Gas powered vacuum
One of my many hobbies is recreational gold prospecting. I've been gold panning on my vacations for many years. It's a lot of fun. It's great exercise. I get to do it in really scenic locations. I have even found some gold. Gold likes to collect in cracks and crevasses and really hard to get at nooks and crannies. What is really needed to clean out those pesky cracks and crevasses is a vacuum cleaner. Problem is, where do you plug it in out in the wilderness? Solution, replace the electric motor with a gasoline engine. Now you have a vacuum cleaner that will work anywhere.
As with most of my other equipment, (recirculating sluice, wind turbine, solar panel, telescopes, jet engine, etc., etc.), I decided to try building one myself, rather than just buying one.
The tinkering is half the fun after all. Also, you will get a much greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you know it is YOUR home-built equipment that is doing such a good job, and not some store-bought thing.
The first step in the process is acquiring a small, wet/dry vac cheap. I found one at a yard sale. It was in pretty bad shape. The guy swore it worked though. I didn't really care if it worked or not because I was going to take the electric motor off anyway, but I didn't tell him that. I kept talking him down in price because of how beat-up it was. Eventually I got it for $5.
Now I needed a gas engine. Well I already had a leaf blower. It is engine and blower unit in one. That's half of a vacuum cleaner right there. All I needed to add was a tank and a hose, and the wet dry/vac I just bought had them.
I removed the nozzle extension and the intake diffuser from the leaf blower. This turns it into quite a compact unit. They just snap right back on when I need to do lawn work.
I removed the electric motor and blower unit from the wet/dry vac and contemplated how to attach the leaf blower in its place. I cut a disk of plywood that would fit over the top of the wet/dry vac's tank. I put three screws in with their heads sticking up a little for the hold-down clips on the tank to get a grip on.
Then I cut holes in it to accommodate the leaf blower. I not only needed a hole for the leaf blower's air intake, but also holes for various protruding pieces that would otherwise be in the way. I got some thick, adhesive-backed weather stripping at my local home center store and used it to ensure an air-tight seal between the leaf blower and the wood disk.
Offbeat A gas-powered vacuum cleaner for use in gold prospecting
Now I needed to replace the electric motor with a gas engine. Well I already had a leaf blower. It is engine and blower unit in one. That's half of a vacuum cleaner right there. All I needed to add was a tank and a hose, and the wet dry/vac I just bought had them.
I removed the nozzle extension and the intake diffuser from the leaf blower. This turns it into quite a compact unit that will sit comfortably on top of the tank of the wet-dry vac. The pieces just snap right back on when I need to do lawn work.