Well this really sucks

Charles Lent

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307
Location
Central North Carolina
I have a repurposed whole house vacuum that I intercepted when they were major remodeling the house next door. The neighbor was carrying it above his head and headed for the dumpster when I yelled "hey, can I have that?" He turned and set it down just outside my shop. Over the next few days, the accessories, hose, pvc pipe and inlet ports all arrived. A new $12 control circuit transformer and it ran like new, so I installed it in my shop with a Dust Deputy ahead of it. I had to buy a few couplings and elbows, and 10' of pipe, but was able to use most of the old pipe and it is now located in my shop's attic with the Dust Deputy sitting on top of a 20 gal steel drum sitting next to it. I installed the pipes in the walls and added 4 inlets, two in the shop, 1 in the attic, and one outside next to the passage door entrance to the shop. The 25' hose lets me reach anywhere in the shop, and the outside port lets me take the hose outside to vacuum the cars and trucks.

In the shop it gets mostly used for the scroll saws, drill presses, and sanders. I don't have the room for a serious dust collector, but this system takes care of all of the very fine and more dangerous saw dust. I always use my DeWalt 735 planer outside connected via the accessory hose and drum cover, attached to a plastic 55 gallon drum. The joiner drops it's chips into a plastic waste basket, and the Unisaw cabinet contains most of it's saw dust, until I shovel out the cabinet, whenever I think of it. I vented the central vac out through the outside wall of the shop attic, just under the roof. It's pointed North toward the lake, so the neighbors don't hear it and I don't care if it bothers the geese. It can't be heard outside at either neighbor's house, unless it's dead quiet outside and the vac is the only thing running. It's comforting to know that if even the finest saw dust that might get past the Dust Deputy and the fabric filter in the vacuum never gets into the shop air or my lungs, but so little seems to get vented, that even the dust bin part of the vacuum never has more than a trace of dust sticking to the inside walls of it. I can go about 6 months or more before needing to dump the barrel. It is large enough that I don't need to dump it often, but when I do, it is easy enough for me to get it down the stairs to dump it as it usually only weighs 20-25 lbs. Sorry the photo is oriented sideways

Charley
 

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Darren Wright

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16,959
Location
Kansas City, Missouri
Nice! I had picked up the 20 gallon and a 16 gallon rigid a few years back along with a dust deputy. I'll probably use the 16 gallon for now along with the DD. I plan to get another HF DC when they come up on sale to dedicate to the cnc, sander, lathe, and a few other tools, which are close by to the cnc, and too far for the other to work effectively.
 

Charles Lent

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
307
Location
Central North Carolina
A little history about using my Dust Deputy with my central vacuum unit, and the research involved in finding the right bucket -

I originally had my Dust Deputy hooked to my shop vac and had a standard plastic 5 gallon bucket under the Dust Deputy. It worked very well in this arrangement. Then I got the central vacuum and moved the Dust Deputy and the 5 gallon bucket to it. I decided to test everything by vacuuming the shop floor, and all went well until a shaving partially plugged the end of the hose. There was a "Thump" sound from up where the vacuum is located, and I discovered that the original 5 gallon bucket had imploded. It never did that with the shop vacuum, so I had to find a stronger bucket. The Firehouse Subs chain sells their used 5 gallon plastic pickle buckets for $2 each, with the proceeds going to the local fire companies. I had heard that these buckets were much stronger than the standard white buckets, so I bought a few to try. Well, they are a bit stronger, so the first one that I used lasted a couple of minutes before it imploded. It also made my shop smell like dill pickles (hadn't run the vacuum exhaust port outside yet). This wasn't a significant problem, except I developed a very strong desire for a cheeseburger with dill pickles on the side every time I ran the vacuum.

My son said he could get me a metal grease barrel from work (the grease is in a plastic bag inside the drums, so the drums are clean), but I needed some way to keep my vacuum usable in the mean time. Only leaving the pickle buckets open and outside in the Sun for several weeks seemed to be the only way to get the dill pickle smell out of these Firehouse buckets. I tried just about every kind of detergent and solvent, and nothing worked very well. The Sun proved to do a much better job.

After studying these pickle buckets a bit more I realized that the difference in strength between these pickle buckets and the standard white buckets was that the pickle buckets had ribs around the upper 1/3 of the bucket and the white ones only had them just under the lip and the rest of the bucket wall was was smooth. Then I got the idea of stacking 3 of the pickle buckets together, and putting the Dust Deputy on the lid of the top most bucket. Doing this gave me ribs on the full height of the top bucket and tripled the wall thickness as well. This completely solved my imploding bucket problem.

About 3 weeks later my son arrived with the red metal barrel in the photo. I made a lid for it out of two layers of 3/4 birch cabinet plywood. One layer just fits inside the barrel and the second is 4" larger in diameter to provide a 2" overhang. The two layers were screwed together with poly seam seal between them and a center hole plus the bolt holes to mount the Dust Deputy was drilled through both layers of the lid. I added a 1" wide strip of peel and stick closed cell foam Weather stripping to the under side of the 2" overhang of the upper part of the lid, and this forms a tight seal between the metal barrel and lid. The vacuum pulls the lid down tight when it runs, so there is no need to secure the lid to the barrel. I also used the poly seam seal between the Dust Deputy and the lid to guarantee no leaks. I have filled and dumped this barrel several times and have not had any leak problems with the lid seal, so the closed cell foam Weatherstripping is doing a great job. I have since been given a second Dust Deputy and now use it with my shop vac for occasional use outside my shop.

So, if you want stronger buckets than the white buckets, the Firehouse pickle buckets are stronger, if you can deal with the dill pickle smell. For an even slightly stronger bucket, stack three together. Better yet, get a repurposed metal grease barrel, and benefit from not eating so many cheeseburgers.

Charley
 
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