Vacuum Cleaner Pre Filter Drum (200L / 50 Gal !)

I have been replacing the insulation in my crawlspace and its ‘blown in’ kind of insulation called ‘Insulfluf’ made from powdered recycled paper and boric acid to make it fire retardant.

I found that while I could physically put a lot of it into bags with a dustpan, there was always going to be little left overs that wanted vacuuming, but I would always fill up my vacuum cleaner back in seconds. So to give me more vacuuming capacity, and to put a large drum vacuum into my shop I experimented with cyclonic bin vacuums a bit before settling on this. Its really simple design and was made out of cheap things.




50 Gallon Drum Pre Filter Vacuum Cleaner




The filter works using simple pressure management, in the large drum there isn’t enough pressure to suck all the particulates up into the screen so they fall to the bottom. but outside of the drum the pressure runs through thin pipes and hoses so is strong enough to suck up sawdust and insulation like a normal vacuum cleaner.


Uses an old vacuum cleaner without any modifications
A large barrel I have cut the top off and repurposed
Drum with the top removed
The top, upside down. I took some curtain netting and masking taped it to the top to create the filter. There are two holes in the top. The one you can’t see here is for suction and goes into the enclosed area. The pipe on the left s for the dust and goes through the enclosed area into the drum
After a few projects in the shop, its not even half full yet 🙂
The Vaccum Cleaner attachment built from a peice of 40mm PVC tube. I wrapped some wire around the tube and used a wide plastic tape to secure it, this forms a ‘bump’ in the tube that makes an airtight seal into the vacuum cleaner
The attachment inserted into the vacuum, it just sits there and is held in by suction
And the other end of the attachment going into the enclosed filter of the drum
This doodad is for fixing two pipes together, it works a to connect my original vacuum cleaner hose onto the 45mm PVC Pipe that I use for all the extensions.
A small section of pipe is attached and when tightened the rubber seal forms an airtight seal
Attaching the other end to the original vacuum cleaner hose.
Easy conversion from vacuum cleaner to proper 45mm PVC, this is important because all the other pieces just slot in and the tolerances are good enough that it doesn’t need any gluing or taping
You can use normal PVC rigid pipes to help get the inlet where you need it. I used a 2m length to get it into my crawlspace, but in the garage I just use this for attaching to my power tools
Cleaner attached to a drop saw.