My vacuum setup currently consists of a 5hp shop vac (orange) with 2.5” hoses, a hepa filter, a cyclone pre-filter (dust deputy), and automatic power.

It works very well except the hose often clogs with large objects, particularly long thin slivers of material from the table saw or the occasional bit of masking tape. The problem points seem to be the joint with the cyclone filter and the outlet from the table saw, as well as inside the cyclone itself (when a very long object greater than the diameter of the filter tries to enter and hits the opposite wall). Once an object gets stuck, smaller things tend to get hung up on it until it becomes clogged enough for me to notice.

Is there a solution to this? I don’t mind things getting hung up on the tool sides but the cyclone joint is kind of a pain. Is there some additional type of pre-filter system that can drop out extremely large objects that make it through the hose before they reach the cyclone, or some other solution? I can’t really increase my hose diameter; I don’t have the budget or the space for it and the majority of my tools (and the cyclone) are 2.5” or smaller anyways.

I’d post pics but I don’t have any right now.

  • I would expect long thin slivers to come from the jointer, the thickness planer or the router. Not the table saw. Sep 25, 2018 at 12:19
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    Actually, no. Mechanical jointers and planers create (ideally, small) chips from multiple cuts from the rotating knives. Saws also cut by chipping, but they also can make offcuts, and my understanding is that it is these longer offcuts that are the problem.
    – user5572
    Sep 25, 2018 at 15:18
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    Your cyclone should have a round or conic deflector down the middle that large chips hit when they enter the cyclone. The intention is to slow them down enough so they fall to the bottom. I'm not sure anything can be done about chips so long they wedge between this deflector and the inflow pipe. (Or, indeed, so long they touch the other side of the cyclone and haven't yet left the inflow.)
    – user5572
    Sep 25, 2018 at 15:24
  • @ratchetfreak I get a lot of thin off cuts from slight width adjustments when ripping, and also “jointing”and squaring of the sides of boards when milling; since I don’t actually own a jointer or planer. It’s the offcuts in the 1/64” and thinner range that are the most problematic, they’re light enough to get sucked through if they fall into the saw, but thick enough that they don’t break apart. Another source is when using the vacuum to clean up debris from the floor, etc.
    – Jason C
    Sep 26, 2018 at 1:15
  • @jdv Yeah; they also get stuck on the lip of the joint between the hose and cyclone intake, too, before entering the chamber. Oh well, I thought that was the case. I’ll just have to look at pulling clogs out as a fact of life, heh. I’m about to remodel my “shop”; I’ll make sure the intake is very easily accessible, and close to a trash can.
    – Jason C
    Sep 26, 2018 at 1:16

1 Answer 1


You can put a rudimentary filter at the tool side.

For filtering out just the super large chunks it is enough that the air changes direction and cannot pull the those along.

An airtight box with just an inlet and outlet should be enough for that. If you want you can put a wire screen in there to truly catch those chunks.

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