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Old 04-20-2018, 02:09 PM
1cmill 1cmill is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Coeur d' Alene Idaho
Posts: 23
Default Home made vac system


We are trying to make our own vac table system. I have a few questions. Please forgive me if Im being redundant as Ive read through several posts relating to the subject; however, the following questions still remain.

Machine: 4x8 stinger
4 vac motors: Ametek model# 122236-17
Specs: 230 volt, 2 stage (spec sheet attached)

Question 1: within 10 minutes under load these get hot to the touch, is this to be expected?

Question 2: Ive been trying to draw my own plenum board using Fusion 360. When I pattern out the honey comb structure it overloads the computer and the program freezes up. Any tips or tricks to drawing this? If I remember correctly, the computer that came with the CNC has dual graphics cards (something like that) which allow two programs to operate simultaneously, anyone know if you can "combine" them to operate one program for this operation?

Question 3: Regarding gasket material, I ordered 1/4" Solid buna rubber cord -- Durometer (hardness): 70 -- Tensile strength: 1450 psi (can be found on Amazon here:

I plan to recess the material 3/16" into the plenum (in other words, my channels for the honeycomb pattern will be 3/16" deep) allowing for 1/16" or 25% exposure for compression. Does this sound about right to those of you with experience?

Thank you,

Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0448.jpg (87.3 KB, 106 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0445.jpg (95.3 KB, 112 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Ametek - 122236 specs.pdf (199.4 KB, 13 views)
Ryan Yurek
Coeur d' Alene, ID
Stinger III 2017

1.7KW HSD Spindle, FTC, Laser, Counter Balance, Indexing Lathe, 2" gantry lift

Fusion 360 and Vectric VCarve Pro
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:16 PM
Jim_in_PA Jim_in_PA is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: SE PA
Posts: 886

On question number have to be careful with some kinds of vac motors/blowers as they expect air movement for cooling. I don't know enough about specific kinds, brands, etc., but I do know that for some, that pass-through air is critical. With a Vacuum table, once things are drawn down, there's no further air movement, or at least very little only from bleed though.
Jim Becker

SR-44 (2018), 1.7kw spindle, Performance Premium, USB, Keypad, T-Slot table (y-axis configuration), WinCNC, VCarve Pro upgraded to Aspire

Non CNC stuff...

SCM/Minimax - slider/JP/BS
Festool "a good collection"
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Retired from full time work in the telecom industry 9/2017
Commission work for equestrian tack storage and other custom furniture and cabinetry
Located Bucks County PA
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:56 PM
Rlee1972 Rlee1972 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 461

I wish I could be of some assistance to you but can not. My suggestion is this.....if you don't have a response (certain you will have several soon but the weekend is coming up) by end of the weekend, contact someone direct like Jim McGrew/Gary Campbell, Charlie Hind, Mick Martin, etc. They have forgotten more about vacuum than I am likely to ever learn.
Ron Lee
Blackshear, Ga
2018 Cobra Elite 5 x 10
20 Tool Holder
25HP Regen Vac

2017 Panther 408
6 Tool Rotary Carousel
Recoil Lathe
Aspire 9.0

Be humble.
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Life is too short and prone to quickly change to live otherwise.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:42 AM
Charlie_L Charlie_L is offline
Stinger II Owner
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,407

Seems like Fusion 360 is way harder for this work than Vectric would be unless I am missing something. A vector pattern of tic-tack-toe lines should work. Then just follow the lines with a profile toolpath using a ball nose tool. Would that help?
Charlie L
Stinger II, 48 by 48, 1.7 kW Spindle, FTC + Laser + Recoil + Vacuum, July 2012
WinCNC 2.5.03, Aspire 9, PhotoVCarve, Windows 7 Pro SP1

Last edited by Charlie_L; 04-21-2018 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:52 AM
Ger21 Ger21 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Shelby Township, MI
Posts: 372

In Fusion 360 make sure that you pattern the features, and not the sketch entities. Sketch patterns can really slow Fusion 360 down.

JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints

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Old 04-24-2018, 11:38 AM
1cmill 1cmill is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Coeur d' Alene Idaho
Posts: 23
Default Still working on things

I appreciate all who have responded, thank you.
We are still working on things. Finally got the drawing I need. Yes, patterning features (really bodies in my case, I could not actually get features to work for some reason, hit me up if your interested) worked faster but still bogged the machine down. I did one more thing to help speed....under "edit sketch," the Sketch Pallete (right hand side) I un-checked "show profile" which seemed to help. For what its worth, my final attempt worked better than anything else Ive tried....that is to pattern sketch lines to make a grid. Then under CAM, we ran a trace. This has been the quickest method by far.

As for the vacs getting hot, Im moving forward with this motor since Ive already dumped $150 each. I spoke with an engineer from Lamb Ametek before I bought them, he recommended this model #. My understanding is these motors will work but they are not as good as a vacuum pump. You get what you pay for I suppose.

Side note: In my original research I came across the Lamb Ametek 117123 model (3 stage). When I spoke with the engineer, he stated that was old tech and the new model is 122236 (2 stage) which is why I got that one.
Ryan Yurek
Coeur d' Alene, ID
Stinger III 2017

1.7KW HSD Spindle, FTC, Laser, Counter Balance, Indexing Lathe, 2" gantry lift

Fusion 360 and Vectric VCarve Pro
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:22 PM
BradyWatson BradyWatson is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: 1 hour South of Philly
Posts: 288

If you want to learn more about these types of systems and see the original that started it all - read this thread on the blue forum.

You might find the info regarding the Lighthouse vacs helpful. Every 110v/220v single phase vacuum system made after I posted that was based on it. No sour grapes...just saying that others have taken the idea and improved upon the original idea - so you're on the right track.

Do make sure to account for cooling. You are going to give up some suction, but that's the #1 reason these things burn out...they overheat. Lighthouse recommends drilling a small hole to allow some air in to cool the impeller and in turn the motor. I've heard of ones without cooling burning out in the first week - not trying to scare anyone, just double check on the cooling because full vacuum often means near 0's just sitting there cavitating...and cavitation = heat.

Also...don't miss the critical point I made - These things are NOT by any stretch of the imagination commercial duty (not industrial either no matter how they are marketed- when used on a CNC) - the idea is to limp along with these things and bank some coin so you can buy a real vac pump made for a production environment...Don't expect them to last forever. Seriously...and put filters on them.

Keep up the good more pics to inspire others.

IBILD Solutions - High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training
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