Cyclones for Fine Sanding Dust

A taller, more narrowly tapering cyclone seems to remove fine dust more effectively, but you'll still need a fine filter downstream of that. July 29, 2012

I'm considering replacing a 3 hp, 4 bag that I'm using on my 36" widebelt sander. I have 3 cyclones now (3-15hp) that work well for the chips from a moulder, planer, jointer and table saw, but fine dust seems to end up in the filters. Are cyclones good for separating the dust from a widebelt sander, or do they just clog up the filters? Are some brands more efficient than others for fine dust?

Forum Responses
From contributor J:
I use an Oneida 2500 cyclone and mounted a 5HP blower on top for dust collection. I use a Ramco 37" WBS and don't have any problem with dust in the filter bags.

From Curt Corum, forum technical advisor:
A properly designed cyclone should drop out chips as well as the dust created by a table saw. Fine sanding dust will normally end up in the filters, almost in the state of a powder. If a widebelt is attached to a cyclone set up, it is critical to have a 1 micron filter fabric. Because the fabric is more restrictive than, say, a 5 micron fabric, more surface area is required to spread the air across so as not to create a lot of resistance. In some cases it may require double the filter area. If all of the machines created predominately fine dust, a bag house type collector or cartridge house would be utilized. There are high efficiency cyclones available, but the tapered cones are very long and slender. These units have a substantial height, but are capable of separating extremely fine dust from the airstream. In some cases, I think they can even separate gases. One manufacturer is Fisher - Klosterman, Louisville, KY. I believe they are still with us.

From contributor S:
I suggest you go to and read the entire website, as there is significant knowledge and research posted there. If you're like me, you will find there is a whole lot more to dust collection than meets the eye.

From the original questioner:

I ended up getting an Onieda V-3000 (3 hp) with a larger cartridge filter than the stock filter. I'm happy to report that it works great. After emptying the collection drum for the first time, I checked the clean out tray on the bottom of the filter, and it had nothing in it.

From contributor D:
Do I understand you right? You filled a 55 gal drum with thickness sanding dust and there's almost none in the filter pan?

The V-system cones look different than the Gorilla and Pro series. Does anyone know the scoop?

From the original questioner:
The V series uses a longer, more tapered cone than most other models. For some reason this makes the cyclone more efficient at dropping fine dust out. The larger filter also helps. We just emptied the drum this morning (it was full) and checked the pan at the bottom of the filter, and there was about 1/8" of dust in it. I'm definitely impressed by the efficiency of this system.

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