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Clever idea I first saw in a recent issue of The Family Handyman. The flat-folding “cone” style filters will be easier to handle. It’s similar to the Post-It note trick, but less likely to leak out the sides. See also, e.g., the coffee cup trick for catching debris while drilling overhead.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. John Walker says:

    I have just this technique for years, instead of a coffee filter I  use an envelope.. quite often ones that have been junk mail (there is a use for it!!) 

    1. Anonymous says:

      …And if they provide a prepaid reply envelope, no need for a trash can.

      1. Haha, although I’d think twice about sending any drywall dust through the mail…

  2. And when you are drilling holes overhead, use a pie pan or plastic bowl or something to catch the dust and keep it out of your eyes and from going everywhere.  Poke the drill bit through the pan, or the shaft of a hole saw through, then drill away.  Great for making recessed lighting holes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I use my vacuum cleaner for this. I hold the hose under the place I’m drilling. It does require me to hold the drill with one hand, but that’s what I’d do anyway. It lets almost no dust escape.

  4. Love it!
    Folded piece of paper would works as well.

  5. Or just tape up a pocket of that 2″ blue tape in the picture…