A pre-marked dowel helps know when cyclone dust collector is full.
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Drawing of dowel measuring dust collector

I love my cyclone dust collector, but I could never tell when its collection barrel needed to be emptied. So I epoxied a PVC reducing bushing  over the bung hole of the drum lid and threaded on a PVC ball valve as shown. 

To check the sawdust level in the drum, I simply open the valve and insert a dowel. If I can see the "full" line I've scribed on the dowel when I feel resistance from the dust pack, I know it's time to empty the barrel.

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