Thien Thing

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Project by C_PLUS_Woodworker posted 03-04-2012 12:31 AM 5176 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Still working out of my garage and needed/wanted better and easier dust collection.

Had the 2“ and 4” Thien Separators on barrels, but could only use one tool at a time with each set-up.

When I got a SharkGuard for my Unisaw I could now have dedicated dust collection to both the bottom and top of my Unisaw if I could rig the dust collection right.

I also wanted dust collection to all my machines including the floor sweep and bench sweep.

So, what you see is what I came up with.

The black hose goes to the bottom of the table saw.

The middle hose goes up to an attachment in the ceiling and then down onto the SharkGuard. Works AAA.

The clear hose is the expandable hose from Rockler

..........that I take from tool to tool and/or use the floor sweep or dust handle.

The bottom hose in the middle is for whatever I want. I use it mostly for the 2” hose going to a sander or router or the Kreg Jig or simply to keep things clean.


I can only open the two blast gates going to the table saw half-way or else I don’t get enough vacuum to either hose.

I used my circle jig to run a rabbet around the edge of the top of the Thien Separator and snuck up on the fit so that it matched the barrel real close. No leak at all.

The “Black Tower” on top of the Thien is not as wobbly as it may look, but I am thinking about putting a 2’ x 2’ x ½ “ plywood backer board standing up on the Thien to reinforce the “Black Tower. That is why I used mountable blast gates.

The entire lid/tower assembly lifts right off the barrel very easily once I disconnect the hoses………hence the quick connects.

I really like the Dust Right items

I rigged a Dust Right port on every machine that I have and moving the hose & handle between machines is very quick and easy.

I always need to add a step when changing machines. Hook up the hose………turn the machine on……insert wood…….. no dust collection………turn machine off ……..walk back across to open/close the damn blast gates.

I think the long collapsible hose from Rockler is OK. I use the docking station attachment and if I keep the vacuum pressure on until it is hung up, then it collapses itself pretty well. Heavy. I am glad I put the swivel attachment on this hose.

Love the Thien Separator. I have accumulated less than 2 inches of dust in the collector bag on the Delta Dust Collector in 2 years of messing around in the shop. Never had to empty the bag and have emptied the Thien may times, especially after planing.

This set-up works remarkably well.

Ugly, but it works for me.

17 comments so far

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4252 days

#1 posted 03-04-2012 04:50 AM

Very nice C plus. One suggestion though if its possible, you have the branches facing the wrong way for maximum CFM. They should be facing upward so the air flows smoothly downard into tho thein instead of having to do sharp turns downward.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


602 posts in 3964 days

#2 posted 03-04-2012 05:05 AM

Eric, thanks for the comment. When I was trying things out I did as you suggested, but with the triple pointed up, then the hoses went up and then curved sharply down into the triple. There is a sharp downward turn either way…..... on each hose or at the central stem. I thought this way would be easier on the hoses. Thanks so much for your suggestion.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4252 days

#3 posted 03-04-2012 05:11 AM

It looks great either way C_Plus. I could see there being sharp curves the other way as well now that you mention it. I’m sure its still better than nothing. I need to make a thein for my Delta 50-720, I’m tired of emptying dust bags ;)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4376 days

#4 posted 03-04-2012 02:44 PM

Does it work??? That’s a lot of tubing! C_Plus, you are a man after my own heart! :)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 03-04-2012 03:20 PM

Well done what a nice set-up you have made.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View bondogaposis's profile


5978 posts in 3408 days

#6 posted 03-04-2012 03:41 PM

That is a great Theinamizer, definitely could be a lead character in a Stars Wars movie.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


602 posts in 3964 days

#7 posted 03-04-2012 03:41 PM

Milo, yes it works. I am not sure how this differs all that much from piped tubing, except maybe for that one bad turn that Eric (above) mentioned.

I sealed all the leaks with tape. The Thien Separator is fitted very well to the barrel and it doesn’t leak.

The large barrel was never a problem before I did the “Black Tower” and it’s no problem now

Blast gates leak a little, but that is the nature of those things.

So, yeah, it works like a champ.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7158 posts in 4251 days

#8 posted 03-04-2012 05:53 PM

Hi Bruce:

Stellar job on the Thein thing…I’ve never tried to make or use one, but it’ll be interesting to know how it works out for you after it’s put to good use (as if it already isn’t). I still run my old d.c. like I always have, except I added a Wynn canister filter about a year or so ago….It really made a big difference in the cfms, and I probably gained about 20% increase…..Imagine what it would do with a Thein thing setup like you have…lol.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


602 posts in 3964 days

#9 posted 03-04-2012 06:14 PM

Rick, everyone seems to really like those Wynn canisters.

Maybe I should bite the bullet and get one.


View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 3451 days

#10 posted 03-04-2012 07:14 PM

Great job C_Plus, that is really creative. I know what you mean about multiple steps to just get to do the work you want!! I hate that too, its such a waste and loss of energy that can be used to do real woodworking, good solution :-)

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5303 days

#11 posted 03-04-2012 07:15 PM

Great set up, I’m going to use it in my shop, if it’s ok with you.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View antkn33's profile


62 posts in 4499 days

#12 posted 03-04-2012 07:44 PM

Kind of looks like Darth Vader’s dust collector… Cool of course!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7158 posts in 4251 days

#13 posted 03-04-2012 08:02 PM


I really think with the setup you have going now that a Wynn filter would be just the ticket for you. They are not that expensive, and for a few dollars more, would really boost your setup. They make a couple of models, but I would recommend the 35A (it’s the one I have). That’s probably the most popular model.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View RalphCompton's profile


91 posts in 3705 days

#14 posted 03-05-2012 12:43 AM

Looks very good but I just can’t figure out the air flow. It looks to me from the pictures that there is actually no vacuum attached to the output side of the separator and that the tools bypass it. I must be missing something.

View C_PLUS_Woodworker's profile


602 posts in 3964 days

#15 posted 03-05-2012 01:53 AM

Hey Ralph…........good eyes. I don’t actually have the Thien attached to the Delta Dust Collector. The hose is lying on the ground.

The grey hose coming out of the Dust Collector goes to the black elbow on top of …..and at the rear of the Thien Separator. You can just barely see that black elbow behind the tower.

That hose brings suction into the barrel and then the other hoses all bring dust, which goes through the Thien Separator and then falls into the barrel.

I should have posted better pix. Does this help?

Thanks for looking.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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