In Tricks of the Trade

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Emptying my dust collector has never been something I looked forward to. For years I wrestled with the unit to empty the contents. First, I’d remove the bag and empty it into a plastic garbage bag. Then I’d lift the blower off the barrel cover, and then empty the drum, a bucket full at a time, into the garbage bag.

I have a friend with a cutting torch, and one day we put our heads together to solve the problem. First, he cut an 8″ x 12″ hole in the side of the drum, about 2″ above the bottom. We drilled a hole in the center of each side of the cut-out for stud bolts and then tack welded a 5/16″ bolt sticking out of each hole.

We made a 9″ x 14″ steel door with a notch cut midway on each side for the stud bolts. Then, we bent a curve into the door to match the drum and added weather stripping around the door’s edges.

To use the door, I slide the notches over the stud bolts, and secure it with washers and wing nuts. The vacuum pulls the door tight and maintains a good seal. Now, it’s a simple task to empty the drum using a small fireplace shovel, and there’s no heavy lifting. –Fred Burne


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