ShopVac Repairs

A stainless steel 10 gallon (*) 5 Peak HP (**) ShopVac followed me home from the side of the road. It seemed to be in easily repairable condition and looks like a definite improvement for my collection.

One handle had a broken screw boss, probably from the same event producing the crack across the top, over on the right:

ShopVac - broken screw boss
ShopVac – broken screw boss

The self-tapping screw (taken from the other end of the handle) looked to be about #10, so I melted a 10-32 brass insert into roughly the right position with a soldering gun:

ShopVac - brass insert in handle boss
ShopVac – brass insert in handle boss

An aluminum sheet bandsawed into shape will reinforce the crack, with a generous dollop of hot melt glue holding everything in place:

ShopVac - repaired handle - bottom view
ShopVac – repaired handle – bottom view

I don’t plan to carry it around by the handle, so perhaps it’ll outlast your expectations.

From the top, it looks pretty much the way it should:

ShopVac - repaired handle - installed
ShopVac – repaired handle – installed

The front caster mount lost both of the 1/4-20 bolts previously holding it to the canister, so I installed a pair of nice stainless steel bolts and nyloc nuts:

ShopVac - new front foot bolts
ShopVac – new front foot bolts

The motor runs fine, a new bag & filter arrived the next day, and it’s all good.

Disclaimers from ShopVac’s Fine Print section:

* Tank capacity refers to actual tank volume, and does not reflect capacity available during operation.

** “Peak Horsepower” (PHP) is a term used in the wet-dry vacuum industry for consumer comparison purposes. It does not denote the operational horsepower of a wet-dry vacuum but rather the horsepower output of a motor, including the motor’s inertial contribution, achieved in laboratory testing. In actual use, Shop-Vac® motors do not operate at the peak horsepower shown.

Translation: they lie.


  1. #1 by danielbmartin on 2019-07-09 - 07:33

    Nice work! What prompted you to choose hot melt adhesive rather than epoxy?

    • #2 by captnmike on 2019-07-09 - 12:54

      My thoughts is that Hot Melt sets much quicker when it cools down. I have used Hot Melt many times when gap filling or a buildup is needed.

    • #3 by Ed on 2019-07-09 - 15:06

      This brown glue adheres to flexible plastic better than epoxy, because it’s slightly bendy, and cools so fast I can lay up mounds of it to hold things together. It’s allegedly “furniture grade” (which I obvious misuse), comes from my battered high-temperature glue gun, and is my go-to adhesive for botch jobs like this.

      But I still loves me some good JB Weld action …

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