Thien Separator getting clogged up

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Forum topic by mark4345 posted 05-02-2012 01:26 AM 1246 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 1242 days

05-02-2012 01:26 AM

A while ago i built a thien separator that fit into a 30 gallon garbage can. This was not the top hat design so it does have a pvc 90 going into the top with the side cut off as were in the plans. This worked great for everything i have done so far…tablesaw work, router table, nothing too serious mostly working on finishing the 2nd story addition i put on my house.

Now i got a hammer a3 jointer/planer and am just about ready to get into some more fine woodworking, among things on the list are kitchen table, dining room table, master bathroom vanity, custom bar for a basement. Today i couldnt resist the urge to mill one of the rough sawn walnut boards just waiting for a project. The hammer jointer/planer couldnt have done a nicer job….the thien separator however became seriously clogged with shavings causing a large amount to be sucked through.

If i go to a tophat design will this completely eliminate this issue since there is no longer those threaded rods and the pvc 90 inside to get in the way? Or do i really need some sort of cyclone either diy…or i was thinking the super dust deputy and hooking that up to my HF collector…


4 replies so far

View 47phord's profile


175 posts in 1056 days

#1 posted 05-02-2012 02:01 AM

A couple questions: where is it actually clogging up at, in the 90, or around the edge of the separator? What are you using for a DC, a shop-vac or an actual DC? What size is the piping on your separator? Based on what you said, I’m guessing you are not moving enough air through your system. Unlike a tablesaw or a router, which produce mostly fine dust, jointers tend to throw off larger chips that more easily jam-up the works if they aren’t moving fast enough. If the clog is around the edge of the can, it could be that you need a larger gap between your separator and the side of the can for the shavings to fall through. Hope this helps.

View Ripthorn's profile


919 posts in 1804 days

#2 posted 05-02-2012 02:08 AM

I just built one for a 5 gallon bucket and have noticed that if I try to suck up too much at once, it can get clogged. This happened mostly when sucking up a large pile of plane shavings. If your machine is doing a great job, it may be simply producing more material than the cyclone can handle. What may help is making the cutout in the baffle for the stuff to drop through a little smaller diameter so that more stuff can fall into the can and not clog stuff up.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View mark4345's profile


56 posts in 1242 days

#3 posted 05-02-2012 02:25 AM

I’m using a harbor freight collector, 4 inch pvc. The clog starts right behind the 90 and builds up from there…behind it/between it and the can. With the router table some of the bits i have used make some pretty good sized chips and shavings…just not to the quantity and speed the jointer/planer produced them.

View 47phord's profile


175 posts in 1056 days

#4 posted 05-02-2012 10:29 PM

I’m sticking with my low-airflow hypothesis. A top-hat may work a little better, that’s what I built right off and I’ve never clogged it up, but I’m also only running about 10’ of hose from the tool to the top-hat (my shop is too small to justify a hard-pipe install). As an experiment, you might try disconnecting the hose that goes from the blower to the cannister assembly (to remove the airflow restriction imposed by the filter) and running a board through your planer again to see if it clogs up as bad.

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