Quiet Shop Vac

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From abpw: ================= 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 up leaves.
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 designs.
Thoughts?
-- Mark
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 17:48:41 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

worth pursuing.
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote:

Thanks. It's sometimes unusual to get encouragement in today's world. ;-)
-- Mark
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You can buy a muffler for it - about $30 as I recall. Makes it really quiet. Check Rockler.
Vic

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Vic Baron wrote:

I have one and it helps, but IMHO (perhaps) not as much as getting the motor separate from the drum.
-- Mark
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 19:56:56 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

but wouldn't a muffler work by changing to air pattern? does the vac (can't believe I'm asking this) still suck as well?
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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 cancelling.
The 'suckiness' is, for all practical purposes, unchanged.
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mac davis wrote:

My Craftsperson has a little less suction with the muffler, but the noise reduction is worth it.
-- Mark
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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.
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Leon wrote:

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. ;-)
-- Mark
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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 condo! :)
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

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. ;-)
-- Mark
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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*
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ShopVac Brand Shop Vacs are very quiet.
I have a Craftsman.. never again.
Dave

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Cox West wrote:

Thanks.
-- Mark
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Mark:
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...
Thanks --Rick
Mark Jerde wrote:

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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.
Steve P.

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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 issue.

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Rick Frazier wrote:

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.
-- Mark
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So plumb everything through a trash can cyclone. A 4" line, a 2.5" line, and a 4" to the DC. Blast gates as necessary.
BTW, I resemble that tool and clamp collector remark.
Patriarch
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