« Snow Blower | Main | Could the Washington DC metro area be a hidden east coast maker mecca? »

I think I finally stumbled upon THE reason to own a 3D Printer.

I have a really cool shop vac. The RIGID SmartCart.

It fits under my workbench in a usable position. All the tools store nicely in drawers on the unit itself. The dust bin and filter come out in a separate bin that I can then open and empty outside without making a mess.

The hose is very high quality and so far I am happy with the vaccuum.

Dust collection systems in the United States come in two sizes. 4 inch and 2 1/2 inch hoses. There should be nothng else. But, low and behold. Nothing seems to be standard.

I can never find the right adapter to get this hose to fit anything. I’m pretty sure it is a standard 2 1/2 on the vaccuum side, but the tool side of the hose appears to be metric or something.

Inside Diameter - rough 1 1/2 inch or accurate 37.6 mm

Outside Diameter - rough 1 3/4 inch or accurate 45mm

So far I think I am $40 to $60 (USD) deep in adapters and accessories that don’t fit. That, plus the many other random uses and fun factor are getting close to the cost of a small 3D printer.

I have decided a small one is fine. For big work I’d rather have a CNC or even better the Wazer (Desktop Waterjet Cutter). Adapters, Arduino and Raspberry Pi project cases and mod boxes seem to be some of the best use cases for a 3D printer.

So, here is my RIDGID SmartCart ShopVac setup in it’s stored location.


My SmartCart under the workbench. It sits next to the trashcan. I have a power extension reel attached to the handle so that the cable rolls up nicely as I roll the cart under the bench.

With it sitting here in it’s typical storage location I can hook the hose right to the front and turn it on to use it without pulling it out. Also, because the collection tank and filter are in that bottom drawer. I can also empty it without removing it.

To the right is what I have so far of my vaccuum dust pan. They make wider ones with 4” outlets, but I was concerned about using such a big one on a shop vac. So instead I picked up a router dust collector and a 2 1/2” hard vaccuum extension hose.

I do plan to put a blast gate on this and run a hose so that I don’t have to pull the one out of the vaccuums drawer for this use. I also want an aux 2 1/2” port for connecting a wand with handle on a flexible hose. That will also get a blast gate.

Here is the cart pulled out and the accessory drawer and hose drawer open.


The top also flips up making it easier to remove and stow the hose.

I’ll put up more when I get pieces that work for the vaccuum hoses and adapters.

               - PinderNET

Reader Comments (1)

OK, just a quick update on the annoying adapter sizes.
I was at the Home Despot for some paint and so I checked out the accessories near the RIDGID Vacuum display (BTW, they don't carry the SmartCart at this store at least).
I found a Hose Extension Kit (Model VT2520) and I also found a little set of 3 adapters (Model VT1755) that have solved my issues.
With the Hose Extension Kit I get a real 2 1/2" connection from the Vacuum and I can just leave the nice hose in the drawer for use when I pull it out or am using it's accessories. I'll use it to hook up a very small "dust collection" system. For now just my built in dust pan and I'll add an open port near the workbench top to connect bench-top tools and the wand/broom I want to make.
I'll put both on Blast Gates.
October 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterPinderNET

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.