Shop Vac Silencer Cabinet

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Project by Eddy_1287 posted 07-23-2013 08:14 AM 45069 views 73 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I came across a YouTube video that inspired me to create this beast of a cabinet. The idea that you could quiet the constant drone of a shop vac intrigued me enough to attempt my hand at the project.

After constructing the cabinet itself, I went about designing a couple sound canceling/dampening boards. As this was completely experimental, I used two different baffling ideas to see if one worked better than the other, (one for the intake and one for the exhaust). You can see the intake port at the bottom of the front door and the exhaust is the black vent at the top. I was surprised on how well the cabinet works. You can actually hold a level toned conversation next to the cabinet without yelling.

Along with the accessory shelves, I also added Oneida’s Dust Deputy Cyclone in-line with the shop vac. It does an amazing job of depositing nearly 98% of the debris into a bucket before it gets to the vac.

The main construction of the cabinet is of 1/2in MDF and finished with a couple coats of my favorite colors, John Deere Green and Yellow!!!

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

19 comments so far

View Jason W. Fudge's profile

Jason W. Fudge

35 posts in 3063 days

#1 posted 07-23-2013 08:34 AM

Nice cart. Last week I picked up a Dust Deputy and I love it. About 30 min after using it, I knew it was worth the money spent. Then about ten min after that, I already started building a cart for it because I had read all the reviews about it tipping over and I was already annoyed. This puts mine to shame though.

How well does it dampen the noise? Also, have you checked to see if the reduction in airflow causes any over heating issues?

View rackjabbit's profile


53 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 07-23-2013 09:27 AM

I like it. Few sounds are more annoying than the constant sound of a vacuum.

-- Once the dust settles, breath and behold the beauty of the wood.

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 3358 days

#3 posted 07-23-2013 10:38 AM

Jason: I’ve also experience the tipping over problem as well. But the more crucial problem is the weakness is the lid. I’ve seen many improvement videos on YouTube, but this one is by far the best one I could find. I most likely will do this to mine some time in the future. ....see link below—

And to answer your question, I don’t have a sound meter or anything, but to compare before and after, I wouldn’t have been able to talk on the phone when it was on before. Now, I can put the phone on speaker and stay in my garage without any problems. It’s pretty funny actually; the loudest part of the system now is the suction noise from the hose. Never could hear that over the motor noise until now. And as for airflow problems, I haven’t seen any. Even though there are small intake ports on the motor itself, the motor actually gets most of its intake from the hose itself. And that isn’t restricted by the cabinet at all. I have noticed heat buildup within the cabinet for long durations, but that is inevitable.

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View XrayJay's profile


273 posts in 3259 days

#4 posted 07-23-2013 11:27 AM

Very nice and inspiring. Nice job all around, especially with color choice.

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3665 days

#5 posted 07-23-2013 03:43 PM

Great idea – I need to think about how to implement it in my situation. The shop vac is by far the most obnoxious thing in my shop. Thanks for triggering another project.

View BigMig's profile


655 posts in 3893 days

#6 posted 07-23-2013 03:45 PM

Genius ! That’s an upgrade most of us could use.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View Grumpymike's profile


2500 posts in 3595 days

#7 posted 07-23-2013 04:12 PM

What a great cart, and there are some John Deere stickers available that will go nicely with your color scheme.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View jasoncarpentry's profile


149 posts in 3934 days

#8 posted 07-23-2013 04:59 PM

Great job; how about a link to the You Tube video? I had always assumed that the only way to reduce noise was to use several layers of Styrofoam. I’d like to know more about the baffle system you used.

-- Jim in Tennessee

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 3358 days

#9 posted 07-23-2013 05:28 PM

Jasoncarpentry: Unless your talking about the link of the upgraded lid design, I haven’t made one particularly of this cabinet. I’ve taken a video of it running up but because of the camera I used, it really amplifies the sound. Maybe I’ll try making another video eventually to prove it works.

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View ToddJB's profile


8801 posts in 3410 days

#10 posted 07-23-2013 05:30 PM

Super cool. I, as well, would like to understand your baffle system better. I’m having a hard time understanding how it works. Is it just air exhaust from the shop vac? I thought your intake was from the hose.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 3358 days

#11 posted 07-23-2013 06:07 PM

Well after completing it, I did realize the intake baffle board was a waste of space. But it does suck in a small bit of air. If you ever look at a shop vac, obviously, you have the main hose that all the debris gets sucked into, but there is also small vent slots on the top of the motor housing that sucks in a bit of air. And that’s what I was hoping would be used for the intake baffle board. Unfortunately, I believe because I have the main exhaust ports cordoned off into the metal houses you see in the picture, a small bit of the exhaust does back flow through those intake slots, which sadly adds to the heat that builds up in the cabinet. I’m going to try and modify that in some time in the future.

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 3082 days

#12 posted 07-23-2013 07:54 PM

If I understand your setup correctly:
Take your intake baffle and turn it into an intake and exhaust baffle for the cabinet. Looks like you could block off half of it, then make a hole to the outside. Then mount a fan to the intake. The fan pushes air into the box through the intake baffle, and it then exits through the other half that is now an exhaust baffle.

The airflow required for this will be much less than that for the vacuum exhaust, so half of the intake baffle would still have more than enough flow. An old fan from a cpu or computer case and a 12V adapter would probably be enough, or you could find a more powerful fan, as more airflow would be a good thing. You might want to duct the intake so it’s coming out right on top of the vac motor since it looks like you’ve got plenty of room in there.

The other thing is you’ll be getting a lot of heat transfer through the dryer duct hose adding heat to the box. If you can cordon off those hoses (looks like there is room) or insulate them somehow (greatstuff???) it will also help with heat control.

Great idea!

View kimball's profile


323 posts in 4577 days

#13 posted 07-23-2013 07:57 PM

Great idea and well executed. Wish I had the room for one as well.

View CFrye's profile


11375 posts in 3119 days

#14 posted 07-23-2013 10:48 PM

Added to “THE LIST”!

-- God bless, Candy

View BenR's profile


341 posts in 3908 days

#15 posted 07-24-2013 02:11 AM

I am so jealous! The most obnoxious sound in my shop is my 1.5 horse dust collector, but the shop vac is second. I just cringe thinking about it. Kudos to you for doing something about it.

-- Ben in Va

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