View Full Version : Holding small thin parts with vacuum

Skip Weiser
05-27-2009, 11:20 PM
I've been working on various colors of these for a couple of days now, so I thought I'd post some pics. Hope you find this interesting

I'm using a DIY vacuum jig to cut trim pieces that get glued onto lighters. The material is Dymondwood and it's a little over 1/32" thick (.040 to .050" ) . The bottom pieces are about 1 1/4" square and the tops are 1 1/4" wide x 3/4".

The customer requires a rounded edge on the pieces too. I got lucky and found a 3 flute, 3/32" radius, corner rounding end mill that does a nice job.

How would you cut these without vacuum? They are too fragile for double sided tape, and tabs/bridges are out of the question. This was the best idea that I could come up with and it works great.

AL Ursich
05-27-2009, 11:52 PM
Excellent Jig.

Sent email.


Steve knight
05-28-2009, 1:24 AM
vacuum seems the best way to go. I don't use vacuum for anything but sheet stock anymore but for this I would.

Scott duprat
07-30-2009, 5:49 PM
Vaccum - yes, but more importantly, how about plans for the jig?

Skip Weiser
07-30-2009, 7:55 PM
Vaccum - yes, but more importantly, how about plans for the jig?


Chances are the plans wouldn't do you any good unless you are going to be cutting trim pieces for lighters. I can show you how I did it though, and don't laugh at my sketch. You can make these jigs to suit your parts. I have one that is 24" x 36" made like this, and one that is 18" x 32".

The bottom piece of plastic gets grooved for air/vacuum flow and also drilled and tapped for the air fitting. Cover it with gasket. I used 1/32" adhesive backed spoil board gasket from Allstar Adhesives.

The top piece of plastic gets shallow pockets that are a little smaller than the finished size of your parts. I also left a support in the middle so the centers didn't bow. On each side of the center supports I drilled through 1/8" holes into the bottom piece grooves.

Then screw the two pieces together and surface the top. Apply another piece of the spoil board gasket. Then I just used a scribe to poke holes through the two layers of gaskets. If you wanted to get fancy you could use an exacto knife and trim the gaskets but I found it wasn't necessary, and I'm lazy.

Some of the bigger ones like this are pictured in this thread.

How's that?