We do a lot of sanding for our small-boat restorations and builds, and have relied upon a shop vacuum to collect dust. It does the job but leaves us with bags to empty and filters to clean or replace, which is messy and costly. That changed when we bought an Oneida Dust Deputy cyclone separator to collect the dust on its way to the Shop-Vac. The device uses the centrifugal force of a cyclonic airflow to separate dust and heavier particles, drops the debris into a collection bucket, and sends cleaned air to the vacuum. The collection bucket is easy to empty, and we can use the Shop-Vac without the HEPA bags and even without them, the filter rarely needs to be cleaned.

Photograph by the authors

The kit for the Dust Deputy includes a pair of 5-gallon buckets: one to gather dust or even water, and another nested below it that has casters and an attachment to the Shop Vac so the whole system can move as one unit.

We bought an Oneida “deluxe kit” that includes the cyclonic separator, a 3′ hose with two elbow adapters, and two 5-gallon buckets, one to collect dust, the other, equipped with casters, to be connected to the Shop-Vac as a “sidecar” to carry the other bucket. The cyclonic separator can also be purchased separately for attachment to different collection buckets and or to fit to larger collection bins. After attaching the sidecar with the hardware provided, we used our ShopVac hose to connect the Dust Deputy to our various sanders, thickness planer, crevice tool, bristle brush, and floor brush.

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