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Make a cart for your Dust Deputy

comments (11) August 15th, 2011 in blogs

AsaC Asa Christiana, Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
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This is my simple but effective cart, just a slab of plywood, with the Shop Vacs wheel set screwed on below. It works like a charm, turning my awkward old setup into one graceful unit.
I used to have the Dust Deputy bolted on in the standard way. But even after I attached a little foot to the plastic bucket, the whole thing was so tippy I just left it in one place in my shop.
To get the two units closer together on my plywood cart, I rotated the Shop Vac a bit so its hose cleared the Dust Deputy bucket. This meant I had to reposition the Shop Vacs handle. I plugged the unused bolt hole with a flat-head screw, driven into a little piece of wood inside.
Since so little dust ends up in the shop vacuum, you can just screw it down to the plywood. Do the same to the bottom bucket under the Dust Deputy.
I cut the Shop Vacs wheel assembly apart, and found a way to bolt and screw it to the bottom of the plywood. Nothing wasted, no money spent!
This is my simple but effective cart, just a slab of plywood, with the Shop Vacs wheel set screwed on below. It works like a charm, turning my awkward old setup into one graceful unit. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

This is my simple but effective cart, just a slab of plywood, with the Shop Vac's wheel set screwed on below. It works like a charm, turning my awkward old setup into one graceful unit.


I love Oneida's Dust Deputy, and I said as much 2 years ago in my original review of this mini-cyclone dust separator that attaches to shop vacuums. It keeps the shop vac empty, its filter remarkably clean, and the suction super-strong. But bolted to the side of my vac's canister, it was an awkward appendage, tipping constantly as I tried to wheel the whole shebang around the shop. I've always intended to make a cart that would support both units, and I've see a number of designs for those.

But the one I made this weekend is simpler than anything I've seen. It took a single scrap of 3/4-in. plywood and a few bolts and screws. So it cost me nothing, and took about an hour to make! 

The cart came together after a couple of brainstorms. One is that I could take the wheels off the Shop Vac canister, and simply screw the canister and Dust Deputy to the plywood. That works because the Dust Deputy sits on two 5-gal. buckets: One holds the dust and the second bolts to your shop vacuum and holds the first bucket. And I could screw down the Shop Vac because it stays so darn empty. When I do need to empty it in about a decade or so, I'll just stick my dust-collector's hose in there.

My second bit of Yankee ingenuity was re-using the cart-style wheels on the Shop Vac by screwing them to the bottom of the plywood and continuing to use the big handle atop the Shop Vac to control the entire cart!

It works perfectly. If your shop vacuum doesn't have a big handle on top, you can attach a piece of plywood vertically between the bucket and canister, with a handle cut out at the top, and then use that to wheel the cart around.

By the way, I also put a couple of small sheet-metal screws through the connection between the dust hose and the Dust Deputy's inlet. That hose always tended to pop off. Now that problem is solved too.



posted in: blogs, workshop, how to, plywood, dust collection, Cart, Dust Deputy


Comments (11)

Bob talk Bob talk writes: "I will have to search through my FWW archive to see if there is a Shop Vac tool test and find a quiet vac that can be adapted as you have. Any suggestions"

Two popular ones (and upper price end) are fein and festool. Very quiet indeed and worth it I venture to say.
Posted: 7:07 pm on December 11th

MrDoug MrDoug writes: This is great! I've had the same problems with my unit. I've tried to solve them by attaching casters directly to the bucket, while it rides along on a little "shelf", a modified cubby on the front of the vac. The whole bucket was held to the vac w/ a bungy cord, which was not exactly convenient when it came time to empty it. (not often). It was constantly tipping over, usually to the side; and I don't even want to mention the casters encounters w/ cords. I always said that I would make some changes when I finish with this project or that one. This looks to be the way that I will go. Thank you.
Posted: 12:13 pm on September 11th

darbybrown darbybrown writes: I've had my DD for a couple of years now and don't know how I survived without it. I put it on a cart quite similar to yours the day I bought it and haven't regreted it. In the 2 years I've dumped the shop vac 2 times, only because I opened it to check and decided to empty what was in it even though it wasn't even close to needing it. I put an auto switch on it with a 3 way plug for 3 pcs of equipment so I don't have to stop and turn it on or change it from machine to machine.

A little off the subject but similar,I have a Bucket head vac that I use with my hand sanders and put an auto switch on it too. When I start the sander the vac comes on and when I stop the sander the vac shuts down after a few seconds to clear the hose. Works great!
Posted: 9:55 am on September 10th

EdKeating EdKeating writes: I too added a dust deputy to my shop vacuum(s) but kept it separate to be able moved between them as needed. I mounted it on a small dolly and it was extremely useful to capture dust and tile chips when pulling up floor tile which had been attached with thinset. Thinset dust will do a number on the vacuum and will clog the filter in short order. With the dust deputy, I cut the cleaning of the vacuum filter down to once per day rather than once every hour. As to shop vacuum noise, I built a muffler for it. PVC connection to a expander to 3" with a 90 degree adapter lined with old carpet. Cuts the noise from an earsplitting 93dB at 3ft to a more comfortable 80dB. One small screw holds it in place on the vacuum. This particular Sears vacuum doubles as a leaf blower so I didn't want a permanent setup.
Posted: 9:46 am on September 10th

aschaffter aschaffter writes: A new, improved version of the ClearVue mini is now on the market. A bit pricey, compared to the Oneida but a better design.
Posted: 8:40 am on September 10th

sleepydad sleepydad writes: I have both an Oneida and an older clear vue mini(no longer for sale). the clear vue seperates dust way better than the oneida. The oneida at $40 is tough to beat. you can also drive the suction with a cheap leaf blower. a google search will provide some interesting ideas.

Posted: 12:38 pm on September 1st

Mach70 Mach70 writes: I already have a whole-shop 2-stage DC but I'm thinking this little separator might be ideal for wet pickup.
Posted: 12:37 pm on August 23rd

brownman brownman writes: I too love my Dust Deputy , although like RMGroh I also went vertical with my design for the same reasons, smaller footprint. And also to lessen air drag I went with ABS pipe instead of the corregated black hose. Can sand all day with no lose of suction. Oneida recently had them on sale for about $30.00, so I bought another for my other shop vac.
Posted: 11:45 am on August 23rd

RMGroh RMGroh writes: Very nice and neat arrangement. I just finished building a vertical tower arrangement to combine my Dust Deputy with my ShopVac. Put 4 inexpensive caster wheels from Home Depot on the bottom of a small plywood platform to make it easy to move around. The DD sits on top of the platform and on top of that the ShopVac sits in a cradle arrangement which is held up by 4 'legs'. The ShopVac lifts off for regular use and the DD slips out easily for dumping.

I went vertical because I am very pressed for space in my shop and I needed to economize on floor space. Kind of nice having the ShopVac up high as it makes it easy to mash the on/off button. Everything works great and I will eventually add a few brackets, etc to hold hoses, adapters,etc.

Bob Groh, Blue Springs, Missouri
Posted: 9:57 am on August 21st

paulk1 paulk1 writes: FWW #163 has a tool test on shop vacs and the pricier ones are definitely quieter. But short of buying a new one, I am planning to combine Asa's cart above with a muffler box for the shop vac. Take a look at "Silence Your Shop Vac" in FWW #195. You build a box with acoustic panels inside and put the shop vac into the box. Then add the cart and Dust Deputy to it. I think it will work!
Posted: 2:41 pm on August 20th

MDCustom MDCustom writes: Beauty of an idea Asa. You've provided a solution to the only reason why I haven't bought a Dust Deputy.
Well, not quite- I still need to find a quiet shop vac! The roar from my old one is enough to drive me nuts.
I will have to search through my FWW archive to see if there is a Shop Vac tool test and find a quiet vac that can be adapted as you have. Any suggestions?
Posted: 9:05 am on August 20th

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