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Thein Top Hat Dust Separator

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Project by Jacob C. Heffelfinger posted 359 days ago 4529 views 36 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this Thein separator out of metal flashing, MDF, and scrap hard maple. I copied mine almost exactly from this video series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3RuKFqYHNQ

It was really well done and ghostses was very helpful and responsive to questions.

The main differences in mine are the finishing details (I haven’t routed any round overs or gotten around to painting it yet, I wanted to get to work on other projects too badly) and I didn’t line the top and bottom with flashing like the original. I figured the MDF is smooth enough and it hasn’t caused me any problems.

As you can see from the bag and the filter, it works very well and I am extremely happy with it. I’m probably going to put together a fill sensor on the trash can, because the first time I forgot to empty it negated having the separator. I won’t make that mistake again…

Here’s a link to the SketchUp model I made for this: Thien Separator

-- ~Jake





16 comments so far

View Sanding2day's profile

Sanding2day

954 posts in 473 days


#1 posted 359 days ago

Nice work and welcome to LJs… Certain this will serve you well. Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4494 posts in 919 days


#2 posted 359 days ago

Nice looking Thein separator! I really need to do this. Also, thanks for the reference.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 360 days


#3 posted 359 days ago

Thanks guys! BTW, I have a SketchUp model I made before building this, if anyone is interested…

-- ~Jake

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4494 posts in 919 days


#4 posted 359 days ago

Jake, I’d take you up on that SketchUp model. Do you have a page in the SketchUp cloud (or, whatever it’s called) that you could edit your project write up to include? Thanks for the offer, John.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 360 days


#5 posted 359 days ago

I don’t, but I do have a DropBox account, so I’ve posted the link in the write up…

-- ~Jake

View Roger's profile

Roger

14318 posts in 1431 days


#6 posted 359 days ago

Nice build. I’m sure it works like a charm

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

View Milo's profile

Milo

851 posts in 1946 days


#7 posted 359 days ago

Someday I have GOT to upgrade to this model.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 360 days


#8 posted 359 days ago

How’s the drop in version work for you Milo?

-- ~Jake

View 489tad's profile

489tad

2278 posts in 1638 days


#9 posted 359 days ago

Thank you for posting and welcome to LJ’s.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

590 posts in 2456 days


#10 posted 359 days ago

Nice Build!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1281 days


#11 posted 358 days ago

I was thinking about doing the same sort of thing. Thanks for sharing.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View RJ2's profile

RJ2

83 posts in 2412 days


#12 posted 358 days ago

I had a similar setup, with the same collector. This unit was such a pita to dump and reattach, it just lends itself to finding a better way to unload. I was using the old plastic formed dust collection add on accessory ,forget what they called them, but they attached to a tin trash can . After many years just decided to
make that same style dust collector more user friendly . I moved a brace over a couple inches so the tin garbage can would slide in nicely . cut a section of the old clear bag and attached it to the can rim . now I just slide the can in, and snap the original ring ,and good to go . So easy to empty now, not dealing with the bag,that i eliminated the need to use the separator, JUST because it was loading to fast with big chunks. And a really big plus for me was, it freed up a bunch more space , and got the full vac power back. i am trying to get a better pic,downsizing and this is just my garage sale pic

-- RJ, Tampa Fl, RJMETALWOODS.COM

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 360 days


#13 posted 358 days ago

I like that idea, but the whole purpose for me is to save my impeller from large chunks and save my filter. I couldn’t care less about the bag, though it is a PItA to empty/take off. I’ve already shortened the gray hose to improve suction and have been thinking about a filter upgrade to add surface area/suction, but ultimately my plan is to increase the diameter of the top hole and mount the impeller/motor assembly directly to the top of the separator or at the very least make that connection with PVC. That is, of course, unless I win the lottery. Then I’ll get a ClearVue setup…

Once I’m in a permanent space, I’ll run PVC to my machines and I may even get rid of the bag/filter portion and vent outside, because there is so little that makes it through to the filter. This thing really does work incredibly well. After many many board feet through my jointer, planer, and table saw, the bag only has a fine layer of dust coating it and the filter is still more white than brown.

-- ~Jake

View RJ2's profile

RJ2

83 posts in 2412 days


#14 posted 358 days ago

Nice work, it also sounds like there is more wheels spinning than the vac motor!

-- RJ, Tampa Fl, RJMETALWOODS.COM

View ol104's profile

ol104

44 posts in 613 days


#15 posted 358 days ago

What are the main benefits of adding a thein? Easier to dump than the bags, better filtering??

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