Introduction: Dust Free Sanding Using a Storage Container
This is a super simple DIY that can be finished in a single weekend, with stuff you might already have laying around your workshop. Apart from the dust port, I built this using stuff I had leftover from previous projects. Besides being really fun to make, this increases the safety of my shop tremendously by keeping the harmful dust that gets kicked up while sanding out of the air. This project also can also double a vacuum forming table.
1/2 In Plywood
120 Grit Sandpaper
Step 1: Sizing the Hose Clamp
Slide the Hose Clamp over the dust port and tighten it so it's snug to the base of the dust port, but can easily slide off.
Step 2: Centering the Dust Port
Using a mold line already on the container as a guide, line up and center the dust port. Using a sharpie, mark out out the top and bottom holes and connect them to make a vertical center line. Using the hose clamp, center it using the guides and trace out the shape.
Step 3: Making the Hole
After heating up the hose clamp using an electric stove top, grab the hose clamp with pliers to not burn yourself and melt a hole in the container using the circle we drew earlier. Be mindful of the barrel of the hose clamp as it will melt through the box and ruin the shape of the circle. I wasn't paying attention and that is exactly what happened to me. It's not too big of a deal, but we'll have to cover it later on
I chose to melt the hole as opposed to drilling because the polypropylene material that the container is made of tends to shatter when drilled.
Step 4: Gluing and Clamping
Apply a generous amount of E6000 adhesive to the dust port flange and clamp it into the hole. Let the adhesive cure for a full 24 hours.
Step 5: Making the Top
While waiting for the E6000 to cure, I made the top for the container. I glued up 4 pieces of 1/8th in plywood I had laying around my shop and applied some weight to ensure it laid flat. You can skip this step if you use 1/2 in plywood.
Step 6: Cutting the Top to Size
After measuring the lid of the container, I marked out and cut the plywood top to size using my bandsaw and miter saw. A table saw or circular saw would have been a better choice to do this however I don't have any of those so I used what I had. One handy tip is to apply painters tape to the under side of the piece you are cutting to reduce any tear out.
Step 7: Rounding the Corners of the Top
The container I used had a rounded corner on it's lid so I had to knock the corners off of the plywood to get it to fit. In order to get a snug fit I traced the profile of the corner on a piece of paper and transferred it to the plywood. I used my disc sander to get right up to the line. Once that is done, the plywood top should fit perfectly into the lid.
Step 8: Attaching the Top to the Lid
Using more E6000 adhesive, I permanently attached the plywood to the top of the lid. I applied some heavy weight to it to ensure it laid flat.
Step 9: Masking and Applying Silicone
I applied masking tape to the perimeter of the lid and the plywood top. This ensured that the silicone would only get into the groove between them. I applied silicone inside the entire groove and smoothed it out using my finger that I dipped in water. While the silicone is still wet, remove the masking tape to reveal a clean caulk line.
Step 10: Sealing the Hole
In order to create a seal around the hole and the dust port, apply silicone around the perimeter. Using my finger dipped in water I smoothed out the silicone.
Step 11: Attaching the Drilling Template
After finding the center of my top I attached a drilling template I made using spray adhesive. These are 1/4 in holes spaced 1 inch apart .
Step 12: Drilling All the Holes
Using a 1/4 in drill bit in my drill press, I drilled out all of the holes. In total there were 117!
Step 13: Sanding the Container
In order to give the silicone something to grab onto, lightly sand the lip of the container using 120 grit sandpaper.
Step 14: Creating a Silicone Seal
Add a thick bead of silicone around the entire perimeter of the box and allow it to fully cure. This will act as a seal between the container and the lid.
Step 15: Testing It Out
With the silicone fully cured, the only thing left to do was to try it out. Place the lid on the container and secure it with the snaps. Attach the hose from your shop vac and turn it on. For a comparison you can see the dust left on the surface without the suction turned on and with it on. As you can see it it virtually dust free.
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