Shop Vac Conversion

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Forum topic by BuyoMasilla posted 03-27-2014 04:35 PM 1299 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BuyoMasilla's profile


102 posts in 1370 days

03-27-2014 04:35 PM


I have a Ridgid bagless shop vac. The motor and intake hose are both on the top or motor part of the unit. It works fairly well, but the paper filters get soiled quickly.

I am wondering if anyone has taken one of these units and turned it into a bagged shop vac. Given the amount of creativity and skill found in this forum, I would not be surprised a bit if that were the case.

I think it’s this one;

If the link works, you can tell there’s no hole in the side of the bucket for an intake where a bag could be mounted inside. It appears to be something that can be done and then find a way to plug the intake on top.
Anyone done this here? If you were to, how would you go about it?


-- Dreaming of the day I might joint two pieces of wood square..........

12 replies so far

View Gary's profile


7755 posts in 2255 days

#1 posted 03-27-2014 05:28 PM

I have one, larger than the one you posted. I merely blow the filter out and go again. I have taped a paper towel around the filter to prevent it from clogging up so soon.
Are you using it for general vacuuming or hooked up to a machine?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 893 days

#2 posted 03-27-2014 05:50 PM

I still dont use a bag, but I use the mid tier filter and a 5 gallon dust deputy on mine, it works pretty well.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View gtbuzz's profile


405 posts in 1264 days

#3 posted 03-27-2014 06:28 PM

You could certainly do what you mentioned, but you may also want to look at some sort of pre-separator like a Dust Deputy or a DIY affair. That’ll keep the majority of the bulk from even reaching the filter in the first place.

I have the Rockler cyclone that I use with my Fein vac. It works well but I don’t really recommend it. It’s too prone to tipping.

View b2rtch's profile


4404 posts in 1871 days

#4 posted 03-27-2014 06:46 PM

Here is your solution:

I clean the filter inside may be once a year, probably less.

-- Bert

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 771 days

#5 posted 03-27-2014 07:40 PM

This is the most compact version I’ve seen If you go to the clearvue photo gallery there are lots of set ups.

View b2rtch's profile


4404 posts in 1871 days

#6 posted 03-27-2014 07:55 PM

I wonder how the suction is on the most compact version, Certainly it looks good but there are many 90 degrees to reduce the suction.

-- Bert

View MrFid's profile


598 posts in 727 days

#7 posted 03-27-2014 08:15 PM

I’d invest in a Dust Deputy as well. Mine works great. Get a HEPA filter once you get the DD set up. There’s some good youtube videos on this topic as well. Good luck!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View BuyoMasilla's profile


102 posts in 1370 days

#8 posted 03-28-2014 02:31 AM

Thanks for the advice and comments everyone. Gary, I use it as a vacuum, it is not attached to any machine. The vacuum is used for cleaning up and we have been doing some tiling and laminate flooring so there has been a bit of demolition and much dust. The machine moves from the garage/shop to the inside of the house and having more “attachments” will make it more difficult to get it from one place to the other. If I’m able to convert it and fit it with a bag, then the portability and foot print remain as bad as the factory intended.

thanks again everyone.

-- Dreaming of the day I might joint two pieces of wood square..........

View realcowtown_eric's profile


407 posts in 759 days

#9 posted 03-28-2014 04:22 AM

I’ve got several actual shop vacs. I won’t buy one that doesnt suck and blow .

I must confess I’m partial to the actual shop vac R2D2 versions, with the metal canister.

I typically discard the kludgy inflexible hoses and use he LV hoses with wands from household vacuum cleaners which I pick up at GSales.. That plastic crap )hoses, wands, etc is so frustrating, and breaks in the cold weather.

All the vacs I buy/ use are capable of being used with bag (except the little dewalt battery operated unit), and I generally discard the foam filter and opt for the general use or hepa pleated filter as case may require.

It was interesting to see the various mods/aumentations that folks have made.


These puppies are noisy, so I often times have them in another room and use a remote control to turn them on/off. AND, when you move them about, with a partially full bag, do check to see if the bag ain’t dislodged from the intake….it often does.

I’m not familiar with rigid products.

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View BinghamtonEd's profile


1616 posts in 1192 days

#10 posted 03-28-2014 11:58 AM

I had one Rigid shop vac and I hated it. I bought it when we first bough our house for general cleanup (not woodworking). Suction sucked, in a bad way. I got the $20 Black Friday one. My guess is that this was their bottom-of-the-line model, and not indicative of their whole line. I gave it to a friend aand got the 6.5g Shop Vac and have been pleased. I use my Dust Deputy without a bag.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Allen4's profile


9 posts in 345 days

#11 posted 03-28-2014 12:38 PM

I had an older model like what your talking about. Couldn’t get a bag for it. I tried putting old panty hose pieces over the filter. It works well with keeping the larger junk out. You can just wipe it off. I use my wet dry vac on machines so the saw dust clogs things fast.

I went ahead and bought the contractor grade rigid 6.5 hp. I have a preference for their wand which have something to grip over the Shop vacs. By the way never buy one that is a black Friday or clearance. Tried a shop vac at Lowe’s for $40-50. It went back the same day. They reverse manufacture them to still make money at that price, and you can tell.

Anyway, it’s quiet and takes bags. Built a Thien baffle cyclone to plug it into. Between the cyclone and the filter bag my HEPA filter doesn’t even discolor.

check out getting a new one or building a cyclone over buying one. I found for the cost of the dust deputy, I could just get a new shop vacuum.

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)


6970 posts in 1736 days

#12 posted 03-28-2014 01:01 PM

FWIW, I built a separator for my 5gal shopvac and it works great! I even use a Hepafilter on the shopvac and really never need to clean it, the separator works that well. The lid is from Grizzly and I bought a 30gal can from HD.

You will also need to pick up a couple 4in to 2 1/2in hose adapters, but all above can be had for under $100 last time I checked.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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