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Thread: Another take on a Vacuum Chuck Adapter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Washington State
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    Another take on a Vacuum Chuck Adapter

    I had been wanting to put together a vacuum chuck for a while but am too cheap to shell out the money for a commercial system. My idea was to keep it under $100 and use stuff I had in the shop.

    On New Years Day Harbor Freight had a 25% off coupon so I couldn't pass up their single stage vacuum pump for $89 minus 25% is $67 including a free flashlight!!!.

    Next step was to figure out the adapter. Watching YouTube, it looked like most DIY systems used lamp rod and 3/8 ID bearings. I had the lamp rod but not the bearings. What I did have was lots of skateboard bearings. I used to own an online skateboard shop and that is about all I have left. The problem was how to get the lamp rod to mate to the bearings since the ID of the skateboard bearings are 8mm.

    Solution: Air Hose quick connects


    So I mated the quick connect to the lamp rod by tapping the internal side of the threaded end and screwing it on the lamp rod.


    What isn't shown is that I turned off the hump on the small end so the bearing will ride on the larger shoulder. and the fitting epoxied into the bearing

    Now how to mate that to the vacuum hose. Again YouTube had a few ideas. I was watching Earl's Small segment shop and he built one out of wood and as I was watching it became really clear that I had many of these in my shop already. They are called skateboard wheels! So now I had a way to mate the spinning lamp rod with the stationary vacuum hose. I turned another air fitting the same as the the first one and epoxied it in the bearing. I then used a couple fitting adapters to mate it to the vacuum hose.



    Now I could get vacuum to the head stock. I needed a chuck. Well, YouTube again. First attempt was a PVC based chuck ala Carl Jacobson and Stephan Ogle. I couldn't get that one to hold vacuum. So I went with MDF and that worked.



    Switched it on and got a nice round bowl and plugged it in and was pulling just under 25 inches of Mercury. It was strong enough that I could pull it off. I was thrilled. For a total cash outlay of $67 for the pump and $8 for a pack of the fun foam and my time I have a fully functioning vacuum chuck.

    But...

    My wife walked into the shop and said why is it so foggy in here? I hadn't noticed in my excitement that the pump was putting out what I thought was smoke as it pulled the vacuum. After some more YouTube I found out it was oil mist and not that great to breath. Again it seamed like there were commercial solutions that cost more than the pump. So did some more searching and found a few ideas, and yes I could use stuff in my shop.

    Solution:


    A piece of threaded PVC hot glued through the lid of a plastic peanut butter jar. The jar is filled with scotch bright pad and and old t-shirt with holes in the top for exhaust. This seamed to do the trick.

    I am thrilled with the outcome but not sure about the long term durability. I guess we will see.
    "Everything will be alright in the end.... If it isn't alright, then it isn't the end!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    If you can remove the handwheel on the headstock, you can turn and thread a wooden replacement. In the outer face, you can capture your bearing (by turning a recess, securing bearing with epoxy), preferably one of 1/4" ID, allowing an easy match with your metal tubing. I worry about all you have hanging off the outer end of your headstock leading to vibration and possible headstock bearing wear.

  3. #3
    Cool! Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil McWilliams View Post
    If you can remove the handwheel on the headstock, you can turn and thread a wooden replacement. In the outer face, you can capture your bearing (by turning a recess, securing bearing with epoxy), preferably one of 1/4" ID, allowing an easy match with your metal tubing. I worry about all you have hanging off the outer end of your headstock leading to vibration and possible headstock bearing wear.
    Great suggestion! You are right about the vibration and I have removed the elbow and replaced the tube with clear tube hose clamped to the air fitting. It vibrates less but still vibrates. But a wooden handwheel could eliminate the internal tube altogether.
    "Everything will be alright in the end.... If it isn't alright, then it isn't the end!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott ward View Post
    Great suggestion! You are right about the vibration and I have removed the elbow and replaced the tube with clear tube hose clamped to the air fitting. It vibrates less but still vibrates. But a wooden handwheel could eliminate the internal tube altogether.
    Some of what Joe Woodworker describes on his vacuum chucking page might be interesting. He uses an outboard faceplate which your lathe probably won't accommodate but his method of making the adapter might be useful. He sells all the parts needed too. https://www.joewoodworker.com/veneer...umchucking.htm

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Is your pump fastened to the shelf? My pump vibrates a lot so I had to put boarders around the shelf to keep it from falling on the floor.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Fritz View Post
    Is your pump fastened to the shelf? My pump vibrates a lot so I had to put boarders around the shelf to keep it from falling on the floor.
    Good point. Hasn't moved yet, but give it time and inattention on my part. I will put a boarder on it or fasten it.
    "Everything will be alright in the end.... If it isn't alright, then it isn't the end!"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Some of what Joe Woodworker describes on his vacuum chucking page might be interesting. He uses an outboard faceplate which your lathe probably won't accommodate but his method of making the adapter might be useful. He sells all the parts needed too. https://www.joewoodworker.com/veneer...umchucking.htm

    JKJ
    I like his system. I was looking at my hand wheel last night and took the handwheel off and noticed the skateboard wheel was an almost perfect fit inside the dish. I modified the setup slightly and hot glued the wheel in. Once I take the bearing and connector out I can still get a knockout bar in.





    the bearing assembly is a tight fit, but we'll see how it holds up.

    In the long run I will probably go to something like Joe Woodworker has.

    Does anyone know what the handwheel threads on the spindle are on the Grizzly G0766?
    "Everything will be alright in the end.... If it isn't alright, then it isn't the end!"

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