I thought I'd build a Thien Baffle Separator and try it out. My main concern is that my shop vac isn't macho enough for the size I've built, along with several other questions, so I thought I'd just jump in and work on changes and improvements once it's built.
Here's the first installment in my Thien Baffle Separator (TBS) mini-series. I hope to complete it within the next week or so. I designed everything in CamBam. If anyone is interested, I can post the CamBam or G-Code files a little later.:
Most of the material is 5/8" MDF.
Here's the bottom section, showing what will end up being inside of the TBS. The large 3/4 circular slotted opening is where the chips will fall. You can just barely see the 1/4" groove I made for the hardboard in the next step. I made it 1/4" instead of 1/8" to allow for slop in my building process, but after I got it all together, I realized I really should have made it 1/8":
The sides of the TBS. I used 1/8" hardboard, inside two rings of MDF to hold the shape and lend support. This shot was taken before gluing up the sides, because I'm still fine tuning things, but I think you'll get the idea.
This is the top of the TBS, showing the inside portion. The edges look bad because I cut the pieces out a little too shallow on the machine and had to free the pieces from the material with a box cutter by hand. I'll clean them up before final assembly. I used that size bolts because that's what I had on hand.
This is the top of the TBS, showing the outside. The hole in the center is where the shop vac will plug into, or in other words, where the flow of air will exit the TBS, hopefully without any material, just pure air. This exit port looks too small to my eye.:
Why did I make my TBS the size that I did? --Because that's what size trash can I had. Maybe it's too big for my shop vac, I'll see. The guys on other sites are running big ol' 5 horsepower motors with big ol' impellers custom made in secret labs by NASA running with 4-6" ports, but I can't afford that, so I'm going with what I already have - an 11 year old shop vac with 2.25" ports and 4.5 claimed horsepower when it was new. If it doesn't work, I'll save up for something better or refine/scale down this design. The MDF ring inside the can will be affixed to the bottom of my TBS to aid in its alignment on top of the can. I read somewhere that having a plastic or cardboard chip container provides an excellent source for a possible shop fire, so I was quite happy I had a metal 20 gallan one available. Sorry for the bad picture quality, I don't know what happened here.
And here's a couple pics of the assembled unit so far. I haven't worked out exactly how I'll make the intake portion quite yet, but I imagine it'll end up pretty much how you'd expect a shop vac hose to attach to the side of a hat box type thing.
These two pictures show the unit upside-down and the last one is right-side-up.
My wife said it looks like a birthday cake and that I should paint it accordingly. I probably won't do that.
If anyone has suggestions for me at this point in this build, let me know.
---More to come.