First project complete - sea of holes - vortex vacuum thing

I assembled my XXL but most of the projects I have planned will be aluminum or steel so I wanted a sea of holes base with threaded inserts to hold things tight. The MDF base on my machine had about a .050" difference between the highest point and the lowest point so I decided to add a plywood piece and put the inserts in that. I leveled the entire cutting area on the MDF and then used the XXL to drill 121 mounting holes recessed for t-nuts plus 16 holes to mate the plywood to the MDF. Then I leveled both sides of the plywood. I think it turned out great for my first project (I have no real milling or CNC experience).

Also, I bought a cheap Oneida Vortex vacuum thingy and it worked really well so I thought I’d share that. The vacuum has a HEPA air filter in it but it isn’t anywhere near clogging. I never smelled wood dust or saw any in the garage air. My family is allergic to earth and they never noticed either. Almost all of the material I vacuumed ended up in the vortex can and almost nothing made it into the vacuum. Pretty cool!


Nice Job @Tom,you ever have the bucket suck in? mine was,I cut another bucket and slipped it inside for support,so far so good.It does a heck of a job :slight_smile:

I see you modified your drag chain length and Y chain orientation rearward like I did @trichardson. I too ended up with a sea-of-holes wasteboard, and I’m working on a second wasteboard using the Rockler T-nut tracks.


That’s wild! My bucket never caved in. Maybe my vac isn’t that strong. The buckets on my system are pretty rigid though.


Yeah, I forgot to mention the Y chain. I figured I’d use the leftover length from the x chain for something. I did immediately have the y chain come loose so I bolted it down and I had to add one more tie wrap to keep it from being pulled off the gantry by the router plug. No problems at all now.