Dust Deputy - Shop Vac Modification

glenn bradley

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My shop vac gets a fair amount of use. Aside from general clean up it provides the suction source for my ROS, Router, Jigsaw, etc. One of the first things I did was get a CleanStream filter which made cleaning the filter so much easier. The I added a Dust Deputy as an upgrade from my 5 gallon bucket separator lid; amazing improvement. I can empty the DD's 5 gallon bucket a dozen times or more and still only get a tablespoon or so of waste in the vac's main container. The only problem that still plagued me was that now that I hardly ever had to access the 16 gallon vac bin, it was still part of the system.

Dust-Deputy-001.jpg

I had been percolating on an idea (fed by numerous others who have done the same thing) and I had one of those "moments" yesterday. I call these my "that's it" moments because something that was an observation turns into an inconvenience, then blossoms into an annoyance and suddenly . . . without warning . . . will become INTOLERABLE! A switch flips in my brain and a very large voice shouts "THAT's IT . . . I have had it!".

I got up a bit early this morning and built this proto type. It was too early for the DC and larger tools so the scroll saw got put to use:

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (1).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (2).jpg

This prototype is built out of scrap particle board that LOML brings me from her work. They are used as pallet "stack" dividers in the trucks that come and go. The drivers leave them for here as their loads get smaller and smaller during the runs. The material is pretty questionable so I seat a t-nut with a clamp as a hammer blow would probably destroy the panel.

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (3).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (4).jpg

There is a chamber within a chamber just like in the original vacuum. A chamber for the blower pulls are from a second chamber through the filter. The filter chamber has the ingress from the Dust Deputy.

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (5).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (6).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (7).jpg

A hole cutter is used to make the hose connection hole.

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (9).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (10).jpg

cont'd . . . . .
 
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glenn bradley

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Here's a shot with the top still off showing the internal chamber to chamber path. The open side facing you is actually the top and will have the Dust Deputy host connection.

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (8).jpg

A test run proved very successful. I was after the smallest footprint that would not restrict the blowers airflow path; I somehow got that part right . . . or at least not negatively impactive :). I picked up a quart of fine dust, plane shavings and random junk. All but one of the shavings ended up in the Dust Deputy bucket. The shaving made it to the filter chamber which is emptied easy enough for the 2 or 3 times a year i will have to clean it and the filter.

The whole rig is now about the size of the original vacuum all by itself.

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (12).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (11).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (13).jpg

Obviously this install is still just in the testing stages. I am already pretty much sold and the vac that serves my small bandsaw, DP and scrallsaw area could use the same treatment. The real benefit of this specific vac mod is that now I can relocate my compressor and vac system so my drum sander can get the heck outta in front of my hand tool area. Maybe I will finally build that wall hanging tool cabinet I have wanted for so long.
 
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Bob Gibson

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Really cool :thumb: Your ideas and improvements are always fascinating :)

I've had my dust deputy on what I think is the same vac as yours for at least 2 years. When I empty the dd's bucket I always check the shop vacs filter and tub. I've never had to empty the tub or change the filter. There is not much more than a fine dusting in the tub.
I use it all the time on my ros, small router, and general clean up as well.
It's the greatest invention ever :)
 
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glenn bradley

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Its amazing how devil-may-care you can be when you are designing things on the fly. It also helps to be using material that was already in the trash on its way out ;). We all have specific needs based on floor space and shop configuration but, for my latest version of this thing, the bucket needs to stand on the floor. May I present the star-spangled, dopplegangled, new-fangled bucket retention system:

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (14).jpg . Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (15).jpg

Keeps me from dragging the rig out of its place while in use. After the silly-cone gaskets cure I will reassemble and that should be that.

So essentially I went from this:

Dust-Deputy-001.jpg

To this (the box to the right of the vac covers a small compressor and is not part of the vac setup):

Ridgid Vac Mad v1 (16).jpg
 
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Vaughn McMillan

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Great mod, Glenn. :thumb: When I got my last shop vac, Home Depot didn't have any of the Rigid blower/vac units in stock, so I went with a non-blower Shop Vac model. Not sure if I can build a similar enclosure, but if I can., I'd sure like to.

...Been considering the DD, but have yet to drop the dime for it, I think you've pushed me over the edge.
Every once in a while, a new tool comes along and when you get it, you say "Man, how did I live without this?" The Dust Deputy is one of those. :yes:
 

glenn bradley

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Great mod, Glenn. :thumb: When I got my last shop vac, Home Depot didn't have any of the Rigid blower/vac units in stock, so I went with a non-blower Shop Vac model. Not sure if I can build a similar enclosure, but if I can., I'd sure like to.
I have a second vac which is not a blower style. I plan to build one of these for it as well so I will take one for the team and share my success or failure ;-) The main limiting factor is being able to get the motor housing 'module' small enough to make it worth doing.
 

Alan Bienlein

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You could gain some more floor space by putting the dust deputy on top instead of beside it. Right now it looks like it takes up almost the same foot print with the only real difference is it's shorter now.
 

glenn bradley

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Location
SoCal
You could gain some more floor space by putting the dust deputy on top instead of beside it. Right now it looks like it takes up almost the same foot print with the only real difference is it's shorter now.
True Alan but, shorter is what I needed for this location. I want that wall space that is behind the vac for a wall mounted tool cabinet. This setup is also shallower so I can actually reach the wall/tools :). The version for the vac over by the DP and scrollsaw will stack as height is not a problem but, floor space is. The chamber box can be altered to fit a lot of different spaces as long as the filter and the blower have a place to mount. You could get pretty creative with this.
 
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