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I made my own pellet vac for less than $20.00 - Video

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Shortstuff, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. cogger

    cogger Member

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    Ingenius, I will have to do a new page and embed video to my dotORG site

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  2. solock

    solock Member

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Shortstuff,

    What a great idea, pardon me if I dont use this for pellets, but I roast coffee and Ive been looking for a way to seperate the chaff ( a flakey very light shell) from the just roasted beans...

    THis will work perfectly! Adjustable vacuum for smaller beans, the dowels for causing the chaff to separate, and the beans out the bottom... Currently use a attic exhaust fan through a screen and it is messy.

    Thanks for the great idea!
  3. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks guys and please feel free to use it as you wish. Please remember that I basically copied the design/idea from another gentleman on YouTube so all the credit goes to him. All I did was make one similar to his except I added the holes for vacuum draft adjustment. But the best part was being able to make a video and offer a diagram and a couple of pics to show that it really does work!

    Steve
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Steve,

    went to HD and bought the parts and made mine today.....works great! I already cleaned 2 bags (Lignetics hardwood) and have them in the copper boiler by the stove ready to go. Thanks for putting the diagram on the thread. When I get my camera back from the kids, I'll take a couple of pics and post them....
  5. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    That's great macman.

    I store my pellets in my garage (under the house) and have a large rubbermaid plastic storage bin with a hinged top that I store my open pellets in upstairs. It can hold about 5 bags worth of pellets. My plan is to make a stand for my pellet vac so that all I have to do is open the lid, move the pellet vac over the open bin and pour a bag at a time through it letting them land right in the bin.

    I'll post a pic of my setup once I get it the way I want it.

    I'm glad that it works for you and it really is a simple and inexpensive design.

    Steve
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Steve,

    you're going to fill the bin in the garage, and then carry it upstairs? That's 200 lbs......

    My copper boiler holds about 2 1/2 bags, but I don't even want to carry that up the stairs (my back is hurting just thinking about it...LOL). Even though I made the pellet cleaner so I can put the boiler under it, I think I'll just do the 5 gal pail deal every couple of days.
  7. orangecrushcj7

    orangecrushcj7 Feeling the Heat

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    Barre MA
    What are all of you guys using for a hopper/funnel? I bought all of my componants, and assembled the whole thing, but can't find anything suitable for the hopper/funnel. I am itching to try it out. I would like to use this drum funnel I found at northern tool, but I can't bring myself to pay $10 + $9 shipping. That would cost more than the rest of the set-up! If a store carried it locally I might consider paying $10.

    I fear that if I just hot glued on a bowl with a hole cut in it would break off easily.

    Attached Files:

  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I bought a plastic bowl and a plastic funnel at Walmart for about $3, cut and hot glued them together....works like a charm.
  9. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    No... the plastic Rubbermaid bin is upstairs about 12 feet from my stove. I'll carry each bag upstairs then pour them through my pellet vac directly into the bin.

    My hopper was nothing more than a plastic shade for a pole light. The shade sat on the light fixture exactly as it sits on my 2" pipe in my diagram because the light shined to the ceiling. You might be able to find some sort of plastic shade like that somewhere.

    Steve
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Oooooooooh.....IC. I didn't realize you were going to bring the cleaner & vacuum upstairs. I'm leaving mine in the basement.
  11. swimman

    swimman Member

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    Just posted this in your other thread. I had an extra 5 gallon water jug that I cut the bottom out of. Works like a charm - I mean funnel!

    [​IMG]
  12. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    Nice job swimman!

    Steve
  13. swimman

    swimman Member

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    Steve,
    Thanks. I took the plans you posted and made something very similar. My issue was that my Ridgid vac was too powerful and I had to drill MANY holes in the 3" pvc. Seems to work well now. I think the water bottle is a little too large because in my experience, you should feed the pellets in slowly in order to allow the vac to suck up all the dust and fines more efficiently. By feeding all the pellets in at once, less of the unwanted materials will be vac'd because of the sheer volume of materials running through the tubes. However, I was looking all around for a funnel type of device, could not find something sufficient in the house, and then spotted the water bottle. It does keep the pellets nicely contained and I may rig something up in the neck of the bottle to control the flow of pellets instead of giving them a free ride!
  14. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds good swimman. The first thought that comes to my mind is to drill a couple of holes in the 2" pipe directly below the water jug and slide a couple of dowels or nails through there to slow the feed rate down. If you try that, you can keep adding more dowels/nails until it appears to feed just right.

    Nice work!

    Steve
  15. imacman

    imacman Guest

    OK, I finally wrestled the digital camera outta my kids hands :mad: , and took some pics of the finished pellet cleaner....let me know what you think.

    Attached Files:

    stayfitz likes this.
  16. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    I think it looks super! I also noticed that you put a link down to your vacuum as well. I was working on something very similar to that today with a pipe coming down and the vacuum hose fits right over it so the hose comes up from below.

    I also notice your draft adjustment "sleeve", very slick.

    Steve
  17. mullet

    mullet New Member

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    WOW really cool stuff guys, keep the pics coming in.
  18. kyburnr

    kyburnr New Member

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    This is like the old SCIENCE FAIR !! :)
  19. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Thats an awesome Vac Mac.....beats out any pro built one anyday.
  20. kyburnr

    kyburnr New Member

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    Macman... Did you use some kind of screen system in your set-up?
  21. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Hey KYBURN,

    yes, as per ShortStuff's original diagram, I bought a piece of galvanized gutter guard, cut 2 circles out of it that , and fit it into the top end of the 3" x 3" x 2" and turned the 2nd one 90 degrees to the first to make the openings smaller.

    See ShortStuffs diagram on P.1 of this thread....I put mine in the same place.

    Thanks for the compliments everyone, but the original guy who posted this design on YouTube deserves all the credit...we just copied his (w/ minor mods.).
  22. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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    Mac, I love it, what a kick. I see you put a collar around where the air holes are to adjust the suction. Am I seeing that correctly?
  23. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes Baked, I put the collar on to use as an air adjustment, but it ended up where I can't close any of the holes up....my vacuum is too powerful (4.25 HP Rigid), and needs all the air the holes provide ( I think I ended up w/ ten 1/4" holes). If I close it up at all, it starts sucking pellets up against the wire screen.

    One of these days, I'm going to add more holes so I can make the adjustment more fine.

    The directions for the very first one of these I ever saw said that all you need is about a 2 - 2 1/2 HP vacuum.....I would tend to agree, plus you probably wouldn't need the air holes.
  24. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Windham Maine
    Hello,

    I made my pellet cleaner today somewhat like the one shown. I can't find or think of anything to use as a hopper on the top. Maybe a milk jug? It was really very easy. My shop vac is 6.25 HP so I'm guessing I will have to make adjustments somewhere. Great idea guys!!!
  25. imacman

    imacman Guest

    As I mentioned about the one I built, I found a large plastic mixing bowl and a set of plastic funnels at WalMart for about $3.00 total.

    Cut a hole out of the bottom of the bowl a little smaller than the top of the largest funnel, cut the bottom of the funnel off so it matched the size of the 2" tubing, and hot glued the whole thing together.....pretty easy, it's just the right size, and works great.

    BTW, welcome to the forum! :)

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