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silencing the shop vac

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  • silencing the shop vac

    In my quest for happy neighbours, that are not too happy about my shop vac, I found a link like this for a silencing box:
    Check out the "muffler box" at this URL:

    The problem is it won´t open for some reason. The thing is, I can keep the shop vac turned off while scrolling as suggested somtimes before, then once in a while do some cleaning with it. Still, I also need to use my handheld electric sander and that really needs the shop vac to be connected and turned on. So all in all, the shop vac may be running for an hour or two a couple of times in the week and my neighbours don´t like it. Now, they are real nice people, and I really don´t want to annoy them. At the same time I don´t have any other place to do my tinkering than my "home shop" (that´s my kitchen), so I need to do something about the noise. That´s why I did some searching on the net, but the only silencing chamber for DIY guys I could find was this link...and it won´t open for me.

    Any other links with "muffler enclosures" you´ve run into with projects that look like they might work? I´d be happy for any links and good advice. This noise problem is a tricky one.

  • #2 There is a true muffler for a shopvac, and its even on clearance.

    If its a muffling box you must have, I have heard that enclosing it in a plywood box,covered with a thick carpet will silence it. Thats the reason I dont use mine as often as I should. The thing is so noisy!In fact, I have a little tiny one gallon capacity one that seems as loud as my big 5hp one that holds 30 gallons. And to buy a quiet shop vac like a fein almost requires a second morgage. Sorry I dont have plans for you, but a plywood box covered with carpet shouldnt be to hard to build. Dale
    Dale w/ yella saws


    • #3

      The 'solution' is, as you may have guessed, is $$$.

      A shop Vac is a shop vac. It is not a dust collector. What you need is a Dust Collector which is as loud as a forced air furnace. About the same motor, and a beefier squirrel cage blower to handle the wood chips from power tools. There is a special air cleaner just for tools that are mostly sanding dust; this cleaner is different from a D.C.

      WoodCraft, Grizzly, and Jet, have them for sale. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby they also have them. Low end, with two bags is about $200 USD.



      • #4
        Have you thought of the box fan and furnace filter trick for your scrolling dust? There's a thread somewhere here about that.

        I use my shop vac (Fein) to clean up after I'm done, sometimes , but don't feel the need to run it continuously while scrolling.

        And while the Fein is quieter than most shop vacs, it is definitely NOT quiet....
        ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

        D. Platt


        • #5
          The only reliable way to keep mine quiet is turn it off. I have a muffler, but it isn't as good as the one linked to above. Mine is an actual Shop Vac accessory that plugs on the outflow and has something of a baffle but not much. It might cut the noise by a third. As others have said, you really don't need to be running it constantly while sawing. As a semi-related note, I use my Shop Vac attached to my Porter Cable circular saw with phenominally good results (rivals a Festool in cleanliness). I bought a auto power switch from Sears (not kept in stock; had to web order for local pick up) for $20 that automatically powers up the Shop Vac when I use the saw and shuts it off when I am done. Without it, I would either leave the Shop Vac on longer than necessary or not use it.

          I have also heard of people using variable speed controls on big shop vacs to make them quieter but still have enough suction for light jobs like this, but this is purely second hand.


          • #6
            to silent the Shopvac

            The muffler that comes with the Shopvac (as an accessory) is useless.
            My advice: Build your own muffler and discard the one that came with your Shopvac.

            You need 2 1/4" PVC pipes like those you would use for central vacuum and PVC glue.

            1 - elbow
            1 - foot of strait tube (sold by foot)
            1 - 2 1/4" to 4" dia. fitting
            1 - 4" pipe about 1 foot long
            1 - 1" tick foam

            Roll 1 layer of foam into the 4" tube (hot glue it into the tube). Add the fitting on top. Add 2" of strait pipe on the fitting. Add the Elbow to the strait pipe. Connect the Elbow directly in the Shopvac exhaust and divert the 4" pipe to the ground. The 4" pipe should be 2" above from the ground.

            You may use ABS to but it is more heavy. For ABS, use ABS glue. If pipes don't fit exacly your Shopvac or the 4" pipe, use a heatgun to soften the plastic and reshape it to your need. ABS and PVC are not exactly the same size. You may mix and match using the heatgun to reshape the parts (this is what I did).

            I gave the part list and lenght as an indication. Your setup might be different. On the pictures, I used larger 6" ABS pipe because I got it for free and size was not an issue because as it went onto the cenntral vac. For Shopvac, you should use 4". Prefer PVC as it is lighter.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by boogatoo; 02-14-2006, 07:42 PM. Reason: Added pictures


            • #7
              Wow boog, do you have some kind of a rough sketch somewhere you could share of that? Im visualizing what your saying, and my mental gears are turning. A picture would really make it all make sense to me, like maybe, just maybe theres a chance I can quiet my vac down enough to where I actually use it once in a while.
              (do me a favor, dont EVER mention my name and a vaccuum cleaner in the same sentance around my wife, I dont need her getting any bright ideas!! ) Dale
              Dale w/ yella saws


              • #8
                I added pictures in my original post

                Hi, lucky788scroller
                At your request, I added the images in my original post. Check it out.
                A muffler cost 30$ in Montreal. I made mine for less than 5$.

                For the pipes, you can go at any D.I.Y stores and will sell left overs lenght of pipes for almost nothing. For the fom, I took it from a computer board package (it does the job even if it is ugly and it is hidden in the pipe). Fittings are about 2$ each.

                Now I am busy on a design for someting that will muff my farts. It will also contain activated charcoal to take care of the smell. This will enhance my relationship with my wife at sleeping time.
                Last edited by boogatoo; 02-14-2006, 06:21 AM.


                • #9
                  thanks boog, but i cant find the pix
                  Dale w/ yella saws


                  • #10
                    I don't know what happenned, I will post them again tonight.

                    I don't know what happenned. Probably I uploaded them but forgot to hit the <Submit> button. hopefully I'll have more luck when I will post them again tonight.


                    • #11
                      The pics are now there for the ShopVac muffler

                      The pics are now there. Go back to my previous post in this thread and you will find the attached pictures for the ShopVac muffler.


                      • #12
                        Please do us a favor though and don't post any pics of your fart suppresor. I don't even want to see what that looks like.

                        Cool idea for the shop vac though.


                        • #13
                          I would be interested in your fart supressor when it's done. They don't call us senior citizens "old farts" for nothing!



                          • #14
                            Thanks boog!! It looks simple enough even a dummy like me can figger it out!! Dale
                            Dale w/ yella saws


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