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How to build a Thein dust separator
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Pitbull
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 503
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: How to build a Thein dust separator Reply with quote

I decided to put this under the tool section instead of the jig section because it seemed more tool than jig so here it is.

A few weeks ago I posted this link about an awesome dust separator-
http://www.cgallery.com/smf/index.php?topic=262.0
Not impressed...watch this-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVCqHsa_zq4


So I decided to build an enhanced design based off his. Here it is from beginning to end. Be patient because it is going to be detailed and it will be updated over a few days.
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Jason


Last edited by Pitbull on Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:17 am; edited 2 times in total
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a video halfway through the project to help explain it better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P4ORN_iUTs

The design is modeled from VaWoodworker's (excellent design) with a few adaptations that I thought would make it easier to apply to any size container.
How to part 1


I chose a 32 Gallon Rubbermaid Brute Trash Can for this. Even though I have a 44 gallon, the 32 with the sperator mounted on it might allow me to mount it to my current dust collector setup which is mobile. I am using a Grizzly D/C.


I cut 2 pieces of 3/4" MDF to 22-3/8" square. This will allow all the room you need to make this work for this 32 gallon brute. Mark your center point and drill the hole for the trammel.


You don't have a trammel? OK, here is an easy one to build. The pics should tell most of the story.


Plywood base with hardwood runner. T-slot to slide it in. Use a thumb screw with a nut pressed in from under neath to apply pressure and hold it tight.


You can make larger/smaller holes which is determined by which end of the hardwood slide is put in first.


OK here it is top side. Pretty simple and effective. Best used with a plunge router.


So here I cut for my outer diameter of the can. I am about 5/16" deep. No need to go deeper and sacrifice the MDF integrity.


Now I am making the final pass for a friction fit. SNEAK UP ON IT. After you rout for the exterior of the can, you want to gradually cut closer until you can press-seal it to the top. If done right it acts like a Tupperware lid. You can make adjustments by just unscrewing the thumb bolt on the trammel and give it a gentle bump forward...talking like taking < 1/64" increments at a time once you are close.


Now that we got it fitting tight to the can lets get it cleaned up. Time to make a into a partial circle. I allowed about a 1/4" over hang from the can's edge, which is plenty. No need to get carried away. Since the board was cut the size I wanted from the get go I just bump the router bit to the edge (carbide touching), lock the trammel bolt down, and make passes gradually getting deeper. Do not be a hero and try to rout this all in one pass.


As seen in the photo. The top left corner is not to be touched. You are basically going to rout out 270 degrees on the outside only.


This illustrates how I am making light passes here. Again, notice I am not routing the top left corner.


Flip the piece over and finish the cut using the same hole for the trammel. (Note it is important you drill the hole 90 degrees straight or you cut can be off once flipped). Also of note, the corner you do not want to rout through is now oriented differently. Make sure you make a mental note because it is not easy to recognize now. Better yet, mark it.


All done with the bottom piece


Here it is sitting on the can flipped upside down to see detail. Again it fits on tight like a Tupperware lid. The garbage can can be lifted off the ground while holding the board. You want it like this.


DO NOT change your trammel setting at all from the last step. Grab the top piece (untouched so far except initial cutting and marking, a drilling) and make it a circle just like the bottom and you will have 2 pieces that will fit nice. Once done, grab a compass and measure from the outside of the edge to the inner lip (from the bottom of the first piece you did) the fits over the can's ring. This will be used to scribe the exact inner diameter on the side we are going to build on.


Run the compass on the opposite side(inner side of bottom board) of the board now along the edge. Make a few passes to darken the line. Pretty easy...works every time. This line will be the basis for our entire interior layout.


Now grab that drill bit you used to make the trammel pilot holes and pit it back into the hole.


Use a piece of string and wrap it around the bit. Wrap the other end around the pencil while holding it to the line we just drew and then arc it around slow and taught to meet the other piece of the arc. This will complete the circle we could not do with the other compass because of the corner.


Notice I am just pinching that string tight to the pencil body as I draw the line on the wood. Now I know that the line would deviate from its true arc if we were to keep going because it would wind closer the farther it went around the drill bit...but for this instance it is d**n close enough.


Once done it should look like this


Now I am measuring a piece of hardboard that will be used to skin the interior of this thing. Use the compass to get a pretty close but rough measurement and take that back to the board and mark it.


This mark will be done by placing the point on our circle we just drew and marking towards the outside edge


Now use the compass pin pressed against the outside edge and put the pencil on the mark that was made to re adjust the compass. This will be another circle (well almost a circle) the will be used for construction purposes which will represent the skin thickness and its distance from the inside of the can. Run the compass around the board again to transfer this mark. It is not important to make a full circle like it was the first line.


Using the string from before, lets get a total measurement of the perimeter. Run the string all the way around and mark where it intersects.


You can then pull the string tight and measure the distance. This will be a rough measurement for the piece of wood needed to band this thing up. The piece of wood does not need to be this total measurement right now but it is useful to know as you will see.


I wrote down some rough distance info on the board here. This is the distance of where the wood stops circling and starts to go to the 90 degree point. I will apply these measurements once I begin the slotting of the plywood so I can bend it to shape.

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Have you ever noticed that in woodworking 'good enough' is never really good...nor enough?

Jason


Last edited by Pitbull on Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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Pitbull
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Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to Part 2

Get a piece of scrap wood. It is important that it is from the same piece of plywood that you will be using to band this thing. It will take a couple passes on the saw before you find the balance in not trying to take to much away, but needing it to be very pliable. The trick is making the cut just deep enough that when held up it will start to droop. This is perfect. You do not want to fight the board. Let the veneer flex naturally. As a side note, this will work best with cheap, crappy plywood like what is being used here. Hardwood veneer core, Combo Cores or anything you would want to build cabinets with would not work very well because they are made much better than this crap...which is known as Shop Grade Birch Plywood.

As you can see in the picture the perfect depth for me was the middle one. It left one veneer and was strong enough not to break when flexed inward. DO not flex outwards. Also I made many more cuts than what is show here while testing this.


For this wood and the diameter of the build, it seemed that 1-1/8" O.C. was very good spacing for my saw kerfs to get the bend right and doing the minimum amount of cuts needed.


Flexes real nice and easy. If you can not do this...then you are not cutting it right.



I started by cutting my wood down to size according to the measurement taken with the string. The width is 6-1/2". Cut your final width at this point because it will be very hard/dangerous to do it after. I also laid out wit ha mark the length of board I did not want kerfs sawn into it. This will be the straight part of the bend.

No need to mark the wood for every kerf. Do you first cut and then the second to get the spacing you want. Mark a reference line in pencil on your table saw and then just slide the kerf to that line for each cut afterward. Its speeds it up a lot, but do not go to fast this is a somewhat dangerous cut and repetition is what gets you in trouble when your mind wanders.


As you cut the piece is going to need to be supported. Do not try to do this with out supporting the piece.


After you get to the half way point or slightly past....flip it end for end and lay the majority across your saw. If you are lucky enough to have a cabinet saw, this is a big help.


Alright, done with that! Now the test fitting. Get some clamps ready to go and gently maneuver your banding board on top of your piece. Note that the bottom is elevated about 3". Do this now because you will need to get clamps under it.


So here I am wrestling this over sized snake wood to get a closer measurement of where I want to cut it do for the glue up.


Getting some clamps on it helps hold the form and make it much more manageable.


I get it clamped down and use the inlet port as a reference as to where I will cut it off at. You want to cut the banding after it exits the arc...but not to close to the port. This is where all you reference marks come into play. Use them!


Here is the measurement for show. 6-1/2". Just enough wiggle room to work everything around in.


This is the glue I am using for clamping the band on. Do not use a faster setting glue (like regular yellow or white), you will regret it. This was almost not enough. Took about 10+ minutes to get it all clamped up


Slow and steady. Numerous times I had to reposition the clamp while moving to the next one. Its not hard to do, but I definitely could of used more clamps to make it easier....oh well a little challenge is not bad.


Here is the aerial view. You can see it taking shape. You may think that this design looks week with only a thing veneer holding it together, but it is d**n strong once the glue sets up. One the hardboard skin goes on it is even more resilient.


Time to take a break at this point and let your glue set up. I would give the glue a full 24 hours to cure because we are going to clamp it from the side. No reason to ruin anything...right.
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Have you ever noticed that in woodworking 'good enough' is never really good...nor enough?

Jason


Last edited by Pitbull on Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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jelton
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Posts: 66
Location: Bayfield, CO

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason,
You rock. Nice design mods and great step-by-step build and video. Looking forward to seeing your further work. Thanks man.
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CharlesNeil
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Location: New Market, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice pitt excellent... you do like to "build your own, and you always seem to come up with excellent means of doing it, again a super post and great build
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Pitbull
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Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video #2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UsQbZ3Pfjg

Ok so this will be getting a little bit ahead of where we left off with the detailed instructions, but it is a lot faster to get this going right now. So I will fill in the blanks later on with the pics and write up.
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Jason
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bigbob
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job on this Pitt. Good use on laminate. Nice video . Keep up the good job. bob
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to #3


So here is what it all looks like with the clamps off



I wanted to add a filler piece here to bump out the skin to the same circle. So I pencil it in and then go cut to find the angle.


I used the same scrap wood which was cut off the end of the piece we used to make our molding and I brought it over to the miter saw and started cutting until I found the right angle. I found that 18 degrees seemed to work the best to mimic the angle. Once I put it in place to check the angle I drew a line across to back to reference the outside edge of the form. This is where we will cut our rabbit.



Carry the mark you made over the edges and wrap it. Mark the waste you will take out and head to the table saw to remove it. Once you get the width right, test fit another piece in the dado...soon to become the rabbit....and cut the rest of the piece off with a miter gauge (as seen to the left of the pencil). Save this cutoff...it will be used as well.




I used CA glue here to get a nice quick set. I also shot three brads through it into the form for a little security.


Here is just a scrap piece held in place to see why I made that joint


So now I hit a major turning point in the project. I had originally intended to skin the inside with this 1/8" hardboard and while test bending it it did not feel so pliable and I was pretty sure it was going to snap. Well it did. Plan B. I had a scrap piece of laminate laying around and dusted it off. It was going to be the new skin. So basically as I got to thinking about it, the laminate makes more sense and is easier than using the hardboard...so it kind of worked out better. If only this scrap piece of laminate was long enough to do in one shot...


So to the table saw yet again...One thing you will most likely have to do is make a zero clearance fence to your table top. I would not recommend cutting laminate without doing this. It is safe and will give great results. MDF is an excellent choice for something like this. Just get a long board and two clamps. The reason I like MDF is because I know it is .75" all day every day. So I just added that extra amount to the original 6-1/2" width...don't forget this step. 7-1/4" is dead on.



If you have not worked with laminate then you are about to get a short lesson on it. Its easy as long as you have the right tools. Rubber Cement, J Roller or equivalent, gloves, disposable brush and respirator. The rest is following directions. So lay down a nice coat on both pieces...the form and the laminate in this case and let dry until it hazes over (about 10-15 minutes usually). Trying to put the two pieces together it any sooner actually reduces its fast setting initial tack.


You can see I am using some stir sticks here. This is so when I am laying it down it won't stick where I don't want it to. Don't let it beat you, you are in charge. I clamped the very beginning of it once I set it in place and then rolled it onto the form. A few blocks and clamps were put in place for a little extra security. It was a little cold and was not setting as fast as I wanted to and I wanted to move on.



Here is the second piece of laminate going on. I had to do it in pieces, which has its pros and cons. After this piece went on I decided it best to complete the form.


I grabbed that last scrap I had saved and put it into the rabbit joint and then marked my line on the inside for the cut. Again, sneak up on it so you have a nice tight fit.



Here it is in place with the scribe mark of the intake fitting we will be using. I glued it in place with TB III, and then screwed 3 screws into the left side through the form. Add clamps where you can and let dry before continuing. This piece is going to take abuse if you are removing the hose a lot.





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Jason
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to Part 4:


Video #3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_SBuQQC0Q

Get a rough measure of the diameter of the outlet by drawing it on the top. Try to center it. Draw a few lines through the middle, measure and average them out.



Adjust your trammel for less than what you average. Sneak up on this cutout. If you made the trammel I am using pull out the bar and flip it around. Now you can do a much smaller diameter circle. Note the pin placement on the slide.



Set you router/trammel into the center hole, adjust your stop to about 1/8" depth and then make sure your bit is less distance than 1/2 the diameter of what you averaged the last step. Rout a pass and check fit the outlet. Continue as needed until it fits in the hole. Do not make the hole super tight. You have a smaller diameter at the end of the pipe then you will in the middle because the pipe is crimped.



Once you get it right, adjust your depth to cut out the circle in a few passes. Make sure the piece is elevated so the waste can fall through. As you cut through the last of the circle you will be free cutting. Go slow and push the router a bit towards the middle as the center piece falls through. You might need to clean it up a bit with a chisel/sandpaper. Use an oscillating spindle sander if you have one, its easier.




The last of the laminate work is done. I wanted to brace the laminate more where I arched it out earlier. I am using a stir stick for this. I cut a bevel on it while in a vise and then used CA glue to glue it to the form and laminate. I clamped it to make sure it would grab everything when setting up.





Now it is time to finally cut the hole for the inlet. I used the top as a template. But first I had to get the form to sit up right and not move. Using some clamps and scrap 2x4 I chucked it in place like a tire. It held very well.



Since the was no place to clamp the top/template on the form I used double sided tape. This had plenty of holding power to get the job done. I decided to jig saw out the hole and clean it up with the router while the template was in place. You could do the jigsaw first then put on the template, but the top edge of the form is very thin and provided little support for the jig saw cut. After the hole was cut I just needed a pattern bit to clean it up.




The pattern bit got loaded in a trim router and made quick work of the hole opening.



Time to fit the inlet pipe and get it cut down so it hopefully does not impede airflow. I marked a center point and then just drew on a line on the inlet and started cutting. It took a few tries before I was happy with the amount I wanted to cut away.




Now it is time to make our last routing operation to this thing. I flipped it over and marked the bottom with the beginning of the 120 arc that would not be getting routed out. Then I used a angle finder to hit the magic 120 degree that Phil Thien says to do and marked it. This could be done with less technical instruments such as a square and bevel gauge, but I have this so I used it. Next I went and marked the 1 -1/8" width on the line that would start the arc I am routing out. I kept the opening a little off the dado that snugs the can lid. If needed (meaning if the chips are not falling through because of the little ledge) I can fix it later, but will also be enlarging the opening of the waste hole.



I started by adjusting the bit to my marked opening line and plunging on the line on both sides and then coming back to clean up the middle. Unfortunately this bit was not long enough and I was to lazy to put another one in...so I decided to finish up the waste slot with the pattern bit. I cleaned up to the end of the slot with a sharp chisel then gout routing. It works fine because the top half of the slot is now a template. I just has to cut a hole into the middle of the slot then pull the pattern bit to the template and rout it out.




Finished with the cutting!


Time to glue the inlet and outlet in place. I use Locktite Powergrab. The stuff works great and I have used it for applications with wood and metal before so I know it will hold up. Put on thick bead and then smooth it out. Insert it into the hole and then run your finger around the excess and form a nice beveled bead. Apply some on the inside of the form and smooth it out as well. I could not get everywhere on the inside, but it will hold. I am sure of it. The top is much easier.





Time to let it sit overnight and dry hard. Finally assembly and testing is next.

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Jason
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video #4 - Testing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZSK88Hjl3A
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Jason
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video #5 - Final Testing and Analysis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhnBvdeaWS8
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Jason
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CharlesNeil
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent pitt., i need to make a couple of them
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Woodie49
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not use sheet metal for the walls of the cylinder?
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Pitbull
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheet metal would work good. Others I have seen have now are useing thin lexan
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dellk357
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject: Thread bump - Trammel Question Reply with quote

I wanted to bump this thread to ask two questions.

1) Jason, is the trammel jig construction anywhere on this board?

2) Most important, can you give me a little detail on how you used the trammel to cut those small holes in the Thien? Does the trammel "hang in there" until the very end of the final cut? Do you use some kind of sacrificial board under what you are cutting?

Thanks,

Dell
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