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Convert a vacuum cleaner motor into an air blower.

For:
Leaf blowing
Hair drying
Bernoulli ball tricks
Fire blowing
Flame throwing (to be added later)
And more probably...

Step 1: Parts List

One redundant vacuum cleaner
One aluminium lamp shade
Nuts and bolts
3-core mains cable
Resin for glass-fibre
A T-shirt
Epoxy glue
Assorted screws
A drill
Heavy ring-pulls
Bag-straps
Various ad-hoc bits and pieces

Step 2: The Clockwork

The vac' broke.
The front-end beater & brush assembly failed and the drive-belt snapped.
The vac was replaced.
So I had a spare electric air-pump. The machine was deigned for sucking, the blow just went to waste. Trying to block-up the exhaust vents and divert the output wasn't much good because the case was leaky. Also I'd got a big redundant bag-space and handle.
I took the whole thing apart and stripped out the essentials.
I'm not going to tell you how to take a vac' apart any more than: use a screwdriver and break things.
So I extracted the motor and fan unit, plus the TRIAC speed control, on-off switch and the variable resistor which links into the TRIAC.

Step 3: The Motor

(View picture)
The motor sucks air in the back, and vents it out the front.
Depending upon your perspectve, this either cools the motor or heats the air.
It's a friction-fit, with a rubber band. I needed a new case, and after a few weeks patience found the aluminium lampshade.
I've added 90' angle-brackets to space the motor from the metal-case, but there's still the friction-fit.
The motor was bulked-up with double-sided foam pads and tape, finished with the original rubber band.
A tight-fit, requiring much pushing and finger-work but just right.

Step 4: Rear-end Casing

The friction-fit worked, and the motor could be securely crammed into the aluminium case.
But I needed an ad-hoc air-filter and somewhere to mount the controls.
Mirroring the front-end, I made a resin case using the aluminium shell as a mould / former.
A piece of T-shirt was wrapped and soaked in resin, using the minimum of hardener. This meant that the shell took a long time to set, but remained fairly soft for peeling-away. If I'd used more hardener to produce a crispier-shell it may well have cracked when peeling-off. One hacksaw cut and a blunt knife removed this quite easily (looks nasty because I added tissue to absorb stickyness)
The shell was re-applied to the lamp-shade and a T-shirt sleeve added over the top, more resin, more hardener = hard shell
A bit of cutting and sanding and I had something nice

For the air-filter I used the other sleeve, gathered-up and secured in place with more resin. folding the seams over gives strength.
I am certain that I took photos of the air filter, but I can't seem to find them. Hope you're smart enough to work it out from what's here...

Step 5: Electrics

I mounted all the electrics on the resin shell, a bit of drilling and screwing and they were assembled nicely.
I used the two terminal block connectors to secure the variable resistor, and backed-up with some epoxy glue
This was to some extent a trial and error business with trials of a lot of screws.
(see annotated pictures)

Step 6: Final Assembly

The mains cable is already in place, but beforehand I fashioned an earth connector for the aluminium case. This is to obviate anyone pointing to risks of electrocution, because If I thought that the shell would become live I wouldn't have built it in this way (it shouldn't be necessary, just a precaution)
I've also sprayed the case with metallic paint
The resin rear-end portion is a simple friction-fit, and required a fair-amount of whacking to force on. Still it's not going to come off easily...

Step 7: Done

A few bag-straps, and you're in business.
Here I've attached the original vac' tube, but I have plans for a flame-thrower...

I tried photos with this on me, but they didn't show it off as well as this one.
How very &quot;<strong>Rocketeer</strong>&quot;! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102803/ ) Also, add some leather and brass and you definitely have a SteamPunk S'more extinguisher.
Looks awesome, Making me think about how I'd build one.<br><br>I'd like to point out that it's not even close to 1200w, that number may have been on the side of the vacuum but it's marketing bs. I worked for an insulation company. The blower was a realistic 1800w and it could move 1200lb (544kg) of cellulose in an hour, up 20ft (6m). <br>Admittedly I did skim it so I could have missed you pointing that out.
<br> I don't understand your comment. I read 1200W as power-consumption, but I can't quite link that to 1200lb (544kg) of cellulose in an hour, up 20ft (6m)?<br> <br> L<br>
I was just pointing out that your motor claims it can draw 1200w but if it ever did it would instantly melt. The blower motor we used draws 1800w when running and it's 10* as powerful as a vacuum.<br><br>http://www.krendlmachine.com/products/other-equipment/blowers/187<br><br>It's a through blower, so it ingests cellulose insulation and blows it through a tube. <br><br>It's non consequential, I was just pointing out how ridiculous the marketing has got.
<br> I do not have a problem with a 5A motor, and I don't see how 5A would &quot;instantly melt&quot; much.<br> What are you talking about?<br> <br> L<br>
I have a 12 amp Eureka vacuum motor, I don't know what you're talking about either, VadimS. It can pull ME and my brother and it outputs 1.85 horsePOWER in one little tiny shaft.... Power = 115v x12 amps = 1380 watts <br>1 hp = 768 ( Im pretty sure) which 1.8 hp. 1200 watts is not 5 amps, it is 10 amps. 1380 watts is 1.8 hp and 12 amps. That's how powerful mine is anyway..
Thanks.<br><br>When you relate amperage to power you need to use voltage too. I'm running on 50Hz 240V (RMS), so 5A is 1200W. <br>But I only said it was 1200W.<br><br><br><br>L
I know. The guy said that 1200 watts would melt.... I have had AC motors from vacuums and other appliances that used 240 and 115... Btw, I didn't know that 240 ran on 50Hz.
Yeah, it's important when taking things overseas, it affects the way some devices behave power-wise.<br><br>L
And I'm assuming that it's alot easier to make 240 volts at their power plants for less amperage..
It's not easier to make 240v, it's just easier to transmit. The more amps you have, the hotter the circuit can get. so if you run 240v through a line, you can transmit the same amount of power in a wire twice as thin.
Oh. I gotcha, Thanks for clarifying. I suppose you need much stronger motors (generators) to even generate 240 volts. <br>
I suppose you would... but the cost of the generator would be easily outweighed by the cost of the extra copper needed to transmit it.
You could probably make a flamer by hooking up the outlet to a carbeurator.
lol, car jokes...
Yus.
oohhhhhhh
who evan has this kind of stuff \
Yes, it works just fine. There <em>was</em> talk of turning it into a rocket-pack (with fuel) but that wasn't my idea and I'm not even going to try.<br/>I intend to see what it's like for blowing a fire next weekend<br/><br/>L<br/>
please try make a jet pack
i have just gotta say this, ahem, "this really looks like it blows" ha, it looks and from what it sound like really dose blow. I like the resin t shirt trick, and it doubling as a filter. did you get the lamp shade at IKEA?
This was very good at enhancing a wood-fire, very good indeed L
I would bloody imagine, think it would be any good at super provoking thermite?? :p
Might blow the thermite into a big cloud of dust! Thermite doesn't need air, but I'd like to try blowing some coke or charcoal for melting metals. L
I used coke and an old vacuum cleaner motor in my diy foundry and was able to melt iron with ease.
It would probably work extremely well for that.
Well, this has given me an idea of what to do with the two toy plastic vacs with 1600w and 1800w motors sitting doing nothing... :D Although, if I want a blower (say, for inflating my little rubber boat) in less than 2 minutes, I just use one of my Kirbys with the hose on the bag-outlet and the air filter on the front... :P
What's a Redundant Vacuum Cleaner?
There's a bit of an explanation in step 2, but alternatively "surplus to requirements", "of no use (as a vacuum cleaner)". L
i see that you used can opuning things on the strap, very smart
Heavy ring-pulls off food cans, and two each. They were very handy. L
Good work man, I have been aching to experiment with rag fibreglass but havn't had anything to fabricate. Quick! Make that into a jet engine.
Great job lemonie! It almost looks like the device from <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102803/">The Rocketeer</a>! Have you dared yet to strap it on and power it up? :)<br/>

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Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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