Another Thien seperator

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Project by Nicky posted 06-01-2012 01:43 AM 3289 views 9 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks to Phil Thien for a wonderful design. Also, many thanks to my fellow lumberjocks for the outstanding implementation ideas. If you’re interested in building one just search the site for Thien, lots of ideas.

Last Sunday I jointed, planed, and ripped one edge on 150 bd/ft of oak. I emptied the trash can three times. The bag on my DC shows what was not captured by the Thien baffle. I’m really impressed at this very simple solution. This was put together in about 2 hrs, and less then $40, the bulk of the cost was the trash can @ $26.

-- Nicky

7 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3449 days

#1 posted 06-01-2012 02:26 AM

Very interesting design on your wood baffle. It looks like a progressive opening from beginning of inlet to full width just before inlet, instead of 240 degree opening. How did you come up with this? Any chance you’d consider sharing your design dimensions? At any rate, thanks so very much for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Ken90712's profile


18051 posts in 4346 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 07:54 AM

Great work, alot of people have made these I might have to get on the train. Well done.

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

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3961 days

#3 posted 06-01-2012 12:24 PM

Looks like a winner to me. Like Ken, I see lotsa folks are doin this. Now this may sound like a dumb question, but, basically, this type/s of set up seperates the dust from the chips, ? Either way, you still have a collection that you have to dump when it gets full. Weather you have a full bag, or a full can, ? I know that by seperating the chips, you may save the blades on the fan from getting bent up, etc. Do these baffles really let the dc work better, by letting less airborn dust ? Main reason I ask, because, with another can or such, ya need more space.

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

View Nicky's profile


711 posts in 5249 days

#4 posted 06-01-2012 01:18 PM

Shooter, I’m a poor photographer, the baffle is not tapered, it is recessed about 1” for 240deg

-- Nicky

View Nicky's profile


711 posts in 5249 days

#5 posted 06-01-2012 02:47 PM

Roger – The Thien separator is a cyclone device. The chips enter the cyclone, around the baffle and gravity allows them to fall into the trash can. I’m sure some dust is dropping into the can, and some is making it to the DC.

I built this to make emptying easier. With my DC, when the bag becomes 1/2 full I lose a lot of suction power.By the time the bag is full, the top filter gets very clogged, and this is messy to clean. Installing a new bag is a bit painful, as it needs to be stretch while installing.

Chips vs Dust, I’m no expert. The DC uses a 1 micron filter bag. The separator is picking up larger chips, but I would guess that the finer partials are getting to the filter bag.

I buy wood in the rough. Its cheaper and I enjoy the process of milling it square. I would not normally use the DC as this filled the bags quickly, and clogged the DC (less suction power when the bag is filling.)

The lid on the trash can fits snugly and is a snap to remove and empty. This is a time saver for me. My DC will be more efficient. I will still need to clean the filter, but now less frequently.

-- Nicky

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3961 days

#6 posted 06-01-2012 02:51 PM

ahh, ok, thnx Nicky. I guess my brain wasn’t comprehending, but, now, I get it. Appreciate the explanation. Makes perfect sense

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

View Karson's profile


35276 posts in 5558 days

#7 posted 06-01-2012 10:34 PM

I have a similiar setup, but I bought a paper top filter from Grizzly that has a paddle to clean the pleats. It was a replacement filter for one of their high end filters.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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