A couple weeks ago I purchased the Porter Cable table saw. One of the features is the dust port sized for a shop vac, and it works really well with my Ridged vacuum. Time for a cyclone separator, since all my sawdust will end up in the shop vac and replacing filters can be costly.
There are a lot of separators available, and the price range is fairly wide. I’ve been looking a the offerings from Rockler and Oneida to name just a couple. There is a decent review of a these at Woodwhisperer.
Of course, one could be made as well. There are many documented plans for various styles of collectors. Woodgears to the Thien version. Since my shop time is limited, I don’t really want to spend a day making something that could be had inexpensively (and the cost might be a wash, depending on the parts purchased to make your own).
I was on the Grizzly website and came across a new item, an inexpensive cyclone solution called “Woodstock International D4241 12″ Cyclone Separator”. Cheap enough to be an impulse buy, I purchased one and a can of Slip-It.
First, the good. The build quality is actually better than expected. The molded plastic is thick and doesn’t flex too much. There’s a ring of open cell foam insulation that seals the separator to the five gallon bucket, and it seems to do the job. So with the separator installed on a Home Depot 5 gallon bucket, the next step is to connect it to my Ridged shop vac. This is where the praise for this item will take a sharp nosedive.
The Ridged hose will not connect, size mismatch. Ok, just go to Home Depot with the separator and find some hose adapters to fit this device. No such luck, there is nothing in the Ridged line that will connect to this. Next stop: Plumbing. Bought a couple 2″ rubber couplers for the connectivity issues.
This inexpensive separator is slowly climbing in price.
Once everything was finally connected, it was time to suck some dust! And what a disappointment. Everything went right through the bucket and into the vacuum. EVERYTHING. Clearly the cyclone action is not happening. It’s almost as if there is a piece missing. Did some digging around and came across this at ToolKing.com. Looks to be the same thing, but with a 90 degree elbow inside, which would make sense.
I could add that to mine, but at this point I don’t want to throw anymore money at it. I just want to RMA the thing and get my money back.
The D4241 12″ Cyclone Separator is a complete waste of time and money.
UPDATE: I was able to RMA the separator, so that money will go towards an Oneida Dust Deputy.
UPDATE 10MAR13: Fixed the link to the product on Grizzly’s website, they changed the item number.