A Thein Baffle for my Harbor Freight Dust Collector

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Project by Gary777 posted 04-19-2011 01:28 AM 8364 views 37 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is more of a shop project “project” but I thought a few others might be interested. It was a done in a weekend project and it works very well!

I got tired of emptying the plastic bag and now I do that maybe once every 200 or 300 hours of shop time, but I made one big mistake, I used a 20 gallon trash can instead of a larger one. One night with my Planer or with my Jointer and I am emptying the can (ok, two nights with the bag but the can is way easier!)

You can tell when the can is full as you hear the chips circling around the upper chamber in the baffle.

I will be replacing this with a 55 gallon can in the future.

If anyone wants help with one of these I will do what I can to steer you right.

-- Gary - Carson City, NV - "Every man looks upon his wood pile with a sort of affection." — Henry David Thoreau

11 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4301 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 01:35 AM

nice job, I’ll have to make one in the near future I just got a HF collector I just have to make space for it they deliver very quick nowadays!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4590 days

#2 posted 04-19-2011 01:50 AM

That makes things easier until you fill a 55 gal drum :) I have three HF units two are out side and the other is to high off the ground to take a trash can up and down. The outside already dump into 55 gal containers. Units like these can make in shop units a lot easier to clean out .


View SteveMI's profile


1167 posts in 4307 days

#3 posted 04-19-2011 02:35 AM

Try to find one of the plastic drums with the over center latch that holds the lid on. They make disconnecting the drum a lot easier and a positive seal. Not to mention lighter than metal drums.

They are actually 58 gallons, probably to be compatible with a metric size. Mine was recycled after life as a soap delivery for car wash.


View Gary777's profile


82 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 04-19-2011 03:19 AM

I just knew others on here were using the HF DC’s! Thanks for the great info guys! I like the idea of the outside drums and have been pondering how to route it out and back in but now your posts have given me an idea!

I also like the idea of the plastic drum with ring, that would be much easier to handle! I have a little foot lever I user to move the can up when I want to secure it but that lever would work equally well with a plastic drum and the ring is much simpler and the seal would be better as well.

The other addition I am thinking of is a canister filter, has anyone done this yet and if so have you noticed much of an improvement?

-- Gary - Carson City, NV - "Every man looks upon his wood pile with a sort of affection." — Henry David Thoreau

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4588 days

#5 posted 04-19-2011 06:38 AM

I love mine.
They are a great deal and keep the shop clean.
Thanks for showing yours.

View ianlee74's profile


153 posts in 3960 days

#6 posted 04-19-2011 03:08 PM

Perfect timing… I was using my jointer last night and every so often I have to go clear up the “screen” going into the motor of my HF DC where the long chips tend to wrap around and eventually clog the system. What a pain… I’ve been thinking of adding a cyclone to pick out these big chips but I’ve been hesitant based on the cost and more importantly in my small shop the large amount of space required to store it. I love your design. It’s low cost and it basically has the same footprint as the DC required before. I can live with the smaller can. Can you add some more pics showing how the can is attached?

I’ve also considered cutting out the screen/grid going into the motor… Has anyone else done this? Good/bad results?

-- Ian, Tennessee

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4709 days

#7 posted 04-19-2011 03:21 PM

I live back in the woods, and I just piped my grizzly to the out side, now it blows in the woods ,it just about dlb.ed the suction.Your project look great .No more emtying those bags.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4171 days

#8 posted 04-19-2011 04:21 PM

Definitely would like to see a blog on this with more details!

I have the HF dust collector that I only recently setup. Because of my small garage shop, I like your design that keeps the same footprint. Very awesomely nice!!!

-- jay,

View brtech's profile


1102 posts in 3935 days

#9 posted 04-19-2011 05:22 PM

Get the canister filter. It’s important, it works, and it sucks more.
Dust particles in the range of .5 to 5 micron are very dangerous to your health.

View Gary777's profile


82 posts in 3611 days

#10 posted 04-19-2011 05:52 PM

Wow, this post received more responses than I expected.

My HFDC has worked out great, and the Thein Baffle was a great addition as like others I didn’t want to spend the money on the cyclone.

Some notes: I did cut out the cross grid at the impeller input, with the Thein Baffle very few chips of any size get that far so long as you don’t let the can over fill. When I came up with this design my idea was to keep the footprint the same if possible, a larger can may force some rethinking on that aspect.

I will try to get some pictures of the can mating surface, I just have 4 wood blocks to align the can and I used a thick weather stripping foam to create the seal. I use a top mounted hook on one side of the can and a wood wedge on the bottom of the other side to seal it. I like the plastic drum and ring idea better but am now wondering about static electricity, I need to mull that one over.

A canister filter is definitely on my list of must haves! I also recently bought a JET 1000 CFM Air Filtration system as I was starting to worry about all the fine dust from sanding, It is a big help too and I am shocked at how fast the outer filter fills up!

-- Gary - Carson City, NV - "Every man looks upon his wood pile with a sort of affection." — Henry David Thoreau

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3816 days

#11 posted 05-05-2011 02:15 PM

great idea. thnx

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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