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Soup Up Your Shop Vacuum Sterling VA

Most shop vacuums are big and powerful, like SUVs. These vacuums have tons of suction power for cleaning the mess on your floor, but their standard hoses and fittings are way too big to use with portable power tools.

The Home Depot
(703)444-2900
46261 Cranston Way
Sterling, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(703)726-2883
21421 Shellhorn Road
Ashburn, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Dunlap Woodcrafts
(703) 631-5147
14600 G. Flint Lee Rd
Chantilly, VA

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(703)591-6808
3201 Old Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(703)205-1245
2815 Merrilee Drive
Fairfax, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(703)435-0778
1651 Reston Parkway
Reston, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(703)327-3517
25000 Riding Plaza
Chantilly, VA
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Vienna Hardwoods
(703) 255-9663
241 Mill Street Northeast
Vienna, VA

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(301)634-3726
7111 Westlake Terrace
Bethesda, MD
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(301)330-4900
15740 Shady Grove Road
Gaithersburg, MD
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

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Soup Up Your Shop Vacuum

Soup Up Your Shop Vacuum

Had enough dust? Hook up to any portable power tool with this set of accessories.

by George Vondriska

Most shop vacuums are big and powerful, like SUVs. These vacuums have tons of suction power for cleaning the mess on your floor, but their standard hoses and fittings are way too big to use with portable power tools. There’s no way you’re going to attach a stiff, heavy, 2-1/4-in. hose to a random-orbit sander! You need accessories that are small, lightweight and nimble, like a sports car. With this set of options, you can hook up nearly any workshop vacuum to any portable power tool. What a difference!  No more choking sawdust—it’s definitely the way to go.

Versatile Hose

Super-flexible, long, lightweight and small in dia-meter—that’s what you’re looking for in a hose. This 1-1/4-in. hose from Shop Vac weighs less than 2 lbs., runs 18 ft. long and bends easily. The end that fits into your vacuum’s tub is a standard 2-1/4-in. straight sleeve. 

Tool-Actuated Switch

This convenient gadget will really turn you on. Actually, it’s your vacuum that automatically turns on whenever you fire up a power tool. Plug the Craftsman Automatic Power Switch into an outlet; then plug the tool and vacuum into the switch. It works just like the tool-actuated switch on a high-end vacuum. The vacuum starts up with the tool and runs an additional 2 to 3 seconds to clear the hose after you’ve turned off the tool. The switch is rated to handle a total of 15 amps for the vacuum plus a tool. 

Finer Filter

The smallest dust particles are the largest health hazard. To best capture sanding dust, switch from a standard filter to a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This CleanStream HEPA-grade fabric filter doesn’t clog as easily as a paper HEPA filter and can be cleaned with water. These filters are machine-specific, so you’ll need to buy one that fits your vacuum’s make and model. 


Hose Adapters

Chances are every power tool in your shop has a different size of dust port, right? It’s time to buy a set of hose adapters. These two from Fein should be good for most situations.

- Cut the step adapter to custom-fit the inside or outside diameter of a dust port. The large end fits on the hose; the small end has a 7/8-in. inside diameter and 1-1/16-in. outside diameter at the taper’s end.

- The flexible rubber sleeve connects to a dust port that has approximately the same outside diameter as the end of the hose—about 1-1/4 in. 


Hose Clips

These handy clips from Fein bind together your tool’s power cord and a 1-1/4-in. vacuum hose. Five clips are usually enough for an 18-ft. hose. 


This story originally appeared in  American Woodworker October 2005, issue #117.

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