Simple Dust Collector Design Help

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Forum topic by Airframer posted 01-23-2013 07:03 PM 1494 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3043 posts in 1947 days

01-23-2013 07:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So here is the deal, I have a small workshop in our 1 car garage. I build and sell guitar effect pedals (stomp boxes) in there mostly but I have also started doing some wood working. Since I do deal with electronics in there a high amount of dust is kinda an issue. I don’t need a “clean room” type clean but copious amounts of dust isn’t a good thing. Not to mention my lungs aren’t being done any favors.

I have a baby on the way and am living on an active duty enlisted salary so spare cash is hard to find nowadays but I need to come up with something functional for a small space that doesn’t have to be permanently plumbed or alter the structure at all (I’m in gov quarters).

I have attached neighbors on both sides so I’d like to try and enclose the main system in an insulated box to reduce the noise it makes while running.

Here is what I have found to work with. We have an old pos vacuum that is slated for the trash because the brush bar has seized and it just doesn’t clean at all anymore but the motor works.

I spent the morning extracting the motor and hose fittings from it and am pretty sure this can be used as a starting point for what I want to do.

Add to that an endless supply of cat litter tubs (I have 2 cats so these are not hard to find) I’m handing this to you guys and your endless amount of experience and creativity to help me cobble together a system of some sort.

I had also considered a shop vac but if I can use this that is free and a few things laying around the house and shop I’d much rather go that way.

I also plan to make one of those box fan air cleaners that you can find plans for all over the net. That will be simple enough and get the job done in my small garage.

Here are the parts I salvaged from the vacuum that I have to work with..

Sooo.. any ideas? Can this be done or am I over thinking this whole thing?

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

7 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2251 days

#1 posted 01-24-2013 01:04 AM

I don’t know if the vacuum would be adequate or not, but you might be able to use it in a small down draft table that might be sufficient for your needs. Here is one example. HTH

-- Art

View History's profile


399 posts in 1976 days

#2 posted 01-24-2013 01:15 AM

All I can say is, goodluck. A small vacuum isn’t going to do much.

View harvey4804's profile


120 posts in 2676 days

#3 posted 01-24-2013 01:44 AM

Give it a shot! Ya never know.

-- Ryan, FRMR HMM165 - HMX1 01-10

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 1947 days

#4 posted 01-24-2013 07:39 AM

So, is it the size of the motor or the impeller that might be the issue? I only need a small unit for my shop right now so I am going to give this a try first.

Here is the small “zone” that I need it in right now. If I get any more equipment I will definately need to up grade I’m sure.

The zones are marked in red. The large zone under the drill press is where I’l like it to be setup with a hose going to the press for when I use the sanding drums and forstner bits etc with a branch running off to the scroll saw. So there will probably be only about 6’ of tubing involved.

I did some searching and I am wrapping my head around how a shop vac works (never really thought about it before) and I think I can use to litter tubs for this. One for the motor and motor filter and the other for the cyclone collector.

So far I have 2 no’s and a yes lol. Any other thoughts before I dive in to this?

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2048 days

#5 posted 01-24-2013 02:15 PM

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2141 days

#6 posted 01-24-2013 07:17 PM

I’ll leave how to rig your vacuum up to the tubs to someone else, but one other solution you might want to try is a box fan and a 20×20x1 furnace filter. I have one in my garage shop that I run and you’d be surprised at how much dust it picks out of the air. Should only cost you about 20-25 bucks too.

Don’t let the Bill Pentz disciples con you into believing you need 12” ducts and 4 hojillion CFM and nothing less. Every little bit helps when it comes to dust.

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 1947 days

#7 posted 01-25-2013 04:16 AM

@jap – WOW.. a lot of information to take in there. That guy is very thorough that is for sure… though his hime made bandsaw is something I’d like to read more about!

@Kreegan – I already have plans for a box fan air cleaner. I saw one of those on you tube and immediately knew I needed to build one of those for the garage. This is to help collect it at the source.

I hooked up the motor today just to see what kind of suction it had and it has a good ammount of suck so this just might do for what I am looking at. The motor is VERY loud out all by it’s self though so an enclosure for it is in order to help baffle that a bit. Thanks guys.. I think I have a plan in place now.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

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