Compressed Air Vacuum Cleaner - An easy DIY project

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Compressed Air Vacuum Cleaner - An easy DIY project


Need a small vacuum cleaner for tight spaces? Have an air compressor handy? In this episode of the #HouseOfHacks, Harley shows how to make a DIY compressed air vacuum cleaner out of some junk parts and a couple fittings from the hardware store.

Skip to the project build.

Related videos:
Make your own manometer.
Dishwasher replacement.
Why a new air compressor.

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For a written transcript, go to Compressed Air Vacuum Cleaner - An easy DIY project

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "Rocket"


Do you ever have a small mess in the shop that you need to clean up?

Something that may be in an out of the way place where a big shop vac can't get to?

Or maybe a big shop vac is too much power and you something that doesn't have quite as much suction?

Well today at the House of Hacks we're going to make our own DIY vacuum cleaner.

That uses compressed air as a power source.


Hi. Harley here.

Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to make a DIY vacuum cleaner that runs off compressed air.

Now, compressed air may not necessarily be the most intuitive thing to use to make a vacuum cleaner with.

So, we're going to first talk about the physics of how this operates and then we're going to get into the making of this vacuum cleaner with just some surplus parts that I had lying around and a couple fittings from the hardware store.

If you're not interested in the physics and you want to get right into the build, there's a link in the description below that will take you directly to that part of this video.

Now, let's take a look at the physics.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, there was a family named Bernoulli that had a number of prominent mathematicians and scientists who contributed to our better understanding of the natural world.

One of these people was Daniel Bernoulli who recognized that in a fluid system, as the speed of the fluid increases, it's pressure decreases.

He published this discovery in a book on hydrodynamics in 1738.

This principle is used in many of our modern devices from airplanes to computer disk drives.

Later in the 18th century, along came Giovanni Venturi.

He was a man of many accomplishments and among his achievements, he applied Bernoulli's principle to a device consisting of tubes that demonstrated the effect of pressure differentials.

In 1797, he published a treatise on hydrodynamics wherein he described this effect that was eventually named after him, the Venturi Effect.

This picture illustrates what happens.

When air goes through these tapered tubes, as the cross section of the tube decreases, the speed of the fluid must increase. And as Bernoulli's principle indicates, the pressure must correspondingly decrease.

When a U shaped tube, known as a manometer, is connected between the slower moving fluid and the faster moving fluid, the pressure differential causes the gauge's fluid to rise on the low pressure side and drop on the high pressure side.

This low pressure can be used in many applications, from the gas furnace that heats your home to the hose attachment to drain your waterbed to the vacuum cleaner we're going to make today.

OK, to make this, I have some scrap tubing I scavenged off the old dishwasher that I replaced.

Here's some water line and some drain line, I think. This might be water supply line. I don't remember right now off the top of my head.

I have an old T-shirt that was in the scrap bin.

I've got a blow gun for my new air compressor that has a nozzle on it.

I've got an old 2 liter pop bottle.

And I've got a T fitting and an L fitting.

So let's get making this.

OK, the way this is going to work is we have the blow tube that will connect into the end of a piece of flexible pipe.

The flexible pipe will have the T connector on it.

The bottom of the T connector will have this black pipe that will we'll use as the vacuum hose.

And the other side of the T will be the discharge that everything that is picked up by the vacuum will go through as well as the compressed air as it is escaping.

That will go through a tube that has the L bracket on it and the other side of the L bracket will have the bottle on it with a hole cut out to let the air come out so it doesn't escape and all the debris will collect in the plastic bottle.

That's the theory anyway.

[Time lapse of build]

[Example of use]

If you like workshop related projects, like making vacuum cleaners out of some trash and a couple parts from the hardware store, or other things made out of wood, metal, electronics, photography, things of that nature, hit the subscribe button down below and YouTube will notify you next time I upload something.

Until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!