Phil Thien Dust Collector

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Project by blackcherry posted 02-04-2010 07:39 PM 13496 views 55 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After building the V Drum Sander I found out rather quickly that a shop vac direct collection was not going to work. The fine dust quickly clog the filter reducing the power to the shop vac. So I check around for a quick and inexpensive solution and found a rather interesting build that I like to share with all LJ’s. Phil Thien cyclone separator lid. At first I was spectacle, and than reviewed his article on the build and found it quit interesting. It looked straight forward and I gave it a go due to the very inexpensive material list….30.00 as claim by the article. After purchasing the parts at the local Big Box and woodcraft store my total came in just over 40.00 bucks still not bad. The next day after 4hrs I had every thing cut and dry fitted with one hold up the spacer screws were to short so later in the day I pick up some longer ones and finish assembly late last night. Since the shop was close due to cars in for a long winter nap I gave it a test run first thing this morning. I thought for sure that some tinker would come into play but much to my surprise THIS UNIT SUCKS!!! I empty my shop vac on the floor hooked up the hoses and I was amazed at how fast and clean the shop vac stayed. If I put my hand over the shop vac. wand to close off the suction the metal 14 gal trash can walls will talk to you meaning cave in noises crunch crunch. I compared this unit to the dust deputy 5 gal. plastic bucket unit and steel can unit and for the price and volume 14 gal. trash can I believe this is a no brainer. I used the 2.5” dust port hook up but now I think of trying a 4” unit just to see how it would draw from another dust collector I have. If your interested in the Article just google Phil Thien cyclone separator lid and see it for yourself, I’m sold and using it thanks for viewing Blkcherry

23 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 02-04-2010 07:41 PM

Nice work thanks for sharing

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3849 days

#2 posted 02-04-2010 07:51 PM

Jim the PVC fitting are 3” one elbow and one coupler. The elbow will have to be modified with a hack saw as per the article. I’m tickled pink at this unit… thanks for viewing Blkcherry

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#3 posted 02-04-2010 07:54 PM

Sweet. I need to look into building one.

More stuff to do,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3313 days

#4 posted 02-04-2010 08:54 PM

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#5 posted 02-04-2010 09:03 PM

Good construction of your Thien Cyclone… I have 2 of them, a 2.5” on a 20 gallon trash can, and a 4” on a 55 gallon drum. That thing will REALLY help you with your dust collection…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3183 days

#6 posted 02-04-2010 09:39 PM

cool build… thanks…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3381 days

#7 posted 02-04-2010 09:53 PM

Great blog and very informative..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View SteveMI's profile


1102 posts in 3321 days

#8 posted 02-05-2010 12:28 AM

When I built mine to Phil’s design it was amazing. I was cleaning the plugged shop vac filter every hour of cutting and after Phil’s design the filter is always clean after 100 hours of cutting.


View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3315 days

#9 posted 02-05-2010 12:39 AM

nice work

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3849 days

#10 posted 02-05-2010 01:06 AM

Steve I’ve been cleaning and cutting all afternoon and just check the inside of the shop vac, all I can say is SWEET!!! The great news is I don’t have to clean that filter any more. I think I’m going to treat my shop vac to a new set of lungs/ filter….Blkcherry

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3591 days

#11 posted 02-05-2010 01:53 AM

Nice build Blkcherry, thought I would post this here too:

Tim’s Tip for Thien baffle barrels:

Go to HD/Lowes in the back where the trucks are unloaded, they usually have a big cardboard drum of floor sweep, they throw those away so ask them if they will save it for you. The local Lowes just wrote my name on it and called me when it was empty…..FREE!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3849 days

#12 posted 02-05-2010 02:23 AM

Great Timbo will check into one, my TS dust collect needs one, thanks for the info…Blkcherry

View rseabrease's profile


55 posts in 3117 days

#13 posted 02-05-2010 03:00 PM

This looks like what I need for my shop. Can someone tell me where I can find the plans? I would like to build this next weekend. For me, the fact that is looks relatively simple to build meets my skill level.

-- Richard

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3849 days

#14 posted 02-05-2010 04:06 PM

rseabrease thanks for viewing here is the site I got my information. Any question and I will try to help out…Blkcherry

View douglbe's profile


369 posts in 3987 days

#15 posted 02-06-2010 03:01 AM

I’ll have to check this out, this looks like it would work great with my dust collector. Thanks for the post.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

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