Goodfellow posted an excellent how-to over at the ShopNGarage forum showing how to build a dust collection separator and water trap using a 5 gallon bucket and a few PVC pipes and fittings.
In his post, Goodfellow also describes how to use the separator as a fine dust trap. When collecting very fine material, such as sand or bead blasting media, filling the separator with 2″ of water will trap much of the dust, preventing excessive wear and damage to a shop vac.
Here is a link to the full how-to over at the ShopNGarage forum.
Credit goes to Goodfellow for the photos and for the great tutorial.
Update: The Shop N Garage forum is defunct, so the broken links have been removed. Sorry about that, this was out of our control.
You know what…..If someone would design a shop-vac using the principles in this post, you would never need a filter in your shop-vac. Imagine how convenient it would be to clean up drywall dust and water without ever having to take a filter out of the canister between cleanups. No more cleaning filters or buying replacements. No more removing the motor to empty the canister.
I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to design. Why hasn’t this been made yet? I wish I had some contacts in the prototype and manufacturing of something like this. I would be rich!
Of course there are.
Here is one after googling “water based vacuum cleaner”
And I am sure there are plenty more.
P.s – this is axactly the Arab Nargila (smoking device) works and a well know filtering mechanism.
I made a similar setup for dust collection in my shop. The problem i ran into was when I was cleaning up a large mess. The shop vac actually had enough power to crush the 5 gallon pale.
Sounds dumb but put it inside another bucket and it’ll quit collapsing.
I’ve just put together something like this, and found that the bucket gets crushed, how did you guys get past this problem?
I bought a kit years ago and the hose had an adjustable twisting opening to reduce suction to a reasonable level. Some sort of adjustment (air leakage) is necessary as shopvacs vary in power.
Crushing bucket problem. Did you know there are a few deferent types of buckets. Some have thinner walls. Most paint buckets you can get are the cheep ones. Best option is to Google 5 gallon buckets and buy the best grade bucket.
PS what a get vac you have that can crush a 5 gallon bucket. Post a video
Dumb question – do you leave the vac filter on even when using this water trap?
Uthscsaedu, most definately! Why take a chance and suck in dust into the vacuum motor with it off? Plus sooner or later you’re gonna forget it’s off when you disconnect it from the water trap for normal use, and then you’ll ruin the motor real quick. Just make sure the vac filter is clean when using with the water trap for maximum suction. Cheers.
I found a link to the how-to buy the same person. Not sure if it is proper to post this here, but I thought it might help some people.
Hi Chuck, thanks for the link! An updated post pointing to that link actually went up a few months ago (https://toolguyd.com/2011/01/how-to-make-a-sanding-blast-cabinet-fine-particle-dust-collection-separator/).
I thought I had updated this post to point to that one, but it looks like I didn’t.
You need to use a 90 mil thick bucket to avoid crushing.
Put some simple bracing inside the bucket. A skeletal frame made from dung.
To stop the bucket from collapsing under the suction of the vacuum, simply drill a few 1/4″ holes into the top cover of the bucket to allow additional air to go into the bucket. If used in a tight blasting environment, this also helps to trap the airborne dust particles directly. I use a very similar setup up, without the water, and using a small Rubbermaid trash can, in my wood shop to collect dust from my hand sanders. Nothing ends up in the shop vac. It too had to have the extra holes in the top to keep from collapsing the can.
SO ITS A BONG FOR YOUR SHOP
i had the crush bucket problem too…
my bucket is painted too. I will buy a white one!!!
or make these holes 1/4″
The wife came up with this! A 5 gal bucket and gasket snap lid. Two 45 degree pcv fittings. One through lid, other on side for vortex. Collapsed bucket.a
metal bucket at Lowe’s fit into the plastic no collapse
Use a “food grade” bucket. No more crushing!
In case anybody needs to view the archive copy of the original one. Please use this link.