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Old 11-09-2009, 03:17 AM
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Default NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Laurie & Germs,

One of our own members, here in the USA, whose name does NOT begin or end with a Rick has the new VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System and has taken a couple of Systainer 5's and put together a very clever system. His name is James W. Metcalf and I had the pleasure of having coffee with him a few months ago. While we were together he showed me the pictures of what he had done and I asked him afterward if he would send them to me. He has very graciously done so and has allowed me to post them for him. I am hoping that he will come in and give a little bit more information after I post these as his knowledge of what he has done is obviously much great than mine. As there are 23 pictures, I am going to split it into two pages. I hope that you all enjoy them as much as I have.

Fred







[IMG]http://www.talkfestool.com/vb/members/fredwest-albums-
vacuum-clamping-system-picture3347-vacuum-vise-pump-018.jpg[/IMG]





























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Old 11-09-2009, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Here are the rest of the pictures. Enjoy!!





























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Old 11-09-2009, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

I love the idea of having connections available through the Systainer case itself. Being able to see the gauge is great too. I regret not doing any of that when I made a vac Sys a few years ago.

Since my name doesn't start or end with Rick I suppose I can post a few picks here?





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Old 11-09-2009, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

So it looks like James built his vacuum pump and inported the Festool clamp station. That is a very nice item. My clamps are just slabs of polyethylene with foam tape on them and a hole drilled through the side.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Michael,

Your vac system looks sweet.

What do you think of the vac-clamps?

They are so inexpensive in comparison to the vac-sys that festool sells and it seems you could configure them to do everything the vac-sys does.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Thanks Eiji. Those V-clamps seem very nice and if I didn't have a vacuum pump I'd get them. I might buy some anyway. The only problem with this type of clamp is noise. The venturi makes noise at the clamp and the compressor has to run continuously.

With a real vacuum pump the tiny (quiet) compressor runs a minute or less and them shuts off until leakage lowers the pressure below the cut in point. I built this system for a project that needed a vacuum bag and the clamps so far are still primitive but functional.

You've probably heard that MDF is porous and not a great material for vacuum clamping but that porosity works both ways. I put a stack of ten same sized pieces of MDF on a clamp and turned it on and it held all of the pieces of MDF tight enough to round over the edges with the router. When done with one I could twist it off the stack but using the router didn't budge the pieces.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Found some more pics and noticed that the date on these photos is exactly 4 years and 2 days ago. Time flies.





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Old 11-09-2009, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Gentle Mints,

These vacuum systems look very nice but seem to have a couple of issues - they require mass quantities of time and/or effort. I can't remember the source, but I believe that the Festool Vac Sys will cost something like $2,000. I like the looks of the home-built systems, but what is the cost of parts and what's the effort to build one?

Yesterday I tried to buy one of those vac clamps at Rockler. However, it looks like there are only a couple retailers - both online. That said, it seem logical that a true vacuum clamp would be better than a compressor-driven one, but how well does a true vacuum clamp work with unfinished and unsanded wood?

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

It took a lot longer to design and build than I expected, but that's normal. The manifold in the last photo probably cost close to $150 in parts alone and I bought a bunch extra trying to find the combination that would fit in the Sys 4. I think the pump was around $100 and other parts like a locking foot switch and other electrical stuff, hoses, PVC, paint, and the Sys 4 and it's another $150.

The resiliency of the gasket has a lot to do with how textured a surface can be held securely and the porosity of the work effects leakage which usually only determines how often the pump comes on. With a very resilient gasket you might be able to clamp rough sawn wood. Probably any planed wood can be clamped. Woods like red oak and ash are leaky. Some people switch to continuously on mode when using clamps to be safe.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: NAINA VAC SYS Vacuum Clamping System

Gentlemensss,

I forgot that James mentioned that he got much he had from Joe Woodworker's site. Joe Woodworker - Woodworking, Vacuum Pressing and Veneering Information Website He also has plans.

Fred
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