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Dust Collector Bin - Plus New Separator Concept

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Project by DaveTPilot posted 03-27-2012 11:14 PM 5506 views 17 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started to blog about my exploits to improve my dust collection. You can read what is going on so far at my blog.

First, I want to say that nothing I write, or say in my soon to be published video, is in any way meant to diminish the awesome design of the Thien Baffle or any of the variations that some very talented people have shared with us all.

My objectives were simple:

1. I wanted to increase the efficiency of my existing chip collection. This consisted of a commercial trash can separator and a metal trash can.

2. I wanted a way to empty the chips and dust without removing the lid separator. This was so I could semi-permanently seal the lid with window caulking. This would help improve efficiency as well.

Let me start by saying that the lid, once slightly modified, works very well as is. It stops working well, however, when the can starts to fill up and it doesn’t take very much debris to seriously reduce the efficiency. This should be old news to those who are familiar with this type of separator.

As I said in my blog, I tried the, what I will call, the simple Thien Baffle. It did not work at all for me. I could have made some critical errors in the construction and/or implementation or maybe my 3 hp dust collector was just too much for the design. I tend to lean toward my errors being the cause. :) I didn’t have the time to construct the separator that some call the “lid topper” or “top hat” style Thien Separator.

Be that as it may, I abandoned the design and I am glad that I did. Not because it’s a bad design, on the contrary, I think it is brilliant! But because it forced me to try something new. The beauty of this design is that it is extremely easy, fast and cheap to build. This is especially true for those who already own a lid separator. I could try using the lid, as some others have done, with the Thien Baffle but this design works so well I am going to stick with it for now.

Here’s what I did:

I built a dust bin with a door for easy emptying. Then, using a variation of the Thien Baffle, added a MDF disk about 3” smaller than the diameter of the can at 3” from the bottom of the can. I just pulled the size of the disk out of thin air. There was absolutely no scientific reasoning behind it.

I mounted the disk on some 3” posts to the bottom of the can then cut away most of the bottom leaving the tabs that support the baffle. The baffle is meant to reduce the effect of turbulence created by the vortex of air upon the pile of collected debris. I would have used the Thien design here but because there was such a large distance from the inlet to the baffle, I had no idea how to place the 240 degree cut away. I really just took a shot in the dark and hoped for the best. LOL

It really works very well. Better than I expected and certainly better than it had before. I will post a video later but for now, suffice it to say that nearly 100% of all chips and dust, down to the talcum powder fine dust, was successfully collected leaving my dust collector bags completely empty.

I would like to add a special “thank you” to Phil Thien. Without your inspiration and excellent design, I would not have the incredible dust collection separator I have today.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com





31 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7949 posts in 2805 days


#1 posted 03-27-2012 11:27 PM

That’s a COOL way of being able to empty the Chips!

Nice design…

Where did you get the can Top, for the hoses?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View DaveTPilot's profile

DaveTPilot

271 posts in 2050 days


#2 posted 03-27-2012 11:51 PM

Thanks Joe! The can top was from Rockler. I bought it about 5 years ago. It’s kind of a weird design. There is no way of connecting the hoses because the holes are so big. I added some metal dryer type connectors and plugged the hoses on to them.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2892 posts in 2105 days


#3 posted 03-28-2012 12:08 AM

The Woe’s of getting a clean sweep! Looks like your winning! Nice work!

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View doncutlip's profile

doncutlip

2832 posts in 2308 days


#4 posted 03-28-2012 12:13 AM

Great idea, i like it

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 1058 days


#5 posted 03-28-2012 12:33 AM

Nice touch with the window, looks great.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

724 posts in 1687 days


#6 posted 03-28-2012 06:22 PM

This is interesting. How do you empty it? Do you just get on your hands and knees and scoop out the dust?

View DaveTPilot's profile

DaveTPilot

271 posts in 2050 days


#7 posted 03-28-2012 07:46 PM

For now, I open the door and use a shovel. I am toying with the idea of making a chute and a removable bin. It would fill up faster but easier to empty. It’s a trade off.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com

View seabiscuit's profile

seabiscuit

95 posts in 1176 days


#8 posted 03-28-2012 08:45 PM

good idea

View RCT's profile

RCT

86 posts in 2503 days


#9 posted 03-28-2012 10:54 PM

hay DaveTPilot
looks good remember to wipe down the window with anti-static dryer sheets to keep it clear.
great job

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

533 posts in 1091 days


#10 posted 03-29-2012 12:40 AM

I always thought it was necessary to have a really smooth interior for the chips and dust to swirl around until they lost momentum and fell to the bottom. It looks like there are corrugations on the sides of your metal can. Is that true, and are you disproving my idea of a need for a smooth interior? I really like what you have done. It makes me think of all kinds of ideas to experiment with. I wish I could see under the lid and observe how the hoses look and how they are placed inside your collector. Thank you.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View DaveTPilot's profile

DaveTPilot

271 posts in 2050 days


#11 posted 03-29-2012 01:01 AM

RCT Thanks! I did not think of that.

@ nomercedies Yes it is corrugated. I’m no engineer but I think the smooth surface of true cyclones serves to reduce loss of CFM. All separators come at a cost to collector efficiency. Cyclones are the most efficient…so far. The ridges in my trash can probably aid in chip and dust separation by slowing the air more than a smooth surface would. However, everything comes at a cost. If I had the ability to accurately measure the CFM loss on my system compared to a true cyclone, I would hypothesize, ($5 word LOL), that I would lose more CFM with mine.

The hoses are just attached to the dryer vent connectors. I did not alter the direction to the air at all. The Cyclone Lid is designed to cause the air to swirl. Woodcraft sells one that looks like it is easier to hook up. You can see it here. I don’t think Rockler sells the one I have anymore. I can not find it online.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com

View Roger's profile

Roger

15362 posts in 1556 days


#12 posted 03-29-2012 12:46 PM

looks good, and the “chute” idea seems like a good idea

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1947 days


#13 posted 03-29-2012 12:56 PM

Dave:

I have the Woodcraft top and it not only works well but, is designed for easy connection of 4” DC flex hose.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View DaveTPilot's profile

DaveTPilot

271 posts in 2050 days


#14 posted 03-30-2012 03:23 AM

Hey Rick:

That’s cool, thanks for posting the pic.. I see that you have a canister filter. I have wanted to add those to mine as well but they are pricey. I also see you have some dust in your collection bag. When I tested my system, the bags remained empty and the dust bin was full of the finest dust you can produce. This really impressed me because I was just attempting to reduce the diminished efficiency. I never imagined I would collect the finest of the fines.

If you wanted or needed more efficiency, this would certainly do it.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette www.pilotwoodworks.com

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7949 posts in 2805 days


#15 posted 03-30-2012 04:04 AM

Dave…. you have your video coded as Private….

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

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