Loud Vacuum Solutions?

Hey all. Since moving into a townhome almost a year ago my poor xcarve has been sitting in the garage dormant. I’d really like to get it up and running again, so I’ve been researching soundproof enclosures. There seems to be a lot of resources on mill enclosures, but almost nothing about the vacuums. My shop vac is pretty loud. It seems like a lot of work to create a separate enclosure just for the shop vac, and I’m a bit concerned about the heat if I enclose it.

Has anyone solved this problem well? Is there a specific make/model of vac that is either so quite that it can be kept outside the enclosure or is small enough to just slip into the main xcarve enclosure? Since I’m sealing the xcarve into the box the dust control doesn’t have to be fantastic, just good enough to prevent mechanical problems.

move up to a dust collector.
MUCH,MUCH quieter.

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This one is supposed to be quiet or the Festool

Any recommendations on a specific dust collector? A big standup collector seems like overkill.

I saw that on the Inventables website. Definitely not cheap. I’ll consider it, but I’d really like to find a less expensive option if possible.

Check out harbor freight for a dust collector. Yeah you read that right HF.
In te woodworking community, HF is known as a viable option for this.

You could also check out a heating contractor for old furnaces and salvage a blower unit from one and, if your woodworking skill is up to it devise a collector of your own. I have a plan for something like this to exhaust fumes from my laser upgrade.

I like that idea. I would love to know more about your plans. I use a blower now to take out the fine dust in my shop. Never thought about doing a vacuum system

Unfortunatly, the plans are all in my head, like a lot of things according to my wife
I am a visual thinker, but I’ll try.
Depending on the size of blower you get, you find a method of attaching the inlet side of it to a box, barrel, etc within said vessel is your filter medium. I would suggest something that uses 2-3 furnace filters in series with the coarse el cheapo being the first one the incoming air hits and getting finer from there.
On the outlet of the blower, there could be a sack, sock, or maybe nothing to clean the airstream even further.

Something like this could be utilized to capture the really fine and most hazardous particles and let the heavier chips collect to be picked up by short bursts with the shop vac. if you are going with an enclosure I think this could work really well.

My central room air cleaner I built has two 20x20 filters a/c type. It works great. You’re got me thinking how to make a dust collection system from a furnace blower

After a weekend of using my take on inexpensive dust collection for some longer cuts than I’ve previously done (a “Bucket Head” shop vac and a second bucket w/ an arrangement of PVC piping to make it into a cyclone), I broke down and drank the green Koolaid:

Hopefully everything will arrive by Friday and I can use it this weekend.

I wouldnt say the HF dust collector is that much quieter. At least mine isnt that much quieter than my Ridgid shop vac.

I would personally save up for the Fein, its decibel rating should make it ~50%+ quieter than your normal cheap shopvac.

.A dust collector has a different impeller setup than a furnace blower. also, a DC has the impeller upstream of the filter/collection bag so all debris goes through the impeller. My idea has the furnace blower downstream of the filters. I would not expect the same kind of cfm from the home brew system but with some research and ingenuity it could become acceptable for an xcarve’s needs.
I have a shopfox 1300 cfm DC with dedicated ducting to my power tools controlled by blast gates. Is it quieter than a shop vac? I dunno. but I do have it in it’s own closet to dampen the sound and it does run at a lower audio frequency than a shop vac and it can run all day, day in and day out with it’s induction motor rather than the universal motor found in a shop vac.

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The price is somewhat high, up around $450 and up, but Bosch makes a Vac090a that is fairly quiet. Maybe you could find one used? We have one at the shop and you can easily talk over it while it runs. They also have a HEPA filter and are self cleaning (it actually bumps the filter every 15 seconds or so to clean it out while it runs).

A used high-end vacuum is an interesting idea. I might have to take a look around at local pawn shops and see what I can find.

Some of the home-made dust collectors are also exactly the sort of idea I was looking for. I wonder if I could build something like that into the enclosure itself, so help keep noise down. If anybody has any links to this sort of thing that’d be helpful.

Nicholas I’ve had pretty good success using this: https://www.harborfreight.com/router-speed-control-43060.html

I’m currently using it with a Ridged shop vac and a count down timer. Turned all the way down makes a HUGE difference with the sound. It does however reduce the suction, but its still works great if you have the dust shoe lowered to the surface of the material. After a 3 hour carve, I can’t tell the diff between full power and reduced power as far as dust collection goes. I’m hoping it will also help my shop vac last longer.

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Also check out this guy (Jeremy Fielding) on YouTube and what he does with regular household vacuums: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5641H8rgIEA

Dude is pretty smart. Self taught Engineer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9gvFkfSfV0&t=1s

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Interesting reply…

I am currently looking into a dust collection system. I own a Rigid shop vac like you mentioned. The noise drives me nuts though. I was thinking that the Harbor Freight 1HP portable dust collector would be quieter than the shop vac and be more suitable for longer carves. I am interested in the solution that you mentioned. You are very happy with your current set up? At 20 bucks, it would be worth a try.

I’m very happy. I do 3 to 4 hour carves quiet frequently and I can now stay in the garage with the XC running and do other things like sanding and painting. For short carves of less than a hour, I will start the machine, turn on the vac, set the timer and just walk away. Works great for me.

I just finished an enclosure that really helped reduce the noise and the dust from my Xcarve. Here are some photos to give you an idea of whats possible. This is made from mostly materials I had leftover in the shop, so its not aluminum extrusion enclosure but it works.IMG_5201IMG_5202IMG_5391IMG_5394IMG_5398
There are many good ideas in the forum about enclosures, so just look around and you can always adapt it to meet your needs like I did.

A Dust Collection is a great choice, I also like to share how I adapted ideas I saw in this forum and others to convert the DC to a 2-stage and re-arrange its original profile to fit into a sound absorbing enclosure. I have a small garage and my wife parks her car inside, so the DC had to fit between both garage stalls. Here are a few photos.IMG_5283IMG_5286IMG_5292IMG_5307IMG_5332IMG_5320IMG_5313IMG_5311IMG_5360IMG_5378IMG_5366
It went from 95 dbs (very loud) to about 75 dbs, now I can have the X-carve and the DC working in the garage without the need for hearing protection, actually I watch TV while they’re both running.

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Hi all,

I have build an external RPM controller where I can plug in any regular VAC. Reducing the RPM to the minimum required to vac away the dust dramatically reduces noise.

In the mean time, I added a feature to use an output of the X-carve to control my VAC controller.