The Best Vacuum Cart Setup

The Best Vacuum Cart Setup

We are snobs about dust collection; dust is our enemy. Our vacuum cart is an integral part of how we speed up sheet changes on our CNC router, extract dust from our portable tools, and clean up in general. Something like a Festool Dust Extractor is a wonderful tool – if you can afford it and if you don’t generate a high volume of chips.

We generate a lot of chips and needed another solution. So, we designed and built our own Dust Collection Vacuum Cart. Version 1 was built in 2019 and has been great to us and we’re currently designing Version 2.

One of our early Youtube videos is on the design and build of Version 1, check that out below.

Scroll down to find the equipment we use in our vacuum cart.


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PDX CNC Products

Our Vacuum Cart Setup

We built our Vacuum Cart (Version 1) to perfectly fit this setup above. Version 2 will also use the same setup and we’re planning to offer that for sale in 2022.


Vacmaster 8 gal HEPA Vacuum

This vacuum has the perfect combination: HEPA filtration (99.97% efficient at .3 microns) and strong pull pressure at 78-inch of waterlift in a two-stage motor making it quieter and stronger when under strain.

Also important for our use, its footprint is small – You can tear it down to not need the rolling base or even the top handle making it an incredibly compact powerhouse with superb filtration.

While nice quality, the yellow hose it comes with doesn’t work to connect to the Dust Deputy inlet port so you’ll need another 2-2.5” diameter hose.


Dust Deputy Cyclone

2.5” Hose Recommendation

A cyclone is a necessary tool in our opinion on any dust collection. If you haven’t studied their benefit it drastically improves your vacuum performance, filters everything from heavy chips to fine dust (99%) before they ever hit your vacuum filters.

This increases vacuum performance and the need to clean the filters significantly. That’s important but it also improves productivity. This cyclone has a tapered inlet port to fit 2 to 2.5” hoses that come standard with shop vacuums. Unfortuntely, the Vacmaster hose does not work well and you’ll need an alternative one.


Blue Drum

This is probably obvious but sucking up lots of chips you need a thing to put the chips in. The default option for a cyclone is often a 5-gallon bucket but that fills up about 15 times a day when we get busy. In comes this 14-gallon blue drum. It’s just the right size to hold lots of chips but not too big to not be portable.

Buy this and attach the Dust Deputy to the top. You’ll love it.

Handy Tools

Auto Vacuum Switch - Powers On/Off with Tool trigger

16 Foot Hose - Hose Fits Festool Ports and Dust Deputy



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