Vacuum chucks

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by pfduffy, May 28, 2005.

  1. pfduffy

    pfduffy

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Williamsburg, VA
    In the Tips section there is a great thread from Jeff and John Tolly on vacuum chucks. Since I knew nothing of the subject it put me on the path of quick learning.
    Yesterday, a buddy of mine brought over a vac. system he had put together for some flat work. It is a bit different than I have seen on the Web so I will pass it on. He has a salvaged refrigerator vacuum pump, 1/4 HP, connected to an empty propane tank, and the tank valve connected via a 3/8 ID in hose to the rotating adapter. When I first saw it I was a bit skeptical but on the first try it is fabulous. The big difference is that when the elec. power fails (often in VA) the vacuum in the tank gives you plenty of time to carefully stop the lathe and remove the workpiece. No panic, no lost pieces and no sweat! The gauge is on the tank so it is easy to see how many inches of HG your system is holding. Having done about 3 platters in the last few hours I will say it is quite a wonderous transition! Thanks, Bob Wilkes, MIT engineer par excellence! Phil
     
  2. pfduffy

    pfduffy

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Williamsburg, VA
    Vacuum chuck Lessons Learned

    Just a quick addition to the body of knowledge. I have a roll of shelve-covering foam that turns out to be a real wonderful sealing material between the vacuum chuck and workpiece. It is obviously closed cell material. I cut a circle a bit larger that the chuck face, put a hole in the center, and just mount it on the interface between chuck and piece. Works wonders to hold the vacuum and sure beats the o-ring I had been using. Try it! Phil
     
  3. sroxberg1

    sroxberg1

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    The pump you described sounds like the one that www.joewoodworker.com explains how to build. The reserve tanks also allow a pump to cycle on and off if you need it too.

    I haven't built one yet, but am looking at doing it.
     

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