Tag Archives: 52 Week Challenge

Cyclone Dust Collector – Harbor Freight and Super Dusty Buddy

Make #31

For dust control, I’ve been using an old shop vac and Dust Deputy. It worked well enough, but then the vacuum died spectacularly. It stopped running with a column of thick smoke and then melted down. Rather than abusing another shop vacuum, I started looking for a dust collector.

I opted for the 2 HP model from Harbor Freight. It’s very popular and a good price that’s even better with a 20% off coupon. I also got the larger Super Dust Deputy since the little bucket version worked well for me. Using the conical cyclone, debris enters, swirls around, and drops to a collector rather than going through the blower motor into a collection bag. The primary purpose is to prevent solid chips/chunks, etc from hitting the motor’s impeller and causing damage. But it’s also extremely efficient at capturing anything that gets sucked up.

I’m not using the bagging system with Harbor Freight Kit. I’m simply venting outside. The advantage here is that only the finest dust will escape the Dust Deputy, but this fine dust is the most problematic. It’s the most dangerous to inhale, and it’s also the most difficult to filter. So, rather than building an expensive filtering system, I’m just going to just exhaust it outdoors. Once it snows, I’ll be able to see how much dust is being vented and whether I need to rethink it. So far, it’s working great.

The other advantages of this setup are it’s a small footprint. It’s vertical at less than 2-foot by 2-foot. The other advantage is there’s no filter to restrict airflow, so it should help increase power or at least help counter the restriction from the cyclone.

I opted to go for the newer 4-inch Super Dust Deputy. I was hesitant to buy a smaller unit than the larger cyclone with 5-inch connections. I was concerned if it would hurt power and not be as efficient. So far, it seems perfectly fine. It seems Oneida designed this version of the Super Cyclone for the popular Harbor Freight and similarly sized dust collectors. This is a turn-key system that includes a 15-gallon drum. The cyclone fits directly on the drum and doesn’t require a lid or cutout. It also includes a foam gasket to get a tight seal. The output is 4″, which is the typical for small to medium shop dust collection. It also includes a fitting/adapter out of the top for 4″.

For my setup, I made a wall mount with 2x4s. I then just set then fan blower so the input is facing the ground. I didn’t mount the blower anywhere. It’s heavy and the blower input sticks out so will keep it from sliding off. Once mounted, I used the Harbor Freight duct adapter and 5″ output hose. I cut a hole in the wall, installed a 5″ wall duct baffle, and connected it all with clamps. I also cut a short length of the 5″ hose and connected that to the lower input with a clamp. Then used a 4″ reducer. Then I attached a length of 4″ hose to the Super Dust Deputy.  Out of the Harbor Freight kit, I’m just using the blower, duct adapter, and hose.

This gives me a straight line for airflow with only a minimal curve on the output. I mounted the lower at a height that was convenient for me to reach the switch. I thought about sitting the drum on a cart  for convienent emptying and maybe steal a little extra shop storage space but didn’t I don’t have a clear path to wheel out the drum anyway. I also didn’t want to directly connect the blower to the Super Dust Buddy because I thought it might make it more difficult to empty the drum. I’m thinking about using some bungee cords to hold the Super Dust Buddy when emptying, but it seems light enough that the hose clamps can support it hanging.

Lastly, I need to work on connections. I intend to simply move the 4″ hose to machine to machine. My shop is small and only the table saw is stationary, so I don’t have fixed stations for duct work.

Dust Collector System
Dust Collector System
4" Super Dust Buddy
4″ Super Dust Buddy
Collected Dust
Collected Dust


Box #2

Make #29

Here’s my second box. I used the new jig. Something that works well is placing a small strip scrap hardwood behind the workpiece. I was getting tearout without, but this seems to give clean cuts.

I made a couple made a couple mistakes cutting the inset for the cover, but otherwise this turned out OK. I finished it with some stain.

Box Joint Jig #2

Make 28

Remaking a box/finger joint jig. This fits my new saw. Similar to the remade cross cut sled, I left this open on the top and also using 1/2″ plywood. This is lighter and gives more flexibility.

I have a rear fence and behind that I have a stop block for the blade. Then I clamp templates to the fense. I have templates for 1/2″ and 3/8″ joints. Each template has its own little piece glued in as a key,



Make 27

This started out as a cutting board, but had a bunch of problems. I ended up just makign coaster instead.

The plan was to cut thin strips of walnut and maple and then glue together one of each. Then glue those bundles together into strips. This is rather than solid strips of maple and walnut. I’ll try this again someday, but for now we have nice end grain coasters.

On the bottom I glued some no-skid material. I finished it with wipe on matte poly.



Cross Cut Sled #2

Make 26, Week 15

This is a new crosscut sled for my new saw. The old sled didn’t fit the new miter slots. This time around I made a few changes.

First, I use 1/2-inch birch plywood rather than particle board.  I also didn’t do a front fence. This is much lighter and also without a front fence, larger workpieces can extend off of the sled.

The fence is two pieces of 3/4-inch birch plywood laminated together. I also screwed a block behind the blade area. This will give a place to bury the blade and be a guide of where to not place fingers. This block is screwed into the sled so it’s also helping to hold to two pieces of the sled together.  Also, two blocks at the end screwed into the fence. This is basically somewhere to hold when moving the sled with the hope of not putting to much stress on the fence. Lastly, I used walnut for the miter rails.

We’ll see how this holds up.

It seems to be pretty square. I did a 5 cut on about a 10-inch board and it came out to I guess 0.0009 inches off. I think that’s probably close enough.

New cross cut sled
New crosscut sled
Fence and blocks
fence and blocks
Miter rails
Miter rails
0.00045 inches off across 5 cuts
0.0045 inches off across 5 cuts

Box/Finger Joint Jig

Make 24, Week 14

My first try at a box I did 45-degree miter joints for the edges. For the next box, I want to try using box joints. I made this sled and jig to make these on the table saw. I also picked up a dado blade to cut these joints.

I made a little sled with two miter rails. The plan is to have different fences attached to the sled fence for different dado widths. I then made a small key to fit the dado slot as a placeholder. The first time I did this, I made the key too tall. Being that tall I had to cut deeper dados than I needed, so I redid the fence and key with a shallow dado.

This worked out pretty well on my test pieces. The set fence was held in place with a clamp, but I needed to reposition the clamp when I started the other board. I think it shifted a 1/8 of an inch or so. I’ve seen some similar jigs held together with a bolt rather than clamps. I’ll have to play around with it, but it’s close enough.

Mini sled
3/8″ dado fence with key
Spacer key
Fitting the cuts
Matching it up
Fitting joints together

First Box

Make 23, Week 13

I’ve been working on cutting boards for learning projects, now I’m planning to do some boxes. Boxes seems a good way to try new joinery. Also, I can experiment with different ideas for tops and finishes. Plus get some more experience milling wood down to a little more precision.

My first box used 45-degree miter joints. I used the table saw to cut these. For the bottom, I cut a 3/8 dado into the sides using the router table. I then milled down a piece of wood to fit into the grove. I then cut some rabbets into the top of the sides so the lid could set in there. Finally, I glued a small piece of wood as a handle for the top. Then I a dry fit and sanded everything down.

I used pine 1×6 boards as something cheap to play with. When I feel confident, I’ll graduate up to hardwood. I finished the boards with a pre-stain treatment and a lighter stain. One issue is my glue-up leaked out, so next time I’ll tape things off to protect the wood.

Pine box with cover
Pine box with cover
Pine box with lid
Pine box with lid
Inside Pine Box
Inside Pine Box
Miter edge
Miter edge
Glue oops
Glue oops

Cutting Board #5

Make 22, Week 13

Yet another cutting board. This one turned out pretty well although a perfect pattern is still elusive. I actually meant this to be a checkerboard but did an odd number of edge grain strips instead of even to get a pattern when cutting the end grain strips. But this works.

Cutting Board #4 - Maple and Walnut Stripes
Cutting Board #4 – Maple and Walnut Stripes
Closeup Cutting Board #4 - Maple and Walnut Stripes
Closeup Cutting Board #4 – Maple and Walnut Stripes