Vacuum clamps for routing. - Router Forums
 15Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
hawkeye10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
First Name: Don
Posts: 2,603
 
Default Vacuum clamps for routing.

I was wondering if any of you clamp with a vacuum. As I understand it it takes very little vacuum to hold something down but I could be wrong. I am talking about clamping small things like less than a foot square. This may not be worth the effort, I don't know.
jj777746 likes this.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
hawkeye10 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 06:52 PM
Registered User
 
jj777746's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Country: Australia
First Name: James
Posts: 4,729
 
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
I was wondering if any of you clamp with a vacuum. As I understand it it takes very little vacuum to hold something down but I could be wrong. I am talking about clamping small things like less than a foot square. This may not be worth the effort, I don't know.
@ hawkeye.Hi Don,I don't know the answer to your question but it is a very good question.Anyone with imagination can see a work area,connected to a vacuum system hooked up to fences or tables,jigs,feather boards & the like where, rather than turning knobs,nuts,screws & other adjustments,one could simply attach a small hose with a pre-set vacuum,& your ready to go. Of course I am over-simplifying this,it's what I'm good at.lol.If this is done already,I swear I didn't know.Jamesjj777746.

You can't drive a bridge spike with a tack hammer(so I'm told)
jj777746 is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 07:46 PM
Registered User
 
CharleyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Charley
Posts: 2,136
 
Default

About 10 + years ago there was a company booth at "The Woodworking Shows" that sold a bunch of vacuum attachments and hold downs. I didn't buy from them at the show, but tried about a year later and they were out of business. They made round and square vacuum chucks with O rings top and bottom and push connect fittings in the edge for connecting 1/4" OD poly tubing, They also made a circle cutting adapter that did not require a center pivot hole to be drilled. It was held in place by vacuum. Their products were mostly made from aluminum.

I have since thought of making similar vacuum fittings using 3/4 Baltic Birch and grooving it for O rings, then drilling the needed ports and installing push connect fittings. It wouldn't be hard. I just never seemed to need them bad enough to do it. There is now a closed cell Weatherstrip type tape that they sell for CNC work that might make the construction easier, because O rings and the needed grooves for them wouldn't be required.

If you do it, I want to see pictures.

Their standard vacuum chuck was just a round slab of 3-4" diameter aluminum about the size of a hockey puck, but 5/8 or 3/4 thick. It had a hole completely drilled through the center and another intersecting hole completely drilled from one edge to the opposite side. These second holes had push connect fittings in them that allowed them to be connected together and to the vacuum source. An O ring groove and O ring almost as large as the top and bottom face formed the vacuum seal Several of these could be connected together. Then with a plug in one port of the last one, and a vacuum line connected to the first one, vacuum would hold the part in place as well as hold all of these vacuum chucks to the work bench. They also had one sided versions of these with threaded screw holes in the bottom for attaching to a fixture or bench. Their circle attachment just had one O ring on the bottom and the top had a pivot connection in the center for a router circle cutting attachment. Only one vacuum fitting was in the edge, since I guess they didn't expect this to be used along with the hold downs, but it probably could be if attached to the end of the string.

Charley
MT Stringer and jj777746 like this.

Central North Carolina

Last edited by CharleyL; 03-15-2017 at 08:13 PM.
CharleyL is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:30 PM
Registered User
 
vchiarelli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Country: Canada
First Name: Vince
Posts: 3,456
 
Default

Don - I've never used a vacuum to clamp anything down, but years ago I purchased a "router mat" that I use for sanding small pieces. The material is non-slip. Here's an example of one from Rockler. I've had mine so long I don't remember where I got it but it was probably a Canadian Tire store.

24" x 36" Non-Slip Tool Mat | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

Some folks call me Vince - other folks call me...........
vchiarelli is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:57 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Country: United States
First Name: Larry
Posts: 1,499
 
Default

I thought the idea of a vacuum was so you don't have to clamp the pieces down.
Knot working is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 07:31 AM
Registered User
 
CharleyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Country: United States
First Name: Charley
Posts: 2,136
 
Default

Right! The vacuum chuck eliminates the need for clamps. Remove the air under the piece to be clamped, and atmospheric pressure holds the part in place, usually with more force than most clamps can apply. Many production CNC machines use vacuum hold downs. Many of these hold downs are designed to be easily re-configured so the program doesn't cut through one of them. Production CNC machines is where you will find them mostly used.

For work bench use, I think they could be quite handy if they could be easily re-configured, which is why I was impressed with the products being offered in that woodworking show booth. Their holding power is way better than a router mat and increases as the area of vacuum is increased. A holding force 14.7 lbs per square inch if the vacuum level is good, so a small 3" X 3" vacuum chuck would have 132 lbs of force holding the part if the vacuum level was good.

OK, I'm re-inspired to make some of these. I think I have everything that I need, except maybe the time. I'll let you all know what I end up with.

Charley

Central North Carolina

Last edited by CharleyL; 03-16-2017 at 07:34 AM.
CharleyL is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
hawkeye10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Country: United States
First Name: Don
Posts: 2,603
 
Default

I was think about clamping for routing operations. I saw this in a Patrice Spielman book that was dated 1988. They said it took very little vacuum like about as much as a vacuum that is created sucking through a straw. They also said vacuum motor from a refrigerator do it. I saw where Harbor Fright had on for $18. You would also need a few fittings and tubing.

Don in Murfreesboro,Tn.

Measure once cut twice and it's still to short.
hawkeye10 is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:28 AM
Forum Contributor
 
MEBCWD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 3,362
 
Default

Here are a couple of links for vacuum clamping systems

Vacuum Clamp Systems - Lee Valley Tools

Vacuum Clamping (Vacuum Hold-Down Jig)

And also for vacuum chucking on your lathe

https://www.amazon.com/Vacuum-Drum-C.../dp/B0036Z2T50

Vacuum Chucking Lathe Projects with Vacuum
Ed3443 and jj777746 like this.

Mike
Your BRAIN Is The Most Important Power Tool In Your Shop. Turn It On Before You Turn On Any Other Power Tool.
A Disability Is Only A Disability If You Let It Be One
MEBCWD is online now  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:33 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Gary
Posts: 760
 
Default

Don, You must first determine that the vacuum is the bypass type motor. which uses air intake separate from vacuum air to cool the motor. A non bypass vacuum uses exhaust air from the vacuum to cool the motor and if you seal off incoming air from the vacuum hose you would overheat the motor. A non bypass vacuum motor could conceivably turn into a fire starter by intaking flameables and passing that air past sparking brushes as it cools the motor. Just my 2 cents.
gmercer_48083 is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:59 AM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 15,908
 
Default

I worked in a cabinet factory for a short time and the CNC router used vacuum holdown. It seems to me I had to configure it to fit what was being run. I didn't spend much time on it. Most of my time was on a CNC beam saw. I loved running that machine.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Improved Lighting For My Scroll Saw CharleyL Wood Scrolling 32 02-06-2020 02:34 PM
Bosch VAC140A HEPA ready vacuum Mike Tool Reviews 3 07-05-2015 02:01 AM
Vacuum Exhaust Muffler MAFoElffen Tools and Woodworking 13 09-24-2012 10:54 PM
Space Bags for small piece vacuum veneering? CharleyL Tools and Woodworking 7 06-30-2012 07:25 AM
T Track Toggle Clamps Pop_pop1 Table-mounted Routing 4 07-29-2005 02:22 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome