The Stinger Wet/Dry Vac

The Stinger Wet/Dry Vac

I really don’t remember what prompted me to buy this little vacuum. It was pretty inexpensive. Maybe I had a store credit I needed to use before it expired? Maybe I was thinking I would use it for dust recovery on my orbital sander?

Who knows, but it was small enough and powerful enough, to use on my mini CNC machine so I dusted it off and got to work.

The Stinger Wet/Dry Vac

It was $30 at Home Depot and came with a few essential accessories:

The Stinger 2.5 Gal. wet/dry vac is a compact and portable vac for wet and dry applications. Expect the suction to be just what you need for your home, garage and renovation cleanups. Included vacuum attachments allow you take on a wide variety of surfaces and applications that would be harder to clean with the hose alone. Uses replacement vacuum filter bag VF2000.

  • 1.75 peak HP, 4.0 Amp motor for any home, garage or renovation mess
  • Easily converts into a blower to help clear work areas of debris
  • Included bag filter traps dust and debris
  • Dent-resistant plastic tank provides durability for care-free maneuverability
  • 10 ft. power cord provides an extensive reach
  • 4 ft. hose with car nozzle and utility nozzle help you tackle a variety of cleaning jobs
  • Peak horsepower represents a level at or below the maximum horsepower output of an electric motor tested in a laboratory using a dynamometer
  • Gallons indicated reflect drum volume, not necessarily collection capacity, actual capacity dependent upon type of debris collected, condition of filter and other factors
The Stinger Wet/Dry Vac

The biggest issue I had with this thing was that it was loud. Really loud.

I have pretty severe Tinnitus. It was caused by standing next to roaring chain saws from approximately the age of 5 to 14. Followed by decades of working in restaurant kitchens.

If you go here and play Tinnitus sounds 3 and 6 simultaneously at about 42dB you will hear what I do, non-stop, 24-7. Sometimes it’s seems louder, on rare events I’ll hardly notice it.

The worst part about it is that the quieter the environment around me is, the louder it sounds in my head. I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I cannot go to sleep without something to drown out the noise in my ears. Unfortunately and as much as I’d like to, for various reasons I cannot use music. So for the last few decades I use a TV. Fortunately most TV’s now have a sleep timer so it doesn’t have to run all night. I can set it to shut off after 90 minutes or so.

Anyway, getting back to the vacuum. I needed the machine to serve as dust collection and a blower to keep the bits cool on my CNC machine. For efficiency’s sake it had to be fairly close to the CNC machine. Which meant it would be close to me when operating the CNC. The CNC was already loud enough the combination of the two was beyond deafening.

The Stinger Vac alone is 93-95dB, pretty loud for such a small vacuum.

I really don’t need to damage my hearing any more than I already have so I decided to build some sound reduction for it.

My first attempt was less than stellar, dropping the noise level only a little over 10 dB.

The add on baffle I built for it made it much more bearable with an over-all drop of 30dB.

Router Insert Update

Oddly, since I have been able to work from home I have gotten very little done in the shop. I did manage to round over the edges of the handle for the router lift mechanism though.

Router Lift Handle
Here’s how it was for months prior to this weekend.

Sharpening Jig/Station

I had to use my adjustable height bench for my work at home desk so I bought a Workmate 225 as a temporary substitute for a workbench.

I made my first jig for it last Saturday, sharpening jig that holds down my diamond plate at one end, and a glued on strop on the other end.

Work from Home

For obvious reasons I am now working from home. I spent 2 days re-arranging, and cleaning, my home office so I could add a second workstation.

I decided that for now I would use my Husky adjustable height workbench. It has a couple of advantages:

  1. I can use it as a standing desk
  2. I wouldn’t waste time, and money, looking for something new, online or in person.

Vacuum Upgrade (part 2), The Baffling

I use a vacuum to keep my CNC bits cool and clear of sawdust in addition to vacuuming up the dust. The vacuum I use is a little shop vac that is really loud and as I explained in the previous Vacuum Upgrade post the exhaust was too powerful. I just wasn’t getting enough negative airflow for the suction at the back of the hood.

I hoped to solve both problems with a sound baffle that I could mount to the top of the vacuum housing. I decided to add a 2 inch baffle to the lid of the vacuum enclosure.

Some weather stripping and caulk sealed up some air leaks and a couple of coats of paint finish the project.

I took some measurements along the way with a decibel meter app proving this project was worth the time and effort put into it.

The shop vac outside of the enclosure was particularly loud even for a shop vac at 93-95dB.
With the enclosure but before the baffle it was 80-83dB.
With the enclosure and the new baffle it dropped to 63-65db.

I consider this 30dB drop a major success!

Note: I realized long after creating this post that I never discussed the vacuum I was using.
Well here is a separate post about it.

Vacuum Upgrade – CNC

I finally got around to stage two of the vacuum system for the CNC machine.

First I built an articulating arm for the vac exhaust. I used nothing but scrap wood. Well, except for the knobs and bolts of course.

Articulating Arm

Unfortunately the exhaust is a bit too powerful, the suction doesn’t quite keep up and some dust is being blown back out the front.

I had been thinking about building a baffle for the vacuum’s exhaust anyway with the hope that it would cut the noise level more. Perhaps it will also cut the exhaust speed enough to create a negative airflow from the front to the back.

Well, maybe next weekend.

CNC – A couple of upgrades:

I wanted to see what I could do to quiet this setup. Using some scrap 1/2″ OSB and Styrofoam I built a box and cut some holes for the 1-14″ hose I found at Home Depot.

CNC Workstation
I hope to get a “hood” built for the backside that will suck in the dust. The mount for the blowing attachment is temporary. I think the permanent one will be mounted on the dust vac box. Probably some kind of articulating arm. I’m still working on the design for that.
Swithes for CNC and Vac
$10 worth for the 4-gang box, 2 -switches, 2- outlets, and an hour or two later I had two switched outlets, one for the vac, the other for the CNC. I’ll mount it farther away from the CNC later. I don’t want to have to reach across the CNC machine to do an emergency stop of the machine.

Note: I realized long after creating this post that I never discussed the vacuum I was using.
Well here is a separate post about it.

The Saw Stops here

I have never been happy with the switch configuration on my table saw. I was always fumbling around trying to find the off switch after making a cut on it while trying to make sure my cut pieces didn’t drift back into the blade or fall off of the table.

I finally decided to make a switch paddle so I could easily shut the saw off without fumbling around blindly or taking my eyes off of the blade and materials.

I had seen several prototypes for them on on YouTube but none for the particular Jet saw I have so I had to design my own.

It’s not fancy, well it is made from some scrap Walnut I had, but it is a pretty simple device.

I should have done this a long time ago!

T-Track and miter insert for Router

T-track insert
Almost a year after adding the router insert to my table saw I finally routed out the dado for the combo T-track/Miter Track for my router top.

It’s rather unlikely that I’ll ever use the miter track but the t-track can come in handy on a router table.

2-stage Shop Vac

I’ve had the parts to do this for a few months now. I had to empty the vac and clean the filter the other day so I figured, while I’m at it…

OK, all attachments attached!

FYI, that’s a Dustopper from Home Depot.