Introduction: Parts Vacuum Retrieval System (PVRS)

About: I am a Real Estate Investor, Promoter, Inventor and Musician More details at:

If you are like me, you spill things like nuts and bolts and small parts. If they are magnetic, you can pick them up with a magnet along with the other magnetic items such as sharp shredded metal shavings! Then you have the chore of separation of the parts and the sharp metal. "OOOOUUCH!!.. Where's the Bandaid??

"If they are made of rubber, plastic, or non-magnetic metal such as brass, copper or stainless steel, you can just sweep them up along with all the dust and dirt in a dust pan! You end up hand picking out your now dirty parts, which may now have to be cleaned!

Today I documented my first prototype of the PVRS which anyone can duplicate and improve for their own needs!

I personally love it and plan on making a smaller more portable commercial version. (Retrieve-It ™ Patent Pending)

Step 1: Acquire 5 Gallon Bucket and Lid

I used a Home Depot bucket and lid but Lowes or equivalent will work fine!

Step 2: Find a Mesh Basket That Fits in Bucket

I was lucky! I found a mesh basket at a garage sale that fit exactly in the bucket with the rim resting on top of the top edge of the bucket. A bucket that fits below the top of the bucket would be better and you may be able to skip the bucket lid modification steps. With this mesh basket, I could have cut the basket shorter losing the nice rim, but opted in modify the plastic bucket lid instead.

Step 3: Modify Bucket Lid

  1. Cut out the center row seal of the bottom of the bucket lid. Use a Dremel cutter and router attachment (or sharp cutter). Trim out as much plastic as possible to leave space for gasket material.
  2. Cut a 2 1/4 " hole using a circle cutter in the center of the lid.

Note: Check what vacuum attachment diameter you need. These sizes may vary.

Step 4: Cut Hole in Bucket

  • Using a circle cutter, cut a 2 1/4" hole or size that fits your vacuum fittings.

Step 5: Seal and Add Fittings

To ensure that the PVRS works efficiently, there should not be any vacuum leaks. This is my first prototype and I wanted to "get it done quickly!" I used rubber "peel and stick" insulation that I had in my shop. You can use anything that works! Silicone? Gasket material?

I "jury rigged" the fittings on this one and plan to modify this one later with commercial fittings. There are fittings available at

Step 6: Assemble and Attach to Vacuum

  • Hook up the exhaust (output) hose to the shop vacuum and attach the vacuum inlet hose.

You will note that I have a 1 1/2" hose with a 2 1/4" reducer. Unfortunately, this vacuum hose was the only one I had available in my shop. A 2 1/4" diameter hose without the reducer should make the PVRS even better by allowing a better airflow for better suction power and the ability to retrieve larger parts.