Taming My Shop Vac

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I very often found myself searching the garage for the end attachments to my shop vac or tripping over the hose and wand extensions because the wand and hose had no secure "home", needing to be propped up/wedged against something in the garage in order to keep it out of the way and off the floor when not in use. I decided to make some attachments to keep them all secure and always rolling along with the vac itself. A quick (less than 2 hours) and inexpensive solution (parts cost me less than $9)!

Step 1: Location, Location, Location.

I used an arbitrary spacing from the top edge of the vac canister of 2.50 inches and then set hole spacing at the (circumference / # tools to house), in my case, 35 inches circumference divided by 5 (4 tools plus wand), or 7.00". I used a piece of paracord and a marker to locate the spacing for the holders. Pay attention to the location of your vac's handles and feet, you may need to fudge the spacing a bit to avoid blocking placement of the tools you have. Also, you want to locate the PVC extension for the wand above one of the vac's feet so the wand doesn't drag the floor.

Step 2: Locating Mounting Holes

I used #8-32 machine screws, lock washers and stop nuts to attach the PVC couplers (5 x 1.25") to the shop vac canister. I first drilled 5/32" through-holes in the PVC couplers using the bar code for spacing. Placing pieces of Post-it notes over the holes in the coupler I ran my grimy fingers over the paper to create an impression of the hole spacing for each individual coupler, thus avoiding the need for precise measurements. I then simply stuck the Post-it note hole guide in line with the location markers made earlier. I decided to offset my tool holders at an angle to the floor by using a sliding T-bevel. I numbered each coupler and their corresponding holes to ensure proper alignment later. I then drilled the corresponding mating holes.

Step 3: Attach the Tool Holders

Having an offset screw driver finally paid off! Using the offset screwdriver to hold the screw in position, I used a ratchet wrench to tighten the stop nut and lock washer. The finished set up was now secure and ready to use.

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