How To Convert An Old Shop-Vac Into A Dust Collector

After many years of abuse, my old Shop-Vac was finally dying. So I bought a new one a decided to convert the old one into a dust collection bin. In this article I will show you the steps I took to create a dust collector that hooks up to the new Shop Vac.

Step 1: Prepare the old Shop-Vac

  • I removed the wheels
  • Cut-off the power cord
  • Covered all the holes with duct tape to create a vacuum.
  • Tried to remove the engine but in the end decided to keep it because it was i) difficult to remove and ii) it was connected to the output hole
Covering all the air leaks with duct tape
Covering all the air leaks with duct tape
All the air leaks are sealed with duct tape
All the air leaks are sealed with duct tape

Step 2: Assembly required

  • I used ABS tubes to merge the two Shop-Vacs together
ABS pipes needed to merge the two Shop-Vacs together
ABS pipes needed to merge the two Shop-Vacs together

Step 3: Testing the system

  • Once I hooked up the two machines and turned on the new Shop-Vac, I noticed many air leaks in the old machine. So I covered up all the leaked with more duct tape
  • Tested the strength of the vacuum and the collection of dust
  • All works well
The new Shop-Vac creates a vacuum in the old Shop-Vac
The new Shop-Vac creates a vacuum in the old Shop-Vac
Testing the strength of the vacuum with the dust collection bin
Testing the strength of the vacuum with the dust collection bin
Dust collection system working well
Dust collection system working well

UPDATE: 1 Year Later

After using this system for almost one year now, I must say that I really like it. Although it’s more cumbersome to have 2 shop-vac units in my small garage, it nevertheless provides¬†more range.¬†I can usually leave the engine-part at one place and simply move the dust bin-part around.

I will need to replace the duct tape because it’s starting to dry out and peel off… which weakens the vacuum.

Overall, it’s also saving me money because I don’t need to buy bags all the time. Imagine how many bags I would have needed to fill this much dust…

Shop vac dust bin

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About araz

I'm an ex research scientist, now building electric guitars :)

2 thoughts on “How To Convert An Old Shop-Vac Into A Dust Collector

    1. Thanks Steven.

      After using it for a few months now, I can say that it works very well. But you really need to plug all the possible air leaks to create an efficient vacuum.

      Take care, Araz

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