Thein Style Baffle Lid For Use With My Shop Vac

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Project by BusterB posted 03-18-2014 12:24 AM 70063 views 22 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had been saving for a dust collector for a while and was about to pull the trigger on it and wham…life got in the way. When you have two kids in college that tends to happen from time to time. Well I am back in saving mode again and still intend to get one but still have a dust collection issue. Dont get me wrong, my shop vac does a pretty good job but like all single stage collection systems, as the collection bag gets full I start to lose suction. The higher grade filter bags tend to get pricey as well so I needed a short term fix. After studying several different designs of trash can seperators, I decided to try the Thein style baffle. I collected some scrap plywood out of some shipping crates and set to work. Three plywood discs, three 8 1/2” long pieces of 1/4” all thread and a 3” pvc elbow and I was ready to assemble this thing. The top plywood disc was just a tad bit larger that the top of the can while the second was sized to fit snugly inside the can. These two were glued together. The trash can tapers so I had to use a slightly smaller disc to cut the baffle out of. I cut a 2 1/4” hole in the center of the lid and offset a hole for the 3” elbow to mount into. Since the shop vac uses 2 1/2 hose, I had to cut a hole in piece of plywood to fit the hose and mounted it over the 3 1/2” hole with glue and screws. Mounted the baffle with the all thread. One of my concerns was that the shop vac would not be able to pull enough vacuum due to the volume of the trash can but when I hooked it up and turned it on, I noticed it was collapsing the sides of the can some so knew that probably would not be an issue. The last pic is of some junk I picked up around the shop while giving it a trial run. Guess I need to build a cart to put it and the shop vac on…but that can wait for another day.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

20 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


3145 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 03-18-2014 12:54 AM

Buster, I have built and run this style of Thein baffle/collector for a year or two now and it works great. Save your money buddy and take your wife on a vacation…lol.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3588 days

#2 posted 03-18-2014 12:57 AM

This needs to be one of my next tasks in the shop. Good job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 03-18-2014 01:30 AM

That looks great. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View doubleDD's profile


10718 posts in 3293 days

#4 posted 03-18-2014 02:19 AM

Good work Buster. Anything that helps with the dust is a keeper. Good to see the shop vac handling that big can The money you saved can be sent to me so I can build one.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View SkinsKaos's profile


11 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 03-18-2014 02:46 AM

I’m new to this whole DC stuff, not that I don’t use a shop vac and have a shop built air filter but, My question is this… What is the purpose of something like this? How does it help with DC? This is probably a very easy and obvious answer, I’m just not seeing it.

View BusterB's profile


2365 posts in 3258 days

#6 posted 03-18-2014 03:26 AM

L2L- Thanks Lee, will have to see how it goes….lol

Monte- thanks buddy. Be interesting to see a system you designed. Have to be a beast.

Hoss- Thank you my friend.

Dave- Thanks buddy. I got less than 20 dollars in this so I can send you the other 10…lol

Skins- The primary advantage for me is longer shop vac bag life. The baffle allows the bigger stuff to settle out in the trash can instead of being pulled into the bag. A secondary benefit is it quite a bit easier emptying the trash can than it is changing bags in the shop vac. I work in a basement shop so dust control is pretty important. The shop filter you mentioned is on my todo list as well.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View CFrye's profile


11362 posts in 3089 days

#7 posted 03-18-2014 03:50 AM

Nice job Buster!

-- God bless, Candy

View Cedar Furniture Lodge 's profile

Cedar Furniture Lodge

824 posts in 3522 days

#8 posted 03-18-2014 03:51 AM

I am a little confused on how it works but i like it my friend. I am going to have to do some research on this, thanks for sharing old friend.

-- "The Cedar King"

View Patrick's work shop's profile

Patrick's work shop

141 posts in 2857 days

#9 posted 03-18-2014 10:19 AM

I like it but I am more into cyclone style dc. I made a dust cyclone out of a street cone do you think that the size of the bucket or can would make a difference ? Or is the thein style a better way ? I have not used a thein style but the one I made sure works great and I don’t get any dust in my shop vac so it never needs to be cleaned. Thanks for your info. Patrick

-- Patrick's work shop

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4766 days

#10 posted 03-18-2014 11:02 AM

Buster, you did a good job. Your lungs will thank you.

-- jstegall

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3542 days

#11 posted 03-18-2014 11:35 AM

Nice job—it’s amazing how well the Thein design works to collect dust before it gets to you DC. On a personal note, I sure empathize with you on life happens with kids in college, but it doesn’t last forever—hang in there and life does get better.

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

View BusterB's profile


2365 posts in 3258 days

#12 posted 03-18-2014 01:38 PM

Candy- Thanks mam.

Todd- Thank you sir. Some one a lot smarter than me figured out the shape of the baffle causes a sort of cyclonic action which allows the heavier dust and big chunks to settle out into the trash can instead of being pulled directly into the shop vac. Will have to test for a while to see how much of the fine dust stays in the can.

Patrick- The cone style cyclones are cool. I dont have the practical experience to say which one is more effective or efficient. For me it was more practical to build the thein style since I had a shortage of traffic cones laying around the shop…lol

JohnS- Thank you sir.

Shooter- Thank you sir. I like to mumble alot about funding the kids but in the end, I probably wouldnt have it any other way…lol I will get there…eventually.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3735 days

#13 posted 03-18-2014 04:22 PM

Nice work. Looks like it works well for a shop vac. Although I learned from experience not to use a plastic can as a separator for an actual DC system. Mine generated so much suction that the entire plastic can crumpled up like a paper bag.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4106 days

#14 posted 03-18-2014 06:30 PM

Great job on that Buster
They save so much cleaning out of the vac.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26819 posts in 4355 days

#15 posted 03-18-2014 08:10 PM

Good job on that dust colletor, Buster!!!!!!!!

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

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