How to Make a 2 Stage Dust Collector

January 12, 2017


To kick off the new season on my channel, I’m converting my 2HP Harbor Freight dust collector that I received from my grandparents (Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Devine!). The purpose of a two stage dust collection system is to separate the large chips of wood from the super fine dust. This will allow the large chips to fall into a container without having to go through the impeller. This prevents damage to the impeller incase you accidentally vacuum up nails, screws or anything else that could potentially damage the impeller. I started out by drilling 2 holes in the top of a 32 gallon trash can lid that fit a piece of 4″ PVC pipe snug. From there I used epoxy to glue on my 2 couplers on the top side of the lid and my 2 elbows on the bottom side of the lid with a piece of 4″ wide, 3″ long PVC pipe to hold the coupler and elbow together. On the inside of the lid, I also added weather stripping to create the most airtight seal possible. I then slid in 2- 4″ splice connectors into the 3″ piece of PVC pipe and that stuck out of the couplers on top, which allowed me to add my dust collection hose from the trash can to the impeller. I then ran the outfeed of the impeller through another piece of PVC pipe which leads outside. This will allow the super fine dust to vent outside instead of adding a filter element and collecting this dust as well. This will eliminate the need for a filter and I won’t have to worry about emptying/cleaning out another can. With everything setup, I gathered a pile of sawdust and put the collector to work. Without missing a beat, the two stage dust collector was working great. The large pieces fell into the trash can and the super fine dust went through the impeller and were blown outside. In the next couple of weeks, I plan on adding PVC pipe throughout the shop to setup a full on dust collection system. I’ll be sure to link that video below when it comes out!


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