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DIY Vacuum table plenum design?

9023 Views 11 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Gary Wiant
I'm in the process of designing my vacuum table for my soon to be delivered CNCRP PRO 4'x8'.

I'm planning on 4 - 2'x4' zones possibly with T-Slot rails between the zones but my question is about the plenum layout. So everyone with DIY or OEM Vacuum tables what do you feel are the advantages or disadvantages of having my zones either run the full width of my X-Axis or would I be better off running 2 zones across my x-axis? I would guess you would say the zones run the width of the router or 2 up the length of router, beginning that my old router was so bad I haven't done enough routing to know what material I'll probably use more of.

For our sign shop I'll probably end up using more full sheets but I have no idea what type of projects will pop up.

Thank you
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Gary I'm curious how you plan to join the different zones into the hose intake. This might be the most important issue because if you don't have enough cross section at the individual connections compared to the main hose then you may lose efficiency. I'm assuming in that question that you want to be able to close zones off that aren't being used otherwise there is no advantage to dividing it up in my mind.

In rare cases I edit spelling where the mistake could cause confusion and I edited one but I'm not sure what was meant by "my old router was sp". If you tell me what was meant to go there I'll edit it for you.
First off yes, my post should have read "my old router was SO BAD that I haven't done a lot"

As for the plumbing design, I'm planning on using Wade's ( advise, unless someone can see an issue. I'll build a 1'x4'x4" box that has dividers that create 4 - 1'x1'x4" sections (1 section for each motor & each motor will have it's own power switch ) then come out of each box section with 2" PVC pipes that has a ball valve then feeds into a 4' or so long x 2" PVC pipe (common area) that has 4 - T's then into ball valves that feed each zone.

I'm thinking to keep the efficiency up I will alternate the T's COMING INTO the common area with T's GOING OUT to the Zones, I'm thinking I shouldn't have an issue with 1 zone having more vacuum than another when running all 4 zones.

Let me know your thoughts
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Is the table for holding your work down or for clearing dust? There's a big difference between them.
It's a vacuum table for work holding. I've never heard of a vacuum table to remove dust.
Commonly used as a sanding table. Here's one: I used a CNC router a little bit once in a cabinet factory I worked at for a short time. It had rubber seals on the table to seal the part to the table. Will yours have something like that?
It's on.a cnc router not a sanding table. I'll be making a plenum routed out of either MDF or PVC then glue a piece of ultralight MDF on top and the vacuum will pull through the ultra light MDF & hold the work down to the table.

Have you seen on the Shopbot blog the BradyVac & BradyVac II ??

The Shopbot forum seems to have loads of articles.

Maybe remove the headache of building and go w/ a BlackBox ?
I'll look at those links specifically, but I have looked at some of the shopbot threads, but a lot I've seen are older posts and mainly about motors & plumbing, I have not seen much about the design or materials for the plenum, other than MDF & I'm looking for an alternative material that I wont need to seal that isn't crazy expensive.

I looked at Black box but I didn't want to spend that much for the motors & a box. I have already purchased the 4 vacuum motors
Thank you
Here is my concept for running the plumbing for my vacuum table. Does anyone see any issues with this? I'm concerned that one of the motors may divert more vacuum to one zone over another.



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Here is my concept for running the plumbing for my vacuum table. Does anyone see any issues with this? I'm concerned that one of the motors may divert more vacuum to one zone over another.

Gary, I dont think its necessary to have the middle valves.

I was looking at my SS F4 vac and the manifold is directly after
the motors. I assume the motors are within the sealed cabinet.
Well, it looks sealed all around. I cant tell, its brand new and I wont open it
so I dont know if each motor is in its own chamber or all together.
The area for all 4 motors is 1x1x4 after that is cooling fins and intake thingamajiggie

This thing weighs over 200lbs tho.

But from the 4" manifold, the pipes come from the motors.
Then from the manifold goes to a main pipe to another manifold
and from there is the 2 valves then to the 2 zones.

I just got in a SS Pro404 and its 4x4 and has 2 zones.
Cant really tell what this thing is made from, seems like a smooth phenolic maybe.
Sure ain't pvc..

I can get pics tomoro but not of the inside opened, lots of screws.
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Yes please post photos and yes the first set of valves are definately needed. If you are only running 2 or 3 motors the motors that are not running will suck air back through the motor.
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