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Thien separator V1.0

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Project by moshel posted 07-09-2011 03:05 AM 5552 views 27 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After thinking about it for a long long time, I braved making Thien separator. it was actually very very easy. I made a router jig for cutting circles and after that it took less than 2h to build. I think I can make another one now in under 1h….

total cost including rubbish bin and DC elbow and nipple is about 40 NZD (~32 USD and raising fast :-)

now, does it work???? YES!!!

I started by vacuuming the floor. I had a nice pile of nasty MDF dust, courtesy of the routing and pile of mixed shavings (jointer, TS, planes and rasps). vacuumed both and nothing I could see made it past the Thien.

the last few days i milled lots of timber. this usually fills up my bag really quickly but now nothing!!! the overall operation of the DC is also very quite, i don’t know why. maybe because no shavings rotate in the bag?

I am now going to build the “top hat” version (google “top hat thien separator”), as I find that my rubbish bin fills too quickly. also the tophat version should be even more efficient. just have to figure out a clever way of making the round chamber.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...





22 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2668 days


#1 posted 07-09-2011 03:18 AM

Nice, Moshe. Interesting to read that it works so well.
It’s also good for me that the kiwi dollar is becoming worth so much! :)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3209 posts in 2577 days


#2 posted 07-09-2011 03:22 AM

Welcome to the club of Thien separator, I’ve had mine now for over a year and it just one of the best home made wood collectors I’ve ever made. Enjoy the clean filter on your shop vac, great job thanks for posting BC

View bigike's profile

bigike

4035 posts in 2043 days


#3 posted 07-09-2011 03:29 AM

very nice work I like how the pics you took show everything, one question how does the top stay on?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2438 days


#4 posted 07-09-2011 03:55 AM

instead of routing a groove for the lid, i just put a thick bead of silicon around the edge of the rubbish bin and let it dry to get a good seal (as you can see in the pictures, not dry enough…. I couldn’t hold my horses). the system is sub pressurized, so the lid works well even without the silicon, but i couldn’t find noticeable leaks with the silicon on.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 2111 days


#5 posted 07-10-2011 12:46 AM

I think if you put a nice round bead of silicone and let that dry before putting the top on it would work fine. Then you won’t have to reapply all the time.

If that was your original plan I’ll just put my foot in my mouth now….lol

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2438 days


#6 posted 07-10-2011 05:11 AM

Yes, that was the original plan… as I said couldn’t hold my horses and put the lid on after abot an hour
Now I know that silicon does not cure in an hour

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1394 days


#7 posted 07-10-2011 08:33 PM

Glad you are liking your separator. Yours is very similar to mine. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/26968

Barrels with lids (metal or plastic) will have the groove and gasket… and as you indicated the vacuum pressure will keep it well closed in operation.

If this is working well for you, why build a top hat ? Why not get a larger barrel and stay with our hanging baffle ?

Good review !

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2438 days


#8 posted 07-10-2011 11:40 PM

David, my reasons are the following:
1. volume – this design takes about 30% of the bin, and i don’t want to switch to a barrel because they are heavier and a bit of a pain to empty.
2. airflow – I would think that the airflow in the top hat design would be much better
3. I have noticed that when creating a large amount of big shavings (like using a thicknesser) they sometimes get caught on the back of the elbow. I could lower the baffle more but then I would probably use less than 50% of the bin!
4. I want to try this top hat on top of a 150l wheelie bin that are very common here but they are square, so this design will work poorly on them, but the tophat should work

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1668 days


#9 posted 07-11-2011 09:41 PM

Moshel,
Check out the adjustments I made to mine in the bottom three images:

1. I raised/shortened the elbow below the lid and tilted it a bit forward.

2. I increased the space between the bottom of the elbow and the baffle to stop the pinching effect.

3. I made my support rods as small as possible to clean up the airflow.

4. And I also rotated the baffle to start(the largest diameter) just under the bottom of the elbow.

This has made ALL the difference! Ugly, but works like a champ. FWIW, I would not want a bigger can because of the weight and difficulty cleanly emptying the can into a trash bag. 30gal can is plenty, IMO.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1394 days


#10 posted 07-11-2011 09:45 PM

Nice baffle, HorizontalMike. I am using 30 gallon (plastic barrel) as well.

Note that I don’t have the pinch problem and that my center port (takeaway) is curved towards the side of the feed port instead of straight.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1668 days


#11 posted 07-11-2011 09:59 PM

David,
I am curious about the center tube connection(DC side) elbow use. Typically that would be a straight pipe extending down into the center of the cyclone ~3-4”. Have you tried that and/or have any caparison experience with both designs?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2438 days


#12 posted 07-11-2011 11:14 PM

30 gal is 120l, my bin is only 70 (less than 20) so with the amount of space the insert lid takes only about 10 gal remain for dust. thats too little… hen.ce thinking about top hat. IMHO the tophat is superior in every way to this design, and not very hard to make so I will give it a try

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1668 days


#13 posted 07-12-2011 07:56 PM

Moshel,
I agree since you can really is that small. A side entry top hat would be a perfect match IMO. I would rebuild mine but it works so well as is that I can’t motivate myself to do that… 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1394 days


#14 posted 07-12-2011 09:31 PM

@HorizontalMike, I know that Thien uses a straight pipe down the center. I question the need of that. I don’t follow directions well. I purposely try not to be a sheep. The 120 degree is arbitrary in my humble but personal experimenting. The tight fit of the ear against the barrel (or can) is as well.

I personally rail at the thought of building a heavy wooden and metal box to sit on a can. I can empty in seconds and don’t have to move or disassemble anything. A barrel and 1/3 so far and no fines out the wall onto the banana plants. I wet them down a few times ni the beginning to see if anything was blowing on them. Nothing.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View moshel's profile

moshel

864 posts in 2438 days


#15 posted 07-13-2011 03:07 AM

David, I don’t see why tophat should be much heavier than lid. I plan on using very thin (3mm) ply or mdf glued into a groove as the wall. and then you don’t even need the rods, so overall i think it will be about the same weight. also, as this is a “braced” structure i would assume a thinner mdf can be used, say 14mm (which I can get for 4$/sheet)

haven’t tried it yet, so this is mostly academic discussion. basically – whatever works for you – works!!!!

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

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