Review of the Dust Deputy
(Small images to the left enlarge when clicked)
  • In a small woodshop, like mine, with no central dust collector, a shop-vac becomes the main source of sawdust clean-up. They are convenient to use because you can roll them from woodworking tool to tool with ease.
  • One of the problems associated with shop vacs is that the filters will eventually become clogged. Once clogged, sawdust clean up must stop until the filter is either changed or cleaned. This may be required several times during a woodworking session which slows progress. Most of us woodworkers would rather spend our time making sawdust then cleaning out shop vac filters.
  • The folks at Oneida Air Systems came up with an ingenious way to prevent this problem. They invented a tool that prevents the sawdust from ever reaching your shop vac in the first place. Therefore, the shop vac filter does not need to be cleaned or changed.
Unpacking and Gathering Supplies
  • My first impression of the Dust Deputy DIY was that it was bigger than I expected and it looked very solidly built. In an age where a lot of products are unfortunately made overseas, I was happy to find out that the Dust Deputy is proudly made and invented in the USA.
  • In order to utilize the DIY Dust Deputy cyclone, you need to acquire a 10 gallon or smaller drum with a lid. I used a 5-gallon plastic bucket that is readily available at most home centers. Oneida Air Systems recommends that you use a bucket with at least a 90 mil side thickness otherwise the bucket may collapse. In order to prevent vacuum loss during use, the bucket must also be air tight.
  • You will also need six 1/4" x 1" bolts, nuts and washers. These were also easy to find at my home center.
  • For a little more money ($40), Oneida Air Systems offers a complete Dust Deputy package that includes everything you will need to utilize your Dust Deputy. This includes the bucket and hardware.
Preparing the Bucket Lid
  • The instructions call for attaching the DIY Dust Deputy cyclone to the center of the top of the lid. You will need to trace a line around the cyclone and the bolt holes.
  • Next, the instructions call for drawing a line connecting each bolt hole mark as shown in the picture to the left. This helps in defining the center point of the hole you will need to cut out.
  • You will need to next draw a 3" diameter circle centered around the intersection of the lines drawn above.
  • I measured out from the center 1.5" and made a mark on each line. I was able to find a cup that had a 3" diameter and used it to trace my 3" diameter hole using the 1.5" marks as a guide.
  • I next used a utility knife to carefully cut out the 3" hole. I started with a smaller hole and gradually shaved away plastic from the lid until I was close to my 3" line.
  • In order to obtain a good seal between the cyclone and the lid, the instructions call for using a sealant around the bottom of the cyclone. I used a silicone caulk for this purpose which should provide an adequate seal.
  • Next all that is left in the assembly is to attach the DIY Dust Deputy cyclone to the lid using the six 1/4" x 1" bolts, nuts and washers.
Dust Collecting Capabilities
  • The Cyclone has two ports, one for the vacuum connection and one for the dust inlet. You have the option of hooking up the Dust Deputy directly to a woodworking machine if you choose. You could also use it for every day shop clean-up by moving the bucket around with the shop vac.
  • Oneida Air Systems claims that the Dust Deputy would prevent 99% of the sawdust from ever reaching your shop vac. In order to test this claim and the sawdust collecting capabilities of the Dust Deputy, I filled 1/3 of a bucket with sawdust from around the shop. The sawdust varied in size from a fine sawdust to planer-chip-sized.
  • In a normal woodworking session, depending upon which tool the Dust Deputy was hooked up to, the rate of sawdust production will vary. Therefore, in order to really push the Dust Deputy to its limits, I vacuumed up the sawdust from the bucket at a very aggressive rate (a rate that would exceed the production of sawdust from any woodworking tool during use).
  • I next examined the shop vac for any sawdust and found only a trace amount (an amount small enough that would agree with Oneida Air System's claim).
  • I next dragged my shop vac around the shop with the bucket/Dust Deputy and continued to clean up sawdust from the floor of my woodshop. One problem that I found with the Dust Deputy was that the bucket would have a tendency to tip over during use. This problem could be easily solved by putting a weight in the bottom of the bucket or by attaching the Dust Deputy/bucket to the shop vac. Oneida Air Systems also offers carts that will solve mobility and tipping issues.
  • After cleaning my wood shop I again checked the shop vac for any signs of sawdust and the result was the same (trace amount).
The Bottom Line
  • Does GarageWoodworks recommend the Dust Deputy Cyclone? Yes! The Oneida Air Systems Dust Deputy Cyclone does everything that the company claimed that it would. It will be a valued tool in my woodshop and will most likely be permanently connected to my shop vac.