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Vacuum Table Curiosity

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
Vacuum Table Curiosity
September 16, 2008 05:57PM
I've been looking into the idea of a vacuum table to hold the boards as they're etched, but I figured I'd check with you guys( as well as CNCZone) to see how/how well they can be built before I start tinkering. Anybody out there built one from scratch?
Re: Vacuum Table Curiosity
September 22, 2008 12:46PM
I have built one based on using a piece of 6"x11"x1" Al that I had in my supply bin. This was fitted with some groves to allow me to thread some O ring material into and hook a vacuum pump to. I have tested it by placing a piece of 4"x4" Al on top and then I can lift the whole assembly. Haven't had a chance to test it yet do to other problems on the mill.
Anonymous User
Re: Vacuum Table Curiosity
September 25, 2008 03:46PM
I have built a vacuum table powered ( evacuated) by a small vacuum pump as used by refrigeration mechanics.
My table is fairly large executed in aluminium.
Lower grooved half is the vacuum chamber with a plate screwed on top.
Plate surface milled and drilled through with a stepped hole to limit air flow in case it is not covered over.
I use a thick soft plastic film to block unused areas so as to minimise air ingress.
One of the major problems is to not mark the table surface with inadvertent spindle plunges (sad smiley)
Just discovered porous plastic panels are readily available. May try out a sheet in between aluminium bed and pcb.
Bed is approximately 480mm x 580mm ( 18" x 24" approx)
Anonymous User
Re: Vacuum Table Curiosity
October 09, 2008 02:03AM
Hi all, I have just built a vacuum chuck from 8mm ally and have milled several "sets" of vac tracks. I have a seperate connection to the vac tracks via some 24v solenoid valves which allows me to select the tracks that I need for the board size that I am cutting. What I did find was that your vac tracks must be large enough to create enough friction to hold the board. If you mill just a square track say a 25 mm outline usinf a 3 mm bit your grip will be too little, you need to cut tracks inside the square so that your vac and board support areas are better balanced. A bit of trial and error will soon sort this out.
Best regards
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