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Vacuum Pump Mount and Arrangement

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Timothy Allen, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    So I am curious how those of you who have vacuum chucking systems have things arranged. For example, is your vacuum pump somehow fixed to your lathe stand, or do you have a separate stand or cart for your pump, valve(s), gauge and what not? Pics? (always appreciated!)
     
  2. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    Oh, and what is your preferred location for gauge and valve(s)? Presumably somewhere where you can see and manipulate them while standing at the lathe? just guessin'...... ;-)
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I have mine on a roll around cart with two shelves plus the top. We use it on multiple lathes.
    Pump is on shelf. Vacuum chucks on another shelf.
    The bleed valve and gauge are on a vertical section of pipe screwed to the top on one end of the cart.
     
  4. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    My setup is on wheels with pump on bottom and gauge, relief valve, on/off switch and lathe connection all on top slightly below the spindle of my 3520b which it is then at a height that works with all of my lathes that are setup for vacuum.
     
  5. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    Mine sits on the floor off the end of the lathe where it is difficult to turn the valve on and off and I can't see the gauge. Looking forward to some innovative approaches! I've thought about putting it up in the attic and running a hard pipe down to the filter and gauge. It's already on a switched outlet-- it's a repurposed pump that was cheap because it was 240V, and a DPDT wall switch was quick and easy.
     
  6. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    I have a 4x4 post off the back-headstock corner of my lathe. I installed that post there to carry a power drop and dust collector pipe. I also mount other things on it. At various times there've been magnets for wrenches, a coat hook for my smock, holes for pencils, etc. Surprisingly handy. I currently have the laptop stand and monitor for my remote demos hanging there (the monitor doubles as the monitor for my hollowing system, too).

    Anyway, My vacuum pump is on a shelf attached to that post near the ceiling, so it's out of the way. Seems to be mostly out of the shavings up there, too. The hose comes down that post and I have the gauge and valve are mounted on the post, too. And there's a power drop on that post, so adding a switch for the pump was easy.

    The gauge is in a pretty good place there next to the headstock - I can see it easily. The valve handle could be located a bit better, when I have my headstock down near the tail-end of the lathe, it's a bit of a reach. I have considered putting a valve (maybe with a gauge) on the end of a hose with a magnet so I can stick it to the lathe somewhere. But that hasn't happened.

    I use the Frugal guy's system, so the attachment from the vacuum pump to the chuck is just a bare hose. I attached a spare hose nipple to the post, plugged it with hot glue, and keep the end of the vacuum hose on that when not in use. Keeps it from getting in the way, and helps keep dust out of the end of the hose.

    I have another shelf near the ceiling that holds my vacuum chucks of various sizes. Near the ceiling seems to keep them mostly free of shavings.
     
  7. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    My pump is mounted on the wall. The air hose is shared via shutoff valves with my air compressor feed.(fig1) The air hose is routed over the ceiling down to the lathe. (Fig2). There is an additional valve at the vacuum gauge to prevent compressed air from entering the gauge while I’m using compressed air.(Fig3)

    CA06C89B-161C-4410-AAB2-F95E79285A09.jpeg

    2515963C-C5F6-459F-ACFB-2271081842DD.jpeg

    BDF42E3C-16D3-44C4-91E2-170B81F343D6.jpeg
     
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  8. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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    Here’s mine mounted on a dolly.
    D69CCBCE-2BA7-4674-9BB0-1548A14588F3.jpeg
     
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  9. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Mine sits on a small, folding, plastic patio table at the foot of the headstock.
    20200914_1225481.jpg
    I can see the guage. It's a stretch for the valve/switch, but reachable, and I often use the tailstock as a third hand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
  10. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    My pump sits on a cabinet 15 feet away from my lathe. This for noise and for dust prevention. All controls are at or near the lathe. I also have a compressor line attached....helpful at times but totally optional and not necessary. My vac pump switch is an air valve I had laying around for years but a normal switch is more common. I have a small fan (12" ?) that turns on whenever the pump is on - probably not necessary but doesn't hurt! This set-up has worked amazingly well for the past 24 years.

    Vacuum set-up at Pump P1050296 3.jpg


    Vacuum set-up at latheP1050293.jpg
     
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  11. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    My setup has the pump in the cabinet that holds the grinder, just to the left of the lathe in a filtered compartment. Its plumbed via a hose with a quick disconnect to the controls that are on a bar held on to the headstock with a magnet - the whole arrangement generally sits on the leg when not being used. The bar holds the gauge, the bleed valve and has a place to store the adapter when not being used. There’s a remote switch for the pump that sits on the tube under the bed - its magnetic, too and could be moved to the headstock, but its just as convenient where it is.
    Works well for me - switchover is simple, just pull it off the leg and pop in on the headstock, plug in the adapter and hit the switch - takes all of 30 seconds unless I’m in a hurry. Only need to leave the lathe to get the chuck.
     

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  12. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    I suspend mine from the ceiling on short bungee cords. It is quite and out of the way. I loop the hose over it and it too is out of the way. Will try to post a picture.
     
  13. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    Thanks everyone for sharing!

    Here's what I came up with for my first attempt, based on something I saw searching another forum (SMC) -- the control manifold is attached directly to the rotary coupler with a quick connect fitting hanging off the end of the headstock. There is another quick-connect fitting between the manifold and the hose to the vacuum pump (which for now is still just on the floor by the headstock end).

    VacuumSystem.jpg

    But I don't really like it, as it bounces around a lot when the lathe is running. (I could replace the quick connect between the manifold and rotary coupler with a nipple, but that might make it worse!) So I will probably re-configure things to be something more like Jeff Smith's arrangement, and other examples I've come across, with a more solid mount up and behind the headstock (probably utilizing the light support socket on the back of the shelf there).

    I still have to find a better place for the vacuum pump, and wire some kind of on/off power switch for it...

    Keep the ideas coming -- I love seeing how others have their shops set up!

    BTW, what is the purpose of plumbing compressed air into this system? @Tom Gall, @Dennis Weiner (or anybody else who has that too).
     
  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Timothy, with the set up shown, you may get dust or debris into the gauge. The bleeder valve is so close to the lathe, it will also suck up more shavings and dust than if the opening was farther from your work. (one way to do this is to put a piece of tubing on the valve with the open end far from dirty air)

    These aren't huge issues, but for sure you will want a filter between sources of debris and your vacuum pump.
     
  15. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    Mine is mounted on a grinder stand, which is in turn mounted on a wheeled platform. I built a shelf below the pump to hold my collection of vacuum chucks.
    VacuumPump.JPG
     
  16. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    I only use one airline to the lathe. The compressed air is used in clearing chips in a hollow forms and general cleanup.
     
  17. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    I understand the use of compressed air at the lathe, but I am still not following why you (apparently) have it interconnected with the vacuum chucking system?

    I guess you could have one incoming line teed between a remote vacuum pump and a remote air compressor, but at the lathe end, wouldn't you want to completely disconnect from the vacuum chucking system when you switch over to the compressed air? Don't you want the compressed air on a free hose with a blow gun nozzle at the working end of the headstock, rather than connected to a rotary coupler at the outboard end of the headstock? Sorry if I am being dense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  18. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    Yes, I do have a filter on the line at the vacuum pump. And yes, I have thought about a screen or filter on the bleeder, too.
     
  19. Ed Weingarden

    Ed Weingarden

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    IMG_20200915_071817906.jpg IMG_20200915_071928467.jpg IMG_20200915_071947180.jpg IMG_20200915_071958496.jpg

    My pump sits on the lower shelf of a table to the left of the headstock. There's an air intake filter on the right side of the pump. The vacuum line from the pump goes up to the manifold/gauge/bleeder valve, which is mounted on the wall behind the headstock, and is mated with quick connect fittings. The line from the manifold to the rotary apparatus going through the headstock is also mated with a quick connect fitting. There's a piece of filter material taped on to the air intake end of the bleeder valve.
     

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  20. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Tim, I would attach a short piece of that braided hose to your rotary union/adapter to isolate your "manifold" from the adapter. That will eliminate all that weight on your bearing(s) and reduce or eliminate the bouncing. Longer hose - less bouncing. Keep your controls close to the lathe.
    Also, I would use your ball valve only for turning on/off the vacuum supply - not as a bleed valve. I've never had much control using the ball valve. Add something similar to what I have or even a pressure gauge with a dial .... just disregard the gauge.

    Re: on/off switch. A simple solution is to use a power strip (correct name?) with it's own switch and run an extension cord to your pump. This can be temporary - or you may like it and use it forever!

    Re: compressed air. As I said, this is totally unnecessary - but comes in handy. Many years ago I used to do shows and made many smaller items in a semi-production mode. Some were turned completely with vacuum, i.e., 3" mirrors.
    Turn one side - seal with quick-drying shellac - reverse - turn other side - seal with shellac. Shellac was slightly tacky but not completely dry and would stick to the chuck. Turn off vacuum - open air valve slightly - "pop'...off like magic!
    Also comes in handy for blowing the dust out of the spindle - or if you have a piece too close in size to your drum chuck and can't grab it - "pop".
     
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  21. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    I did it to consolidate air hoses in my small shop. The pump on the wall near the ceiling is utilizing space that would not have been used. It may sound ridiculous, I don't use a vacuum chuck and an air hose at the same time.
    In fact, in retrospect, I rarely use the vacuum chuck period! It's just one of those accessories that I got "Sucked" into by its allure.
     
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  22. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Ed, from what I see from your photos your setup is inconvenient and perhaps even dangerous. Looks like a long reach over (or walk around) the headstock to get to the ball valve to turn off the vacuum. I would add another ball valve or move the one you have. Can you hold your workpiece and reach your shut off easily? And looks like you have to leave the lathe to bend over and shut off the pump. You should move your controls within easy reach to where you stand at the lathe.
     
  23. Ed Weingarden

    Ed Weingarden

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    Tom - I only turn the vacuum on or off when the lathe is off. Thus, no reaching when the piece is spinning. When I'm getting the piece situated on the chuck, the control valve is readily reachable. With respect to the pump location, it's primarily tucked away because of the noise factor. Even though I use hearing protection, the pump is fairly loud. Since I only use the vacuum chuck on occasion, and not daily or even weekly, I don't find having to bend over to turn it on/off a nuisance. However, your feedback has me thinking that perhaps I should run the on/off switch up to the side of the table near the top. Not sure why I didn't do that with the initial set up. Thanks.
     
  24. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    Thanks again for the additional comments!

    Here's my newly revised arrangement: I've re-jiggered the manifold/valve/gauge, and secured it to a block of wood with a u-bolt (I also added a filter atop the air inlet valve). The wood block is supported by a piece of 1/2" steel rod, which inserts in to the lamp holder socket on the headstock of my lathe. The rotary coupler is connected by a hose to a quick-connect for attachment to the left end of the manifold. The right end of the manifold has another quick-connect fitting for attachment to the hose coming from the vacuum pump (I've added an elbow to direct that down and back). The whole thing sets up (and comes apart) easily, and stows away in a drawer near the lathe when not in use.

    Now to wire a switch for the pump itself, and find a good place to mount the pump out of the way.....

    IMG_E2620.JPG IMG_2618.JPG
     
  25. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    That looks much more usable. If the mounting rod/manifold to the lathe isn't in your way you can leave it there permanently....just pull the rotary union out of the spindle and let it hang until you need it again.....unless you're one of those neat freak guys and want to store it away. :rolleyes:

    Also, I don't see the purpose of the filter where you have it - it needs to be at the pump (recommended) or on the line/hose from the pump. Get one that doesn't cause any resistance and flows freely through to the pump.

    Your ball valve where located won't shut off the vacuum from the pump - only serve as a bleed valve (hard to adjust). You need another one or relocate that one and add a pressure gauge or other fitting as a bleed valve. The ball valve will get constant use to shut off the vacuum - while not cutting the power to the pump. I hope all this makes sense - if not, ask more questions. :)
     
  26. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    Tim - that looks familiar...I had originally planned to put mine in the light socket, but found I needed it for a light. One of the large magnets from HF works perfectly and lets me move the whole thing to the leg out of the way when not using it. I found a remote switch at Peach Tree (I think) that works great and sits down near the ways stuck with magnets. Out of the way but easily operated.
     
  27. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    I just found a Thomas 2660 pump on eBay, for, I think, a good price of $90. (Sadly, I lost a beautiful Gast pump at the last minute. $86 jumped to $175 with 2 seconds to go!). I’m waiting for the pump to arrive, but beginning to assemble a list of required fittings to put together a vacuum chuck system. I’ve seen comments about both ball valves and needle valves to control incoming air. I think I see mostly ball valves on the setups shown on this thread. If you were to do it over again, would you use the same?
     
  28. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    I obviously don't have a lot of experience with my system yet, Lou, but I think the answer to your question depends on what one thinks the primary function of that valve is...

    Is it to bleed small amounts of air so as to limit the maximum level vacuum that will be achieved (useful, I suppose, if the objects you are chucking up are prone to be deformed by a strong vacuum), or is it to let lots of air in when you are done and want to release your object from the chuck?

    The ultimate answer is to have two valves! (see Tom Gall's system above...)
     
  29. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    i have a ball valve for air bleed, and it's fine for how I use it. I can pretty easily get it to give me around 5 lbs of pressure for adjusting a piece, then close it to hold with full pressure. I rarely need fine pressure control, just open, closed a bit, and closed.
     
  30. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Lou, I would recommend one of each. Ball valves are difficult to adjust (at least for me) and are only good for coarse adjustments - that's why I only use it for a quick on/off function. Needle valves have much more control but a little harder to find and usually more $$$. This control will come in handy on many occasions - from centering by nudging the piece, decreasing the vacuum from imploding thin pieces, and even applying a sealer coat without pulling the finish through the pores to the inside. An air regulator can serve the same purpose - just disregard the pressure gauge by turning it away from you or remove it and plug/cap the NPT fitting. Most well stocked hardware stores will carry these.
    Here are links to an inexpensive one and a more costly one with a filter (which I don't think is really necessary) from the Surplus Center. You can find vac gauges and fittings there as well.

    https://www.surpluscenter.com/Air-P...1-4-NPT-Mini-Air-Regulator-w-Gauge-4-1780.axd
    https://www.surpluscenter.com/Air-P...-MP516803AV-Air-Regulator-w-Filter-4-1933.axd
     
  31. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Timothy, Dave and Tom,
    Thanks so much for your replies. Tom, I assume you mean ignore the pressure gauge that’s part of the air regulator? It’s measuring positive air pressure, not vacuum. Is that correct? I assume I still need a vacuum gauge on the setup. Excuse the stupid questions. I’m just wrapping my head around all this.
    Lou
     
  32. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Here is my setup. I use ball valves and don’t have any problem. I don’t need a fine adjustment. I have a remote on/off switch I place on my lathe when using the vacuum pump. I did move my auto filter to just before the pump. The filter needs to be after the gauge to measure the vacuum you are pulling on the chuck.


    B99E83E2-6E8C-4411-930B-43F288CBB2DB_1_201_a.jpeg
    5829F78A-A537-4CD9-B01F-6CAD95DD2984_1_201_a.jpeg
    6FE1ACCA-D565-455A-9A03-F81D5392F7E6_1_201_a.jpeg

    Only picture I have showing lathe near vacuum setup.
    E7C8A6B7-8768-43AC-BCEE-8EBAD095C216_1_201_a.jpeg



    Lou, I have three of these pumps. 2 are used for lake areation and run 24/7 before I rebuild. Rebuild kits are about $35 and east to rebuild these pumps. Note, if you put a hose barb in the exhaust port you will significantly reduce the noise. A lot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  33. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Thanks William! This is very helpful to see your setup.
    Lou
     
  34. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    FE8C03F2-5F6A-4C93-855C-1982BC589405.jpeg I was ready to spring for the rotary adapter from Craft Supplies, but they are out of stock until at least December. When I spoke to the support guy there, he thought December was optimistic. My alternative is to put one together following Doc Green’s design in “ 1EE86BB2-BB32-47B0-BCC3-30D56B1735A2.jpeg Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning.”
     
  35. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Lou, no such thing as a stupid question! Yes - cover the gauge, turn it around, or remove it. Yes - you need a vacuum gauge which should be placed very close to where you stand. I actually have two (see photos in above post) - one larger (4"- so I can see it!) on the pump which is about 15 ft. away, and another (2¼" liquid filled) at the lathe. I use them for comparison only - but only ONE is really needed.
     
  36. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    I’m expecting my vacuum pump tomorrow, though with post office games lately nothing’s certain. I have a question as I begin to put together my setup. I’ve read that with some pumps it is important to run the pump for a bit with valves shut to evacuate the system before turning off. Is this correct? Does anyone know if it is necessary with the Thomas 2660 pump? Do folks do this? Any other regular pump maintenance to be aware of? Thanks!
     
  37. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    What I learned is to open the bypass all the way to take the load off the pump before turning it off. The backlash from leaving the vacuum high may damage the pump.
     
  38. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    I agree with Gary B. - at least for a rotary vane pump such as my Gast pump. That's why I use my ball valve to shut off the vacuum (pump still on) to remove the workpiece...then open the valve before turning off the power to the pump. I'm not familiar with the Thomas 2660 so that may not apply if it is not a rotary vane pump.
     
  39. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    You and won’t hurt the Thomas 2660 pump. It has reed valves. I don’t know about vane pumps however. I do leave mine 60% open when first turning on just to make sure the piece will be ok.
     
  40. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Thanks William. Good to know. It did not arrive today as promised. Looks like it is stuck in Akron! Hopefully in a day or so.
     

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