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Vacuum Hold Down Question

Discussion in 'CNC Routers & Engravers' started by SignSourceofMobile, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. SignSourceofMobile

    SignSourceofMobile Member

    May 7, 2015
    Mobile, AL
    I work for a shop that is preparing the purchase our first CNC machine. None of us have any previous experience with them. I think we're going to get the 4'x8' shopbot. Can anyone recommend a vacuum for the hold down system that would be sufficient for holding coroplast, pvc, maxmetal, etc. Thanks in advance for all your help.
  2. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
  3. rossmosh

    rossmosh Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    The most affordable option is the "Black Box" vacuum system. Basically it's 4 home vacuums plumbed together. I have one with 2 on a 4x8 table and I'm just waiting for the next project to upgrade to 4. You can buy one ready to go on the net or build your own. It's not rocket science. Also runs on 220v (30A). This is a very proven option but please understand it is not for heavy commercial use. The next step up is a vacuum pump. These will be more expensive but they're built to run all the time. The biggest "issue" with these is the 3 phase power. Some buildings don't have it and if you do, it can be expensive wiring for it.

    As for the table. MDO or plywood base. .75" or 1" Medex or similar cabinet grade MDF plenum. Surface and cut your grid into it. Seal with several coats of poly. Also I made this mistake, but you want to split your zones up using strips in between. Glue the spoil board down to plenum. Spoil board should be made of Trupan/LDF. Whether you need to skin both sides of the LDF is up for discussion. Some say just skin one side. Others say do both.

    Just so you know, you really can't cut Coroplast with a router bit. You'll need a drag knife. Also don't expect the vac table to work for everything. Full sheets is where you're going to love the vac table. Cutting out of scrap pieces, I'd expect to throw a screw or 3 in the material.
  4. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

    May 16, 2012
    Medina Ohio
    Shop Bot has a plenum file in their sb parts folder. I use 2 Fein vacs on my 4x8 Shop Bot go on their forum and put in black box vacumm

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