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I'm doing a complete-gut remodel of my home, so I thought it was time to step up from the little battery-powered vacuum I had been using.
I took great care in selecting a proper vacuum, as drywall dust can be instant death for a vacuum. I bought a genuine ShopVac, an industrial model optimised for drywall dust. Long hose, HEPA filter, etc. So far, so good. I even supplemented the filter with a HEPA collection bag.
My first clue I was breaking new ground came when I tried to fit a brush on the end of the wand. No problem, I siad - the Lowes down the street carries Shopvac.
Wrong! Turns out the model I bought has a unique 1-/2" hose. "Normal" shop vacs have either 1-1/4" or 2-1/2" hoses. Oops. I wound up buying a $50 set of accessories in order to get the brush. For a smaller 'scoop' head to place on the end of the wand, I ended up using a Dremel and some caulk to modify the head that comes in the set; that scoop is designed to attach directly to the hose.
That's right; the hose lacks a hard tube end for attaching things; accessories insert with barbed fittings. Now, on to "Act Two."
The problem with filter bags is that they can fill up pretty fast if you're sucking up big stuff. Also, my access to the HEPA bags has been spotty. So, I thought I'd try the Rockler "Dust Right Extractor" to filter out the nails and big pieces.
FWW positively gushed in their praise of the Rockler accessory. The unit is a drum and fittings combination that makes the air spin as it passes through; the effect is to make the larger stuff fall out. Rockler has a very nice video of it on their site, and they mention ShopVac by name. They use a real ShopVac in their demo. So, I ordered one.
The unit arrived. I assembled it and ... oops. There are some fittings I still need. Returning to the Rockler site I was able to order the 2-1/2" to 1-1/2" hose adapters I needed. Alas, the adapters came without hose clamps, so it was off to the hardware store for those.
Finally, everything fit together and it was off to work I went.
So far, everything seems to be working just fine. I might even be able to use a trash bag to line the Dust Right barrel. I am getting plenty of suction at the hose end, and most of the stuff seems to be dropping out into the tub, as designed. The vacuum is exhausting clean air, and not filling the air with fine dust. Noise levels are comfortably muted. (Remember the early ShopVacs, and their jet engine/ banshee wail?)
This storyy has, ultimately, a happy ending. The road was a bit bumpier than iot had to be.
ShopVac - I bought direct from them- could have been a bit more clear about their hose size. They might expand their accessory offerings, or modify what comes with the vacuum. They need to offer a brush, a smaller scoop for the wand, and adapters to let you use other ShopVac accessories.
Rockler might make their descriptions a bit more explicit. They might even supply the unit with fittings for different size hoses; the Dust Right extractor comes set up for 2-1/2" hoses only.