This Instructable describes some creative ways to use your Shop Vac to connect to various pieces of equipment located throughout the shop.
I use three different vacuum hoses to connect to three different pieces of woodworking equipment:
- A circular saw (part of kit panel saw)
- A radial arm saw
- Kreg pocket screw jig
The three vacuum hoses that I use are:
- The original 2-1/4" hose that came with the shop vac
- A 12' premium crush resistant hose with accessories (~$33 from Lowe's)
- A Dust Right Universal small port hose kit (~$39 from Rockler)
Note: In a prior Instructable, I described how I built a portable dust collection cart with noise reduction and dust separator using a Ridgid shop vac. All photos in this Instructable show the vacuum hoses connecting to the vacuum port on the side of the dust collection cart, but all of the hoses will also connect directly to the connections on your shop vac.
When the various vacuum hoses and attachments are not in use, they may be compactly stored on the two hose storage components as shown in the last photo.
Step 1: Connecting to the Radial Arm Saw
My radial arm saw is positioned so that the rear portion of the saw is facing away from the primary working area of the garage.
The radial arm saw produces a lot of saw dust. After reviewing a lot of woodworking forum posts about how to capture the sawdust produced by the radial arm saw, I finally settled on a design that encloses as much of the blade as possible.
I followed the basic design of Jim Bertelson's radial arm saw dust collection system on the Lumberjocks forum:
I used electrical conduit PVC pieces (elbow and straight sections) to allow connecting the vacuum hoses to the radial arm saw.
To connect, I just hook up the Shop Vac vacuum hose to the cart and connect the other end to the straight PVC section clamped underneath my workbench. This provides a 3' pass-through for the suction to the rear of the workbench. I then use the Lowe's premium hose to connect from the straight section of PVC at the rear of the bench to the PVC elbow connection at the center rear of the radial arm saw. From there, the suction is passed directly to the narrow box that encloses the blade of the radial arm saw.
Ideally, I would be using a high flow dust collection system ($$$) to connect to the radial arm saw, but I have found that the shop vac does a pretty good job of capturing a lot, but not all, of the saw dust being produced by the radial arm saw.
Step 2: Connecting to the Kreg Pocket Screw Jig
To connect to the Kreg pocket screw jig (which is also located away from the main shop area), all I have to do is switch out the end adapter on the Lowe's hose and connect it directly to the jig. This set up captures most of the dust produced when drilling the pocket screw holes for the shop cabinet drawers that I've been making.
Step 3: Connecting to the Circular Saw or Other Portable Tools
Finally, when I need to connect the vacuum system to the circular saw (part of kit panel saw called a Swap Saw), I use the Rockler Dust Right universal Small port hose and connect it directly to the homemade dust shroud that I made. I really like how flexible this hose is. It does not capture all of the dust, but it captures a lot of it and greatly reduces the amount of saw dust that I need to clean up.
The Rockler Dust Right universal small port vacuum hose can also be connected to a wide variety of portable tools using its flexible adapters (sanders, etc.).
Note: I am not affiliated with Swap Saw or Dust Right in any way.