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A project log for DIY Vacuum Table for CNC machines

Vacuum table for CNC machines made out of aluminium with some useful features

I'm a makerI'm a maker 07/28/2019 at 16:480 Comments

Since I'm asked a few times which vacuum pumps I plan to use, I want to write it down here, so that everybody interested in this project can get the answer easily. But of course, feel free to ask, if you have any questions.

There are some possibilities to use at vacuum devices. I cannot list all of them, so I just list the both cheapest I found. 

  1. A normal vacuum cleaner can be used if a good vacuum cleaner is available. Some adapters are available online and they are quite cheap. (Here is a link, although I'm not paid by the vendor of the link: https://vacuumtables.co.uk/vacuum-table-accessories/vacuum-manifold/vacuum-cleaner-hose-adapter-for-10x8mm)
  2. I'm using pumps of Thomas (by Gardner Denver) of the 2660 series (https://www.gd-thomas.com/en/products/compressors-and-vacuum-pumps/wob-l-piston-pumps-compressors/2660-series.html). Depending on the volume flow I'll use one, two or three pumps. At least in Germany, these devices are quite cheap on ebay (about 50€ per pump).

Since it has been pain in the a** to drill the small holes for the vacuum and it just takes a long time with very conservative speeds and feeds, it'll take until the end of the week to drill all the 1050 holes. Currently, about 40% are drilled. The total duration to drill the 1050 holes are predicted by the CAM software to be 26 hours and 50 minutes. Maybe, I could tweak the settings, but I'm afraid of breaking another drill. 

  1. The first drills I used have been very cheap (about 9 Euros for 10 drills with 0.214mm and 1mm shaft) and they broke quickly.
  2. Thereafter, I ordered 3 new drills, 0.2mm with 3mm shaft. Furthermore, I ordered a precision collet. Each drill is about 5 Euros. They also broke.
  3. Finally, a very nice guy I met at Facebook has sent me 4 drills with 0.3mm diameter and 1/8 inch shafts. The first one has drilled about 30% of all holes and is still intact. So, I'll keep my fingers cross.

Now, about 40% of all holes are drilled. It'll take about 16 hours to drill the remaining ones. The video of part 2 of the top plate will be released by end of the week.

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