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Cyclone...or maybe not?

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woodbloke

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There's been a lot of good stuff recently on cyclones but here's an alternative if you don't want to go to the bother of building one. I fitted the Axminster Extender Hood on top of a 210L water butt, which gives a really huge capacity for waste chippings...



...and as you can see, the lid sits directly on top with no modifications to the butt. I was planing some maple last night and you can see the chippings going down the left hand side into the butt, with nothing going to the extractor. The interior of the lid is fitted with a couple of 90deg elbows...



...to direct the flow in a cyclonic fashion. The chippings are collected at the bottom...



...of the butt. The sucker in this case is a Camvac 386, the twin motor jobbie and the vacuum created is so great that it's sucked the butt into this default triangular section, so it's not going to hold 210L, but it's still a lot of chippings that will fit in there. Looking at the interior of the Camvac...



...you can see that there's a small amount of dust that's been sucked up and deposited in the can. Bear in mind also that the Camvacs have a triple filtration system on them (you can see the paper bags over the motors) so nothing of any great size is expelled back into the 'shop. I know that a cyclone is more efficient in that once properly set up it will collect everything, dust included, but this is a cheaper (I think) alternative and much, much quicker to install and set up. The cost of the lid is about £45 and the elbows are another ten or twelve notes, so the total cost for this system is about £60ish. When I set up my system, I bought a couple of spare elbows as I didn't think I'd have enough...these are now surplus and if anyone wants them in exchange for the usual vino vouchers, drop me a PM - Rob :ho2 :deer
 

Lowlife

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Interesting, I was wondering if something like this might work well enough, it's obviously much easier to make than a conical cyclone.
 

woodbloke

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Lowlife":2m1nujny said:
Interesting, I was wondering if something like this might work well enough, it's obviously much easier to make than a conical cyclone.
There's actually nothing to 'make'...just fit the bits together and switch on. Simple - Rob
 

Lowlife

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Yes, I was thinking if you wanted to make one to fit an existing collector that the Axminster lid wouldn't fit. However I guess a water butt is probably cheap enough too.
 

woodbloke

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I forgot to add the cost of the water butt...around £26 hereabouts, so total cost for this little set up is around £85 - Rob
 

Chems

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Even though I'm selling the Cyclones, I'm no expert the alternatives, but what I've heard back from people who used to have this sort of setup is that it works while the drum is empty and stops working when the chippings rise to a certain level. I suppose this makes sense as the hose to the vacuum will then be right over the chippings. Try it out for us with a fuller bin and see if you get something similar?
 

woodbloke

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Chems":3ro9qdae said:
Even though I'm selling the Cyclones, I'm no expert the alternatives, but what I've heard back from people who used to have this sort of setup is that it works while the drum is empty and stops working when the chippings rise to a certain level. I suppose this makes sense as the hose to the vacuum will then be right over the chippings. Try it out for us with a fuller bin and see if you get something similar?
You're probably right, but by then there'll be a lot of chippings in the bin, far more I suspect than could be contained in the Camvac, which at 90l is a bit on the small side. I'll have to see how it goes, but my guess is that by the time it's 2/3 or 3/4 full it'll be time to empty it - Rob
 

woodbloke

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beech1948":3qzwyb3d said:
If you want to make your own cyclonic top for a bin then have a look here

http://www.cgallery.com/jpthien/cy.htm

I like the make it yourself approach as I can get more control over what is produced and also use up a lot of scraps and save £45.

Alo
I was going to make a Thein bin top and got the idea from Escudo, who's done one as well. Agreed, you can save £45, but as I was at Axminster anyway and was ordering a load of other stuff, I didn't actually pay £45 for it :-" :mrgreen: so I thought I'd try out the their lid. It's quick, easy to do, works and meant that the total DX system could be installed and working in a day, rather than faff around making a Thein lid and then fine tuning it (as Tony had to do) for ages to get the thing to function properly - Rob
 

Chems

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woodbloke":d8bkgjog said:
Chems":d8bkgjog said:
Even though I'm selling the Cyclones, I'm no expert the alternatives, but what I've heard back from people who used to have this sort of setup is that it works while the drum is empty and stops working when the chippings rise to a certain level. I suppose this makes sense as the hose to the vacuum will then be right over the chippings. Try it out for us with a fuller bin and see if you get something similar?
You're probably right, but by then there'll be a lot of chippings in the bin, far more I suspect than could be contained in the Camvac, which at 90l is a bit on the small side. I'll have to see how it goes, but my guess is that by the time it's 2/3 or 3/4 full it'll be time to empty it - Rob
Its a shame you can't fill the bin right up, but it does save the problem I had, I filled my oil drum right up with the Cyclone over a few weeks, and it was so full of chippings I could hardly move it to empty it!
 

Lowlife

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The lid is currently £21.46 from Axminster, and the elbows are £4.99 each, so a total of £31.44 which doesn't seem too bad, especially if you already have a suitable bin which I think I might have, just a length of 100mm hose required, I suspect there may be cheaper places than Axminster to get that?

One thing I'm trying to figure out, and can't quite get my head around the physics of it, does it matter where in the system the drum goes, ie does it have to go between the machine and the vac in which case there would be a vacuum inside the drum, or can it go after the vac in which case the drum would be pressurised?

The latter would suit me better as I have a couple of mobile machines, both of which have chip extractors mounted in the base unit, it would be easier to connect the drum to the output of the extractor rather than between it and the machine.
 

woodbloke

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Lowlife":2pzapksh said:
The lid is currently £21.46 from Axminster, and the elbows are £4.99 each, so a total of £31.44 which doesn't seem too bad, especially if you already have a suitable bin which I think I might have, just a length of 100mm hose required, I suspect there may be cheaper places than Axminster to get that?

One thing I'm trying to figure out, and can't quite get my head around the physics of it, does it matter where in the system the drum goes, ie does it have to go between the machine and the vac in which case there would be a vacuum inside the drum, or can it go after the vac in which case the drum would be pressurised?

The latter would suit me better as I have a couple of mobile machines, both of which have chip extractors mounted in the base unit, it would be easier to connect the drum to the output of the extractor rather than between it and the machine.
You're right...£21.46 so I don't know what got me thinking about £45 (homer) ...it was probably 'cos I bought the big, blue bin at the same time (which is around £45) thinking it would fit the extender lid...but it doesn't by a mile :( Plenty of places I suspect to get some 100mm 'ose, shouldn't be too hard, though I used the clear stuff which is nice 'cos you can see stuff whizzing through it! :D The drum has to go 'twixt the vac and the machine 'cos if it were the other way round, ie the drum (or water butt) after the vacuum, the shavings would have to be blown into it rather than be sucked...if I've got it the right way round - Rob
 

Lowlife

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The drum has to go 'twixt the vac and the machine 'cos if it were the other way round, ie the drum (or water butt) after the vacuum, the shavings would have to be blown into it rather than be sucked..
Ah yes that makes sense if you are using a shop vac type dust extractor, but I'll be using a chip extractor that sucks the waste from the machine and then blows it into a collection bag. If I'm right I think I can have the cyclone drum at the end of the system, and simply fit the cotton collection back on the outlet to filter any remaining dust?

That would be much easier for me as I could mount the drum on the workshop wall and connect it up when I'm working in there, but I could easily disconnect it and just use the extractor when I'm working outside machining longer lengths of timber.
 

woodbloke

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Lowlife":3l2qqnl7 said:
Ah yes that makes sense if you are using a shop vac type dust extractor, but I'll be using a chip extractor that sucks the waste from the machine and then blows it into a collection bag. If I'm right I think I can have the cyclone drum at the end of the system, and simply fit the cotton collection back on the outlet to filter any remaining dust?

That would be much easier for me as I could mount the drum on the workshop wall and connect it up when I'm working in there, but I could easily disconnect it and just use the extractor when I'm working outside machining longer lengths of timber.
I can see what you're driving at now. It could possibly work, but the only way you'll find out is to have a play around with the system you propose. At just over £20 or so for the lid plus any bits of 'ose that you use it wouldn't cost too much to play with the system - Rob
 

Lowlife

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It'll be the same components whichever way round I connect them, so I have nothing to lose by trying it, if it doesn't work I just swap them around until it does.

I can't see there'd be much difference in the way it operates though, the waste flowing through the system doesn't know if it's being blown or sucked, it's still the same volume of air moving at the same speed carrying the same amount of dust and shavings, at least I think it is.

Thinking back to school Physics lessons, when you drink through a straw is it you sucking the liquid up, or is it atmospheric pressure pushing it up, and does it make any difference? It's just pressure differential.

Having said that I think I failed O-Level Physics...
 

Harbo

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If you go down the lid and bin route make sure they make an airtight fit!
I have an earlier Axminster lid which I used unsuccessfully with a metal dustbin. It never made a tight seal and never worked properly.

Rod
 
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