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Dust Separator, Compact Thien variation

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Project by Garry posted 12-28-2013 11:44 PM 2930 views 21 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a very compact dust separator that would fit within a vertical space of 21.5 inches under my workbench. I came up with a variation on the Thien separator that pulls the air down from the cyclone chamber and then out the side. I also needed it to work with my Ridgid WD4522 “tool box” vacuum (5 hp peak and 107 cfm). The overall size is 17” square by 21.5” tall using 2” PVC pipe for the air ducts.

I built an integral air manifold with a curved baffle to guide the air into the cyclone chamber with minimum turbulence. The clear acrylic forming the cyclone chamber extends down into the slot so there is no seam or step at the bottom of the chamber. A heat gun helps to relieve some of the stress in the acrylic but be careful not to overdo it.

The dust separator seems to work extremely well. I’ve used it for over a week cleaning up with the vacuum hose and taking exhaust from the table saw. The dust piles up more in the corners but there’s about 4-5 inches average depth in the pull out dust bin and no additional dust in the vacuum. I cleaned the vacuum spotless and replaced the filter, so next time I can tell exactly how much dust got by.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.





11 comments so far

View bd187's profile

bd187

33 posts in 549 days


#1 posted 12-29-2013 12:42 AM

Dude. That’s awesome. How exactly did you form the acrylic tub. Is it one peice or is it spliced. Been considering building a thien baffle myself.

-- Never bite the hand that feeds you, but always watch the hand that's cooking.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 401 days


#2 posted 12-29-2013 01:09 AM

The acrylic was cut 4.5” wide and about 54(?)” long. It was flexible enough to bend into place with a little effort. After it was in place I heated it carefully with a heat gun to partly relax it into shape and relieve some stress. (I had to replace the first one when I tried to pull it into shape with a screw.) You have to be careful not to overheat one spot so it takes all the bend there and the nearby sections try to straighten out.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3162 posts in 1352 days


#3 posted 12-29-2013 02:58 AM

That is one super looking unit and I love the manifold attached to it .

-- Kiefer 松

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4132 posts in 1014 days


#4 posted 12-29-2013 03:41 AM

Neat design concept….

How thick Is the Acrylic?

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View exelectrician's profile (online now)

exelectrician

1657 posts in 1113 days


#5 posted 12-29-2013 06:55 AM

Garry you certainly know how to think outside the box – Looks like a home run to me, well done

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View exelectrician's profile (online now)

exelectrician

1657 posts in 1113 days


#6 posted 12-29-2013 06:55 AM

G

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Gianni's profile

Gianni

134 posts in 659 days


#7 posted 12-29-2013 12:49 PM

This is extraordinary. I made mine from a pair of old 5 gallon buckets, and it is significantly lacking in curb appeal (and stability when empty). The puck at the top of the pipe is an interesting addition, it has me thinking i should add one to mine, which works very well for shavings and chips, but doesn’t spin out sanding dust very well. Inverting it like you did also probably makes a big difference.

Please post back on results, especially with fine sanding dust.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

569 posts in 399 days


#8 posted 12-29-2013 01:18 PM

That has to be the coolest looking dust separator i have seen. Small, elegant and simple. Werry inspiring.
Looking forward to report on the fine dust!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Sk1pp3r's profile

Sk1pp3r

61 posts in 458 days


#9 posted 12-29-2013 03:13 PM

Awesome, I’ve been looking to make one of these. Love the small concept and design.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 401 days


#10 posted 12-30-2013 09:19 PM

The acrylic is the typical stuff from the big box store; nominal 1/8”, calipers measure it at 0.110”.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

View Garry's profile

Garry

98 posts in 401 days


#11 posted 12-31-2013 12:15 AM

See my blog for a crude test of the dust separator effectiveness. It worked out to 90% for heavy loading but I think it’s probably much more effective under normal loading. More later.

-- Garry, North Carolina woodworker and engineer - The journey you're preparing for has already begun.

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