Update on vacuum table stuff

(Carl Hilinski) #1

In another posting, I talked about using a low powered Gast vacuum pump to run a vacuum table. That post got kind of long and drifted in lots of different directions, so this is just for the purposes of having a short, concise report on this effort. I ended up getting some ball valve from veneersupplies.com and some vacuum tape and tried making a table in HDPE. With 10 ball valves, the best I could get was 4 inches of mercury, which is way too low. I was about to pack it all up and put it back in the attic for some future day when veneering would be needed when I had another idea of abandoning the table effort and just making several small (3x3) vacuum blocks that could be chained together and arranged however I wanted on the table. I made one. It drew 22 inches, which is great. I tried two and got about 20 pounds and three was at about 20 also. Then I discovered these things are called “vacuum pods” and they actually exist and you can buy them. The Gast pump I have, by the way, is listed at about 0.4 CFM (yes, 4/10ths) and the fact that it can pull the vacuum in less than 10 seconds makes it a keeper. Search for “vacuum pods” if you’re interested and have no interest in me prattling on about it.