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Old 12-19-2008, 02:34 PM
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Need a new shop vac

It's about over - and a burial service will be held shortly at the town transfer(dump!) station for my 23+ year old 16 gallon Craftsman shop vac. It has served its' time well - early in life my son filled it full of water several times cleaning out the boat of suspicious debris, neglecting to drain it as well as remove the filter - it rusted solid - plus a $17 filter each time. Then of course it has been set on fire, again early in its' life when cleaning out the wood stove we used to use - little damage - except another @#$% $17 filter - again, my son (yes, he did survive my occasional wrath and grew up and is now raising 3 'problems' of his own).

Now it's time to look for a new shop vac. I've seen 14-16 gallon versions from $79 to $600++. I don't want a pro level expensive vac - just a nice $90 - $125+/- vac that will survive an occasional 'incident'.

This brings up my question - another Crapsman? a Home Depot Rigid?? some other brand???.

What's the experience for some shop vacs?

Dave W

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Old 12-19-2008, 05:04 PM
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Dave, I kinda went overboard on my latest vacuum contraption but I love how it turned out. I HATE trying to empty shop vacs, the top opening is usually smaller than the body. I do woodwork and packed in sawdust is nasty to get out.

This is my final product. Holds a bunch of crap, is easy to change out the bag, and did not cost a fortune, not to mention a great conversation starter! And the dog is happy too! And you can buy a smaller, less expensive vacuum and turn it into a 40 gallon monster on wheels!





Here is how it all came about. The trash can needs to have steel banding inside to keep it from sucking down, but it's well worth the effort!

Full story here.

Mark
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:26 PM
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I have the Home Depot Rigid and it works great, plenty of suction, only draw back is the filter. You can replace them or blow them out, I use a smaller vac to clean it with no problem. Got it on sale just before newyears three years ago.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:15 PM
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How's the noise level? My Craftsman vac sounds like a 737 at WOT when I use it. Hearing protection is a must. I'm ready to toss it, and find something else. There has to be a replacement out there with a reasonable noise level. I just hope I can find it !!
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:59 PM
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I worked as a detailer unfortunately years ago. We used the big Ridged vacs hard and they never had the first hint of a problem.

I bought one and I love it.. You can't beat it for the money.
It is pretty loud though..
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:08 AM
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Mark - That is really some contraption you have - I do like the idea of just changing out a plastic bag as I too make a fair amount of wood dust. It does need to be a bit more portable then I believe you is though. I do have a big JET dust collector for my wood tools when I decide to use it but it is a real PITA to clean so usually just use my shop vac to clean my wood dust mess. Is that Shop Vac brand doing a good job??

Sounds like the Rigid does a good job - and yes, my ancient Craftsman too does sound like a 737 at WOT, so maybe I'll listen to whichever I buy (plus check replacement filter pricing - $17+ a shot is hard to swallow just on general principle - even though I do clean it as well)

Dave W
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:35 AM
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Dave, the Shop vac is very quiet compared to what I had. It works very well! I looked at the Ridgid but chose this one only because I could cut off the bottom easily and have a nice round area to mount to the trash can lid.

I too have a Jet DC and emptying bags is pain. I use it on my table saw and drum sander. The shapers get the shop vac because of the ease of just pulling out the trash bag, no fuss no muss. The filters are washable so they do last quite a while. Plus HD sells an aftermarket filter for them too. I change out the filter maybe a couple of years, unless like you, I suck up a hot coal from my pot belly stove!

Mark
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
I change out the filter maybe a couple of years, unless like you, I suck up a hot coal from my pot belly stove!

Mark
Is that when it turns into a wet vac?
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:57 AM
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I have a rigid shop vc and honestly have forgotten how much I paid for it whcih has served me welll..I got some extra hose so I can reach the entire inside of a car without moving the vac..I even rigged a Dewalt sander with a vac attachment to it for sanding drywall and that worked out well..Only vac I have..

Sam
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:20 AM
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I have the ShopVac 14 gallon and it works great for me. What I don't like about all of them is the base is smaller than the top and they tip over easily, especially when I'm inside a car vacuuming .

Vince
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Old 12-20-2008, 04:40 PM
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For those interested in a quiet vac look at the Fein models, they are about the quietest things out there but are more expensive than a typical shopvac. First time I heard one in action was at a woodworking show where the guy was running one hooked to a 6" ROS sanding a board having a conversation with me in a normal tone of voice & not shouting. I wound up getting the mini turbo which I hook to a ROS, belt sander, & also cleaning out the foam filters on the home AC. Much more pleasant to run than the 747 winding up for takeoff ie the 25 gal shopvac.
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