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Thein Baffles and Dust Collection in General

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 07-18-2014 03:50 AM 1713 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1401 days


07-18-2014 03:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection

Hey everyone,

I recently got the boot from my rent house because the owner sold the house. The bummer is I had to clear out the shop. The good thing is that my wonderful parents were nice enough to offer me their shed to use as a shop until I get out of the apartment I am living in right now. That said, I have been thinking about finally getting some dust collection set up. I use a lot of large tools and honestly it is sort of crazy that I didn’t set it up in my last shop. But, I think in order to thank my parents for letting me invade their shed for a year, I want to not cover everything in that shed, much of which is theirs, in a solid 1/2” layer of dust. So, I come to you all in search of DC wisdom.

I just have a few basic questions:

1. What exactly is the point of a Thein Baffle in a Dust collection system? (I think it is to keep the filter way cleaner, but I’m just confirming)

2. Is building the thein baffle worth it?

3. I have searched around for Thein Baffles and DC in general on LJ’s some, and I can clearly see there are a ton of examples. Is there an end all be all, or a few good blogs or projects that I should look at?

4. Anything else you want to comment on about DC…

Thanks again everyone

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


9 replies so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

544 posts in 2578 days


#1 posted 07-18-2014 05:26 AM

The best place to learn more about the Thien baffle is at his forum: http://www.jpthien.com/smf/

I have used a Thien separator ahead of my various collectors, and it has done a great job of keeping the filter clean. Now, I finally have my system set up to vent outside, with a separator ahead of the DC to do the collecting. The best thing about this is that the amount of suction doesn’t change over time. Before, as the filter began to need cleaning, the air flow would drop, and as the air flow dropped it seemed the Thien separator became less efficient and allowed more dust to pass.

Now, I have consistent air flow, and I have never seen any sign of floating dust near the area where the air discharge is located, and rarely any sign of dust out there at all, even though the discharge is in an area about 4 feet below the surrounding ground level at the corner of a retaining wall. A little rain and any dust disappears.

The point is, the Thien collector works great, and in my situation not only made the DC easier to use, but allows it to work more consistently and efficiently.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#2 posted 07-18-2014 05:43 AM



The best place to learn more about the Thien baffle is at his forum: http://www.jpthien.com/smf/

I have used a Thien separator ahead of my various collectors, and it has done a great job of keeping the filter clean. Now, I finally have my system set up to vent outside, with a separator ahead of the DC to do the collecting. The best thing about this is that the amount of suction doesn t change over time. Before, as the filter began to need cleaning, the air flow would drop, and as the air flow dropped it seemed the Thien separator became less efficient and allowed more dust to pass.

Now, I have consistent air flow, and I have never seen any sign of floating dust near the area where the air discharge is located, and rarely any sign of dust out there at all, even though the discharge is in an area about 4 feet below the surrounding ground level at the corner of a retaining wall. A little rain and any dust disappears.

The point is, the Thien collector works great, and in my situation not only made the DC easier to use, but allows it to work more consistently and efficiently.

- Lifesaver2000

What he said. A plus is anything sucked up from the floor goes into the drum and not through the impeller. :-)
Also, the drum is easier to empty. I don’t have to wrestle with the plastic bag.

In the second picture, you can see the Wynn Environmental filter that has replaced the sock…and a drum full of chips from the planer.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

262 posts in 2707 days


#3 posted 07-18-2014 06:57 AM

+1 on What lifesaver and Mt Stringer said. I’ve used a thein baffle set up in both ShopVac and Dust Collector mode, still do, and can attest to it working well enough to keep me from buying a cyclonic dust collector.

2. Yes, it is worth it to build, and you will join us in learning about dust collection.

3. It does depend on your configuration, but the link, http://www.jpthien.com/smf/, is absolutely the place to get your best options.

4. Adding some way ( plastic window or a floating stick) to monitor the height of the dust in the collector barrel. This will make a significant difference in how often you will need to clean out the Vacuum air filter. If you empty the can BEFORE it gets full up to the lower baffle, your filter will stay cleaner, longer.

Hope this is of help.

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3393 posts in 1670 days


#4 posted 07-18-2014 07:27 AM

Check out my blog on how I made mine, it may be of some assistance,it certainly was cheap enough!!

-- Regards Robert

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#5 posted 07-18-2014 01:41 PM

Level indicator? I can see the level in my drum through the side. I bought it specifically for that reason.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View ducky911's profile

ducky911

237 posts in 2255 days


#6 posted 07-18-2014 02:15 PM

Keep in mind that a thien baffle will cause a significant loss in CFM. Test I did on the one I made was 38% loss. Dirty filters can give you a bigger loss than that. If your CFM’s are marginal than it is a choice to do the messy job of cleaning your filters often(no baffle) or have sub par suction (with baffle).

Bob

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#7 posted 07-18-2014 02:20 PM

i used the two stage dust collection lid and a metal garbage can.

http://www.ptreeusa.com/dustacces.htm#399

Works pretty well with my 1 hp collector and table saw. The big pieces stay in the can and the dust stays in the bag. Simple and pretty cheap.

-- Chris K

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1401 days


#8 posted 07-18-2014 05:47 PM

Cool. Thanks for all of the input guys. I am actually thinking about venting outside as well. For those of you that do that, Is it even necessary to have a filter or sock on the top? Can’t the mictro particles just float off into the atmosphere and disappear? Better yet is there even a need for anything other that the blower portion of the actual dust collector if the exhaust is just routed straight outside?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

544 posts in 2578 days


#9 posted 07-18-2014 11:10 PM

No filter or “sock” is needed when venting outside, but it is important to have a good separator ahead of the DC so you aren’t blowing dust everywhere. I put a lot in to making my current Thien top-hat, and as I mentioned I have had no issues with external dust.

As Bob said above, the Thien will cause a loss of CFM, but then even a clean filter reduces CFM some compared to just having the inlet and outlet of the DC open. Once even a little dust starts collecting in the filter, the drop is even more.

That is why I mentioned the consistency of the airflow in my first post. The maximum flow I get with the Thien+no filter might be less than it would be with no-Thien+a clean filter, but the average airflow over time is probably higher, even allowing for filter cleaning at reasonable intervals.

I also built my second Thien, that I am using now, to try to reduce flow losses. I did a side entry, which eliminates an elbow that is in the original design, smoothed the input area to reduce turbulence at that point, lined the inside of the chamber with aluminum flashing that is very smooth, and smoothed places like the edge of the baffle cutout to further reduce turbulence.

As you mention, my system does consist of just piping to the Thien, from there to the DC blower then straight out the wall through an over-sized dryer-type vent. As I mentioned I keep a close eye out for any dust problems, and since this outlet is down inside the corner of a retaining wall, the noise is pretty low also. I have a fairly big yard, and by the time I walk to the property line the noise level is much lower than even a typical clothes dryer vent produces.

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