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Vacuum chuck systems for wood lathes,woodworkers supply company,wood glider bench plans,free woodworking plans entry bench - PDF Books>

The SmartVac II Starter Package from Pierson Workholding includes everything needed to take the first step into vacuum chuck workholding for plastic and metal machining. The V-Clamp is ideal for holding small, dry parts for hand finishing or light power tool use in woodworking applications. Before diving into the world of vacuum chuck workholding there are some basic definitions that are helpful to know.
I've always wanted to adapt my vacuum press so I could use it for vacuum chucking small bowls on my lathe. The most important thing to do before you build the vacuum chuck is check the headstock on the lathe.
If your lathe meets the above requirement, you'll also need an outboard sanding disk or faceplate in addtion to the parts below.
Be sure to read this article entirely and verify your lathe will accommodate these instructions before you begin building a vacuum chuck.
The continuous on and off cycles that will be caused by this add-on are not good for the electronic components on the vacuum pump. With these bits of information, you can calculate the clamping force and that will help you determine if the pump is safe to use for chucking.
Clamping force is based on a calculation using the maximum sustainable vacuum level and the surface area where the project is attached to the chuck.
Determine the maximum sustainable vacuum level that you can reach with your project piece attached to the vacuum chuck simply by placing it on the chuck and turning on your vacuum pump. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine this without actually placing the project on a vacuum chuck.
Once the work piece is centered on the vacuum drum, you can close the vacuum valve on the manifold.
When the turned project is complete, turn off the lathe and allow it to stop spinning (duh!).
Remember, the vacuum chuck will not work on turning which are made from porous woods like oak!

It's likely that some modification to this article may be necessary unless you have a lathe that is exactly like mine. Additionally, the pump may not cycle often enough to maintain a minimum of 15" of vacuum inside the vacuum chuck. In most cases, the vacuum chuck will be circular so use Pi (roughly 3.14) to determine this number.
A non-porous material that is chucked to your lathe will typically achieve the same level of maximum vacuum that your pump is capable of achieving. You would need to determine the actual maximum sustainable vacuum and this will vary across each project you try out depending on the size and porosity of the material. The HDPE accepts the wood screws like softwood so be careful that you don't over-tighten the screws. I tried several ways of attaching the bearing and manifold to the HDPE and found that the easiest way was to use 3 fender washers and #10 wood screws.
It's the part on the inboard side of the lathe that holds the work piece in place with vacuum. After you've got a work piece turned and ready for the vacuum chuck, securely attach the manifold to the lathe. It is generally accepted that 15" of Hg is the minimum safe vacuum for most small to medium sized projects. One nice thing about this add-on is that it allows you to easily monitor the vacuum level on the work piece. A large industrial pump capable of pulling a very high vacuum may not be suitable for chucking if the vacuum surface area of the project is small. In other words, the project material itself allows no loss of vacuum therefor the pump will achieve its best available vacuum. Several of our customers are using 3 CFM vacuum sources for chucking but most are opting for 5 CFM vacuum sources. Mark the center of the holes in the washers so you'll know where to drill the pilot holes for the screws that hold the washers in place.

If you suspect that your work piece is extremely thin or fragile, the best thing to do is close the vacuum valve slowly and listen for any cracking. Get ready to grab the finished project because when the vacuum drops, the project will pop off. It's a bit more costly to go this route, but I think it's worth the extra money since it's something that will be in your shop for a long, long time.
It took me a while to figure out that the caulk is rather important in making a chuck that doesn't leak. In this project, you need a tape that is thin so the work piece will not shift with pressure from the lathe tool. The vacuum adapter passes through the lathe’s hollow headstock to connect the vacuum generator to the vacuum chuck. And with the vacuum valve and bleeder, it also allows you to pre-fit the work piece with light vacuum so you can center the project on the jig easily without having to have an extra set of hands to control the vacuum source. And for goodness sake, make sure the project is centered on the jig before you get the lathe up to speed. When the project is perfectly centered, simply flip the valve handle and full vacuum is applied. With this information, you can determine the total clamping force on the project and consider whether or not it is enough to safely hold your project while it is being turned. If your lathe doesn't meet the requirements above, you might want to look at the VacuuMaster jig from Woodworker's Supply.

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22.03.2015 | Author: admin

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