucket cover. Clamped, predrilled holes for screws and marked cover position. To get tight seal, I used silicone. Also applied silicon between bucket and plywood ring. Nice, tight seal.

Step 3: The Inlet

To make dust inlet, I used 50mm of diameter and 30 degrees PVC elbow.
Drilled a hole in a bucket, marked reference lines and with utility knife shaved it to proper shape. I repeat it few times until I get tight fit.

Drilled 3mm hole in elbow and regarding that - drilled a hole in a bucket.This will be a fixing point. In opposite elbow side, drilled 7mm hole, to be able to reach wood screw with a screw driver. Used small piece of plywood and tight up all together.

Step 4: Vac Connection Point and Baffle

On top of bucket, drilled 50mm hole to prepare connection for a vac hose.
From 16mm plywood made an adapter for 50mm PVC pipe. Drilled 4 holes, applied silicone and screwed in place. Time to measure a good place for baffle and screw it in place. Holds very firmly.

Step 5: Last Step

With two components epoxy glue sealed PVC pipe and bucket joint line.
For vac connection cut 85mm of PVC pipe. Used silicone to glue and seal it in place. And that’s it, cyclone dust separator is finished. Total separator height is 52cm.

Step 6: My Vac With Cyclone Inside

I’m using small, but powerful vac which already have a small cyclone inside. The problem is, that dust container is
ridiculous to small for woodworking. That’s the main reason, why I build this separator.

Step 7: Testing..

It’s time to test, does it works at all.
I cleaned my miter saw workplace. This separator won't reduce suction power, so I’m very have with that. The only question is - what about efficiency?

Vac dust container looks nice and clean like before. That means, all the sawdust must be in the bucket. I’m really excited with that cyclone efficiency.

Step 8: Conclusion

This cyclone dust separator let me to use my small vacuum cleaner with no power loss. Also will keep it running without filling up dust container and clogging internal filters.



  • Planter Challenge

    Planter Challenge
  • DIY Summer Camp Contest

    DIY Summer Camp Contest
  • Paint Challenge

    Paint Challenge

12 Discussions


2 years ago

I'm looking to add a new chip & dust extractor any time now. After seeing your video, I think that I will wait for while and experiment with your two bucked cyclonic separator first.

Excellent, well done and thank you.


Reply 2 years ago

I don't know if this would work with drywall dust but they do make drywall vacuum sanding systems that filter the dust through water. I've use that method for years with great results. (For those who don't know, drywall dust is very fine and can plug a vac filter in no time.)


Reply 2 years ago

A true cyclone vacuum system will work pretty well with dry wall dust. And that is because the cyclone system makes the debris spin very fast as it empties into the lower bucket while the air goes to the actual vacuum cleaning. So if you are really looking for a good separator for dry wall, buy the good designed cyclone system like the Dust Deputy. It spins the debris at amazing speeds to separate the dust. JMHO


Reply 2 years ago

While a good cyclone separator works, it still has a cutoff particle size, therefore very fine particles can´t be catched by cyclonic action. Particles under 10 microns in diameter are NOT "filtered" by the nose and mucus, and go directly to the bottom of the lungs. A combination of a cyclone (to remove all large and medium sized particles) and a second very fine filter (usually called "HEPA" filter) is needed. While water operated vacuums are efficient, they usually don't meet HEPA efficiencies, but are very convenient for disposing of dirt and dust.

As a fully developed DIY-selfer, I use automotive type pleated filters as a practical final stage filter on my bench tolos, plus an HEPA certified respirator, as I've seen very sad cases of respiratory illness and a couple of cancers in people that perform a lot of dust generating activities. Amclaussen.


2 years ago

Great idea. I have given thought to a similar idea but using it to clean water


2 years ago

you are a true teacher ,thank you


2 years ago

Nice work and good instructions !



2 years ago

Incredible idea! Congratulations it was very good and seems to be very practical besides cheap :D


2 years ago

Select your parts carefully, I made one of these some time ago and the first time the inlet got plugged it imploded the plastic buckets to fail point.


2 years ago

Interesting! How did you come up with the measurements for the separator? Did you calculate it somehow or did you just use the stuff you had on hand?