trash can dust collector

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Forum topic by eastside posted 03-22-2010 02:32 PM 17007 views 4 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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97 posts in 3262 days

03-22-2010 02:32 PM

I am interested in buying a trash can separator from rockler (see picture) to hook up to a HF dust collection unit. Does anybody have first hand experience with this unit? First- does it really work and second- it looks like you just push the 4 inch hose into the holes! I read that a lot of buyers are buying a 4 inch fitting and screwing it to it but if the manufacturer didn’t take the time to do this is it really any good. What interests me about this one is the shape of the ports they seem like they are designed to create a vortex. OR they look like it might enter one port and then immediately get picked up buy the next port and not do a very good job of separating the heavy stuff so I thought I would ask and see if anybody owns one. Woodcraft also sells one with the hose connections molded into it but does not look like a vortex or swirling motion is designed into it. And lastly I do have the instructions for the Thien Cyclone Separator but if the store bought one works why build one. Thanks Mike

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-- Mike, Westport MA.

13 replies so far

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3200 days

#1 posted 03-22-2010 03:41 PM

These work, but be advised, the hardest part may be finding the right size trash can for the lid to fit on. Also, if you do not want to screw the hose into the lid, and attaching 4” clamps inside to hold them, not told in the instructions. You may want to but 2 of the 4” quick disconnects to screw in place of the hose.

You can also find this at Amazon at a better price and save some money for another project.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View dbhost's profile


5712 posts in 3232 days

#2 posted 03-22-2010 04:02 PM

You are FAR better off function wise building your own Thien baffle equipped separator lid. While not up to par with a true cyclone, they are close enough for those of us on a budget…

The separation efficiency of the lid you show is pretty low, and gets worse as the can fills up.

My Thien separator lid / baffle is fitted to a 55 gallon drum, it works great. I picked the 55 gallon drum mostly out of laziness. It takes MUCH longer to fill up than a 30 gallon trash can… Especially when planing, jointing, or turning… It’s quick, easy, cheap, and effective…

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View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3048 days

#3 posted 03-22-2010 04:20 PM

I use the trash can lid from Woodcraft
and I added the Thien separator.
It works like a champion, I get nothing in the HF dust collector bag itself.
MY only issue are all these hosed on my shop.

-- Bert

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3304 days

#4 posted 03-22-2010 06:05 PM

+3 for the home built Thein it works exceptionally well!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 3285 days

#5 posted 03-22-2010 06:43 PM

I have one and it works well. I got the 30 gallon galvanized trash can for it at Lowe’s. I have it hooked up between my DC and joiner and planer. Almost nothing goes into the bag, but it does fill up quick if doing a lot of jointing/planing.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3462 days

#6 posted 03-22-2010 07:22 PM

I have a seperator from Grizzly, basically the same design. I have found that no other methos of securing the top to the can is necessary. There is plenty of suction to hold it in place with no leaking of air. I have also found that I have to empty the can when about 1/2 full as my DC, Delta 1 1/2hp, will empty the can if more than 1/2 full. I have also found the can to be a PITA if there isnt a lot of open floor space. If you are limited on space i would look at other options. I am about to get rid of mine. Send me a PM and maybe we can work out a deal if ya wanna try it.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3036 days

#7 posted 03-22-2010 08:33 PM

We recently bought a “cyclone” vacuum cleaner and I was pleasantly surprised to see a Thein shaped baffle in its collection bin. I don’t know where the Thein dude got his idea, but it must be catching on.

View eastside's profile


97 posts in 3262 days

#8 posted 03-23-2010 01:21 AM

Thank you all, I guess they work and aren’t a gimmick. You guys also answered a few other concerns I had. I was wondering if it would stay on the can or if the weight of the hose would pull it off but a guess that’s not a problem. For a few more days I have free shipping on rockler so I’ll probably buy that one and give it a try. It will only be on the planner, that sucker fills the bag to fast and I hate emptying it. The second 4 inch line goes to the table saw and I’ll let that get the full suction without the loss from a separator. Thank you again.

-- Mike, Westport MA.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3195 days

#9 posted 03-23-2010 01:34 AM


Another vote for the Woodcraft trash can seperator lid. It works very well and fits on a standard 30 gallon metal trash can.

Harbor Freight Dust Collector and Woodcraft Trash can Lid Pre-Separator Freight Dust Collector and Woodcraft Trash Can Lid Pre-Seperator.

Good Luck!

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#10 posted 03-23-2010 12:38 PM

Mike, I have one as well and it works fine. The only problem that I have with it is that the elbow, which mounts on the underside, is just a friction fit so it will come loose every now and then. When I get annoyed enough I will simply glue it into the separator lid.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View apujols's profile


1 post in 2331 days

#11 posted 01-07-2012 08:14 PM

Viking, what type of base are those casters sitting on? I can’t really tell from the picture.

I have the same collector and would like to do the same thing and am looking for ideas on how to mount the separator and the collector on a single base. Thanks -Alex

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3048 days

#12 posted 01-07-2012 08:49 PM

apujols did you look at mine:

-- Bert

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3195 days

#13 posted 01-07-2012 08:57 PM

Built a very simple but sturdy frame with 2×4’s and a sheet of 3/4” plywood. I originally used the casters that came with the HF DC but, have since replaced with some higher quality 3” casters.

I primed the whole thing with KILZ latex and then a couple coats of machine gray enamel.

I also added a handle (on the trash can end) to pull / push it around that I got at HF also.

Here is a more recent picture after I added the Wynn 35A canister filter which really made a difference in filtering and performance;

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

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