My Vacuum Boom Arm

I owe this post to Shannon and his recent post about the hook he uses to hold his vacuum hose and electrical cord out of the way when sanding. My boom does the same thing, in a more permanent and flexible manner.

My vacuum boom arm is a simple jib made of scrap 3/8" plywood. I used existing rips I had on hand and cut the pieces to length using relative dimensioning and my dozuki. The boom is held together with Tightbond II wood glue and small stainless steel flat head screws which acted as clamps for the glue up and could now be removed if I cared to.

I installed the boom to the wall with simple butt hinges I had on hand. No hinge mortises were made. I just slapped the hinges on the boom and screwed them in. As I anticipate having to move the vacuum boom arm as I move my bench and alter my walls, I didn't put a screw in every hole when attaching the hinges to the wall (this was quite a feet as my anal retentiveness would usually require a screw in every hole).

Once the vacuum boom arm was mounted on the wall, it was time to install the vacuum hose and extension cord. The vacuum hose is a premium Ridgid vacuum hose from Home Depot. The extension cord is a 14 gauge, 6 foot, three outlet model. They are both attached to small I-bolts screwed into the side of the boom arm. In the case of the vacuum hose, there are springs installed between the hose and the boom arm to allow added play. All of the actual connections are made with plastic tie-wraps. The hose and cord drop behind my bench and when the vacuum boom arm is not in use I fold it against the wall and it stays out of the way. Between the swing of the boom arm and stretch of the springs the attached vacuum hose can now easily reach the length of my bench while always being held up and out of the way.

I have the same Festool RO sander/Dust Extractor combo as Shannon. I have not only used the vacuum boom arm with the Festool kit, I've also used it with my Ridgid 6" RO sander and my ClearVue Blower/Vac Cyclone. In every sander/vacuum combo, the dust collection is superb and the vacuum hose and power cord stay out of the way.

So far, the vacuum boom arm is proving to me one of my easiest and most favored shop projects. What's your favorite?