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Thread: Thien seperator vs Pentz cyclone

  1. #1
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    Thien seperator vs Pentz cyclone

    I have spent a lot of time on Bill's site reading up on dust collection. I am convinced that the Clear Vue cyclone is the way to go but unfortunately don't have the money to spend on that right now. I want to get something for now to hold me over though so I am planning on getting a G0548Z. I figure this is better than the HF 2HP because of the canister filter.

    I have looked at the Thien separator and am planning on making that. Now I know that the Pentz cyclone will give you the best results for dust collection but it seems like the Thien separator does a very good job. Is the biggest difference that the cyclone will capture more of the small dust particles than the separator is able to? Does the combination of the G0548Z and Thien separator sound like a good DC solution for now until I save up for a Clear Vue? Thanks -Kevin

  2. #2
    What happens to the dust after it enters the duct work generally does not affect the dust collection. It really only has an influence on how quickly you will need to clean or replace your filters. Indirectly, this will affect the dust collection because dirty filters reduce airflow and hurts your collection. So the Thien separator should collect every bit as well as anything else on the planet and the only variable is really what's happening at the filters vs a Pentz Cyclone. I can tell you that my cyclone passes practically nothing to the filters. It's quite an amazing thing when I run for 6 months, clean out the filters and take out maybe a teacup's worth of fine powder.

  3. #3
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    Since I am a cheap s.o.b let me ask you this: Why buy a more expensive DC when you can buy a HF DC and add the canister filter? Also if you are worried about cost, just build the Thien. I built my Thien for about $50 total. I had to spend money on a 30 gal trash can that was $30 . Between the canister filters on a HF DC and the Thien seperator you should be money ahead on the system. Maybe even enough to skip the Thien and get your cyclone.

  4. #4
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    Hi Marty,

    How long did it take you to build the cyclone? Are you using the HF DC blower with it? I thought that was too small to use. I was also thinking that once you add the price for a good canister filter to the HF DC then it would be around the same price as the Grizzly one. Maybe this is not the case.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
    What happens to the dust after it enters the duct work generally does not affect the dust collection. It really only has an influence on how quickly you will need to clean or replace your filters.
    This is not actually true. Different types of separators (cyclone, cyclone lid, drop-box, etc. and even different sizes of each of these) will all have different amounts of static pressure loss and thus will impact the volume of air moved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Paulus View Post
    Why buy a more expensive DC when you can buy a HF DC and add the canister filter?
    There are a couple reasons. First, most HF DCs don't have the 15" impellers and 3.5HP motors that are required to move enough air to really collect the nasty stuff. (If one believes Bill Pentz knows what he's talking about.) Second, without some sort of separator two things will happen--silica dust from the wood will cut up your filter and it won't filter as well anymore, and the filter will clog up very quickly.
    Last edited by Chris Friesen; 08-06-2010 at 5:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    Does the Thien separator do a good job with capturing the fine particles also? How does it compare with a cyclone?

  7. #7
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    Hi Kevin. I'll jump in here. I used a jet 1100 dust collector with Wynn filter and Thien separator for several years. It actually did a very good job separating dust away from the filter, except when used with a drum sander. The drum generates so much fine dust that I had to clean the filter after a long sanding session. Otherwise, the filter stayed quite clean with normal tablesaw, jonter, planer, etc use.

    There are a couple of things to consider. First, for every cyclone purchased, there is probably a corresponding used dust collector that goes cheap on craigslist. You can get a highly rated Jet or Delta DC for around $200 used. Second, the spun poly filter from Wynn is really superior. It is washable, has big pleats which are easy to clean and is intended to be a lifetime investment. I even asked the exalted Bill Pentz about these filters and he reiterated that they should last indefinitely as long as they aren't abused.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by david brum View Post
    Hi Kevin. I'll jump in here. I used a jet 1100 dust collector with Wynn filter and Thien separator for several years. It actually did a very good job separating dust away from the filter, except when used with a drum sander. The drum generates so much fine dust that I had to clean the filter after a long sanding session. Otherwise, the filter stayed quite clean with normal tablesaw, jonter, planer, etc use.

    There are a couple of things to consider. First, for every cyclone purchased, there is probably a corresponding used dust collector that goes cheap on craigslist. You can get a highly rated Jet or Delta DC for around $200 used. Second, the spun poly filter from Wynn is really superior. It is washable, has big pleats which are easy to clean and is intended to be a lifetime investment. I even asked the exalted Bill Pentz about these filters and he reiterated that they should last indefinitely as long as they aren't abused.
    I second what David said. I find the Thien baffle works great on planer & jointer sized stuff-virtually none of them make it to the Wynn filter. I'm skeptical about the Thien baffle if used with drum or wide belt sanders. For me, the Thien baffle is a great solution but if I run the D.C. an hour a week it's a lot. And most use is for jointer/planer, table saw & band saw. These are fairly large particles. I have a Jet 16-32 but it doesn't get much use.

    One thing I'll mention re the Wynn washable filter. Once you wash it, Wynn recommends letting it dry for a day or two, depending on drying conditions. So don't wash it and expect to use it right away.

  9. #9
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    Kevin

    I don't have this cyclone Ebay# 270423194251, but there was some discussion on it a few months back and if I remember correctly it was favorable. It looks alot like the Pentz design. He has been selling this cylcone on Ebay for quite a while with 100% positive feedback. It would be more expensive than the Thein baffle but would give you a true Cyclone that would work with any of the common dust collectors.

    I have an Onieda Cyclone and really like it, I'm not trying to take anything away from the Thein Baffle, its a great low cost alternative to a cyclone, but if you want cyclone performance, the Ebay listing above may be what your looking for.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Friesen View Post
    This is not actually true. Different types of separators (cyclone, cyclone lid, drop-box, etc. and even different sizes of each of these) will all have different amounts of static pressure loss and thus will impact the volume of air moved.
    Maybe I wasn't clear but yes, of course the various components of the system affect the airflow. The point is that a cyclone vs a Thien vs a bag does not affect DC in and of itself, and all things being equal at the inlet they will perform identically. There is a general misunderstanding that many people think the Cyclone, for example, is a better dust collector than some other system but that's not so. All the magic happens at the filters and everything before that is only to keep the filters from clogging.

  11. #11
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    I don't have this cyclone Ebay# 270423194251, but there was some discussion on it a few months back and if I remember correctly it was favorable. It looks alot like the Pentz design. He has been selling this cylcone on Ebay for quite a while with 100% positive feedback. It would be more expensive than the Thein baffle but would give you a true Cyclone that would work with any of the common dust collectors.

    There is a pretty lively discussion about that cyclone body here:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=22907

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by david brum View Post
    There is a pretty lively discussion about that cyclone body here:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=22907
    In short, the issue with that Ebay cyclone is that it is very primitive, even worse than the old Wood Magazine cyclone- it doesn't have the proper dimensions and refinements that make the Pentz design so much more efficient in both lower static pressure resistance/CFM throughput and fine dust separation. A few years ago I exchanged emails with the maker of the Ebay unit and he not only didn't know what I was talking about when I asked why his unit didn't have a neutral vane, slanted inlet, or spiral inlet ramp, he said his unit "didn't need that vane thing". As to the post at the link, a lot of work went into trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, when for a lot less $ he could have bought sheet metal and made a Pentz design cyclone with Bill's plans using little more than tin snips and old style soldering iron.

    If you want the best collection- get a good motor/blower unit and (listed in order of decreasing collection efficiency)

    (1) Discharge directly outside
    (2) Add a Thien or other separator, or cyclone to contain the chips and most dust, and discharge the remainder outside.

    or if you have neighbors that might object to (1) or even (2)

    (3) Add a Pentz cyclone followed by a good cartridge filter
    (4) Add a Thein or other separator followed by a good cartridge filter

    Anything else and you risk poor collection at the source if not from the get go, eventually over time. Most single stage DC's and to a lesser extent those equipped with Thien and other separators, and to a much less extent a well designed cyclone ALL pass some dust through to the filter. Only some of it will fall into a cleanout the remainder works its way deeply into the filter media where it may never come out. You will eventually damage the filter media and permanently reduce the filtering ability AND, just as important, reduce its ability to pass CFM (which equates to reduced collection at the source). Frankly, and I have said this before, it is a waste of money to put an expensive cartridge filter on a single stage DC.
    Last edited by Alan Schaffter; 08-07-2010 at 8:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    Frankly, and I have said this before, it is a waste of money to put an expensive cartridge filter on a single stage DC.
    Alan, I can vouch for the truth of that. Several years ago, I bought a Wynn paper filter to use with my Jet 1.5hp DC. That was before the Thien separator was available. That filter was passing dust through it's media and ruined within 6 months. Ouch. It was also really frustrating to clean the filter after each time the bag was dumped.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Gagne View Post
    Hi Marty,

    How long did it take you to build the cyclone? Are you using the HF DC blower with it? I thought that was too small to use. I was also thinking that once you add the price for a good canister filter to the HF DC then it would be around the same price as the Grizzly one. Maybe this is not the case.
    Kevin,

    I have not built a cyclone. I built the Thien seperator. Took me maybe an hour or two. At the time I had to use a jig saw then a small disc sander to refine the diameters. Now that I have a band saw it may take less time.

    Performance is OK as stated above for chips from table saw, planer etc. Fine dust still makes it past but I am only using a shop vac at this time. I am still working up to the HF dust collector. I believe the issue I have at the moment on my separator is lack of CFM. I have vacuum as evident by the support ring I had to install on the trash can to keep it from collapsing but, from what I have read anyway, vacuum is no real benefit without the CFM.

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