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  • Thien Cyclone done! Pics coming...

    I finished up my Thien Cyclone last night, and after a couple of bumps and bruises with incorrect measurements along the way (I cut that board three times and it's still too short!). The fit to the can is snug, and it seals well. HOWEVER I am going to take the vac hose fittings off to remove the screws, and securing them with hot glue. I want to eliminate the snagging point of the screw tips (1" screws in 3/4" ply).

    I am VERY impressed with the function of it so far, after vacuming up 3 gallons + of junk from my shop floor, stuff that was previously in the vac, and stuff that was in a 3 gallon shop vac. I ran a test job, unfortunately this also included quite a bit of dog hair, and old cigar stubs (The old shop vac gets used to clean my deck after poker parties. A substantial amount of fine sawdust and ash was in the mix. From the heap of stuff that got sucked up, I can surely say that I was well into 3 9s (99.9+%). It left approximately 1 tbsp of material in the tub of the vac. That might have been stuff that was caught up in the webbing on the lid of the vac...

    If you don't have a cyclone, and it doesn't matter if you have a vac based system, or a DC based system, I can HIGHLY recommend a Thien Cyclone separator. Phil Thien's web site. Thanks Phil! Your separator will go a long way to making my shop safer!

    My cyclone separator was made with 3/4" sanded Baltic Birch Ply for the lid, 1/2" sanded white oak for the separator, 1/4 -20 6" All Thread (12" cut in half and smoothed with my rotary tool), secured with nylon insert nuts and washers for the spacers, I wanted to keep the size down. The elbow was a 2" PVC street elbow, tucked as close as I could get it to the side of the can, and the center nipple was a 2" coupler that was longer than typical, so I cut it in half as well. The elbow and coupler were hot glued to the wood. The vac hose fittings were Peachtree Woodworking pieces. I made the mistake of attaching them with tapered head wood screws and messed up the mounting tabs. Yet another reason, that and eliminating any possible leaks are more reasons I am going to hot glue them on and remove the screws...

    Asidd from the hardware and vac fittings, I used what was in the shop. I had intended on grabbing some cheaper pine ply, but ended up using the BB. I am not upset I did that. The BB I think will hold up better in the long run... My hot glue job isn't ultra clean, which is a pity. But it is functional.
    Last edited by dbhost; 10-25-2008, 02:19 PM.
    My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

  • #2
    it would be intersting if you measured the amps of the vac running without the sep to the amps of the vac running with the sep and the amps with the hose blocked completely off. The amps is an indication of the air flow, to some extent. If it remains the same then the sep has not affected the air flow, if it changes by 20% then you have a considerable impact on the air flow.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

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    • #3
      I would have no clue how to measure that. HOWEVER, I can tell you there seems to be no loss in suction at the hose end. It picks up as well with, and without.

      I need to clean my filter (Clean Stream HEPA) as I know it is impacting air flow. I knocked the loose stuff out by tapping it, and brushing it out.

      I am pretty sure the air flow issue was beaten to death on Phils forum. From what I can recall, no impact. Not sure of what the means of measurement was though.

      The vac motor certainly doesn't labor at all when being run in this fashion, and it is certainly entertaining to listen to planer shaving whooshing around the outside edge of the can prior to falling down the center.
      My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
        it would be intersting if you measured the amps of the vac running without the sep to the amps of the vac running with the sep and the amps with the hose blocked completely off. The amps is an indication of the air flow, to some extent. If it remains the same then the sep has not affected the air flow, if it changes by 20% then you have a considerable impact on the air flow.
        Well it does add resistance and therefor reduces CFM. No free lunches I suppose.

        I measured using a weather-type anemometer and found the hit to CFM (if I can recall correctly) to be approx. 10-12%. Pretty close to the reported performance of one of those tiny Clear Vue units. Probably a little better than the initial Oneida units that had the smaller inlet/outlet.

        My weather-type anemometer tests, though, are certainly going to be less accurate than those of someone using a hot-wire system. And even those using high-end hot-wires can have poor testing methods that throw the numbers way off.

        So I'll try the ammeter test and post the results.

        Comment


        • #5
          I must be missing something.

          I can see how one of those would be great for a shop vac. However, If you are using a dust collector won't it just put the debris in the separator canister instead of the dust collector bag? Where's the advantage?
          Rand
          "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like your thumb."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rand View Post
            I must be missing something.

            I can see how one of those would be great for a shop vac. However, If you are using a dust collector won't it just put the debris in the separator canister instead of the dust collector bag? Where's the advantage?
            (1) Some people finding emptying a garbage can/dumpster easier than emptying the bag.

            (2) It does (IMHO) a pretty fantastic job at separating the fines, keeping them out of your DC bag/cart. filter, meaning that the rapid drop in performance that you normally get as your filter loads is a thing of the past.

            (2a) As Loring pointed out, there is a reduction if CFM, so no free lunches. But hopefully you take a small hit up-front, and can run much longer before having to clean your filters.

            (2b) For those that use a cart. filter and don't mind emptying the bag on their DC, adding the baffle to the ring of your DC can keep the cart. filter much cleaner, much longer.

            Comment


            • #7
              I finished the lid up Friday, but due to time constraints wasn't able to snap any pics until this morning. My job and my in laws had other plans for my time this weekend.

              The completed cyclone separator lid installed on a 20 gallon heavy galvanized trash can. The hoses both in and out are Ridgid Tug A Long hoses, I used the small end on the both sides of the side that goes to my dust collection system.


              The functional view of my cyclone. You may notice that my elbow is mounted backwards on the "wrong side" compared to Phils pic. That was by accident. I drilled the holes for the spacers with the thick part of the separator going the wrong way. It works well this way, but looks funny when you look at Phils pics...
              Notice the spacers are nothing more than 1/4 -20 all thread with washers and nuts...


              Tonight I am removing the screws from the hose adapters and gluing them straight up with hot glue. I want to eliminate the tips of the screws from inside the cyclone. My shop isn't dog hair free, and that tends to get hung on those tips...

              Sorry about the pic host. I have been using Webshots since my ISP hosting kind of stinks...
              My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

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              • #8
                Looks pretty nice. Since you built it backwards, maybe you should send it to Rod, being south of the equator and all?
                Bob

                Bad decisions make good stories.

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                • #9
                  He was the first one I thought of when I saw the disk was the wrong way, but he won't accept it. It's not MDF... :-P
                  My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, I tested it with a mess of sawdust, shavings, and misc junk swept up from the shop floor that gets blown in every time I open the garage doors...

                    I found what I think are weak spots with my particular execution, and am moving on to prototype #2.

                    The results for the first one are pretty good though...


                    The shop layout that the vac and DC setup has to service, for now, until the other side of the garage gets ready...


                    That's at least 4 inches of material down there in a 20 gallon trash can.


                    That's what blew past the separator and got into the vac.

                    There was a NOTABLE decrease in suction when I would pick up long stringy stuff, and / or leaves. Not planer shavings or the like, but monofilament fishing line, dog hair, and what the heck is that junk type stuff. That would jam up where the elbow is glued to the lid and stop up the air flow. This same material would also get caught in the screw tips on the bottom of the lid, and I believe this contributed to material bypassing and into the vac / filter.

                    My solution will be prototype #2, which will be made with a larger elbow, that is cut down, sanded flat so that the entire elbow nearly touches the top of the lid and no end surface of the elbow touches the incoming air stream, the screws wil either be done away with entirely in favor of glue, or replaced with 1/2" screws and flat washers. No screw tips to interfere with operation that way...
                    My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a seat of the pants update. I have mentioned a Clean Stream HEPA as I was wanting and fully intending to buy one to replace my Ridgid HEPA filter because I was under the impression that the Ridgid was not washable. I went by Home Depot and found the box for the Ridgid HEPA filter, and grabbed the instructions inside and actually read them. Wash with cold water from the inside out and allow to air dry, which I did last night before going to bed... I found the filter dry when I came home from work today. I also found several joints in my plumbing that was leaking like a sieve. disassembled the joints, wrapped two windings of masking tape on, and reassembled them to seal it all up. Nice snug, air tight fit now...

                      The entire system pulls like a raving maniac again. I spent probably 2 hours on the table saw, and with the router tonight, and vacuumed up stuff that had gotten behind the work bench. Probably better part of a gallon of material got processed tonight. There is now LESS material in the tank of the vac (I am assuming since I was stupid and forgot to clean the tank at the same time that it is now in the HEPA filter). The pull of this vac is amazing! Now on to some projects!
                      My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have had my cyclone complete and functioning for a little over a week, and I have had a bit of work going on in my shop. chasing leaks in my plumbing system. With the leaks stopped (taped over joints), plus after discovering that I could wash out my Ridgid HEPA filter and reuse it I was able to bypass the need for the Clean Stream HEPA filter (Saved myself $35.00 after tax..). Performance wise. I find that I can just touch the end of an extended tool hose and it will contract immediately just like running it straight off the vac.

                        Some planing, a lot of routing, plenty of table saw work, and lots of work on the oscillating sander

                        I have filled the 20 gallon trash can about 2/3 of the way with mostly planer shavings, router chips and fine dust from sanding operations with the oscillating sander.

                        The filter itself has a barely visible dusting of fines, there actually appears to be LESS dust in the bottom of the vac compared to the photo I posted after first testing.

                        So for the function so far, this works not only as well as I had hoped, but far better...

                        I've also been reading Bill Pentz' web site, and I tend to agree with a great deal he talks about. This setup with the shop vac I think from what I can tell from Bill's site is probably a better functioning system than a 4" ducted full DC due to the higher static pressure, since the 4" duct DC can't move either enough CFM or static pressure...

                        The amount of dust, and dirt that was in the filter after the weeks worth of work and testing...


                        The amount of material that was in the trash can cyclone after a weeks worth of work and testing.


                        The amount of material left in the vac after a weeks worth of work and testing.
                        *NOTE ABOUT THE VAC PIC*** I empited the vac into the can after the initial test, and prior to planing, sanding, etc...


                        I somewhat suspect that the fines that had been in the can after the first runs were there because the filter was so plugged as to not allow sufficient airflow. With the filter cleaned, it made all the difference in the world, however the fines appear to have gotten sucked up into the filter...

                        There is no dust on the inside of the filter housing, or on the exhaust from the vac. So at least from that measure we seem to be effective.

                        I now would very much like to clean the filter, AND the interior surfaces of all components involved to have a completely blank slate to test from again. But so far I am very impressed with the results.
                        My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                          ...

                          I now would very much like to clean the filter, AND the interior surfaces of all components involved to have a completely blank slate to test from again. But so far I am very impressed with the results.
                          It's a wet-dry vac, you should be able to wash the insides out pretty well.
                          Loring in Katy, TX USA
                          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                          BT3 FAQ - http://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/dis...sked-questions

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
                            It's a wet-dry vac, you should be able to wash the insides out pretty well.
                            What about the ribs up on the motor housing? I guess as long as I don't shoot water direct into the motor I should be good right? Just keep the filter in place...
                            My personal workshop blog is http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com. My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com/ |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dbhost View Post
                              What about the ribs up on the motor housing? I guess as long as I don't shoot water direct into the motor I should be good right? Just keep the filter in place...
                              When testing, I use a leaf blower to clean my shop vac out. Gets it clean as new.

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