I was laying in bed the other night, when the wife noticed I was a bit to distracted (not responding to her conversation). She leaned over and saw me looking at Festool stuff and started in on me…see I just bought a used 3HP Powermatic DC on craigslist and still had my lil 1HP Delta DC and a shopvac. Oh yeah, and I just added a PM air filter hanging from the ceiling. Needless to say, she shut down any thoughts I had of getting a Festool extractor, and rightly so!
Not to be discouraged, I kept reading and reading and reading. As many of you know, woodworking for some of us is as much an obsession with new tools and more wood as it is about creating stuff. I unfortunately fall victim to that obsession and was desperate to find a way to better collect my sanding dust. Both my new DC and my shopvac are headache inducing, so what could I do.
Then I came across some guys trying to use Router Speed Control units with their shopvacs to achieve similar results to what people had received from the Festool vacuums. Better yet, they were have some moderate success with the brand of shopvac I have (Ridgid) as well as a cheap controller from Harbor Freight. Although, as with many tools from HF, it can be a crapshoot on the quality you get.
Quality be darned, I was up and out the very next morning, heading over to the nearest HF to find the controller. This was my first trip to HF, and it was interesting. The collection of people shopping there kinda scared me, but everyone seemed friendly enough. I had to ask for some help finding it, but was in and out in 10 min and on my way back home. Order Online
Got home and immediately hooked it up. My admittedly basic understanding is that equipment like shopvacs and non-variable routers have universal motors in them (AC\DC) and can be controlled by what I assume is some sort of rheostat or potentiometer. With it plugged in, I was able to back down my shopvac to a lower speed, which meant it is much quieter and also has more appropriate air flow for dust extraction. Also note that this supports a 15A fuse. If you need something larger, you can get a 20A made by MLCS off of Amazon. With my 20% off coupon though, this one came in at $18 and change.
Next step is to sneak a new RO Sander in without the wife noticing. Any suggestions on my first festool sander or should I look at something else?
-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.