Mark & Juanita wrote:
I have a Sears shop vac and it doubles as a leaf blower. Take the motor
off, put an extension and a nozzle on the output, and it works ok for piling
When the motor is out, pushing leaves around, it is quite quiet. When it is
on the plastic "kettle drum" vacuum base it is as loud as hell. Therefore I
suspect "sonic coupling" between the motor and the drum, which could be
overcome by good design.
I bought a .1 micron (?) bag and started work on a replacement base for my
shop vac, one in which the motor would be sonically separate from the base.
I quit working on it because I'm space-challenged in my one-car garage shop.
I just wear hearing protectors when using the shop vac and so far no
neighbors have complained.
But my experiments make me think this could be a much quieter shop vac.
- Remove the motor. Hang it from strings from the ceiling.
- Run a 4" dust collector hose from the shop vac motor to the base. Seal
both ends well.
Through proper design this "acoustic separation" between motor and drum
could be achieved in shop vacs which would look very much like common
At leat with my Rigid, it changes the air pattern "only a little bit".
Basically, it splits the air-flow along different length paths, and then
re-mixes. The re-mix results in the sound waves being 'out of phase', and
The 'suckiness' is, for all practical purposes, unchanged.
I wonder if it is the location or, the strain of having to blow through a
filter. I have that vacuum also and it seems to get louder as the canister
fills or the filter plugs. With the motor off there is very little
resistance. Put you hand over the suction side some time and see how much
louder the motor gets.
I had not noticed that, but I'll be listening for it in the future.
My shop vac also gets used for vacuuming the house. We have a Norwegian
Elkhound, a dog that looks like a 9/10ths scale Husky. He sheds piles of
hair 11 1/2 months of the year. His long hair plugs up standard "home"
vacs, and it doesn't take long to fill the vac's tub with a nasty mixture of
hair and sawdust. ;-)
There are at least two things going on. 1) you're _outside_ -- no walls for
the noise to reflect off of. 2) the drum _does_ act as an 'echo chamber'.
Design consideration: 4" is _way_ too *small*. duct the _full_size_ of the
'suck' opening on the motor assembly. You want the linear rate of air-flow
to be _as_slow_as_possible_. The slower the air flow, the more cr*p that
drops out into the drum.
I've got a Rigid 12 gal, "5HP" (snicker), vac. At least the one I have is
_amazingly_ quiet, for critters of it's type. *NONE* of the typical
high-frequency 'screaming'. Rigid makes a 'muffler', circa $15, which
I _do_ have, but it doesn't make any appreciable difference on _this_ unit.
The mufflers _do_ tend to be fairly effective on 'screamer' units. Wish
I could figure out how to put it on my 'wall hanger' Shop-Vac. That thing
is noisier than a jointer under load!
The other thing that is _very_ useful, I've found, is an 'extension' hose
(or 2). My 'shop' is *very* cramped quarters, and I really _don't_ have
the room to wheel that 12 gal vac around. With the extension hoses, I
can leave the unit in the closet, just run the plug out to an outlet,
turn it on, and reach the entire room w/o having to move the vac. The
contortions one goes through, when the 'shop' is the spare bedroom in a
On my Sears vac the motor snaps into the lid of the canister, right over the
filter. It's sucking air from the canister through a hole maybe only 2" in
diameter. A 4" hose is more than big enough, if all I'm trying to do is put
some distance between the canister and motor.
I'll keep that in mind if I ever manage to break this Sears vac. ;-)
Ouch. You probably don't do much with 4'x8' sheet goods. ;-)
OK, I'll buy that. Obviously, I'm not familiar with that specific unit.
The ones I've seen with the detachable blower, the 'blower' intake is a
good 6" dia.
Caveat: I don't know if the 'quietness' is specific to _my_ unit, or
whether it is 'typical' for the model. I've had household vacuums
that were noisier. :)
H*ll, space is so tight in my shop that I have to rotate the *entire* table
saw, depending on whether I'm doing ripping, or cross-cutting.
Yes, I do use 4'x sheet goods, *but* they get cut down _before_ they hit
the 'shop' -- luckily, I've got a real lumberyard within about 1/3 mi.
I just grab the two-wheeler, and 'go for a walk'. They'll do the 'basic'
cuts for free with the panel saw. And it's less hassle to walk the two-
wheeler home than it is to take a car down, load the car, bring the car
back, unload the car, and ferry the stuff upstairs. With the two wheeler,
I just come right in the building, onto the elevator, and up to my floor. :)
Has been known to get _real_ funny, when I've wanted something they don't
normally stock. One day, I saw this 'wood supply' semi go by the corner
next to my building. Looked 'em up on the web, and lo and behold, they had
_exactly_ what I was looking for. And an 800 number. So, I called to see
about pricing. "No, I don't have an account", so they quoted full retail,
naturally. I said something about "I take it ' lumber'
is a customer?' -- turns out the guy I was talking to is _their_ sales
rep.; he didn't give precise details, but said 'you can probably get it
cheaper from them, than directly from us". So, I took a walk; went into
the office and said "I need ......". they replied "We don't stock that".
I said, "I know. call Tom at 'xxxxx', he's expecting your call, here are
the quantities, and =their= inventory numbers." The look on the manager's
face was absolutely _priceless_.*GRIN*
If you want to have quiet, and still vacuum your shop, perhaps it's time for a
decent Dust Collector...
A large enough dust collector, plumbed with appropriate tubing (ok, so I used
PVC and haven't experienced any problems with explosions yet, check your
favorite search engine for the diatribes for and against) will provide quite a
lot of "suck power", much like a portable shopVac, but infinitely more quiet...
I have my DC located in a separate shed attached to my workshop, and have to
have a light that indicates when it's on, so I remember to turn it off ( the
air compressor too, as the compressor starting at 3am wakes the wife, and you
know how that goes)... As I leave the shop each night, I look for the lights,
and if nothing's on, it's ok, it's time to leave.
DCs are very quiet compared to the typical shop vac, and it's an easy task to
provide extra "outlets" where you can plug in a typical 2 1/2" shopvac hose to
do your vacuuming...
Mark Jerde wrote:
How did you achieve your indicator lights? I have my compressor in the
garage and have it plumbed into the basement. I put it on a three-way
circuit so that I could turn it on from either location. I wanted to set up
indicator lights but didn't really take the time to work it all out.
It's trivial. just wire up a light fixture to to the same wiring that goes
to the compressor motor. (*before* the compressor pressure limit-switch,
of course. :)
The light will be on if power is 'available' to the compressor.
If you want the indicator light _by_the_switches_, that's a more complex
<Blush> I have one of those too. (Sometimes I think I'm more of a "tool and
clamp collector" than a "woodworker." <g>) I use the DC on the jointer &
planer. My router table and table saw predate the DC and the shop vac works
reasonably well on both. I also use the shop vac for general shop clean
up -- it's not going to get a nail in the impeller.
My DC is a fairly small two-bagger, one upper and one lower. (My shop is
110v only.) The DC works great on the jointer and planer but I'm
underwhelmed by its dust collection when choked down to shop vac size
hosing. The shop vac just gets more dust through shop vac sized hose than
does the DC.
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