Dust Collection: Portable Dust Collection Cart with Noise Reduction & Dust Separator using Shop Vac

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Project by Paul Briggs posted 04-07-2016 01:48 PM 4495 views 11 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a dust collection cart that I made for my small workshop that serves multiple purposes:

o It provides a handy portable working surface of various shop projects

o It serves as my primary means of vacuuming dust from the floor and work surfaces

o It includes a dust separator made from a Dust Deputy that separates out 95+% of the wood dust into an easily removable container (and allows the shop vac to continue to produce maximum suction)

o It includes a noise reduction system for the shop vac that significantly muffles the shop vac noise (-10 dB)

o It has power outlets on both sides of the cart (one is switched)

o It allows easy connection of a vacuum hose to various woodworking tools in the shop to suck up most of the dust at the source of dust generation, including:

- Radial arm saw

- Kreg pocket screw jig

- Circular saw

All parts used are off-the-shelf parts. No specialty parts are needed.

I used a Ridgid WD1450 14-gallon 6 HP shop vac (available from Home Depot for $99). It has great reviews and provides excellent suction.

My source of inspiration for the noise reduction came from the following two links by Mr. Schrunk:

How To Silence Your Shop Vac

Build a Simple Box to Muffle Your Shop Vac (be sure to view the video and listen to the difference the noise reduction system makes)

The acoustical noise reduction padding that Mr. Schrunk used is expensive, and I decided to use some egg crate foam padding that I had in storage. You really don’t have to have any padding in the box to get a significant noise reduction (I don’t think the egg crate foam padding added that much to the noise reduction). Note that I did not get anywhere near the noise reduction that Mr. Schrunk got, but it is still perfectly fine for my purposes.

More detail for this project can be found at an Instructable that I wrote for this project:

6 comments so far

View Ben's profile


98 posts in 1510 days

#1 posted 04-07-2016 02:49 PM

Wow that’s too funny – I’m just finishing up something very similar. I like your design a lot!

View MikeL24's profile


2 posts in 1052 days

#2 posted 04-07-2016 02:56 PM

Thanks for this. I am going to put it on my to-do list.

View htl's profile


4471 posts in 1432 days

#3 posted 04-08-2016 02:44 AM

I boxed the vac but not the cyclone, it’s to pretty to hide away was my thought and you didn’t .
Great job!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22054 posts in 3378 days

#4 posted 04-11-2016 12:29 AM

Thanks for the inspiration to get going and build my down draft box. I just finished it and mentioned your project in my reply to the comments!! In looking at yours again, I have my vac and 30 gal.barrel in the corner and might be able to build a roll around cart to house them and put the down draft box on top!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View wmlaveck's profile


26 posts in 3423 days

#5 posted 08-13-2016 12:01 AM

Will this cause extra heat on the vac motor?

-- If I ever turn up missing, check the garage.

View Paul Briggs's profile

Paul Briggs

4 posts in 1344 days

#6 posted 08-13-2016 02:22 PM


No, it does not cause extra heat on the vac motor. The opening in the bottom rear of the enclosure allows the shop vac exhaust air to exit freely and the shop vac operates normally without overheating.

I’m going to refer to another Instructable for a more detailed discussion:

excerpt from Step 5

A Note on the Enclosure and Heat

“But won’t the motors overheat if they are in an enclosure,” I hear you cry. Hold on there, vacuum motors are something of a special case when it comes to cooling. They blast all the air that they suck in through the motor windings (after passing it through a filter to remove the dirt). So long as any subsequent filters (post-motor filters) remain unblocked, this system works perfectly, and means that vacuum motors can be much smaller than they would otherwise be, and wrapped in a convenient insulative plastic case. Incidentally, this is why vacuum motors make very poor motors if we try and re-purpose them for anything other than air moving applications.

For the DS this means that we need to keep a reasonable exit path open for the air being pumped out of the motor, and that we can expect warm to hot air to be travelling this path (step 11 & 14 deals with this). But it also means that we don’t have to worry about trying to blow in cool air to pass over the motor, the vacuums themselves do a very good job of that already. Almost all vacuums are fitted with a heat sensitive safety switch, that will cut power if the motor is overheating. If yours has not, it is probably worth adding one, or finding a different vacuum to use.

Will this cause extra heat on the vac motor?

- wmlaveck

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