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Thread: OT. Shop Vacuum for fine dust.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    kamloops bc canada
    Posts
    168

    Default OT. Shop Vacuum for fine dust.

    Can anyone recommend a vacuum cleaner that will take care of fine floor dust (dirt) without quickly plugging it's filter?

    I have two vacuum cleaners right now, both Rigid. They work well, but only for short times because the filters don't last long, not to mention the replacement filters are quite expensive.

    I've tried cleaning the filters with air, and then in soap and water with a lot of mess and little success, having stopped short of running them through my wifes washing machine.

    I've tried the paper bag option over the pleated filter, but then you don't get 5 minutes run time before they plug.

    My best success so far has been to vacuum a bit of sawdust from under the table saw so as to put a sawdust coating around the new filter and then I get better life out of it, probably an hour or two.

    Floor dirt here in the desert country here is awful. Comes in on muddy shoes and vehicles tires and you can't sweep it with a broom without most of it going into the air.

    Madwilliamflint had a thread started on Vacuums earlier this month, but before it got to my problem the thread lost momentum.

    Any ideas? My best vacuum that I ever had was an old Rex-Air that used a water bath cyclone for a filter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3,214

    Default

    Maybe get a dry-wall prefilter? Looks like a piece of cloth over the pleated filter. Still plugs pretty easy, but also easy enough to clean and reuse. IIRC, it comes in a pack of 3 or so for not much money. If it works for drywall dust, might work for you.
    Russ
    Master Floor Sweeper

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Elizabeth City, NC
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Your best bet is to get an old Rainbow vacuum if you can find one. You can't beat that water system for catching and containing dust. After, just flush the dirt down the toilet or whereever... never gets clogged.
    I have one I use to clean up after powder coating.
    HAP

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    616

    Default

    I have not used this product but do have its big brother, a large Oneida vacuum system that works very well at separating out almost all the dust.

    http://dustdeputy.com/

    Steve

  5. #5
    Prospect Guest

    Default Vacumns

    ShopVac makes vacumns recommended for drywall dust pickup. They use a pleated filter but use a disposable paper bag that attaches inside to the inlet. I have two that I use in the shop and they work like a charm. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Long Beach
    Posts
    372

    Default

    I imagine it's very similar to drywall dust....which sucks. I hate drywall dust worse than anything as far as messes go.

    I can usually vacuum for a couple minutes, then the shop vac looses it's suck. I take the filter out, bang it around in a trash can, reinstall it and I'm usually good for another 5 minutes.

    The only thing that might work as far as I'm concerned is an oil/water bath type of air cleaner. Get another hose and run the dust through a container...say 12" around by 30" tall with the incoming hose making a 90 turn and going straight down to within about 4" of the bottom of the container. put about 8" of water in the container so that the dust/air will exit the hose underwater and the dust will get trapped in the water as the air bubbles up through the water. The vacuum source should be drawing from the top of the container.

    I've been thinking of doing something like this, but I'm finally about done with my drywall work at the house after 3 years so I probably won't get around to it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,837

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Errol
    ...I've tried cleaning the filters with air, and then in soap and water with a lot of mess and little success ...
    Errol,

    I do what you said you've already tried for my shop vacuum...

    I use Hepa cartridges for dry wall and wash them out when they get clogged. For fine dust, the filter usually lasts from ten to fifteen minutes before cleaning is needed. I have two and that gives me enough capacity to get most of my jobs done.

    .
    Last edited by Mike Burdick; 01-31-2011 at 07:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    127

    Default

    I second the Onieda solution. I have a Dust Deputy Ultimate on a Festool vacuum. It is admittedly really expensive, but I love it. It is also kludgy, but despite it's looks, works well, and actually can use bags for the dust container, making cleanup much easier.

    I really wish Festool would integrate it in properly, instead of the add on route, but it's the best solution I know of.

    http://store.oneida-air.com/dust-deputy-festool.aspx

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    39

    Default

    As mentioned the cyclone separator is the way to go. I built mine myself from about 10 dollars worth of sheet metal from Lowes and plumbed in some PVC piping and ball valves for a central system. It works very well and virtually nothing gets through to the vac itself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wess
    I built mine myself
    I would love to see a picture of this. I bet others would, too. I made one, but eventually gave up on it as an everyday vac, as I wanted something made better than I had the patience to build. The performance was there, though.

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