Litres of dust

Picked up the cyclone separator from Hare & Forbes as Phil suggested (thanks again for letting me know about it!)

Photo 29-08-2015 11 38 46

It is quite reasonable quality – I’m happy with it. Has a window to sight when the bag is full, and it can take a plastic bag as well.  You would normally expect the bag would be sucked up into the cyclone, but there is a secondary hose to the base of the collection bin, so some of the suction pulls a vacuum under the bag and holds it in place, until the weight of dust can take over.  This doesn’t cause any loss in power – once the bag is sucked down no further air will leak past so this doesn’t sacrifice any performance.

So working from the dust extractor out.

The extractor inlet is 8″.  This is pretty phenomenal, and at full power can really suck your hand against the grate.

I have sourced an 8″ to 2x 6″ Y piece, but not from your normal expected suppliers.  I couldn’t find anything 8″ from the normal woodworking suppliers, but found a hydroponics supplier in NSW that had exactly what I wanted, and at a really good price.  For $30 (+$12 delivery), I got a galv metal Y piece.

Photo 28-08-2015 08 54 03

The equivalent from one of the woodworking suppliers has a 200mm (8″) to 2x 5″, for $110.



The outlet for the cyclone is 180mm, so close enough to 8″.  It comes with a reducer to 6″.  I haven’t been able to find any 8″ hose, so am contemplating running dual 6″ from the cyclone to the extractor.  Either that, or I have a spare 6″ inlet for the extractor going to waste.

Until I get the 6″ pipe, I am currently running dual 4″ from the cyclone to the extractor, via a Y piece at either end.

The inlet to the cyclone is 6″, and it comes with a 6″ to 2x 4″ Y piece.  I have currently connected it to my 4″ pipe run, so performance is down at every transition.  (Effectively I have reduced the 8″ inlet for the extractor all the way down to 1x 4″, so not ideal!)

Fired it up, and fine dust does manage to get through to the filter bags, but I don’t have a problem with that – the cyclone is there for bulk material separation in this case.  The smaller cyclones I use separate everything, and even fine dust doesn’t get through, but this is not a cyclone for that purpose.

In saying that, I sucked up about 100L of sawdust, primarily MDF, and about 500ml managed to find its way into the collection bags of the dust extractor.  It is much easier to empty the bin of the cyclone than remove the bags from the extractor, so this will make a lot of difference.

I am still contemplating where the extractor and cyclone will sit – it might need another small (and tall) external enclosure – will give that more thought.

Compare the cost of this setup though, to a dedicated cyclone extractor.  That has 2200cfm through 3x 4″ inlets, and costs $3300.  I don’t know what flowrate I am getting through the cyclone, how much it is reduced from the 2900cfm of the extractor, but total cost: $1285.

I still want to boost the overall performance, and either 8″ to the cyclone or 2x 6″ will help, but no matter what, you can only suck so much through a 4″ pipe that connects to the machine.

4 Responses

  1. Wow, I’m impressed. That’s a pretty good separation rate for the cyclone. Think I’ll have to get one myself. And the money you saved can now be put on upgrading all your ducting! Definitely go for the 8″ between the fan and cyclone. flexible couplers for sewer pipe are your friend, much easier than trying to match them up with a rigid tapered reducer. Fernco have a good range. I’ve also found Total Eden to be much cheaper for 150mm PVC, may be worth a call if you plan on upgrading your ducting to 6″.

  2. Hi Stu, long time reader first time poster here. I’ve excited to see the Hafco cyclone in your shed. All of your posts on dust collection have been invaluable. I realise I’ve got the same Hafco cyclone as you, although I’ve got the cyclone+extractor integrated model the CD-2A. What I’ve please to see, is you’ve found somewhere to get the 8″->2×6″ Y adaptor for the inlet. I think mine though is actually 7″ (split into 2×4″). Not found anywhere! Do you mind letting me know where you obtained your Y adaptor? $32 is a bargain! Cheers, Simon

  3. I’ve the same unit, although it’s part of the integrated cylone/dusty model CD-2A. I’ve been searching for ages without success in trying to find an bigger ‘Y’ splitter alternative to the one supplied on these cyclones. Do you mind me asking which hydroponic business you found yours? Thanks for great content you post. I’ve been keenly following your designs and experiments, it’s been invaluable to learn from.

  4. I was reading someones article the other day, and he was referring to saw dust as ‘Man Glitter’
    I don’t know whether it will catch on, after all, how can you tell your wife that you are going into the shed to make some man glitter. He! He!

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