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Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 2/7/04

Trash Can Cyclone Lid
by Drew McManus

(Retailer's Product Description) Improve your single stage dust collector's efficiency by converting it into a 2-stage unit with this lid and a common trash can! The Cyclone Lid lets you collect the larger and heavier shavings and dust before they reach your impeller and dust collection bags. This lid features a foam gasket for a superior seal and an elbow fitting under the inlet side to induce a cyclonic air flow inside the can for increased efficiency. Accepts 4" hose. Fits standard 30 gallon metal trash cans.

Available from Woodcraft - $29.99 Item #143290


Packaging & Instructions Rating: 5/5
The separator comes in a large box in two pieces, the circular top lid and the elbow that mounts into the intake port. The cardboard is thick and seemed to keep everything well protected. There are no instruction besides the diagrams on the outside of the box, but it is very straightforward.   

Assembly Rating: 4.5/5
You'll need to purchase a metal 30 gallon trash can at your local home store in order to use this product. Don't use a plastic can, they tend to buckle under the suction of the dust collector. Once you have the can, you need to insert the plastic 90º elbow into the intake port. The only problem is mine didn't stay put, it kept falling out when I put the lid onto the trash can. I solved this problem by simply using some super glue to affix the elbow permanently into the intake port. A small nuisance, but a nuisance nevertheless.

Once that was done I then placed the lid on top of the metal trash can and pushed down tight so it snapped into place. Then I connected the dust collector to the lid with a 4" hose and there were no problems with any of the fittings. The 4" hose slipped over the intake port easily and the hose clamp created a nice tight seal. The last step was to run a grounding wire around everything and it was all ready to go.

Using the Lid with my dust collector Rating 5/5
I used as little hose as possible from my dust collector to the separator lid so as to reduce the reduction in the collector's performance. Although the collector's performance was diminished a little, it still worked great and the separator functioned perfectly. It wasn't nearly as noisy as I thought it would be and the trash can didn't budge an inch when I turned the dust collector on.

An especially nice feature of this separator lid is the inclusion of a foam ring on the bottom lip of the lid, much like a weather strip. This creates a nice air tight seal that keeps all of the dust and chips in the trash can while also helping to create a nice tight fit. To my knowledge, other separator lids offered on the market do not offer this great feature. If you can not purchase this model from Woodcraft then I strongly suggest you create your own foam seal on whatever unit you decide to purchase.

Conclusion Rating: 4.85/5
This was great, simple, product that has improved my dust collection system tremendously. I no longer have to worry about accidentally sweeping a screw or nut into the floor sweep that may damage the impeller and I haven't had to empty my dust collector bag (a serious hassle) nearly so often.

The trash can does fill up quickly, especially if you are planing, but it is simple to empty into a 30 gallon trash bag. My advice is go out and buy this right now. It is one of those simple, cheap solutions in your shop that you will be happy you made! It's a great value at the price.

Drew McManus

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