Thien Baffle or Cyclone: Efficiency Comparison. A few months ago when I decided to convert my single stage Harbor Freight dust collector into a two stage system I discovered there were three basic approaches:
1. Buy or make a lid to go on top of a bucket for chip separation. The problem here is that the cyclone created inside the bucket keeps the dust stirred up so a lot of dust that goes into the bucket ends up being sucked back out.
2. Make a Thien baffle. This is similar to the first option, but includes a bottom layer that separates the cyclone effect from the collected dust, preventing it from getting trapped and then sucked back out.
3. Buy or make an after market cyclone. This does not have the issues of just a chip separator lid, but is a lot more complicated to build than a Thien baffle, and fairly expensive to buy aftermarket.
One of the things I learned during my research is that all of these techniques reduce the airflow of your dust collector because they introduced a lot of extra air resistance. Why go to a two stage system if it reduces your airflow? A few reasons. Your motor lasts longer because everything being collector does not pass through the collector. That loud "clunk" when a chip hits your expensive impeller does not feel good. Also, your filter lasts a lot longer because most of the trips and a majority of the dust are separated before they reach the filter. Or it allows you to exhaust directly outside like I do and bypass a filter entirely. Blowing some fine dust out of my roof is okay, blowing every particle my dust collector picks up would not be.
But, what I could not find is a side by side comparison of each solution to figure out which is the most efficient. My intuition thought that a molded cyclone would be the most efficient, but they contain a lot more volume than a Thien baffle... and this is a new area of research for me so I did not trust my gut. The only information I could find was that just a chip collection lid is definitely the worst of the three, but still an improvement over a single stage.
For cost reasons, I decided to make a Thien baffle because I could do that with material I had on hand. Then I received an Oneida Dust Deputy as a gift and I realized I had the opportunity to generate the information I could not find and share it; a side by side comparison of a Thien baffle and cyclone. So I bought an anemometer and decided to find out for myself.
Dust Deputy: http://amzn.to/2kXkQQN
Super Dust Deputy: http://amzn.to/2l4gt8N
Super Dust Deputy XL: http://amzn.to/2l4gt8N
Link to full article: http://www.ycmt2.com/thien-baffle-vs-cyclone-efficiency-comparison/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/YouCanMakeThis2 @YouCanMakeThis2
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