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Author Topic: Vacuum in the shop  (Read 381 times)

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Offline Larry

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Vacuum in the shop
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:30:33 pm »
A couple of members asked me about vacuum clamps......so off we go.

First requirement is a source of vacuum.  I assembled this one.  Its a Gast diaphram pump plumbed with gauge, filter, and backup tank.  The filter is essential to keep dust out of the pump.  This filter came from Surplus Center and its a good one.  My backup tank is an old fire extinguisher.  I wanted extra capacity to rapidly exhaust my bag when veneering and also as a backup if the power goes out when using a vacuum chuck on the lathe.  It would be better if it also acted as a trash trap....maybe next time.





A cheap source of vacuum is a venturi pump from HF for $17.  It needs a compressor with a good output.



Some clamps used to hold veneered panels flat for final sanding.  Usually the veneer is warped some amount and the clamp pulls it flat making it easy to sand.  The clamp holds a veneer panel on one side and the other side clamps to a smooth surface bench.  The blocks are scrap wood covered with vinyl shelf paper from Lowes.  I use contact cement to glue it down.



A veneer panel being held ready to sand.  The gray fitting is a three way coupling from McMaster Carr.    A little hard to find but it is a quick release for the clamp and shuts off the line back to the pump.



This fixture is used to hold plexiglass so I can cut it to the pattern shape on an overarm router.  The fitting is a push to fit air tubing coupling.  The seal is commercial vacuum tape.  This tape is super stiff in not allowing sideways movement.  I use it because my part needs to be accurate to a couple seconds of angle.





Another fixture used to hold boards to cut the ends for a sign, again using an overarm router.  I have several of these patterns.  If the operator works its faster than a cnc...I take lots of breaks, the cnc doesn't.



  

Next up is vacuum chucks for the wood lathe.  The first is a 20” chuck for holding bowls for finishing the bottom.  A lot of time with green wood the bowl rim warps and won't seal to the chuck.  The solution is the blue foam from an old yoga mat.  Next are a couple of vacuum chucks made entirely from hard maple.  I taped the maple to thread on the lathe spindle just the same as I would if it was steel. 





Finally a vacuum bag.  Not just for veneer work.  Anything I can glue using a bag, it gets done in the bag.  Way better and easier than clamps.  The bag shown is store bought but I also make them for one off projects.  Good for lamination’s also.  Walmart sells vinyl by the yard but I always see if they have a remnant as they will sell that for a big discount.



This thread is just a small sample of what is possible using vacuum.
Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Vacuum in the shop
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 07:59:42 am »
Excellent illustration of how beneficial a vacuum system can be.  I have one of the HF venturi pumps but haven't hooked it up yet.  I planned to use it with a HF vacuum pot to stabilize pen blanks.  I use clamps on the CNC router but there are many times your system would be much better.  Thank you.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Vacuum in the shop
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 08:25:06 am »
I am sure many ppl already know this but it never hurts to post a little info anyhow.

MDF is porous and will allow vacuum through the board to hold parts down. with the proper vacuum pump and seal setup you have the ultimate hold down table.
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline Don P

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Re: Vacuum in the shop
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 08:52:20 am »
I've been debating making some cross laminated timber panels 3 or 4 plies thick, a total 4-6" thick x 4'x8' or so.  vacuum is one way they are producing these. would 6 mil poly or something cheap hold up to single use?

Online Percy

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Re: Vacuum in the shop
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 11:53:44 am »
A couple of members asked me about vacuum clamps......so off we go.

First requirement is a source of vacuum.  I assembled this one.  Its a Gast diaphram pump plumbed with gauge, filter, and backup tank.  The filter is essential to keep dust out of the pump.  This filter came from Surplus Center and its a good one.  My backup tank is an old fire extinguisher.  I wanted extra capacity to rapidly exhaust my bag when veneering and also as a backup if the power goes out when using a vacuum chuck on the lathe.  It would be better if it also acted as a trash trap....maybe next time.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

A cheap source of vacuum is a venturi pump from HF for $17.  It needs a compressor with a good output.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Some clamps used to hold veneered panels flat for final sanding.  Usually the veneer is warped some amount and the clamp pulls it flat making it easy to sand.  The clamp holds a veneer panel on one side and the other side clamps to a smooth surface bench.  The blocks are scrap wood covered with vinyl shelf paper from Lowes.  I use contact cement to glue it down.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

A veneer panel being held ready to sand.  The gray fitting is a three way coupling from McMaster Carr.    A little hard to find but it is a quick release for the clamp and shuts off the line back to the pump.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

This fixture is used to hold plexiglass so I can cut it to the pattern shape on an overarm router.  The fitting is a push to fit air tubing coupling.  The seal is commercial vacuum tape.  This tape is super stiff in not allowing sideways movement.  I use it because my part needs to be accurate to a couple seconds of angle.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Another fixture used to hold boards to cut the ends for a sign, again using an overarm router.  I have several of these patterns.  If the operator works its faster than a cnc...I take lots of breaks, the cnc doesn't.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.) 

Next up is vacuum chucks for the wood lathe.  The first is a 20” chuck for holding bowls for finishing the bottom.  A lot of time with green wood the bowl rim warps and won't seal to the chuck.  The solution is the blue foam from an old yoga mat.  Next are a couple of vacuum chucks made entirely from hard maple.  I taped the maple to thread on the lathe spindle just the same as I would if it was steel. 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Finally a vacuum bag.  Not just for veneer work.  Anything I can glue using a bag, it gets done in the bag.  Way better and easier than clamps.  The bag shown is store bought but I also make them for one off projects.  Good for lamination’s also.  Walmart sells vinyl by the yard but I always see if they have a remnant as they will sell that for a big discount.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

This thread is just a small sample of what is possible using vacuum.
Thanks Larry. Very cool!!
Its not the "years in your life" but the 'life in your years" that matters...Abe Lincoln

Offline Larry

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Re: Vacuum in the shop
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 03:11:46 pm »
I've been debating making some cross laminated timber panels 3 or 4 plies thick, a total 4-6" thick x 4'x8' or so.  vacuum is one way they are producing these. would 6 mil poly or something cheap hold up to single use?

I have never tried the 6 mil stuff.  Thinnest I have used is 20 mil I think.  It might work but a little experimenting would be prudent.  Normally a sharp corner is what tears a bag.

I was in a friends shop that does some one time stuff.  He uses a pretty thin poly but its something special and he has to buy a 1,500' roll 8' wide.  Its not cheap.

Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.