How To Make Cyclone Shop-Vac With Secondary Water Filtration (Wet Scrubber) All out of Junk

This is a homemade cyclonic dust collector shop vac I built that has a second stage water filtration feature also known as a wet scrubber. The nice thing about this shop vac is it can extract large and fine particles down to several microns with very cheap methods without losing suction and all the while keeping a relatively small footprint so it is easy to roll around the shop.. A third stage could even be added such as a fabric HEPA filter to remove the ultra fine particulates but I did not include that in this build.

A majority of the dust will be collected in the 3 gallon bucket placed below the cyclonic separator, what makes it through the vacuum motor will be further filtered using the wet scrubber stage. This doesn’t remove all of the fine particles but does a decent job down to the 10 micron range. Should a fabric HEPA be placed as a third stage filtration, it would take a very long time to clog.

This shop vac has 3 main parts, the cyclonic separator, the vacuum housing, and the wet scrubber.

The Cyclonic Separator portion is made from a CD spindle case, a toy traffic cone, and some 1 1/4″ PVC Pipe.

I acquired the vacuum motor from another broken upright vacuum cleaner. I created a housing for the motor using scrap particle board. This housing is essentially a sealed box which contains the inlet/outlet ports, the power switch, and power cable.

All of the vacuum components are sealed with a generous amount of glue and attached to a wooden disk that is secured on top of a 3 gallon bucket lid. It is important to ensure everything is air tight.

The cyclonic separator is bolted onto the vacuum motor housing and then secured to the pipe on the bucket lid using silicone tape. The bracket holding the cyclonic separator doesn’t necessarily need to be a metal one as shown in the video but could simply be a piece of particle board with the same diameter hole cut out of it. I used this metal bracket simply because it was laying around my junk part box.

It is also a good idea to empty and sterilize the wet scrubber after each use to prevent germs from being aerosolized into the shop.

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