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Sucking Machine
Matthias Wandel’s wasp sucking machine… He writes -

This machine was the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy!

Growing up in the country, wasps nests and the possibility of getting stung were a frequent nuisance. I have no sympathy for yellow jackets that do not produce honey, and sting!

In the summer of 1996, opportunity presented itself. Near a picnic table where some of us at work were always having lunch, there was a wasp nest in a crevice in the building. Wasps were frequently bothering us, but we could not even see the nest, just a gap in the concrete that they used for their entrance.

Now of course, I could have just used a shopvac, but you don’t want to leave one of those running for hours on end, and then you can’t see your catch, and how the hell is one supposed to empty it?

I happened to have this incredibly powerful blower that I bought at a surplus store thinking I might use it for a pipe organ, but never used. Given this opportunity, and the blower, I decided to build a dedicated ‘wasp sucking machine’.

The blower and 1/3 hp motor came as one unit, connected together with a flatbelt. I know, the shopvacs are supposed to have 5 horsepower, but they don’t suck much harder than this unit, and they just don’t last. The box has a glass lid so you can see the status of the catch, and only bug screen for a ‘filter’ so there isn’t much to resist the flow of air. A piece of metal or cardboard can be slid in a gap where the hose connects to seal off the box, and the box just sits on top of the intake spout for the blower, so it can easily be removed from the machine for purposes of showing off one’s catch.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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