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I am a noob. My current dust collection system consists of a broom and a dust pan. That being said, I need to start down the path of collecting dust at the source. I have looked at several LJ projects for DIY Thien separators. I notice that the collection bins on these are usually on the larger side. Does it have to be that way or can I adapt a 5 gallon bucket with a lid? I am envisioning a system with a DIY Thien separator on top of a 5 gallon bucket hooked to a Bucket Max vacuum on a second 5 gallon bucket. Since I am just messing around, none of these components or any of the PVC and hardware represents much of an investment. Plus I expect to learn something at least. I always do :). I am just curious if any of you see any serious flaws that will prevent this from working at all, or have any additional design suggestions.

Thanks in advance!
 

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For a vac, 5 gallon should be fine. The issue becomes how much debris you can collect before you have to empty (or clog up the system). If you do any power planing or something with a lot of chips, a 5 gallon bucket might last 2 minutes before it gets full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Taller makes sense both in terms of a larger volume to fill before emptying, but also in terms of my understanding of how the Thien system works as there will be less turbulence in the bottom of a taller design. I wonder if I can cut the bottom off of a five gallon bucket and stack it on top of an intact one to improve the design?
 

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If you can figure out a way to seal it completely, there's no reason that won't work. Most of them sit inside one another, so there might be a good sized gap unless you flip one upside down or something.
 

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I have a 30gallon metal garbage can with a thien baffle. It does an excellent job until the debris get to about 6-8 inches below the baffle then material starts to carry over into my dust collector bag. Taller is better and also don't have to empty as often. If you have a planer a 5 gallon bucket will fill within seconds.
 

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What I have learned is that you can't allow the separator can to even remotely come close to being full before it quits functioning. For my set up once the can is 1/3 full is where I lose performance. If that holds true w/ your 5 gallon bucket then you are going to have to empty it very frequently.
 
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