With a little more time, and some minor changes to the layout once the dust extractor was relocated to the mezzanine, the dust extraction ducting was finished.

At least the first stage!

Stage 1 – connect up a functional dust extraction run from each of the main machines to the dust extractor, with blast gates isolating each machine.

Further work to be done as time, energy and motivation permits:

Modify base of dust extractor so it fits properly in the available space.  This may also involve shortening the legs by a couple of inches to assist with clearances (to be assessed).

Capture dust from the tablesaw dust guard.

Improve (straighten) path from thicknesser to vertical ducting.

Break into existing ducting to add a run towards the wood turning area.  Includes a pickup from the bench for the bench-mounted tools, and a quick coupling connector for the superflex hosing for cleanups.

Set up extraction as appropriate from the lathes.

Increase diameter of trunking from the dust extractor along the main run to 6″

Add a cyclone separator if possible.

The Super Dust Deputy is $US239, or $A626 for the metal version.

snapz-pro-xscreensnapz001Alternately, the latest version has a standard size, or an XL size for larger HP extractors.

Not sure if and when they will be available in Oz, but they cost $US239 for the XL version, and $US169 for the standard version. It will be interesting to see how the price compares.


I Shot the Sherrif

“But I did not shoot no (Dust) Deputy”

As I demonstrated recently, I can fit (with a bit of a violation of a systainer) a Dust Deputy to the Festool Cleantex.  If you don’t have a systainer to do that to, or you prefer a commercial solution, or……you prefer being able to use a plastic bag to actually collect the dust, while still enjoying the benefits of cyclonic dust separation, then this is for you.

The Ultimate2 Dust Deputy, from PWS. On top is the familiar Dust Deputy, and below a systainer-like collection bin, that will lock to the top of a Cleantex using the standard connectors.

Dust Deputy Ultimate2

The Cleantex hoses fit straight onto the Deputy (as you’d expect).

And the point of difference with the original Ultimate: the plastic bag.  Much more convenient for emptying, and you can avoid the billowing dust when you do (which is a point of difference between this pre-separator and pretty much every other one I’ve seen on the market).

You can’t just jamb a plastic bag into the collection bin of other cyclone separators.  Give it a try if you don’t believe me!  Go on – I’ll wait 🙂




Back yet?  So what did you find – bet it was the plastic bag sucked straight up into the vacuum port of the cyclone!

Now have another closer look at the front of the Ultimate2 and you’ll notice a little tap to the left of the handle, with a thin clear tube attached.

Vacuum Port

It is in the off position here when I took the photo, but what it is doing, is drawing a vacuum from around the outside of the plastic bag, allowing the bag to remain in position.  If there was air around the outside of the plastic bag, when a vacuum is drawn inside the bag, and container by the Cleantex, that air would try to follow taking the plastic bag into the vacuum tube.

So what stops the plastic bag being drawn into this port, blocking it?

Well inside the handle there is a foam insert, allowing air to pass through, but dispersing the flow so the plastic bag doesn’t get sucked in that tube.

To draw a vacuum in the tube, at the other end it connects directly to the port that connect to the Cleantex itself at the inlet.

There is no valve this end. The tube pushes straight in and is held firmly by the connector.

I’m still a bit mystified that there is enough air drawn through this tube to create a vacuum outside the bag that can cope with the amount of vacuum drawn inside the bag.  But I guess the people at Oneida have figured that out so I don’t have to think about it.

I did find the sealing around the lid was insufficient straight out of the box – too thin, and too short.  This problem was easily solved with a additional length of stickon dense foam (window seal/draught stop, from Bunnies).

As far as how well it worked – brilliantly.  I tried overwhelming it with large piles of dust, I tried large volume generation (such as surfacing with the Torque Workcentre), and it handled it all.  And if there was any fine dust that did get through, the vacuum’s HEPA filter dealt with that.  Not that I saw any evidence of dust getting through: the HEPA filter remained clean, at least to the eye, even after 2 days of surfacing redgum.  The dust from redgum is very distinctive, and dark, so if any had gotten through I’d expect to see it in a discolouration on the HEPA filter.

So that is the Ultimate2 Dust Deputy from Oneida: It will significantly extend the life of the HEPA filter in your vac (assuming you have one), makes emptying easier (instead of having to lift the entire vacuum motor off the top of the Cleantex to access the bag). And saves you significant money in bags for the vac.  The paper ones are expensive to keep replacing, and the long-life one (which is empty-able) is $375 for my Cleantex.  For an extra $22.50, you can have all the benefits of cyclonic dust separation, and not have to change your consumable bag for a VERY long time!

The Ultimate2 can be purchased here.  As far as I know this is the only supplier of the “2” in Australia.

(As to the lyrics, excluding my addition, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist that the line is wrong, I chose the Bob Marley version, rather than the Eric Clapton one!) 😉

Double Dolly

Dropped into Carbatec on my way home, intending to pick up the extra magnetic rail that I needed to finish the turning chisel storage. (Oh, and yes, I did get a couple)

While having a look around, (including a peek in the yet-to-be-released latest catalogue), I saw the Dust Deputy is now also available as just the cyclone on its own, for those who don’t feel a need to get the bucket and hoses (which is fair enough!) and would be quite a cost saving I imagine (I didn’t check the price).

Alongside the stack of these new boxed cyclones were some unlabeled ones, and being ever curious I wanted to know what they were. Turns out, they are Dust Deputy Double Dollys (here-after referred to as DD DD, or simply Double Ds 😉 )


They are currently available as a web special, marked down from $109 to $39. They allow you to mount your vac on one side, and the cyclone on the other so they can wheel around together.

I had to grab one (there are now 3 left in Melbourne!), as it sure beats how I was doing it up until now. That is, balancing the unit on the side of the vac (tied in place), with a number of lead dive weights in the bottom of the vac so it doesn’t over balance. Sure makes it heavy to pick up to relocate it!

So now I have a Double D. Happy days 😉


Oneida 1, Stu’s Shed 0

Gave a real crack at sorting out the Systainer version of the Dust Deputy, making up a strong box to go inside the Systainer, all Dominoed together (used the Domino with the Cleantex for the first time……nice!) and slots cut to match the inside of the Systainer using the router table in its new configuration which also worked very nicely.

Tried it out again, and with all the additions, still very little dust was collected, the majority passing through to the vacuum bag.

Inner Skin

So with such an unexpected failure of the concept, I wondered if it was just the Festool Cleantex that was too powerful for the size of the cyclone.  I then tried the unit using the Shopvac, which has been very successful in the past, and although the collection was improved, still no decent result.  I can only suspect now that the shape of the collection container plays more of a part than I first suspected.  I may play again another day, but at this stage I couldn’t be bothered wasting any more time on the development.

So I reverted the cyclone to its original (commercial) orientation and tried the Cleantex again.

Big dust pile test

The Cleantex certainly has a fair suck on it – the problem I have highlighted in the past about the original lid of the Dust Deputy bin not being strong enough was significantly exaggerated – the lid getting badly sucked in (but still maintaining a seal)

At the end of a dust mountain (about 1/2 the dust drum), I checked the Cyclone bin, as well as the Cleantex dust bag.

Cyclone bin – nicely full, Cleantex bag – nicely empty.

Suck results - full bin, empty bag

So reverted everything back to pre-mod orientation – the Cooltainer back to being a Cooltainer, the Cyclone back to original, and the other Systainer put back together.  It still has a hole in the lid, and I still like the idea of a cyclone that fits on top of the Cleantex.

So I took the second dust bin of the Dust Deputy, and screwed it straight to the top of the spare (and somewhat aerated) Systainer.  Now I do need a longer initial hose, but the concept is there, just not as elegant as I intended. (Bugger).

A version of my vision

Cyclonic Festool

With Safety Week drawing to a close, thought a couple of practical articles would be good to offset all the theory during the rest of the week!

With the arrival of the Festool Cleantex Dust Collection CT36 and coincidentally the Dust Deputy, it seemed ideal to couple the two together, and especially given that Systainers can be locked solidly to the top of the Cleantex, transforming one into a dust bin seemed perfect.

Step one involved removing the lid from the systainer, and that was easily achieved with the lid open, and a screwdriver inserted into the pin/hinge and a gentle rap with a rubber mallet. Rinse and repeat for the other side and the top came straight off.

Next, I took the Dust Deputy cyclone off its original lid, and used that lid as a template to mark out where the holes need to be.

I needed to offset the cyclone so it didn’t impact on the handle, and especially the forms on the inside of the lid.

Marking out the holes

I originally thought that I’d use this Systainer on top of a second, with the base of one cut away, and the top of the next cut away so I could detach the top Systainer completely so the lower one could be emptied.  However, I couldn’t justify sacrificing two Systainers to the experiment, so thought I’d experiment with just the one (at least initially).  I decided to swap this lid with one on a larger Systainer (and if you notice that the lid that got marked out is different to the one that is cut, you’d be right – I initially marked the wrong lid!)

Holes cut, including bolt holes

Underneath there is some reinforcing ribbing, and some of that had to be cut away.  It doesn’t weaken the top, because I am replacing a few light ribs with a chunk of solid steel!

Cutting away underside ribbing

Next it was easy to bolt the cyclone on top of the lid.

Attaching the cyclone

The lid, ready to go – so far a very easy modification, and other than one damaged lid, easily reversed.  I got the Systainer cheaply (second hand), so the mod so far cost $10.

Systainer Lid with Dust Deputy Cyclone

Fitting the whole unit on top of the CT36 is also a no brainer, and the hose that comes with the cyclone is a perfect size for the Festool Cleantex.

CT36 with Cyclone Collector

Nothing left to do, but give it a test, so made a pile of dust…..

Test pile of sawdust

And sucked it up.


Now at this stage the system is working, but I need to make some immediate additions – the Systainer is not able to resist the strength of the vacuum, and that causes some significant leaks around the lid (and the rear wall of the Systainer gets pulled in).  These leaks mean the separator didn’t work well at all (yet) because the influx of air from the collection bin means the dust was able to progress from the inlet tube to the outlet rather than fall into the Systainer.

I can solve two problems with one solution – I will make a thin-walled box (MDF) to fit inside the Systainer.  This will fully support the walls of the Systainer, as well as collect the dust and it can be lifted out to empty, rather than removing the Systainer from the Cleantex.  Secondly, some of that rubber that goes around windows and doors as a draught stop should significantly help the sealing, resulting in effective use of the cyclone.

As a quick initial modification (30 minutes), I am very happy with how it is looking already, and with a few extra improvements should become a perfect addition to the new shop vac.

A visit to Costco

Had an interesting first visit to Costco over the weekend (the place seems like a Tardis – much larger on the inside than it certainly appeared from the outside)!

Didn’t expect it to become a shed-related activity, and there was a very limited number of tools there (did spot a Lithium-Ion GMC cordless drill (guess there are still some GMC tools out there)), and a stack of ShopVacs.

ShopVac 20

Given the GMC vac I have been using occasionally is already threatening to turn into a molten lump of plastic in the middle of the floor, I thought I’d grab one of the ShopVacs (think they were about $70).  The other reason I picked one was because of comments made in the past on this site when discussing dust collection from Festool power tools.  Someone mentioned they used a ShopVac as the nozzle size was pretty suitable for Festool.

ShopVac to Festool

Ah well, it’s better than nothing.  In a perfect world…….

Festool Vac with Dust Deputy Cyclone

……I’d have a Festool Dust Collection system, and even more ideally, with a cyclonic dust separator such as this commercial one from Oneida.  That sucks 😉

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