Shop made dust collector

I recently picked up a jointer, and after a few minutes of use I realized it was time to get a dust collector. I don’t have space for a commercial collector, so as usual I turned to the net to look for alternatives. After a few hours of searching I came across Phil Thein’s website, and quickly realized I had found the solution I was looking for.

I constructed my dust collector from the following materials.

  1. The motor of a Harbor Freight Mini Dust Collector
  2. quarter sheet of 3/4″ MDF
  3. quarter sheet of 1/4″ Hardboard
  4. 4″ elbow
  5. 30 gallon garbage can

All set up and ready to use

The riser

4 inch elobow

The outlet


  • Saral
    October 20, 2015

    Hi Dan,
    I came across your blog through a link you had posted on about PU coated MDF. It is great to go through your projects. I am trying to finish an MDF desk top and was wondering if I could know more about the process you followed. Did you spray on the PU coating or apply it with a brush? Also what did you use to sand between different coats? I am guessing by the slight yellow tone that you used oil-based PU, but do correct me if I am wrong. I will be grateful for your advice.
    best regards

    • October 20, 2015

      Hi Saral,

      To apply the Polyurethane I wiped it on with a clean paper towel. Wiping takes a little longer, as you have to apply more coats, but it’s easier and more controllable. To sand between coats I most likely used 300 to 400 grit wet dry paper by hand (can’t remember exactly). I did indeed used oil based polyurethane, water based can cause problems with MDF.

      • Saral
        October 20, 2015

        Thanks Dan, just a couple more questions. How much time should one leave between PU coats? Also, is there a alternative to mineral spirits for wet sanding?
        Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

        • October 20, 2015

          How long between coats will depend on the current weather, and what brand of Polyurethane you are using. If it’s cold or humid it takes longer, if it’s hot or dry you can apply coats faster. My recommendation would be go by what the manufacture recommends. almost any petroleum based solvent can be used, mineral spirits is usually recommend as it’s not as hazardous to work with as the others.

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