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Thread: Metal containers for dust collection separator

  1. #1
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    Metal containers for dust collection separator

    I have been reading posts here and elsewhere about Phil Thien's Cyclone Separator Lid and am interested in building one for my Delta 50-760.
    As others have done I would like to mount the separator underneath the motor.

    Does anyone have a good source for an appropriate container? I have found galvanized garbage cans online like the one shown on Thien's site but wonder if the corrugated sides of the can would decrease it's efficiency and if a smoother container would work better.
    I would also like to find a container that would fit centered under the 50-760 without modifying the frame and that I would be able to drop straight down to empty rather than undoing the clamps at the top. I picture using something like steel rods with hooks on the end that hook over the lip on the bottom of the can so that I can loosen the rods at the top then drop the can out from under the cyclone lid leaving it attached to the DC. It would make emptying the containter much easier. Or perhaps I would use something underneath the can to support it upright that can be removed.

    Any thoughts?
    I know some folks with the 50-760 had to cut or modify a frame rail for their container to fit properly. I thought perhaps a straight sided container rather than a tapered one would fit better and not cause as much disruption to the air movement.
    I would gladly sacrifice a little volume for ease of changing it out.

    Has anyone used plastic rather than metal? Do you have any significant problems with static or a decrease in performance due to the static?

    I want to give a big thanks to Phil for sharing his design with us. A lot of people are raving about how well it works and I hope to be one of them soon.
    I just built a work bench for a friend of mine and and with all the jointing and planing I had to empty my DC 3 times and is still full waiting for a fourth empty.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Shirley View Post
    Has anyone used plastic rather than metal?
    I've looked at a couple of installations that used a Rubbermaid Brute 28 gallon trash can. They're pretty stout and they're a little shorter than the metal cans. They also make a 20 gallon container, but I think that's a little on the small side.

    I believe that someone triedd a regular plastic trash can and found that it collapsed due to the negative pressure.

  3. #3
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    I not sure exactly want you to do...seems you are mixing pre-separator and integrated bafffe ideas. Two ways to use the Thien...on is a pre-seperator that is inline in front of the DC. Collection goes through it first, takes out virtually all the heavy and most of the fines and sends the air onto your DC. The other is to send it all to the DC, and incorporate the baffle into the DC. I would suggest you make a pre-DC seperator and not incorporate the baffle into the Delta itself. Oddly, Amazon.com has a picture of this on their Delta 50-760 page. Seems their would be more than enough room to build the Thien on top of the can (rather than in the can) which would eliminate the issue of smooth walls, make it a whole lot easier to empty, and keep 100% of the capacity of the can. It also eliminates the big stuff from running thru the DC impeller. Attached is the amazon pic to show you the DC set up, and a picture of the Thien Separator as a lid. The how to build is found here http://www.cgallery.com/smf/index.php?topic=429.0

    In the pic at right they are using a trashcan as a pre-seperator, which is built into the can and lid. The picture at right is the seperator acting as a lid on top of the can. Should be more than enough room to fit it in...and the "lid seperator if round and smooth walled and the bottom is the baffle....doesn't matter what shape is under the baffle. You will be emptying the can regularly, the DC bad very very infrequently as virual all the heavy duct is caught in the can. Make sense?

    This is what I will be doing although a different DC and since I don't need mobility the can will sit outside the DC frame. I will use a 55 gallon steel drum that I can but locally for $15.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by George Bregar; 01-26-2011 at 5:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    I do not own a 50-760, but I have seen plenty of these with the Thien separators under them. I believe the 30 gallon open head steel drums fit with no frame modifications to the DC itself. There is a post on Phil's forum titled "Delta 50-760 Dust Collector with side inlet Thien Seperator" that shows the can parked in the frame of the DC really nicely, almost like it was meant to be there by Delta...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hostetler View Post
    I do not own a 50-760, but I have seen plenty of these with the Thien separators under them. I believe the 30 gallon open head steel drums fit with no frame modifications to the DC itself. There is a post on Phil's forum titled "Delta 50-760 Dust Collector with side inlet Thien Seperator" that shows the can parked in the frame of the DC really nicely, almost like it was meant to be there by Delta...
    That's a nice design but harder to make unless you have the tools to cut into and fab up the inlet out of metal. The internal baffle also seems like it would be harder to remove when emptying.

  6. #6
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    I am in the process of making my Thein separator, but I found a place to purchase fiber drums.
    Cheap too. I paid $7 for a 45gallon drum and lid, includes locking band for the top. They have various
    sizes from 10gallons to 55gallons. I forget the company, but have it written down at work if you want it.

    Depends on how close to Albany, NY you are I guess.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Bregar View Post
    That's a nice design but harder to make unless you have the tools to cut into and fab up the inlet out of metal. The internal baffle also seems like it would be harder to remove when emptying.
    It sure is nice, the internal baffle is what makes a Thien separator, a Thien separator though. I guess you could do the top hat style like shown above, but that offers its own problems...

    I made a side inlet without that support box, out of a plastic 55 gallon drum, yes the metal pipe was the hardest part to work, but it wasn't THAT hard to do... Just took some effort, some tin snips, and my Dremel...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  8. #8
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    I just finished testing my latest setup. With a small shop I needed to stuff it in a corner. It seems to be working great. I need to put some dampening rubber where it attaches to the joist - too loud through the floor. I have no filter on it right now and can see no visible dust while running the planer through 4" flex (for now). Only the stuff I don't want to breathe is getting through. However if I take a big handful of floor sweep, and stuff it in the pipe I do get a blast of fine dust. Is that normal?
    It's true, the plastic trash cans will collapse, sucking in air which then pulls lots out of the can! I chose this setup so I could change the container if I didn't like the metal can either. We'll see how it goes.


    baffle1.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hostetler View Post
    It sure is nice, the internal baffle is what makes a Thien separator, a Thien separator though. I guess you could do the top hat style like shown above, but that offers its own problems...
    I mean internal to the collection drum...operational there would be no difference between the "top hat" and an internal one...if anything the top hat would be better...no spacer rods to disrupt airflow, and no issues with leaks due to bad seal between the baffle and drum.

  10. #10
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    I just finished my separator today using a 40 gal can (because that's what I had) and it just barely fits vertically and fits the width almost exactly, no alterations to cart. Had to do an odd modification with the ports so I recommend a 30 gal can. You should also add a reinforcement ring to the can because, if you should inadvertantly get a suction block, it will crumple that trash can like an aluminum beer can. With a router just cut a ring of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood about 2" wide and sized to fit tight half way down in the can. This will prevent a total collapse if you unblock it fast enough. Otherwise you'll be buying a new can. If you never clean the floor with it and suck up the wrong things, this won't be a problem. Both my intake and exhaust ports are in the lid as my only intention is to deposit heavy objects in the can. Virtually no dust remains in this can, only chunks of wood and my car keys when I inadvertently suck them up while cleaning.
    Last edited by Harvey Pascoe; 01-27-2011 at 8:44 PM.

  11. #11
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    George, thanks for the link to that thread on the top hat separator. I think that should suit my purposes nicely. Heck of a well documented project as well.
    I was not planning to use a baffle, just the separator at this time.
    The top hat separator will allow me to use the metal can without worrying about the corrugated sides slowing the air movement and make it a lot easier to empty the can. Now if we can put in a window to see when the can is getting full it would be perfect eh? I just have to do some measuring to see how much clearance I would have for the can using this method. If need be I can just extend the frame height with some dowels as others have done.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by james glenn View Post
    I am in the process of making my Thein separator, but I found a place to purchase fiber drums.
    Cheap too. I paid $7 for a 45gallon drum and lid, includes locking band for the top. They have various
    sizes from 10gallons to 55gallons. I forget the company, but have it written down at work if you want it.

    Depends on how close to Albany, NY you are I guess.
    I was looking at fiber drums the other day but they were a bit pricey. Please post the company you bought from it may come in handy.
    I am in Western MA so it is not too far from Albany but still a couple hours. We do head out that way from time to time for other purposes though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Shirley View Post
    George, thanks for the link to that thread on the top hat separator. I think that should suit my purposes nicely. Heck of a well documented project as well.
    I was not planning to use a baffle, just the separator at this time.
    The top hat separator will allow me to use the metal can without worrying about the corrugated sides slowing the air movement and make it a lot easier to empty the can. Now if we can put in a window to see when the can is getting full it would be perfect eh? I just have to do some measuring to see how much clearance I would have for the can using this method. If need be I can just extend the frame height with some dowels as others have done.
    Hey, great, glad I could help. The only chage from the "top hat" design I linked is that I'm thinking of using bendable ply rather than kerfing standard, or maybe hardboard if it can make that radius, and insetting it into a grove in the top and baffle rather than glueing it. Seems that would be much easier and would insure a perfect circle. It would also eliminate having to add laminate inside.

  14. #14
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    You'll have to excuse the rudimentary look of my setup, I can't find the willpower to make furniture quality shop fixtures. But the setup works great.

    I screwed the baffle directly into the ring as many others have done, although this simple method shown here eliminates any support rods getting in the way of air flow
    dust control baffle small.jpg

    put a lid on the top of the ring, sat the blower on the lid, and exhausted the fine dust directly outside.
    DC setup exhaust outside.jpg


    The setup sucks through a bag (rather than through a barrel) because I wanted to eliminate the "empty the barrel into a bag" step... I just pull the bag off and discard. So far it's been great. Great separation, easy to build, easy to empty, and 1/2 the footprint in my shop.
    dust control stacked assembly small.jpg

    (note: to keep the bag from imploding, I have a cyclinder cage inside. I just shimmy the cage out when it's time to throw the bag away)

    dust control cage small.jpg


    To make a version just like this that looks like high end furniture would be easy for the talented folks on this forum. But my version from scrap wood I had laying around took just a couple hours start to finish and works great.
    Last edited by Bob Riefer; 01-28-2011 at 3:52 PM.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Bregar View Post
    Hey, great, glad I could help. The only chage from the "top hat" design I linked is that I'm thinking of using bendable ply rather than kerfing standard, or maybe hardboard if it can make that radius, and insetting it into a grove in the top and baffle rather than glueing it. Seems that would be much easier and would insure a perfect circle. It would also eliminate having to add laminate inside.
    Bendable ply will make the turn, but I really doubt that hardboard will. Unfortunately, bendy has a rough surface texture and I think you'd be better off laminating it after construction is complete.


    The only thing I don't like about the top-hat design is that the air comes in, makes about 290 degrees of the circle, and then slams back in to the flat wall on the inbound air side. That has got to cause some turbulance. I guess it's no more than having the inbbound air pipe disrupting the air flow (the original design), but it 's still there. Unfortunately, I can't see a better way to do it.

    Has anyone done a comparison between the original layout and the "new" top-hat designs?

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