Cyclone Dust Collection

This is the dust box I made for my vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner is a Nilfisk Aero 26-21. The dust box is made out of 18 mm moisture-resistant MDF: that material was chosen purely as I had some left after doing a DIY project. The MDF was cut up with my table saw's blade set at an angle such that it produced an octagonal frame. I then cut a rebate into the frame pieces top and bottom so that a base and a lid could be set into the frame. The bottom and the sides were glued together and the joints sealed with decorator's caulk to ensure the box is air tight. There are two blocks of MDF screwed into the base of the dust box and these slot into the top of the vacuum cleaner so that the dust box doesn't move around relative to the vacuum cleaner.

I painted the inside with wood primer as I figured it might help, although it's probably unnecessary. There's a strip of draught excluder (the sort of thing designed for sealing draughty windows or whatever) around the rim at the top. The lid is held in place with some simple clips.

I routed out a section of one of the frame pieces and glued in a piece of acrylic and then added more decorator's caulk around the inside edges of it. The acrylic window allows me to see how full the dust box is, which has proved really useful. When the vacuum cleaner gets full, the noise of the motor changes slightly, but over the sound of the table saw or thicknesser (and especially with ear defenders on) I can't hear the difference so being able to see at a glance when it's full is really helpful.

This photo shows where the vacuum cleaner and dust box lives most of the time. The 50 mm dust pipe is excessively long, but it hasn't seemed worthwhile to shorten it yet until I'm absolutely sure of the length I want it to be.

The size of the dust box was chosen for purely practical reasons: I wanted to be able to push it into a tight space and that involved it going underneath the bench. I designed it to be about the same "across-flats" size as the widest diameter of the vacuum cleaner and made the height such that it would just fit under the bench.

I bought a length of 50 mm hose to use as the dust pipe and designed some fittings such that the hose could be attached to the table saw, the thicknesser and the existing fittings for the vacuum cleaner (including attaching the original vacuum cleaner hose directly to the cyclone). Some of these are shown in the picture above. A member on the UK mig-welding forum kindly 3D printed most of the adaptors for me and I made the one for the vacuum cleaner fittings (which has lots of different diameters as I wanted to hold them on the outside rather than the inside as originally designed) on the lathe.

The fitting for the pipe from the cyclone to the vacuum cleaner was also 3D printed.