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Thread: Shop Vac Mod - Version 3

  1. #1
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    Shop Vac Mod - Version 3

    A half a dozen years ago I ditched the vac barrel and switched to a filter box. I ran the prototype ever since .

    Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (8).jpg

    I finally got around to building a version 3. The fixture will mount closer to the ground / dust bin so the vertical hose will be shorter. There will be a large hose reel mounted above but, for now it looks like this.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (25).jpg

    I sucked up a gallon or so of random junk from the old shop vac barrel and the filter box looks like this

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (26).jpg

    Here's the gist of the structure.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (20).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-07-2020 at 4:37 PM.
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    Moved it to the planned height.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (27).jpg

    Planned space for vac wands between filter box and wall.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (28).jpg

    The filter access door has PVC caps screwed on to hold my most often used accessories.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (29).jpg . DD-Idea-ver-3 (30).jpg

    The hose trailing off to the right will be a short, stiff, hose leading to a hose-reel that will mount above the filter box. Since I am in temporary digs I may not add that yet but . . . sometimes I get bored . . .

    I lied. I went ahead and added it.

    DD-Idea-ver-3 (31).jpg . DD-Idea-ver-3 (32).jpg
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-09-2020 at 8:22 PM.
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  3. #3
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    The hose reel resembles one I saw being sold on the internet. Is there a place where I could just buy the swivel connector?

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Kenagy View Post
    The hose reel resembles one I saw being sold on the internet. Is there a place where I could just buy the swivel connector?
    Rockler and Peachtree both offer a few types of swivels. The one that comes with this Fast Cap product is shaped specifically to be captured between the reel and the reel holder but it would be easy enough to modify another type. I did the math on making my own and at the time I bought these I would’ve only saved about $35 (the price has jumped a bit and I may have gone the other way today) so I just went commercial. It would be a fairly simple build if you already have materials on hand.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-11-2021 at 12:51 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I see some advantages here.

    Primarily your shop vac runs on 110VAC, your floor is clean and you won't have to clean your shopvac filter as often as I do. Plus your shop vac and hoses are off the floor.

    May I ask what power tools you are cleaning up after? I seem to be outrunning my shopvac in the dust production department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Winners View Post
    I see some advantages here.

    Primarily your shop vac runs on 110VAC, your floor is clean and you won't have to clean your shopvac filter as often as I do. Plus your shop vac and hoses are off the floor.

    May I ask what power tools you are cleaning up after? I seem to be outrunning my shopvac in the dust production department.
    ROS, Routers, Jig Saws. I have a bleeder cuff (I have a thread on here somewhere about that) to keep the ROS from picking up smaller piece while sanding. This "vacuum reduction valve" also helps with the rather small opening on the Jig Saw dust port.

    Shop Vac Bleeder (4).jpgShop Vac Bleeder (6).jpg
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  7. #7
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    What vacuum head is that? Is it the Rigid that pops off and turns into a blower? Do you notice much loss in suction with your shop made filter box? And is the hose 2.5", seems large in size and maybe a little awkward to hook up to some smaller tools?

    Sorry about all the questions, I currently use a Rigid shop vac with a dust deputy bucket for my secondary vac. I mostly use it for general shop cleanup as my Festool dust extractor is dedicated to my tool extraction. I am still very interested in coming up with a better solution to my general shop vac as it is very awkward to roll around the shop.

  8. #8
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    Hi Tony,

    It is the head that is made to pop off and be used as a blower. The suction seems better using my very unscientific test of "how close do I need to get to a 1-cup pile of MDF dust to make it disappear?" . The long term benefit is the suction remaining consistent since the filter gets about a teaspoon of spoil a couple times a year.

    With the exception of my 6" ROS and a couple of router setups that support the 2-1/2" natively I use a reduction whip. When this whip is on the reduction valve shown in post #6 is in use to reduce the suckage. I have a couple of whips; one is the Rockler style with the interchangeable end pieces to fit multiple tools. The other is for my track saw and pretty much stays that way.

    The filter box and mounting the setup to a fixed location solve the awkward shop-vac 'drag around' which is what pushed me in this direction. Your Festool vac should be more optimal for the tools. The Dust Deputy certainly is a boon to general shop cleanup in that it keeps the filter clean and air flow high. 30' of 2-1/2" hose seems to be about as long as I would want to go. Things started to drop off performance-wise when I went longer than that. Hope this helps and feel free to ask as much as you like.

    I did wall mount my DD before I moved to the filter box. That move came when I wanted to shoe horn one more machine into the shop and needed that small amount of space that the barrel was taking up . I'm glad I went through that process since I am happy with the DD/filter-box format and may not have given it a try if not nudged that direction.

    The filter box in my latest version is pretty generous as it has become more about he function than the space savings at this point. The current shop under construction will have one of these rigs on opposite walls to serve (and clean up) the whole area.
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  9. #9
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    Would it be possible to come out of the shop vac cyclone directly into a big shop dust collector duct? Run both the shop vac and the dust collector at the same time so I would never need to empty a shop vac bin. I'm thinking the cyclone would drop into a 6" (or maybe 8") PVC pipe that would then be connected to the main shop dust collector.
    Sorry for the thread hijack but I figure that someone following along might have the short answer.
    The Plane Anarchist

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh Betsch View Post
    Would it be possible to come out of the shop vac cyclone directly into a big shop dust collector duct? Run both the shop vac and the dust collector at the same time so I would never need to empty a shop vac bin. I'm thinking the cyclone would drop into a 6" (or maybe 8") PVC pipe that would then be connected to the main shop dust collector.
    Sorry for the thread hijack but I figure that someone following along might have the short answer.
    I am seriously considering a setup similar to your idea using 2-3 central vacuum blowers mounted over our main bench and discharging into the DC line. What gave me this idea was the vacuum hold down for the CNC having 4 stages each one being a central vac blower. I have long wanted to ditch the shop vac's and dust deputies for the sanders and having to empty/maintain multiple small drums/filters as well as two large cyclones. Plan is to have the central vac motors manifolded and discharging into the CNC cyclone and individually tool triggered so you pick up a sander, hit the paddle, it fires its central vac motor and dups into the CNC main duct which. All collection and filtration is in one location, one drum, one filter, at the cyclone.

    Using a shop vac head may be a good bit cheaper though more bulky. 99 bucks for a shop vac thats pretty much plug and play once the interface is setup (throw all the other parts in the dumpster) would beat the cost of most central vac blowers but they are much more compact.

    Wheels turning.

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