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Thread: Vacuum Rig Ver. 2.0

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan

    Vacuum Rig Ver. 2.0

    Well, after seeing the fine work that >> Steve Schlumpf << did on building his vacuum system, and the work that >> Vaughn McMillian << did on his Vacuum Cart, I figured it was time to upgrade my set up.

    There is one big difference between the systems they built, and the one I'm building, that is the pumps. Their pumps are not very large at all, they weigh about 25 lbs or so, while the pump I have, weighs in at over 60 pounds, so my system will live below the lathe, on top of the sand box on my stand.

    I have a Nova DVR 3000, the "Vacuum Attachment" that Tekna Tools sells is rather poor, they say it is for use with a shop vac, well I tried mine, and it did not work well at all, I had zero confidence that it would hold well enough to do much more than some sanding.

    I know that OneWay sells a good Vacuum Adaptor..........


    But is is nearly $100, and I'd have to remove the hand wheel each time I wanted to use this, so I was not interested (no doubt it is a good piece of kit).

    I saw someone else using the "Holdfast" adapter, so I looked at it.......

    Now I have to say, this really does look like something I could make myself, and being a chronic "Do it yourselfer" I did

    The hardest thing to source was the threaded lamp rod, but I did find some, at my favorite DIY shop, Joyful Honda!

    OK, I started with the "Spinner" which is the bit on the handcrank end of the headstock, NOT the spindle side. This is the piece that the hose attaches to and goes to the pump.

    Attachment 18846
    I took a bearing that I had, it has an inside diameter of 12mm, and I took a hose nipple that has an outside diameter of 13.6 mm..........

    Attachment 18847
    I then chucked up the hose nipple in the lathe and used a fine file on it to reduce it's size, I checked often, until I got it just the right size.

    Attachment 18848
    I used the woodworking vice to press fit the hose nipple into the center of the bearing.

    Attachment 18849
    Just to make really sure, I used some silicone sealer on the backside of the bearing, I sure hope it does not leak.

    Attachment 18850
    next I took one of the roundish nuts I got from the lamp shop stuff and drilled a hole that just fit the nut, this will get sandwiched between two pieces of MDF in the spinner.

    Attachment 18851
    I then used a holesaw to cut this piece of MDF into a nice little wheel, and I made a matching one as well.

    I made a third piece that is a little larger in diameter for the bearing to sit in.

    Attachment 18852
    Here are the parts that make up the "Spinner" for the handwheel side of the lathe.

    After that pic was taken, I drilled the center hole out to 9.6 mm, just slightly smaller than the lamp rod diameter, so the lamp rod will have to thread into the MDF a bit, I hope this stops some of the leaks.

    Attachment 18853
    I next put everything together, and glued it all up, then shaped it a bit on the lathe. (I've not yet begun the shaping in the pic).

    OK, on to the spindle side of things, I needed something to stop the lamp rod from pulling through the headstock, I could not find a tap in the right thread size for the lamp rod, or I'd have just made one up from some plastic or something............

    Attachment 18854
    ........instead, I bought this brass ball which was already threaded, I guess it was a finial on a lamp or something

    Attachment 18855
    I screwed it on to the lamp rod, using RED Loctite then I drilled it, and shaped it a bit on the lathe (brass shapes easy with the lathe HSS tools ).

    If need be, I'll put some sort of foam washer between the ball and the spindle, but I think I can "Rub" the brass ball against the spindle enough to make a good tight fit

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    OK just a bit more for now......

    Attachment 18856
    Here is my Dungeon Made vacuum rod!

    I'll put a bit of sealer on the MDF, just to make sure it does not leak, but that should be good to go.

    Attachment 18857
    here it is from the spindle side, the various vacuum chucks will just screw onto the spindle.

    Attachment 18858 Attachment 18859
    A couple of shots from the back side, you can see the bearing and the hose nipple. The hose nipple is the type that the hose, which is this stiff stuff, just pushes into the nipple, then you can release it by pushing down a collar around the hose, should be good.

    Attachment 18860
    here are all the parts, yet to be assembled.

    The large "T" fitting is my manifold of sorts, as the hose from my mondo pump is an inside diameter of 20mm, the fitting is large too. I hope to mount this all, tucked neatly out of the way, but still accessible under the end of the lathe.

    Well, that is it for now, more when I get more done!

    Oh Yeah, here is my "Cute Vac"......
    Attachment 18861

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Schenectady, NY

    Excellent !

    I have been putting off making up a vac rotary adapter for some time now and you have just provided the inspiration for me to get off my butt and do it. I looked into an adapter like Steve Schlumpf had made and it's nice but slightly more than I expected. Very well made though. I have some bearings already and can get lamp rod easily. Good tip on the brass ball too. I have a bunch of scrap Corian so I might make mine out of that-no leaks.

    Great job as usual Stu, thanks for all the pix and details.
    Don Orr

    Woodturners make the World go ROUND

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Doom, despair, and agony on me...........

    The bearing I bought is "Shielded" not "Sealed" sometimes things get lost in translation

    Also, the "One Touch" fittings leaked, I guess they are OK for air "pressure" but not for "vacuum"

    Oh well.

    I switched to the normal fittings and normal hose, worked fine, but..... the stupid bearing leaks like a screen door on a submarine.....

    OK, I switched to the Tekna Tool adapter that fits into the handwheel........... that bearing leaks as well

    Otherwise, everything is peachy

    I'm trying to find another bearing, I can easily order one on Monotaro, it should be here tomorrow, but I really, REALLY need to find out, for sure, if this one is "SEALED" not just "SHIELDED" ...........

    Pics later.....
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Well, that bites. You know infinitely more about bearings than I do, so I don't have any advice to offer, just consolation.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I could not crack the codes for the NTN bearings, but I found a code crack for the NSK bearings, on a skateboard site, of all places

    I ordered the 6004-DDU which is the "Double Contact Seal" bearings, so I hope that woks
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    OK here are the pics, I guess Ver. 2.01

    Attachment 18875

    OK, that is how it looks, when not in use, I even put a nice hook on there for the hose

    Attachment 18872
    Here it is in use, I think this will work just fine (when I get the right bearing!), not "easy" to get too, but, not in the way either.

    Attachment 18873
    OK, here is the gage with everything sealed up, but the bearing is leaking like crazy.

    Attachment 18874
    Here, by sealing off the hole in the spinner adapter, you can see I can draw max vacuum.

    Hope that bearing gets here soon!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Hi Stu,

    I hate to rain your parade, but...

    MDF will need to be really well sealed. It also leaks like a sieve. (Loved your analogy of a screen door on a submarine!). But I digress. MDF is used by CNC users (big production shops) as a spoil board. Air is drawn through it to hold materials that are being cut. And as the air is being pulled through it, small particles are loosened and pulled with it. It time it looks like microscopic Swiss cheese. Leaking even better! Since they are also cutting into it slightly as they cut their parts, that looses more particles... well, you get the idea.

    Lest you think this does not apply, some qualifications that allow me to make this assertion.

    In the '90's I taught woodworking in a community college in California. I developed and taught a course on vacuum applications in the woodworking shop. In that class the students each built a system and some jigs to use with it. (It has many more applications that holding something on the lathe.

    At the end of the semester we had a contest to see whose system held a vacuum the longest. That certainly tested the materials involved.

    That said, I can tell you that you will want to upgrade to a non-porous material. Sealed maple worked well. HDPE also did. We had a plastics supplier nearby and they had a wonderful scrap bin! Any washer or gasket material had to be closed cell material. Oddly, rubber did not form a good seal. It proved to be too inflexible in mating to the surfaces to be sealed.

    So perhaps your leaks are coming from places other than your bearing. Your bearing should be specified a a double sealed bearing. I realize that your sources of supply are not the same as in the States, but bearings are manufactured worldwide and that is a valid specification. (We had a bearing supplier come into the class to talk about these things, as we used bearings in some of our other jigs as well.)

    I suspect you have read the site. He has excellent information and is a reasonably priced source for parts and pieces needed to build a system.

    Sorry to get to the party so late, but my day job yesterday was 14 hours long.

    BTW, I liked the ball end idea. However, I would line the ball side to the spindle mating with closed celled foam insulation. Wrap it around the lamp rod and unto the ball. Cut an angled meeting of the 2 ends, and a scarf joint as well, rather than a perpendicular butt joint. It will seal against itself better.

    It takes only the tiniest of leaks to seriously degrade the quality of the vacuum pressure. Perhaps your pump's CFM can overcome your application, but most likely not. That's the difference between our little systems and the big boys big systems. CFM.

    One more thought based on experience. The force most likely to break the vacuum bond proved to be sheer force. And that is just the force we turners need to have working FOR us. In turning applications (which we did not do back then 'cause no one I knew was using vacuum chucks with their lathes then), the type of material on your chuck between it and the wood being turned ought to be something tacky. Not sticky, but tacky. Again I would use the closed cell foam insulation on the edge that contacts your work. BWT, 3/8" wide stuff proved to be the most useful. When looking for the stuff, look into door and window insulation products and make sure the package specifies "closed cell." Also a light touch with the turning tools when under way or you will have entered the world of bowl launching.

    Just some real world experience with this particular technology garnered over 4 years of teaching the classes.

    Something more to think about. Your turned wood will also leak to some extent, especially open cell wood. This means your system in use will have some leaks. With our smaller CFM pumps we have to reserve those inevitable leaks to the wood turning. The system will have to be leak-proof. On thin turnings you will need a valve to introduce a controlled leak or it will implode. Exciting to watch. Somewhat dangerous to be around. Totally destructive to the workpiece. Sealing the turning with finish on the side being mated to the vacuum chuck is a good idea no matter which wood you are turning.

    Hope I have been helpful, and I am happy to answer questions if there are any, but patience is order this week. Much on my calendar. (I am a minister in my day job.)
    Last edited by Carol Reed; 03-26-2008 at 10:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Carol, I'm aware of most of the things you bring up, but certainly not all of them, thanks so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!

    I know that the MDF is really porous, and the chuck that I have used MDF for I did have to put about seven coats of poly on it to seal it up.

    I have imploded bowls and yes, it was exciting

    In an earlier post on the subject, I noted that when a bowl that is somewhat thin is on the vacuum chuck, having it's base sanded, when I rubbed my hand over the surface of the bowl, it felt "Wet", while I knew it was NOT wet, it felt that way. What I was feeling was the drag I would normally associate with wet wood, but as my brain was not thinking "Vacuum" it thought "Wet Wood", so it fooled me, I had a good laugh at myself on that one

    If you noticed in my last post, I've pretty much ditched the lamp rod and the spinner and I am trying to get a double sealed bearing to replace the one on the Tekna Tools Vacuum adapter, which is NOT sealed, only shielded.

    The Pump I am using is a little overkill.....

    Attachment 18876 Attachment 18877 Attachment 18878
    I found this same pump for sale in the US on eBay and other sites, selling for $600, so I think I got a good one here, I paid 11,100 yen plus shipping, maybe another 1,500 yen (it weighs 26Kg/57lbs) so a total of 12,600 yen or $105 USD

    Says pumping to the 10-2 and 160 liters a minute (42 US Gal/min) , but I may yet put my reservoir tanks back into the system.

    Attachment 18879
    Here is a another pic of the pump, sitting on the bed of my DVR, with my Estwing hammer in there for scale

    Again, thanks much for all of your info Carol, I appreciate it.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Harvey, Michigan
    Great job Stu! Love the photo work also! Half the fun of making something yourself is overcoming the little pitfalls that occur once you fire everything up! At least you know what the problem is and what it will take to fix it!

    I give you big credits for figuring out a way to build your own system - and then actually doing it! Nice work!

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