I have decided to make my own dust collector for my shop vac, something very similar to the Dust Deputy just cheaper and hopefully just as efficient. I got the idea from a member of Lumberjocks, jcoulam . He built one himself and put a couple of photos on the Internet and basic drawing which gave me inspiration in making my own. I figured I would create basically the same thing and I would provide more photos and descriptions of how it was done.
I went to Lowe's and bought a few supplies that I would need.
-1 8"x24" piece of galvanized pipe that is split down the length
-1 new 5 gallon bucket and a lid that fit securely
-1 2' piece of 2" PVC
-2 2" plumbing couplings
-1 8'x2 1/2" Shop Vac hose
-1 syringe of 1 min epoxy
-A small amount of self tapping metal screws
-1 tube of caulk
The first thing that I wanted to accomplish was to get the funnel made. I tried it without cutting the piece of pipe hoping to just trim it when I had the final shape and it held securely. This proved to be pretty difficult so I went for a little professional help, my mother's engineer at the truss company who is brilliant at this sort of thing.
We sat down and he came up with pattern that I could lay out on my piece of sheet metal and just cut out my funnel. To do this he used all sorts of math from college that I have forgotten and some odd formulas. In a few minutes we were drawing the cut pattern onto the sheet metal. When I put the cut piece of metal to the test and fastened it together it came out perfect! No cutting necessary. When you screw the funnel together it's best to predrill holes in the overlapping piece so that the screws will pull the underside piece tight.
(I will come back and post the dimensions and figures at a later date so that everyone can do this the easy way.)
The next thing I did was cut a circle out of a piece of 1/2" plywood that was a little bit smaller than top of the funnel so that it could sit down in the funnel just a grunt. This ended up being about a 7 7/8" diameter circle with a 2" hole cut in the middle of it to allow for the PVC to pass though.
Next I had to cut a whole in the funnel so that a piece of 2" PVC could be inserted at an angle. This wasn't very difficult, I just held the piece of pipe above the funnel and drew what looked like the correct cut on the pipe then whacked it off on the band saw. It really doesn't have to be perfect I don't think, just close. Then I took that piece of PVC with the angle cut and placed against the funnel where it would go through at and traced around the sides of it to give me a hole to cut. Cutting this with my jig saw was pretty easy with a fine tool metal blade.
Next I cut another piece of plywood that was a bit smaller than the size of the 5 gallon bucket lid and cut a hole in the center of it large enough to allow about an inch or so if the funnel to pass through it, I think the hole was about 3". Then I cut slits in the part of the funnel that was sticking out and folded them back and screwed it to the plywood. Since I was using wood screws to get a bite in the ply wood I predrilled all the holes in the metal flanges first.
Next I cut a hole in the lid of the 5 gallon bucket and fastened it to the bottom piece of plywood.
Now it was time to start gluing a caulking things. I first used the 1 minute epoxy to secure the piece of PVC in the side of the funnel. Don't put the plywood in the top before doing this because it helps to apply some epoxy on the inside of the funnel here.
Then I caulked around the base of the funnel, the seam in the funnel, and in between the bucket top and the piece of plywood. I loosened the screws between the bucket top and plywood so that I could get a good bit of caulk in here. I sat the funnel upright for the night to let it dry before tightening the screws. The weight of the funnel is pretty good at this point and keeps the joint there decently tight. Now when I tighten the screws in the morning the caulk will act as a gasket (learned that from sailboats although most of you reading probably already know that).
That is all I had time for today and I hope to finish it tomorrow and see how well it works! As you can tell in the above picture I didn't have the top piece of plywood fastened or caulked in place.