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Thread: Vacuum chuck meltdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Knoxville,TN.
    Posts
    11

    Vacuum chuck meltdown

    Hey, have been wanting a vacuum chuck but getting meltdown on which one or diy. Roger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Sparta Tn
    Posts
    215
    This is a great system. When I first starting trying to rig up a vacuum system I tried several things. A shop vac, a Venturi style pump and then a Car Airconditioning compressor. The Venturi was very inexpensive but was terrible. The Shop Vac wasn't bad but I had an old Sears Shop Vac that just couldn't handle the abuse. I built one using a Car Compressor and it worked fine. I eventually found a used Ghast compressor which has been great. Since then I have had a chance to play with the Holdfast system which is a Venturi style but it is in a whole different ball game and works incredibly well. That is what I recommend today. Here is a link to one place that sells them. https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p...m-Chuck-System

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Posts
    2,331
    I bought a Frugal Vac at SWAT about 4 years back and have made adapters for both Powermatic 3520 and Nova Comet II lathes. I have also made chucks in both 1" and 1-1/4" thread size in about 5 sizes each out of PVC couplings and threaded blocks using Beale thread die, and recently made a 7"D and 11" D face chuck out of 2x pine. The 7"D held a 33"D platter weighing 12# but I was hesitant to do any more than just light buffing. All that said, I recommend making your own adapter and chucks. My total investment in adapters and chucks is much less than $50 and you need a range of chuck sizes depending on size of piece and dept. The foam for seal comes from craft stores or Walmart, and trick picked up at SWAT a couple of years back is to lap the foam outside the chuck and secure with masking tape. A piece of loose foam with open center can be used to give more cushion if the surface is slightly distorted like warped piece turned green. Have fun.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chicago Heights, Il.
    Posts
    2,091
    I just saw the frugal system demoed at the Turn on Chicago Symposium. They have a newer way of making there chucks. No more lamp rods. The bearing and nipple are recessed into the back of the chuck. A plastic pipe runs through the head stock and slides into another plastic tube. All parts are available from them. If you turn a #2 tenon in the back of the chuck you can use the vacuum on any lathe that has a 4 jaw chuck mounted.
    Member Illiana Woodturners

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coshocton Ohio
    Posts
    142
    I'll put my vote in for the Holdfast system. Can't really compare it to anything else, but it's worked well for me. Their Hollow fast system works well too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
    Posts
    991
    I went with the Frugalvacuumchuck dot com site. I found that the prices for used vacuum pumps on ebay and craigslist were moderately high and with no guarantees. The thought of having to ship back a heavy pump was also a factor. So I went with the frugalvacuumchuck guy because it was a fresh rebuild and came with a 1 year guarantee. I rigged it up in the configuration on the frugal's website - - pretty standard.

    The bearings that frugal supplies are quite good with a vacuum. I initially tried using VXB sealed bearings only to find that some "sealed" bearings have non-contact seals. That is, there is a small gap between the rubber seal and the metal. In other words it really isn't sealed. That wasn't the fault of that supplier but was something that I had to learn myself. But the frugal bearings work very well.

    I mounted the bearings onto a sealed wooden plate with a dovetail. That way, I can leave the chuck on the lathe and just place the adapter in the jaws. I have one adapter for a 2-1/2" dovetail and another for a 4-1/2" dovetail.
    IMG_0034 (768x1024).jpg

  7. #7
    No experience with anything else, but very happy with the super frugal kit from Frugalvacuumchuck.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Knoxville,TN.
    Posts
    11
    Thanks guys, I ordered the frugal system. I like the vacuum pump. Thanks for your help. Roger

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