By connecting a dust separator to my shop vacuum, the vac’s filter stays cleaner because dust settles out in the separator before it reaches the vacuum.

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By connecting a dust separator to my shop vacuum, the vac's filter stays cleaner because dust settles out in the separator before it reaches the vacuum. Also, the separator holds more dust and empties easier.

The setup shown here—made from 34 " plywood and 2×4 scraps—works with many Craftsman and Ridgid vacs that have outboard caster housings with circular grooves for holding 214 " nozzles and wands. The separator platform rests on legs secured in the caster housings with short pieces of 2" PVC pipe couplers. Tenons cut on the ends of the 2×4s, using a 112 " holesaw, fit into the couplers—after a bit of rasp work. I offset the tenons by placing the holesaw's pilot bit just inside the edge of the 2×4 and used a handsaw to cut the tenon shoulders. The offset tenons move the legs away from the vacuum tank.

The caster housings previously provided storage for vac accessories, so I glued blocks measuring 214 " diagonally to the separator platform for the vac accessories—now they're easier to reach! My Dust Right separator (rockler.com) has five casters, so I drilled five holes in the platform to accept them. Gussets cut at an angle hold the tapered separator tank in place. The wands rest on Z-clips screwed to one leg, and are secured by a bungee cord held in place with a cable loop screwed to the back of the leg.
—Ed Piché, Troy, Mich.