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Old 02-06-2019, 11:56 PM
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Default FESTOPPER - an inexpensive Dust Extractor mounted cyclone

While it is clear that the addition of a pre-separator can significantly extend the life of the Festool CT vacuum bags, the existing options all had problems that I believe I have now solved. While I have, and like, Dust Deputy cyclones, the ones that I have in my shop are unwieldy. This is particularly true of those that are mounted on top of the Festool Dust Extractor. The Oneida design is extremely tall, as are the DIY versions that I have seen. Further, at $299 each, Oneida's Ultimate Dust Deputy Kit ( https://www.oneida-air.com/dust-depu...t-festool-vacs ) is by no means inexpensive.

Since its introduction, I have noted a great deal of interest in the newly introduced Festool CT Cyclone CT-VA-20 ( https://www.festoolusa.com/products/...083---ct-va-20 ). However, there is no question that $375 is a bit more than most hobbyists, and even many professionals, are eager to spend on a pre-separator, even one that carries the Festool name.

I recently became aware of a relatively new product called a Dustopper ( http://dustopper.com ). The Dustopper is a "Thien-type" baffle that is sold at Home Depot and is ready, out-of-the-box, to be mounted on a Home Depot "Homer" 5-gallon bucket. The Dustopper carries a list price of only $39.97 ( https://www.homedepot.com/p/Dustoppe...HD12/302643445 ). Problems that have been reported by users include the unit's failure to adequately seal to "standard" 5-gallon buckets, although Home Depot's response has been that their "Homer" buckets are made to much higher tolerances than typically available 5-gallon buckets, whereby the sealing issue is not present when an actual "Homer" bucket is used. Another problem that has been reported is that the clips that attach it to the bucket are prone to break if the Dustopper is repeatedly attached to, and removed from, the "Homer" bucket.

It occurred to me that I could build a plywood box that has a bottom configured to fit the top of my CT-22E and CT-26E Festool Dust Extractors, so that it would lock onto the top of the Extractor, just like the Oneida and Festool designs do. However, when I initially attempted to modify a Homer bucket to be fitted to such a box I learned that the diameter of the bucket (about 290 mm) is extremely close to the width (295 mm) needed to fit the top of the box, whereby once the circular opening was cut into the top it would provide no support for the bucket. Nevertheless, after several design iterations, I discovered a way to modify a Homer bucket to fit and connect to the top of the dust collection box, to make the device airtight, and to have the collection box's top removable to empty the collected sawdust, whereby it would not be necessary to remove the Dustopper from the top of the collection box in order to empty the sawdust, thereby eliminating the clip breakage issue.

In making the various modifications, I also discovered that I could modify the Homer bucket in two different ways. In the first, I retained the portion of the bucket that includes the handle. While this results in a somewhat taller unit, it does provide the user with a convenient handle to move the Extractor with the Festopper attached. In the second version I eliminated the handle portion of the bucket, resulting in a lower overall height, which could be a benefit to those wishing to be able to place their Extractor under their MFT/3 table. In either case, the overall height of the collection box can be modified so as to minimize the height of the Festopper or, alternatively, to increase the capacity of its collection box. The cost of the Festopper, including the purchase of the Dustopper, the Homer bucket, and various other items was about $60.

Plans comprising 18 pages and dozens of photos are now available at on Etsy.com
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: FESTOPPER - an inexpensive Dust Extractor mounted cyclone

That is a nice looking unit.


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Old 02-07-2019, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: FESTOPPER - an inexpensive Dust Extractor mounted cyclone

Nice tool mod.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: FESTOPPER - an inexpensive Dust Extractor mounted cyclone

Nice work. From your description, I was guessing a flared top box would be necessary to accommodate the Homer bucket.
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