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? It had been sitting in its box for years.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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!

One Last Stand

Before I had begun unpacking my tools I wanted to put my phone in a safe, out of the way spot that would also be easy to access and would allow me to see notifications on the screen from pretty much anywhere in the shop. I needed a phone stand on top of my refrigerator.

The only tools I had easy access to at the time was my chop saw and some basic hand tools like screwdrivers and hammers, and of course, some wood glue. I had a very limited pile of scrap wood as well.

I’m almost embarrassed to show this but I made a very rudimentary phone stand. I had never made one before so I was really winging it.

It’s been sitting on the fridge since that day more than a year and a half ago. While it’s ugly as sin it really was very functional. The stereo I have in the cabinet next to it is not Bluetooth compatible but does have a USB port and a 3.5 mm audio input jack so I can keep my phone charged while listening to good music. Pandora is my platform of choice for now.

Anyway, over this last weekend I decided it was time to retire this clunky old thing. I did not take any pictures of the process, it was pretty straightforward.

Finished with just some mineral oil and clear satin poly

Phone Stands

These were intended to be Christmas gifts but life happened and I’m just now getting them done. They are travel phone stands they come apart easily to lay flat in your luggage.

It was quite a learning experience. I started these just a month after getting my first CNC machine.

The Prototype – No CNC

Prototype 2.0 w/CNC

Travel Phone Stands 3.0

I finally got them mailed out yesterday along with some Christmas ornaments I made. They should all get them tomorrow the 4th. Only a little overdue heh heh.

Merry Christmas everybody!