|Forum topic by Mark Smith||posted 380 days ago||1126 views||0 times favorited||10 replies|
380 days ago
This will probably only be of interest to you of you have a CNC machine. I was at the AWFS show in Vegas last week when I saw Vacuum Pods. These are a cheaper alternative to have vacuum table. The ones I bought actually work off an air compressor using a venturi effect versus having to buy a vacuum pump. They are shipping them to me so I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet, but the demo they did using a very small portable compressor was very impressive. They were able to hold down a piece of wood very tight. I could not break the seal by hand.
But the most interesting thing I saw is I was at the booth of the company who made my CNC machine and they had a portable vacuum table on their demo unit. I was talking to the guy about it and about the Pod system I had just found at the other booth. As we were talking I pointed out that the only bad thing about these compact vacuum units is you couldn’t use them easily if you wanted to cut completely through the piece of wood as you run the risk of damaging the vacuum unit. The units are made of plastic so at least you won’t damage your CNC if you hit one. The guy says watch this and he put a piece of 1/2 inch particle board on top of the vacuum table and then put the piece of project wood on top of the particle board. The vacuum actually sucked through the particle board and held the project board in place and again I could not break it free with my bare hands. For those of you with CNC’s this appears to be a very good alternative to double sided tape or other clamping systems that may damage your machine.
The pods I bought are coming from www.vacuumpods.com. I paid $300 for six pods and the valve system to run them off the air compressor. I already have the air compressor in my shop so there won’t be an expense there. When I get them in I’ll report back on how good they actually work.
-- Mark Smith, Tracy, CA., http://www.markscustomwoodcrafts.com