Limey Tom's Thein Top Hat

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Project by LimeyTom posted 09-15-2017 08:24 PM 2611 views 5 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve finally got round to sorting out my dust collection setup. I moved my big chip collector up into the loft space to gain more room, but that then raised the question of what to do about emptying it. Replacing those dust sacks is a big enough pain in the arse as it is without also having to manoeuvre it down a ladder, so I thought I’d try a Thein Top Hat.

The Top Hat itself is made simply from 4 layers of MDF using a jigsaw and a router to create the circles. 2mm acrylic lines the inside and the soil pipe I’m using for the ducting is attached by gluing in a coupler one side and a shot bit of pipe on the top. The final challenge was how to fix the bin in place so that it was easily removable…

The solution I came up with is basically a little fork lift which rises and falls on a threaded rod running through a nut. The lower arms slide up and down on a pair of drawer runners, which I was hoping would keep it vaguely parallel with the top. As this was an afterthought, the rod isn’t central in the device, so until the bin is clamped tight it’s a little wonky.

If I made it again I’d leave another 30mm in the back to accommodate the mechanism, but at the time I was trying to minimise the footprint.

I’m pleased to say that the whole thing is way more efficient than I was originally imagining. After chopping up enough 2×10s to make a bracket for my thicknesser (more on that later) and some tool cubbies in MDF you can see how much dust I’ve collected. All I can see in the collector is a fine dusting of flour-like MDF dust.

My favourite part is the emptying mechanism. I can take it off, empty it and refit it in under a minute with the aid of a 17mm hex driver. As an added bonus, it doesn’t touch the ground, which gives me a place to park my trolley jack.

3 comments so far

View fivecodys's profile


1647 posts in 2485 days

#1 posted 09-15-2017 10:39 PM

That is very clever sir!

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6155 posts in 3258 days

#2 posted 09-16-2017 01:48 AM

Nice build. Way to work around the issue of moving the bucket using the threaded rod jig.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3716 days

#3 posted 09-16-2017 02:11 PM

That’s a very creative solution.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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