Double-Duty Dust Cart

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A shop vac and cyclone corral, plus a handy sanding station

Whether your shop is Lilliputian or Brobdingnagian, it’s hard to overstate the importance of dust collection. Airborne sawdust is hard on the lungs and (almost as tragically) can ruin that perfect finish. Sawdust lying on the floor or on machines isn’t much better; it can create a slip hazard, obscure small parts and tools, and trap moisture, which can cause rust on metal surfaces. Even if you have a dedicated dust collector, it is well worth investing in a good shop vac to connect to portable power tools and to do general clean-up.

One of the best things you can do to get more out of your vac is to add an auxiliary cyclone separator. These small plastic units allow most of the debris to drop out of the airflow before it hits the filter. This means less time cleaning the filter and better overall vacuum performance. By building a dedicated cart, the vac and cyclone can move together around the shop. To get even more use out of my setup, I also included a small downdraft table allowing the cart to double as a sanding station. The onboard iVac outlet even turns the vac on automatically as soon as I trigger whatever tool I have plugged into it.

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