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Shop-Vac Dust Collection System

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Project by ADHDan posted 08-28-2012 08:30 PM 4907 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I work in a section of garage and don’t have space or money for a full DC system, so I rigged up my shop-vac to do major double-duty. This system has a few components. The shop-vac itself is in an enclosed cabinet at the bottom, to muffle noise (I control it with a remote on/off switch). The shop-vac connects to a Rockler separator in a “corral” on top of the cabinet. The separator connects to a splitter, which has two blast gates. The one on the left feeds directly and is dedicated to my table saw. The one on the right feeds to a 12’ expandable hose, which I can connect to any of my bench tools or just use as a vacuum. Finally, I added a bunch of 1” dowels to the top of the cabinet to hold all of my accessories.

Built the entire thing for about $10 in scrap wood, plus the cost of the tubing, connectors, and blast gates. It’s not as good as a legit DC system, but for now it works really well.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.





13 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2127 posts in 1143 days


#1 posted 08-28-2012 09:12 PM

Very cool! I’m in the exact same situation. I have a shop vac and the same dust separator from Rockler but I don’t have the space or the cash to install an actual DC system. I just might have to rig up something like this.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Tyler's profile

Tyler

104 posts in 923 days


#2 posted 08-28-2012 11:13 PM

That’s very creative, but even better, very practical. One question: do you have any holes drilled in the cabinet to allow for the vacuum’s air exhaust? I enclosed a shop-vac in my miter saw stand project (http://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/67574) for dust collection and was amazed at the amount of air that blew out of the two holes in the front. I figured I’d ask so you don’t burn out a vacuum. Once again, however, great project!

-- Tyler- Montandon, PA ------ "It aint broke, it just needs fixed!"

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2772 posts in 2011 days


#3 posted 08-28-2012 11:30 PM

I’m all about making what you have work and you did. Great liitle system.
Thanks for sharing!

Tony

-- Tony C St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2127 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 08-28-2012 11:57 PM

Tyler,

You raise a good point. Did you find a way to deal with exhaust with your miter saw setup, or is there some ideal solution for a case like this? Brilliant design with the folding extension wings, by the way.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

444 posts in 767 days


#5 posted 08-29-2012 12:05 AM

Hi guys, glad you like this design. I do have an exhaust hole in the back of the shop-vac cabinet, which also lets me swap hoses around to use it as a blower. On top of that, with a remote on/off I’m rarely running the vacuum for longer than a few minutes at a time – so danger of burnout is minimal.

Tyler, your miter saw stand is great. Nice job!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View AJswoodshop's profile

AJswoodshop

1057 posts in 935 days


#6 posted 08-29-2012 12:07 AM

Very neat! Keep up the good work!

AJ

-- If I can do it.....so can you! -AJswoodshop

View Tyler's profile

Tyler

104 posts in 923 days


#7 posted 08-29-2012 12:14 AM

Dan,
I thought you may have hidden one back there. Good foresight! haha

Brian,
I took the most scientifically advanced step I could think of and drilled some holes in the front haha.

-- Tyler- Montandon, PA ------ "It aint broke, it just needs fixed!"

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2127 posts in 1143 days


#8 posted 08-29-2012 02:19 AM

Gotcha. Figured I would over-think a problem like that.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

444 posts in 767 days


#9 posted 08-29-2012 02:21 PM

Question for everyone: I’m not sure I’m getting a strong seal around some of the joints (which don’t have hose clamps), but I really don’t want to dismantle this beast just to add hose clamps. Do you think a duct tape wrap around the non-clamped joints would suffice?

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Tyler's profile

Tyler

104 posts in 923 days


#10 posted 08-29-2012 03:19 PM

I have a permanent DC system at home with PVC piping. However, I didn’t want to glue them together in case I ever needed to add on, move stuff around, or unclog a pipe; this caused me a few air leak problems, too. All I did was turn the DC on and wrap electrical tape around the joints where I could feel air getting sucked in. It ended up working well because the air sucked the electrical tape up into the joint, giving it an unexpectedly good seal. I used my DC hard over the summer and the tape is holding just as well as day one. I don’t know how well it will work on other types of piping, but you can probably figure something out along those lines.

-- Tyler- Montandon, PA ------ "It aint broke, it just needs fixed!"

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

444 posts in 767 days


#11 posted 08-29-2012 03:35 PM

That’s a great idea. Thanks Tyler!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View josephf's profile

josephf

52 posts in 755 days


#12 posted 08-29-2012 05:34 PM

I have 3 such set-ups . Duct tape works great for sealing . Ii took the filter out of one and ran the blower hose outside . Wondering about the box -Does it muffle the noise much .I made one using 2” ridged insulation and did not get much of a reduction in noise

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

444 posts in 767 days


#13 posted 08-29-2012 06:40 PM

It’s a pretty noticeable noise reduction. I mean, a shop-vac is going to be a little noisy no matter what, but usually if it’s running I’ve got tools running and earmuffs on anyway. The cabinet is still better than nothing.

Another plus: the base cabinet is on casters, so if I unhook the table saw line I can wheel the whole thing around my garage for cleanup.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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