A shop vacuum is a great tool, except for two things: a) The tube hangs or lies always somewhere in the way, and b) often, the on-off switch is minuscule and not easy to reach.
I took a on-foot PVC tube of 1 1/2 inch diameter, and glued with epoxy a contact switch in the tube ( the kind of electric switches you mount on the inside of a cupboard close to the door, so that a lightbulb inside the cupboard lights up the moment you open the door), right at the place where the shop vacuum nozzle ends.
The switch is wired to an electrical outlet, in which the plug of the
shop vacuum is plugged. switch the vacuum on, et voila. The moment you pull out the nozzle from the tube, the shop vacuum begins to hum, ready to get to work.
I located the tube on the side of my workbench, below the work surface, at an angle and a height that made it very comfortable for me to pull it out without bending or efforts. To fix the tube, I drilled two 3/8″ holes on one side of the tube, and passed a screw through them with a screwdriver to reach the other side of the tube.
You can still take out the vacuum to another location or part of the workshop if need be without trouble.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox