View Full Version : DIY Vacuum Table

20-07-2009, 12:47 PM
I do a lot of carving in irregular shaped wood, typically well seasoned tree; cherry, pine, holly, and so on.
Holding that piece is a big challenge. It occurred that a vacuum table would be a good solution. Masking off areas of the table with cling film to increase the 'grip' on the job. My initial design is an array of 3mm holes on a 10x10mm grid cut into perspex (just thinking that a 15x15 grid might be better!). Perspex in 2 halves, holes in top, airways in below.

Any thoughts on what would be a suitable hole size, and how close the holes need to be.

I'd put up a dxf of the job if Lee could permit dxf file types (please).

Lee Roberts
20-07-2009, 11:57 PM
Hey Corran, i think cncdudez (http://www.cncdudez.co.uk/) built somthing like what your suggesting, just gonna check his site now...

Yep found it: Vacuum Table (http://www.cncdudez.co.uk/vactable.htm) Vacuum Breakout Box (http://www.cncdudez.co.uk/vacbreakout.htm)

I know its probably not "just what" you was looking for but i think cncdudez will be along shortly to help you and advise.

Ill get those dxf file types permited now for you.

27-07-2009, 12:37 PM
Thanks Lee, that design is much better than what I had conceived. Though I would make one more shallow, that 38mm vac port makes it very tall. Using their vac break out box, should be down at the 20mm height!


27-07-2009, 03:13 PM
Apart from the obvious choice of using a vacuum cleaner for the motor, what other suggestions can we come up with?

Vacuum cleaner motors have some basic failures when it comes to vac tables: continuous or long time use can cause the motor to burst into smoke because the motor needs airflow to keep cool. A good vac table won't have much airflow.

I was looking at breaking up a vacuum cleaner to get the impeller and also maybe putting a fan on the other endof the shaft for cooling.

I have a spare tumble dryer motor that needs the bearings replaced, I thinks it might be a good choice.

The biggest factor is NOISE. I need a quiet system. Already I have to shut everything down at 9pm to avoid complaints from the neighbours.

As for the spindle: the B&Q 1020W router is too noisy as it is!! :(
I've studied Jeremy's excellent thread on the DC brushless motor DIY spindle and think it'd be a good solution for my too noisy environment.



28-07-2009, 08:54 PM
Hi Corran,
I don't know if you need a spindle over 1000w but I bought a Millwaukee die grinder it's 500w but built like a tank and reasonably quiet plus variable speed. I can't help on the vacuum front though.

30-07-2009, 12:58 AM
Thanks for the heads up.
I had a look at those, the one I fancy is discontinued. The short nosed one with the 43mm ring mount.
However, they appear to feature a 6mm collet, which will not do me at all. All my bits are either 1/4" or 1/8", and I have a right few!!

I'll stick with my B&Q 1020W 25 wonder for now.... until I can reproduce what Jeremy did with DC brushless motors and so on.


17-10-2009, 02:40 PM

I am using a Kress 1050 and it is very quiet compared to alot of other motors and does the job very well. Only needing to find a way of controling spindle speed from Mach instead of guessing via the thumb wheel on top.


08-11-2010, 04:21 PM
I think I may have found a solution to the whole spindle debate. Ebay are featuring water cooled BDCM with speed controller with prices anywhere between $250 and $700, shipped from China or Hong Kong.
Apparently the water cooling is achievable using a large bucket and a fish tank circulating pump.
They claim that the VFM can be controlled from Mach3 using the S feature in g-code.
So now all I need is for the numbers to come up on Wednesday or Saturday and I can get one in before the VAT increase!!!:eek:

08-11-2010, 07:36 PM
Dunno if this is anygood to you fella but worth a try, i think they do plans but im not 100% sure as they have just redone thir website http://www.phlatboyz.com/Phlatformer_p_10.html

09-11-2010, 12:33 AM
D-Man, I find your avatar offensive. You might think it funny, but wives looking over shoulders get offended and get all sorts of wrong ideas!
Not Happy!

09-11-2010, 12:39 AM
Back to the topic in hand.
I have attached the vac table I now use.
This is the file that was converted to g-code.

Robin Hewitt
09-11-2010, 12:52 PM
D-Man, I find your avatar offensive.

Agreed, totally out of place.

The easiest way to a vacuum is a venturi type pump either on an airline or cold water tap.

09-11-2010, 04:42 PM
Agreed, totally out of place.

I thought D-man's got a great rack!! lol :joker:

09-11-2010, 06:43 PM
its been on there since i joined this forum! no problem, i will change it! a simple pm would of been better

Lee Roberts
09-11-2010, 07:18 PM
its been on there since i joined this forum!

That is because there is nothing wrong with your shooters, so feel free to put them back.

Robin Hewitt
09-11-2010, 07:40 PM
I thought D-man's got a great rack!! lol :joker:

If that's a rack then in my o-pinion it's a-pawl-ing :naughty:

09-11-2010, 08:21 PM
If that's a rack then in my o-pinion it's a-pawl-ing :naughty:

Now that i like lol

Cheers Lee but im not here to upset people, only after advice etc

blackburn mark
09-11-2010, 10:23 PM
simple pm would of been better

agreed.... but i deffo prefer grumpy :)

09-11-2010, 11:11 PM
After reading this i thought gosh i better change mine just in case i was offending anybody?