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Old 04-15-2014, 08:39 AM
tomdigi tomdigi is offline
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Default Securing aluminum

We somehow got into making emergency communications systems. Machining 6061 aluminum. The panels are .063" and there is a carrier (not pictured) that is 1/4" L aluminum. For closer views, go to "www.survivesafely.com"

Question is, how to secure the aluminum to the bed to eliminate or greatly reduce vibration.

Would it be advisable to secure a very dense spoil board and attach to that? The mdf isn't getting the job done. Made a template to pre-drill larger cut outs (holes and perimeter cut) for screwing down onto the spoil board but even this isn't working.

Have spent the better part of a year developing these products and have had fairly good success. FEMA and other emergency response groups have expressed interest. I'm now concerned about being able produce in volume and reducing
costs.

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated and a stress reliever.

Tom
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:49 AM
rcrawford rcrawford is offline
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Are you making multiples of the same pieces? If so, I would suggest a custom vacuum jig, with seals around all the holes and cutouts. The seals could be made from soft o-rings, closed cell foam, etc. A little Gast pump or a venturi for the vacuum source (25"hg with ~10cfm would work fine).
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:00 AM
tomdigi tomdigi is offline
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Default Thais

Material suggestions for the jig?
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:00 AM
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Gary Campbell Gary Campbell is online now
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Tom...
Thin aluminum is a pain. I have had some success using a few screws and contact adhesive to hold down to MDF. Remove residue with WD-40 when done. Try straight flute aluminum cutting Oflute bits.

In the long run for multiples, high vac will be best, but I have had better luck with the harder seals like bulk neoprene O-ring than the softer ones. Try both. The softer ones seal easier, but vibrate more. The inverse for harder. Use aluminum for a long lasting fixture
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:21 AM
JeffP JeffP is offline
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We buy custom routed .080 "stop signs" from a local vendor. The last set came in full sheet form. The aluminum sheet had been double sided taped to a large sheet of cardboard. The cardboard acted as the backer and was only partially cut through while the aluminum was a full through cut. We speculated this setup helped with the vacuum. However it could be that it just made packing and shipping easier for them. Whatever it was the pieces showed no imperfections associated with part movement.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:04 AM
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Jeff is right... If you are not performing depth critical operations, adhering the aluminum to cardboard or coroplast ensures vacuum stays full during the cut thru process.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:47 PM
tomdigi tomdigi is offline
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Thanks to all who responded. I'll give these suggestions a try.

Tom
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