Introduction: Micro Vacuum Attachments

About: I'm cheap and like to use what I have on hand and I really enjoy taking things apart to salvage parts. Rather than be a precise engineering type of person, I'm more of an enthusiastic tinkerer. Making things i…

I have a Shop-Vac that has been very handy. I've seen these micro vacuum tips that allow you to vacuum out small confined areas in the store but could never really justify spending $25 on small plastic tubes I would use once a year at most. But then a few days after reading zieak'sfunnel Instrutable a way to make my own micro vacuum tips popped into my head. This Ible will show you how to make the base for your own micro vacuum attachments. It is my intention that as I develop more micro attachments that I'll add them to this Ible.

Step 1: Materials

At the heart of this project is the common everyday plastic pill bottle. You'll want to choose one that just fits over your Shop-Vac hose and that you get on a regular basis. This will provide you with many caps that will fit on the bottle so you can make several different attachments that can be quickly interchanged.

I chose to use a lamp nipple for a similar reason. Not only will it make a great small diameter tube for vacuuming, but you can screw things to it to create more attachments.

So now that I've given the rationale for the materials, here is the complete materials list:

  • 1 pill bottle with lid
  • 1 lamp nipple
  • 2 lamp nuts
  • E-6000 glue
  • 2 cork or rubber pads (optional and not pictured in this step)

Step 2: Tools

The tools I used for this project are as follows:

  • Drill press (hand drill should work fine)
  • 3/8" drill bit
  • Drill bit sizer
  • Dremel with cut off wheel
  • Spring clamp
  • Marker
  • Utility knife (not pictured)

Step 3: The Bottle

We need to cut the bottom off the bottle to make this attachment. Use a marker to mark where you want to cut the bottle. I did this by laying both the marker and the bottle on my work bench and rolling the bottle while it was in contact with the marker.

With this mark made I cut along the line using my Dremel and a cut off wheel. When the bottom was removed I cleaned the excess plastic off the edges with a utility knife.

I then tested the fit of the bottle over the end of my Shop-Vac hose. It was a little loose for my taste. The suction of the vacuum would hold it in place, but I wanted it a little snugger. To accomplish this I put two adhesive backed cork pads on the inside of the bottle. This tightened up the fit. (If you don't have little cork pads you could glue some bits of rubber inside the bottle).

Step 4: The Lid

To make the lid start by measuring the diameter of the pipe nipple using a drill bit sizer. Choose a bit that corresponds to the size of the nipple and load it in your drill press. Clamp the lid into your drill press and drill a hole in the center of it. Clean excess plastic away from the edges of the hole with your utility knife.

Once the hole is drilled thread one of the lamp nuts onto the nipple. Press the nipple up through the hole in the lid. Smear some E-6000 around the nipple where it protrudes through the lid. Then thread the second nut onto the nipple and tighten it down into the glue.

Once the glue has dried put the lid on the bottle and you are ready to vacuum.

Step 5: Simple Extension (added 9/26/2009)

I needed to extend the reach of my micro vacuum to clean out the area under my drill press. I did this by attaching a longer lamp nipple to the base with a coupler. (For demonstration purposes I used a short piece of lamp nipple. In reality I used a longer piece to actually vacuum.)

To make this extension you simply screw the coupler onto the base until it stops. Then screw the longer piece of lamp nipple into the coupler. See pictures below.