Woodsmith Tips

Trash Can Dust Collection

Of all the shop maintenance chores I have to perform, emptying out my dust collector has to be the most unpleasant. Removing and dumping the cloth bags that collect the dust is a dirty, dusty, and just plain messy job. It often seems like half of the dust from the bags ends up strewn around the shop only to be cleaned up a second time.

But as is usually the case, there was a pretty simple solution to the problem. What I did was replace the loose cloth bag with the sturdier and more convenient combination of a garbage bag inside of a rigid plastic trash can.


There are a couple of fine points to this system. I use clear plastic bags to line the cans and clamp them in place with the same strap that held the cloth bag. And each can has a small “window” cut near the top. This arrangement allows me to easily check the “fill” level and know when I need to replace the bag.

To empty the dust collector, you unclamp the bag, slide the can out, tie off the bag, and lift it out. The whole operation is quick and easy, and all the dust stays put.

Good Woodworking,

Ted Raife
Online Editor, Woodsmith

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