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Thread: Laguna vacuum pumps

  1. #1
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    Laguna vacuum pumps

    Are they worth buying?

    They have a 2.5hp (109cfm/3.7"Hg) single phase for $900 and I would need 3 or 4 of those for my 49" x 98" table. By installing these with an isolated zone for each I believe the advantage would be a lower operating costs when cutting smaller parts.

    They also have a 10hp (285cfm/6"Hg) 3 phase for $1500 and the vfd for $1995.

    I don't have 3 phase and waiting for a price to install, but guessing the price to install it will be far more than the vfd.

    Other than BlackBox and Laguna, do you know anyone else that sells a single phase pump?

    Thanks
    Ron Hampe

  2. #2
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    I could be wrong, but I think that the two vendors you identify are the majority of the providers for single phase vacuum systems...at least that I've seen. I'm only familiar with the BlackBox because that's what Camaster seems to like for the more modest machines.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    I ran across a youtube video of ShopSabre promoting their ShobSabre F4 Single Phase vacuum pump (30amps 220v single phase claiming 570 CFM). Cost not mentioned so one will have to reach out to their sales people and not sure if it meets your use case requirements but thought I would mention it just in case you were not aware of this particular offering.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDP4NUUKgCY

    - Al
    Last edited by Al Bray; 07-24-2018 at 10:39 PM.

  4. #4
    We are running an F4. Great vac for us. Multi stage is the way for us because of varied work. I would hate to have a large pump running for small work.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  5. #5
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    Are you looking to cut through like a cabinet shop does? If so, flow through is just as important as the vacuum level. If you do not cut through and break the vacuum seal, then you can buy any number of small pumps.

    The single phase option that was started by Gary (with input from Brady) is quite efficient for those of us stuck with single phase. The SS version uses very similar motors to the Blackbox, but it does generate marginally more vacuum and cfm. The advantage of this vacuum style is they use low cost shop vac type pumps. They give you high vacuum, and good flow through if the vacuum seal is broken. Downside, is they are not as durable (about 500 hours roughly) as the $10k+ models and they are louder because you basically have 2 or 4 shop vacuums running when it is on. The ones you show are the typical vacuums one can find at any number of suppliers. The specs seem odd, and I did not see them on the laguna site when I briefly looked. It appears you have a yellow machine. If you are cutting at speeds less than 600ipm, the black box (or whatever the two motor one is called) and F4 are very good options. If you start cutting at speeds above that you might struggle to hold small parts. (the faster you cut, the higher the cut forces)

    My machine can cut at speeds up to 400ipm. I tend to cut a bit slower. My table vacuum max's out at about 9" Hg. At my cut speeds I can cut parts as small as your typical 4" cabinet stretcher. Below that size and I start to have problems. When I use pod style hold downs where you do not break the vacuum seal I use a small quiet vacuum that generates the same level of vacuum like the industrial guys that use 20hp+ pumps.

    You know it is not that difficult to build one of these. That is what I did. On the shopbot forum you can find many of Gary's early threads and there is likely 50 or more build threads. I ordered the motors from US Router tools, and bought all the wiring from McMaster Carr. One guy posted a very nice wiring diagram, and his turned out quite nice. It will not be quite as pretty as the current black box that has a nice steel frame, but I really do not think that is important.

    If I recall correctly I think the F4 is something like $4k.

  6. #6
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    "
    The single phase option that was started by Gary (with input from Brady) is quite efficient for those of us stuck with single phase."


    I would like to set this record straight. The use of multiple whole house vac motors was started by Brady. When I was looking to do something similar for myself, I had a number of questions for him. He suggested some methods and said: "You test them and tell me!" I did. A couple years later I started on the Black Box thread. A few years after that, the manufacturing rights were sold to the current owners of Black Box Vacuum. The design has been improved a number of times since then. I no longer have a financial interest in the product
    Gary Campbell
    FabMaster ATC-40 Bridgemill
    CNC Consulting & Custom Machines

  7. #7
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    I will keep that in mind Gary.

  8. #8
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    You can pick up regenerative blower vacuum pumps in single phase on ebay and cl. You should use a pressure relief valve and a solberg right angle filter. Then build a manifold with ball valves with one to vent to atmosphere. Mine is plumbed in 2" pvc parts. Simple, hundreds (if used vac pump is found) not thousands, and the plumbing is up to you. Ymmv. Industrial, No vacuum cleaner parts. Single stage though but induction motor and enclosed fan.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  9. #9
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    At over $150K installing 3 phase here is out of the question and I don't want an enormous electric bill each month, which makes a multiple motor single phase unit very attractive as is building my own.

    Here's what ShopSabre and BlackBox have told me. The F4 is 10.69 in. Hg and 600 cfm total for the 4 motors vs the Hurricane at 110.3 cfm for each motor and a max total vacuum at 10.66 in. Hg. The barebones F4 is $4000 vs $2550 for the Hurricane. Both require a 30amp breaker. The F4 draws 22 amps at full load (BlackBox did not say) and they have an excellent youtube video showing its features which include both intake and exhaust fans to help cool the motors. They also said that they have only sold 3 replacement motors and that all went to someone who had installed their new system on its side rather than the required upright position with the feet down. F4 replacement motor cost is twice that of BlackBox and BlackBox lists theirs as a replacement part on their website.

    ShopSabre recommends using schedule 40 solid core or pressure tested pvc, BlackBox's website suggests using pvc or ABS.

  10. #10
    The F4 has exhaust fans in the case as well which Im sure help a little but the entire bottom of the unit is wide open and it has large grilles/vents all aorund the unit. With the amount of air the motors and their own integral fans are moving Im not sure the box fans (they are like very large computer style fans mounted on the internal ends of the cabinet) do much but they do run whenever any stage is energized.

    I never looked but always thought the F4 pulled more than .01" more than the others but at that set of spec's I would think I'd pe hard pressed to pay an extra 1500 for one over the other, seems like something is missing.

    If the replacement motors for the BB are half the price of the F4 you may be talking from the vendor. You can pull the part number off the motors and you can get an entire blower assy for the F4 online for like 130-150 bucks and I think you can get the motor only for like 90. So that would mean the BB motors would have to be 75 for the complete and 45 for the motor alone. When I talked with the manufacturer of F4 I think they sold the motor assy's for 250.

    No idea but unless you talking about running your vac 40-60 hours a week I think your worrying far too much about motor failure. I find the 300-500 hour number Brad mentioned very suspect. That would mean either unit in a commercial application running 20 hours a week (very little) would be swapping out motors every 4 months. That simply make no sense whatsoever.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hampe View Post
    At over $150K installing 3 phase here is out of the question and I don't want an enormous electric bill each month, which makes a multiple motor single phase unit very attractive as is building my own.

    Additionally, Mike mentioned single phase pumps specifically not 3 phase. I feel your pain with the 3 phase and demand rates which is why we opted out of 3 phase as well though it wouldnt cost anywhere remotely close to 150k for us.

    I agree with your philosophy on the staged vac option. All have their pros and cons but our F4 is on a 30a breaker and likely pulls far less than that with all four zones wide open (max load on the blowers). My entire shop is setup on a phase-design type setup. I have no desire to sit and listen to (and have the dollar signs rolling in my head) a 20HP vac running when I am working on the end of my CNC with only a single zone open. The amp draw on the blower will be less with a single zone open but it will be marginally less. I will still be paying to run that massive blower when I dont need it. With the F4 I engage a single stage probably 90 percent of the time when we arent running full sheets of ply. When I do run ply we will arrange our nest with all the backs and decks first or last and for those sheets I can hold down a 4x8 sheet with 2 stages. When we are onto sheets with stretchers and shelves I kick in the other two.

    That means that 90 percent of the time I am only running a single or two stages drawing less than 7.5 or 15 amps respectively. The cost savings is ENORMOUS.

    It of course depends on the kind of work you do, how many employees, how much work goes one simultaneously, and so on. But when we are running sign work, prototypes for customers, samples, simple carvings, we have a single stage activated. That and that alone to me offset not having a monster blower sitting in the corner. The other offset is that when the vanes or something else go down in that regen blower, its not gonna be cheap. The most expensive thing thats going to go down in my vac is a $150 motor/blower assembly and shortly after installing the F4 we put a replacement blower/motor assy on the shelf because there is no doubt it will go down on a saturday or sunday when we are trying to get work out on monday. $150 bucks in inventory is a gift.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
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    Mark, I know what Mike was referring to and I agree with you. I don't want the expense of running a large motor when cutting small parts. I'm retiring and bought this in part with the idea of supplementing my pension, but I'm not looking for a full time job nor do I want employees. I'll likely try building one, but think I will eliminate the small fans and add an hvac blower on one end ducting the other directly into the main return for heat in winter and add a gate to duct it outside in summer. Those are the specs each quoted me. BB sells their replacements online for $129, SS quoted $250 by phone.

  13. #13
    Right, like I say SS and their manufacturer are charging you for the motor and markup (absolutely smart, anyone in business should do the same). Maybe BB is passing them along because they never sell any or they may be buying a different motor. The simple fact is nearly no one will order something they can buy from a part number Google searched for anything g other than the lowest price.

    Good luck with your build.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  14. #14
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    Many using the 10 - 15hp vacuums use a RPC or VFD to generate 3phase from single. $150k sounds like a new service from a long distance in a residential area. I can get a single phase 400amp service easily, and that is becoming more common in new construction with what people think they need in their houses. My 10hp spindle runs off a VFD and 60amp breaker.

    Let me know if you do not find all the build threads on the botter forum. I can send you the links. There is even a cut file posted by a shopbot member from Edmonton, AB that has been downloaded quite a few times. A guy by the name Farris had one of the nicest examples of a homebuild I found (pics below are his, not mine). You can find some electric wizardy Gary tried early on, but he ended up simplifying after testing that idea.

    .IMG_0518.jpgIMG_0570.jpgIMG_0559.jpgVacuum Wiring.jpg

    Unless you are running really long files or lots of projects in a day you likely will not notice much more than 20 -30deg f increase for a period of time. I don't know what SS uses for fans, but I looked at some industrial ones that would actually do the job, and they get spendy to get a reasonable reduction in heat. My 200 - 300hr estimate was for about 1.5year time frame. My projects are all over the map and I only use the table vacuum when I am cutting out sheet goods for boxes. You can find tons of guys using the homebuilt ones on the botter forum and only those who try the Fein vac's burn them down consistently. The key to these lasting is, lights on each motor, temp gauge that reads up to 180d f, and a vacuum gauge.

    You need to be cautious when you get specs from some suppliers. Some companies are just a bunch of dudes or ladies trying ideas. You need to move into the CR Onsrud size company before you start finding engineers on staff that assemble parts and put out specs that meet some sort of mechanical standard.
    Last edited by Brad Shipton; 07-26-2018 at 9:04 PM.

  15. #15
    I understand your point Brad but on the flip side I'm 2 years (or more) in, full time shop though we dont run the cnc and vac 8 hours a day, and we are still cranking. I have a feeling anyone experiencing failure in a few hundred hours has some other issues at play. I honestly think many hobbyists can kill a tool faster than a commercial shop due to anal, pokey joe, procedure.

    I honestly cant phantom anyone in this day and age manufacturing a motor assembly with a 300 hour life expectancy. It goes completely against the Walmart nation.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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