Rockler Vacuum Pods

Has anyone tried the Vacuum Pods by Rockler? They now have a set of 2 vacuum 3 1/2" square pods that can be connected to a vacuum pump. The pods can be T-track, slotted CNC table or screw-mounted.
The concept looks great, especially at $60 per pair. Their pump is too expensive, though at $400. They only require about 80% vacuum. Harbor Freight has a 2 stage pump that will go to about 97% vacuum for $160, or a single stage for $90 that will achieve about 90% vacuum.


Someone here needs to try these…

Who wants to step up?

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Haha, you send the cash and I’ll give it a shot😬 PM me and I’ll send over my PayPal address. Thanks Jim, you’re the greatest!!!

All kidding aside I’d love to see the results. 25" of Mercury is a lot of suck, it’s been awhile but I think this is as high as the commercial pumps I’ve used for vacuum bagging, and I can guarantee those ran much higher than $400 (military and the airline industry bought those, I just got to play with them).


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Looking at them, I think they’d be relatively easy to make, assuming one had a CNC machine. :grin: I don’t know anything about vacuum making, though, so possibly there’s some hidden stuff in there I don’t know about.

Making vacuum holds is pretty easy. Just need a port and a seal.

Precise position for the part being held is a little more difficult, but not terrible, especially if the part is flexible.

If I was to go this route, I’d use 12mm aluminum jig plate, drill in from the side and from the top for porting, then cut a groove for an O-ring near the perimeter for the seal. O-rings are cheap, and, kits can be had to make them in any size you want. The groove would be maybe 0.05mm shallower than the ring cross section to get a little compression for the seal, but let the part sit on the flat surface without significant flex. I made a minimal setup for circuit boards by grooving the wasteboard and piecing together a seal, and it worked, but was not ideal. (Haven’t tried it since, as I just started using super glue for circuit boards. Even pressure during the glue cureup holds it well with 0.1mm of flat, and it doesn’t have the issues the vac setup does, primariy the vac pump and associated noise)


There’s a been a fair bit of discussion in the past, which has generated a number of links:

(and I’ve added some from this thread, so we now have a circular reference).