Thien Baffle Dust Separator

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Project by Jeremy posted 07-19-2017 07:36 PM 11891 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello All,

I made this dust collector in order to extend the life of my shop vacuum. After clogging my shop vacuum filter and having to blow it out in order to restore the performance of my shop vacuum. After some research online I found the Thien Baffle and was very interested in its performance and functionality, with an old chlorine bucket I set out on the task to make a dust separator.

My shop is a small shed so I have to move my equipment around when I am using it and I have tried to make everything mobile. I also wanted the mobile functionality in the separator. I first build and tested the separator with 1/4” plywood for the baffle, some scrap dowels and 1/2” Baltic birch plywood for the top. I routed a groove around the perimeter of the lid so that is sits tight on the bucket without moving. when the vacuum is on it is almost impossible to remove the lid from the bucket. I was very pleased with the fit and seal of the top. I was also please with the performance, in the photos you can see my initial test with dust in the buck and very little dust in the vacuum.

The vacuum hose attachments I got from Woodcraft and I got a second vacuum hose from Home Depot. These are the only items I purchased, all the other material I already had on hand. The chlorine buck was free from my brother-in-law.

After completing the separator, I wanted to make a mobile cart so I could move it around my shop. I salvaged some old 2×4 and constructed the base with mortise and tenon joinery. The top is also some plywood I had in my lumber rack. I also wanted to be able to remove the buck from the side for emptying. It is not seen, however, I cut some 2×4 scrap to snugly fit inside the buck handles (finger holds on the sides). Once the buck handles sets down on the wood stubs the bucket is lock in place laterally and will not slip out of the side. I have also added a bracket to wrap the vacuum electrical cord around. I want to add some addition brackets to hold vacuum hoses went not in use.

The cart is always evolving as I think of different features and improvements that I want to add.

-- Jeremy, Vidor, TX

6 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24973 posts in 3912 days

#1 posted 07-20-2017 12:51 AM

Nice dust collector. That sure is a nice tall bucket for it, too!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View htl's profile


5169 posts in 1966 days

#2 posted 07-20-2017 01:50 AM

Nice project and cyclones are one project you can have a blast trying out a ton a different mods to get it just right.
It’s helped turn me in to a cleaner upper, just love using mine and keeping me small shop spic and span.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 07-20-2017 01:35 PM

You did a really nice job on this system. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View oldnovice's profile


7597 posts in 4175 days

#4 posted 07-21-2017 04:09 AM

I am going to build one of these too.
You did a nice job on the Thien baffle and the dual cart.
I am getting tired of cleaning the filter, I even tried wrapping the filter with paper towels which worked but the performance degraded faster as the paper towel clogged first/faster but the filter did not get filled.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Vince's profile


1267 posts in 4236 days

#5 posted 07-21-2017 06:13 AM

Well done, did you happen to notice if there was any reduction in the CFM?

-- Vince

View Jeremy's profile


9 posts in 1522 days

#6 posted 07-24-2017 02:42 AM

I did not notice much change in CFM. Although I do not have any equipment to measure it for sure.

-- Jeremy, Vidor, TX

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