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Thread: Muffler for shop vac

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Question Muffler for shop vac

    I have an older craftsman 16 gallon, 6 HP shop vacuum that has an ear piercing sound to it. My vacuum is in good shape and has impressive suction but the sound is way too loud. I hate to replace it if it can be sileneced somewhat.

    I have seen a muffler made for central house vacuum's that appears to be made from an innner and outer pvc pipe. The inner pipe has holes drilled in it and is wrapped with fiberglass insulation. It is then inserted into the outer pipe. It looks similar to a glasspack muffler design.

    I am unable to find information on how many decibels the muffler would drop the overall "noise". Has anyone here tried a muffler of this style?

    Otherwise I may buy the Rigid WD1450 due to the many positive comments I have read about it.

    Thanks, Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    In the foothills of the NM Sandia Mountains
    Sears used to, maybe still do, sell a muffler for their vacs. It helped my old vac a little but I still couldn't wait for it to die. When it did I bought a Fien
    Please help support the Creek.

    "The older I get, the better I used to be."
    Lee Trevino

  3. #3
    I have a muffler that I took off my Ridgid shop vac you can have if you want it. I exhaust my shop vac out the side of my shop so I don't need it.

    I just fits in the exhaust hole of the vac, it does help some.

    If you want it PM me with and address and I will mail it to you.

  4. #4
    several years ago there was an article in Shop Notes on how to build one like you described.

    Its on my 'list'.

    I got a newer shop vac now, so its not as urgent as before for me

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    I have the one Bill is offering. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. It helps a little, little bit. As a side note, I always wear hearing protection when running the vac. I survived rock an roll and I plan to survive wood working with my ears intact ;-)
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".

    Samuel Butler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Dayton Ohio

    Put it in a sound box

    Don't remember which magazine (in the last year or two) but they had a project where they put the shopvac into a wood box with a baffle chamber and filters from a furnace. They implied that the sound was cut considerably. If interested, I'll try to find the article.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Zimmerman, MN
    I used one for years prior to getting my Festool I thought it definately helped and worth the price but is it as quiet as the Festool not even close.

  8. #8
    I think the article was in FWW ... just a couple of months ago. I think I made a copy from the library that I may have lying around somewhere. They made a box with sound-board to muffle the sound. I never made it but may adapt it to my compressor instead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Richmond, VA
    Put it in a box. The muffler does not cut the noise level by much and it considerably reduces the suction of the vac.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Kanasas City, MO
    I'd either make an enclosure for it or send it the way of the 8 track and upgrade. The Fein and Festool vacs aren't exactly cheap, but you'll use it more, like it more, eat less dust from them with the MUCH better filtration.... etc etc etc.
    The noise from my shop vac and a ROS drove me nuts & shoved me down the Neander slope for final surface prep. And now I've treaded on the Festool slope, a CT vac is in the cards "one of these days".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Northern Oregon
    A simple fix might be to wear ear plugs or Music head phones.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Willow Spring, NC
    I have probably the same Craftsman shop vac, 16 gallon, 6.25 (yeah, right) hp. The top is removable to use as a leaf blower. Got the Sears muffler for it. It lowers the tone of the exhaust note, but it is still way loud. I just wear my hearing protection when using the vac.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Pacific Northwest
    Here's a link

    Just googled (on SMC) "shop vac box", it was the second one on the page. (Wouldn't have had to do that if I'd SAVED that link like I THOUGHT I had .... Steve

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    The Hartland of Michigan
    Quote Originally Posted by jerry nazard View Post
    Put it in a box. The muffler does not cut the noise level by much and it considerably reduces the suction of the vac.
    I'll second that.
    Never, under any circumstances, consume a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  15. #15
    I too have a screamin' 16-gallon Craftsman, bought new around 2002. It performs well for me, really no need to upgrade. I tried the Craftsman brand "muffler", but it didn't seem to help much for the price tag. I still needed ear protection, so I returned it to the mall BORG.

    I saw this plan for a muffler box in an issue of Family Handyman a few years back. It looks similar to the FWW box in the other thread. The build instructions are fairly detailed. They suggest carpet as the sound-deadening material. It is shop tip #2 at this link:

    4 other small shop tips are included. Also note that Family Handyman has a free searchable index for all of their printed articles from the last several years. I think this is a relatively unknown resource.

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