Thursday, 21 May 2015

Oneida Dust Deputy Deluxe - Review

I was pleased to see that Rutlands had become the official UK distributor for the Oneida Dust Deputy. This is a cyclone that you can retrofit to any shop vacuum. It must be stressed that this is for a shop vac and not a larger 4" or greater dust or chip extractor. The latter normally run at a lower vacuum but higher flow rate than a shop vac. They are designed to extract large volumes of chips.
A shop vac on the other hand is designed for lower flow rates but higher vacuums and is ideal for smaller particles such as fine dust.
The problem I have found over the years is that a shop vac filter clogs decreasing the efficiency of the unit to such an extent that sometimes it becomes useless. You then have to strip the unit down and clean the filter. It then works better for a short time until inevitably becoming clogged again so you have to repeat the process.

The Oneida Dust Deputy is designed to be used in line between the dust producer and the vacuum. The cyclone essentially swirls the dust and chips around and they drop into a pail underneath the cyclone and never actually reach the vacuum filter. Oneida claim that 99% of the material ends up in the pail with 1% only reaching the vacuum itself.

So reading between the lines the benefit is "most" of the vacuum is available all of the time and no need to constantly clean the filters.

I ordered mine on the Sunday online and it arrived on the Tuesday morning. In the evening I went into the shop to fit it to my aging MacAlister wet and dry 30 litre vacuum cleaner.

What's in the box?

The Dust Deputy Deluxe comes in a large box containing the following:

  • 2 x 5 gallon plastic pails 
  • 1 x predrilled lid for the pail
  • 1 x cyclone unit
  • 1 x flexible hose
  • 1 x foam block
  • 1 x hose clamp
  • 1 x elbow
  • 3 x castors
  • 1 x pack of fittings
  • 1 x owners manual
2 Pails
The kit of parts


Oneida give several examples of fitting such as

  • using the unit separately on castors
  • using elastic straps to secure it to a shop vac
  • building a custom cart to store the unit and the shop vac
  • bolt the unit to the shop vac

There are probably many ways to do this but I opted for the last one bolting it to the shop vac. In this mode the pail secured to the vac is actually just a carrier for the upper pail.


Oneida recommend drilling 4 holes into the base of one of the pails to fix 3 castors to it. The fourth hole is use to let air in when you pull out the upper pail.
I drilled 8mm holes with a brad point bit following Oneida's guidelines to ensure that the warning labels are not covered up when bolted to the vac.
Marking out the holes.
They need to be in from the edge by at least 1" to allow the castors to swing

Castors fitted.
The white block is the foam spacer block.

The castors were fitted to the base. The integral nuts on the castor shafts are very thin so
I did have to modify an old 1/2" spanner (wrench) to thin it down. There are some nyloc nuts and washers that are fitted inside the pail to secure the castors.

Vacuum cleaner drilling

There is a template in the manual that you have to cut out. This is the same size as the provided foam block spacer. I had to determine the best place to fit the block to suit my vacuum cleaner. I placed the vacuum and the pail onto the bench and when I had worked out where the best place was I taped the template into position.
Template taped into position

Using a centre punch with an anvil inside the vacuum cleaner I popped the hole positions. The vacuum cleaner body on mine is stainless steel. so I started with a pilot hole and gradually opened the holes up to 6.35mm (1/4") diameter.
Drilling the holes into the vacuum cleaner cylinder

I drilled the foam block on the same hole centres on the drill press to keep the holes perpendicular.

Pail drilling

Then I fitted the long bolts from inside the vacuum body through the foam blocks. Now again on the bench I brought up the plastic pail into position and carefully marked the hole positions. Drilling the 1/4" holes into the plastic was of course very easy. The long coach bolts had a square on the shaft just underneath the domed head. I had to open up the holes in the plastic pail with a square file so they ended up square and fitting the bolts.
Bolts fitted with fender washers
inside the plastic pail

Bolts, fender washers and nuts fitted inside the vacuum cylinder

Bolting the two units together was straightforward enough making sure I used the supplied fender washers. The supplied hardware is imperial but an 11mm socket fitted the nuts adequately. I also have a selection of old imperial spanners (wrenches) from my early days of fixing cars that were all in imperial. The foam block is resilient but has some flexibility to mould itself into the curved shape of the vacuum cylinder and pail cylinder.

Fitting the cyclone.

The cyclone is bolted onto the lid of the pail with 6 hex bolts/nuts and a rubber gasket to seal. There is also a metallic self adhesive foil that can be added. This is designed to minimize static buildup on the outside of the plastic. I didn't fit that at this stage but will keep it available should I experience issues with static at a later date.
6 hex bolts, washers and nuts fitted
to hold the flange of the cyclone
onto the lid of the pail. There is
a rubber gasket in between the flange and the lid

The dust deputy in context showing
the shop vac fitted with the foam spacer

Fitting the flexible hose.

The flexible hose as end fittings designed to fit in most shop vac entry holes. As it happened the hose fitted into my shop vac perfectly. It might be different on yours but Oneida provide instructions on how to resolve any fitting problems in the manual.

The other end of the hose simply fits into the top of the cyclone unit. The original shop vac hose then fitted onto the side port of the cyclone and again fit perfectly.
The resulting new cyclone shop vac
is quite large but the efficiency
more than makes up for the increased footprint


I made sure there wasn't any fines in the shop vac cylinder. I also fitted a brand new filter (this was the first time in a long time). When I first switched the vac on I saw the lid on the pail being pulled down onto the pail. There was also an intake roar that I'd not heard before. This was due to the larger diameter hose to the vac. The original hose was only 32mm diameter and the new hose is about 60mm diameter.

I had a few piles of mixed sawdust fines and larger wood fibres ready to vac up. The unit made very quick work of this and in no time I had finished. I opened the shop vac and found very few pieces. The dust deputy pail on the other hand contained all of the rest of the dust and bits. I was very pleased at this short test.
Very little dust in the shop vac collector

A lot of dust in the Dust Deputy collector pail.

I now find that my oscillating spindle sander can be fitted with the correct size extraction hose and the vacuum works supremely well at extracting all the dust produced. This hasn't been the case before as I had to rely up the chip extractor reduced down in hose diameter. This was very inefficient and didn't work very well.

Connection to many other power tools like sanders, routers etc is very good and extraction from them is fantastic.


The plastic seems to be very resilient and will probably last for many years. I don't see the snap on lid as being a problem as the vacuum formed pulls the lid tighter to the pail in operation. Just make sure you empty the pail regularly as it will fill up and when it does will overflow into the shop vac collector. Fortunately you can see the level of fines in the pail due to its transparent nature.
If you are plagued by vacuum filter blockages causing a lack of suction then the Oneida Dust Deputy will be a welcome addition to your shop. It is currently (late May 2015) on sale from for the special price £99.95 + shipping.

Well recommended.

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