I made a thing

Martin Roper

Senior User
On Steve Cole's recommendation I bought a Fein dust extractor. It's the smallest one, right-sized for my small shop. I wanted to make it two-stage and have the lowest overall footprint and height possible.

I bought a Ridgid Dustopper a few years ago but never got around to making a cart to use it with my Ridgid shop vac.

Here's the finished product. Nice and compact, much smaller than the Ridgid and waaay quieter.

It's just two pieces of 1/2" plywood glued together. I traced around the top of the machine and cut it on the band saw, then hit it with a roundover bit. The "ears" serve as handles.

There is an inner lip formed by the second piece of plywood. It's a nice fit, but still seemed too "tippy," so I also added dowels that fit into those screw access holes for further stability. It lifts out easily.

The bucket is held down by a single T-track bolt and a wing nut. The round piece of 1/2" ply acts as a giant washer.

It's very easy to empty. I put a small trash bag over the bucket, hold onto the bag and the ears simultaneously, flip, and voila. Done.

I'm shopping for a stronger bucket. The dust extractor collapses the Home Depot bucket if anything blocks the nozzle for a second.
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Board of Directors, Vice President
Staff member
Corporate Member
Get the food grade buckets, like the ones that have sauce or alike. They are much thicker


Corporate Member
I get them in the bakery section at the local FoodLion and Harris Teeter. They get frosting in them and toss if nobody wants. The lids have a nice flexible grommet in them.
edit: They're free.
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Martin Roper

Senior User
I solved my collapsing bucket problem. I simply got another bucket and put it inside the first one.

At first I tried just dropping it in there, but the added height made it so the connector hose wouldn't reach, so I simply cut off the top and bottom of the new bucket with a jig saw and fixed it to the inside of the old one using double-sided tape. The extra thickness is much greater than using one food-grade bucket.

One thing I lost was the translucence of the stock bucket which let you see how much dust had accumulated. It was a small price to pay to not have the bucket collapsing all the time.

Charles Lent

Corporate Member
Imploding bucket ? Stack another bucket in the first and it will double the wall thickness. It'll make emptying the top bucket easier too.

The strongest buckets that I've found are repurposed dill pickle buckets that are available from the Firehouse Subs chain. You have to ask, and they want a couple dollar donation for them, that is supposed to go to the local fire company or EMS group. The difference in these buckets is that there are more ribs in the upper 1/3 of the buckets. The only negative to using them is that the dill pickle smell makes you want to go out and get a sub sandwich or hamburger. I've tried to get the smell out of them, and the only thing that has worked well is to open them and put them out in the Sunlight for about a month.

When first setting up and using a repurposed whole house central vacuum and a Dust Deputy to collect the finer saw dust in my shop, I had to use 3 Firehouse Subs buckets stacked together to keep them from imploding. Then my son found and brought me a metal grease barrel and I replaced the plastic buckets with it. I haven't had any problems with this system since. The finer saw dust producers, like my scroll saws, drill presses, sanders, etc. are what it gets connected to. I can go several years before the barrel needs to be dumped.


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