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One point shop vac clean up.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 12-26-2017 02:43 PM 2087 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Boys and girls, sorry for discussing such a dirty little topic. While we may have a hung jury about this being a legitimate project classification, some timber was cut thereby satisfying my ego.

While a centralised dusty is nothing new, I’d like to add my take and some of the gadgetry I use.

It all started with an empty room/workshop and as the machinery began to breed, I found that I was running the gauntlet trying to navigate my shop vac around them.

While a little bit of force would free the vac up and a less than gentle tug on the hose managed to get it to heel, it was often at the expense of something more destructible than a few flakes of sawdust. While my foul mouthed outbursts seem to settle after a thorough soap mouth wash by the missus, the damage had been done and the dog still cowered behind the porta-potty secreted in a desolate corner of the workshop.

Something had to be done… more shop vacs with shorter hoses… All that did was increase my opportunity for further damage and more colourful profanities… Did you know that Hungarians boast the most amount of documented profanity in any human language… I am surprised that someone that left Hungary in 1956 has such a good memory.

What I came up with was a “static” shop vac in the heart of the work area (Gallery picture #1), with overhead PVC pipes radiating from that spot (Pictures #2 and #3) to the four corners/extremities of the workshop (Gallery Pictures #4, #5 and #6) thus filling up the six permissible gallery photo quota.

Just plug the shop vac’s hose into the pipe leading to the part of the shop you need to clean and head to that part of the room. At the end of each pipe run, was a 5m length of hose,

scavenged from those “el super cheap” shop vacs woodworkers get as a Christmas present that inadvertantly blows up before the collector manages its first 1/2 capacity fill. Needless to say, I had 3 of these hoses… miraculously amassed around the 25th. December over 3 consecutive years… go figure! Fortunately I had the foresight to hang onto the hoses while I administered the last rights to the decrepit units before tossing it into the bin.

Bloody rooms have 4 corners and I only had 3 hoses. Well Christmas was still a while away (before I would get my 4th cheapo vac), so while searching high and low for cheap hoses (those mongrels cost more per meter than packaged with that cylindrical sucker with an electric cord sticking out of it and a filter bag that goes belly up with first use…. and of course no one stocks those flimsy filters… sound familiar?), I somehow finished up in a pool place who just happened to have a clearance sale on pool hoses. They happened to have some bulk hose that was around $1/m which was too good to refuse even though my spa had died an ugly death quite a few months before.

Armed with my trusty SketchUp, I designed some couplers and through trial and errors managed to make some great friction fitting connectors using my 3D printer,

and with a subtle plumbing redirection managed to route the sucker to the fourth corner,

Now the problem was that with such ingenuity, the newly relocated working end of my dusty was a “packed lunch” distance away from my central vac and I didn’t want to order home delivery every time I wanted to turn it on and off. Actually off didn’t worry me, as all I had to do was put in some ear plugs so I couldn’t hear it wasting my electricity once I finished vacuuming, the problem remained that no matter how much I screamed, no one would rush to turn it on so I could instigate the cleaning procedure remotely.

Well what I did was enlist the aid of several remote controlled power points (one on each dust extractor) with a central controller on a cord hanging around my neck and kept away from light fingered machinery in my shirt top pocket… (that’s why I insist on t-shirts with pockets for Christmas… especially from people that don’t buy me cheap shop vacs).

This is the combination,

The cute little gismo in the middle was my original controller, but over the years it started to rebel and the off button only worked when I got into arm’s length of the power point (it worked beautifully on/off many meters away until I started to use it and legitimately wanted to turn it off). That big bugger on the left is its replacement that I have built a 3D printed cradle for it to attach the cord and hang it around my neck… I keep the old one just in case it has a change of heart and decide to co-operate again.
The remote controlled power point is just a stunt double and the real McCoy is located just above the shopvac,

When I laid out my PVC piping, I didn’t pay too much attention to physics and probably should have used 50mm pipes throughout rather than the 40mm. I also neglected the run distance and did find that the “central” vac didn’t suck enough for super heavy duty work, hence dedicated vacs on the mitre saw and sanders… However it was still sucker enough to handle general clean up. What I have also done is used some of these stormwater diverters as blast gates,

the 7” pocket rule in front is to give an impression of size so don’t look at it as a 1 foot ruler.

While shop made blast gates aren’t that hard to make, back then it wasn’t part of my bag-of-tricks and one of our local hardware shops had a bargain clearance sale (as probably no one bought them as they were too expensive)… I think they’re about $15 (in the Bunnings that stock them).
Along one of my PVC runs,

I have 3 in line and I would have been quite pissed if I had to pay $45 for diverters I never used, but as they were cheap they make a good conversation point even if no one wants to hear about it…

The one in the lathe room,

does get extensive use as even though the hose reaches the other side, it always gets snagged and I’m too lazy to line my hose with fishnets.
The observant ones of you may have noticed the red fishnets on my central vac’s hose (and the Festool below… if you’re a practitioner of reading ahead). The webbing prevents the ribs on the hose from catching on the material being processed or any other parts of the workshop… not only that, fishnets look sexy… especially in red.
For those that haven’t here’s a little refresher. The fishnets come in different diameters and slip right over your hose like a man-sized condom,

and there’s a grey version for the colour blind,

As I mentioned I have the webbing but am too lazy to put it on… after all I’m too old to worry about birth control.

While the ownership of a Dust Deputy (DD) is not necessary for this exercise, I do have an infatuation with them and I have one holding hands with each of my dedicated “single use” vacs. Without the DD’s not only do you need to clean out the vac bin often, you have to clean those awkward filters that probably were never used by their designers (filter cleaning is a rare occasion with DDs).

Down side is that the lid and container supplied with the DD were not robust enough for my shop vacs so I put 6mm reinforcements under the lid (herewith the ”finished project that is made of wood” component),

(and found one was needed above as well).

I also have a big Marshal keeping my twin dust extractor honest,

(also remote controlled from the shirt pocket).

Its incredible how many different sizes there are of 2 ½” or 50mm diameter hoses. Virtually every 2 ½” hose from one brand of vac WILL NOT fit another 2 ½” brand… luckily all my $2.50 notes are clearly inkjet printed and worth the same. In the past I used to make connectors out of wood, however, I either had to use chunky blocks or fragile lathe turned thin cylinders… Fortunately with a 3D printer this is not an issue and I can cross pollinate to my kinky heart’s desire… with my 3D connectors one size fits all… well it doesn’t but I’m not gonna tell you that.

Also you may have notice the 3D printed battery holder keeping my batteries warm and ready for when not needed,

As always, if you found this boring, read no further and go to this shop vac article to be entertained properly.

Any questions about my sanity will not necessarily be answered honestly!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD





20 comments so far

View Sark's profile

Sark

74 posts in 414 days


#1 posted 12-26-2017 05:05 PM

Hey thanks for sharing. You gave me some ideas to try out, especially about getting vacume hoses into the 4 corners of the shop.
So how big is your shop? How big is the central vac system?
I will confess that I’m most interested in your use of 3D printing to make fittings. So can you provide more details on the printer? What model? Learning curve? Etc. thanks.

View pottz's profile

pottz

2709 posts in 1038 days


#2 posted 12-26-2017 08:20 PM

wow ducky that’s an amazing layout you got there,you must have a full time maintenance/engineer to keep all that going?gotta say I’m impressed buddy.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5619 posts in 2720 days


#3 posted 12-26-2017 09:19 PM

Quite a shop you got there I am surprised you didn’t show your GPS and BTW ever hear of DUCK TAPE .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View pottz's profile

pottz

2709 posts in 1038 days


#4 posted 12-27-2017 12:41 AM



Quite a shop you got there I am surprised you didn t show your GPS and BTW ever hear of DUCK TAPE .

Klaus

- kiefer

I prefer gorilla tape myself Klaus,it beats the duck any day-LOL.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5619 posts in 2720 days


#5 posted 12-27-2017 12:59 AM

Well I didn’t want to bring up Gorilla it would insult the Duck I think.

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View JohnMcClure's profile

JohnMcClure

206 posts in 694 days


#6 posted 12-27-2017 01:06 AM

Ducky, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts. Thanks for sharing!

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

View pottz's profile

pottz

2709 posts in 1038 days


#7 posted 12-27-2017 01:37 AM



Well I didn t want to bring up Gorilla it would insult the Duck I think.

- kiefer

i know,and i will pay for it-ha.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1845 posts in 874 days


#8 posted 12-27-2017 03:33 AM

Quite a shop you got there I am surprised you didn t show your GPS and BTW ever hear of DUCK TAPE .

Klaus

- kiefer

I prefer gorilla tape myself Klaus,it beats the duck any day-LOL.

- pottz


Gentlemen, Out of respect for my family, I steer clear of Duck tape and take my beef out on 3D printed plastic. Furthermore no respectable human should ”beat the duck”... otherwise he’ll (the duck) just have to hire some heavies to put you guys under the G o riller...

BTW... The GPS was lost in my “Beam Me Up Scottie” telephone booth.


... Thanks for sharing!

- JohnMcClure


JMcC, thanks for not taking the Mickey out of this duck… Lately my only remaining friend is,

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1845 posts in 874 days


#9 posted 12-27-2017 04:25 AM


.... So how big is your shop? How big is the central vac system?
I will confess that I’m most interested in your use of 3D printing to make fittings. So can you provide more details on the printer? What model? Learning curve? Etc. thanks.

- Sark


Shop is only 9.4m x 9.6m (about a triple garage) comprising of 3 “rooms”. However, it is a challenge to get from one side to the other without shinbone damage.

I was at a wood show a few years ago and somehow had the foresight that a 3D printer would be a great assist in the workshop for jigs and such. Proved invaluable for repeated printing of accurate shop fittings. It was a UP Plus 2 with a print capacity of 140×140 x 135 (mm of course) a tad limiting and I was too lazy to print in parts and glue together. However it is a procedure I had to eventually master. My current goto 3D printer is a UP Box with a print capacity of 255×205 x205… those few extra mm make one helluva difference.
Please note that if you are mechanically minded a 3D printer is well in the scope of a lot of people for a relatively low cost. There are heaps of “build your own” on the Internet. I was lazy.

The learning curve for 3D printing is a fairly no brainer… just follow the bouncing ball, however, the emphasis on the learning curve revolves around 3D design software. Fortunately I was fairly conversant with SketchUp as I use it extensively for woodworking so it wasn’t long before I could print basic shapes from my designs. Not only that, SketchUp is free and is one of the more easier 3D packages to come to terms with.

Talking about SketchUp, I quickly went into my 3D workshop model and sketched in my dust extraction system. IT is not to exact scale (with the emphasis mainly on layout and integration).

This is the basic dust extraction setup (includes placements of dedicated shop vacs),

those dark snail/tyre looking things represent the 5m hose at the end of the PVC pipe run. The thicker pipes represent my serious dust extractor’s interface.. which consist of heaps of blast gates and “Y” junctions made up of 100mm PVC pipes and 100mm flexible hose.
This is with the machinery integration,

The subject shop vac is hiding behind the table saw which is located at the middle front of the picture.

There is more details and better photos of my setup under my workshop page, however, it does not include this dusty layout… though it not a overly new addition… I just didn’t get a-round-tu-it.

If you wan’t further details, PM me with your email and I’ll see if I can answer more questions if you like outside this forum.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

4164 posts in 3629 days


#10 posted 12-27-2017 07:21 AM

THAT is some serious engineering there brother.
The design lay-out is impressive.
Your work-arounds, using items immediately available was also very smart.
Thank you for showing us.

View crowie's profile

crowie

2504 posts in 2004 days


#11 posted 12-27-2017 09:23 PM

The more I see of your shop with the equipment and innovation therein; the more I consider inviting myself south to visit Ducky; I’d blend in as a Little Black Crow….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

24033 posts in 3904 days


#12 posted 12-27-2017 10:23 PM

Black duck , nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.
I wish I had the room for all that. My machine lives outside

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1845 posts in 874 days


#13 posted 12-28-2017 01:11 AM


..... The design lay-out is impressive…..
- Woodwrecker

Thanks W’w. More design and less vino might have spelled that ”impressive” with a capital ”I”. Unfortunately when I moved to Churchill and the tools and machinery were “scattered” about the workshop by the movers thereby channelling me into work-arounds rather than a formal re-design.

In all honesty, I was too bloody lazy to re-organize some of the heavy machinery and far too anxious to knock up some built in benchtops (before a formal sit-down-and-design) that afterwards made machine placement choices more limited… and the safe passage of a shop vac hazardous.


I wish I had the room for all that. My machine lives outside

- Grumpy


BTDT Grumpy. I lived in Richmond (the land of the footpath workshops) which was about 3km from the Melbourne CBD and moved to Churchill which was back then populated by kangaroos, wombats and dingos (and a few migrating alligators)... about 170km from Melbourne (as a NSW crowie would fly)... I am proud to say that Churchill is NOW populated by kangaroos, wombats and dingos (and a few migrating alligators) and one black duck!

PS. It was that move which permitted me to afford some of the machinery and tools that I could only dream about in the past (and not my fancy footsteps and silver tongue)... not to mention a few overnighters for shop lifting.

PPS. Observed your Monty Pyhon tag… I Always look under my pillow just to ensure that bleeding tooth fairy hasn’t replaced my wooden dentures with a brass nickel!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View htl's profile

htl

3956 posts in 1213 days


#14 posted 01-15-2018 01:40 AM

How’d I miss this Vacathon???
Very interesting for sure!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1845 posts in 874 days


#15 posted 01-15-2018 02:18 AM



How d I miss this Vacathon???
- htl

Ya musta been on hovidaze!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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