Author Topic: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides  (Read 2672 times)

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Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 62
Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« on: May 16, 2019, 10:53 PM »
Ive been really eyeing the vac clamp system but im curious if there are any downsides? Can you use it to cut and route? Or even the domino 500?  Cant say i would use it alot but this one small project was a pain bc i had to jerry rig everything..

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6061
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 11:10 PM »
Where are you located? There is an elevation limitation. Other than that, I haven't found one.

Once you get it you'll wonder why you waited so long.


Tom

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 62
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 11:16 PM »
Im in nyc so im good there. Lol what have you used it for?

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1909
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 11:31 PM »
I've owned the VacSys since it was available in the US. I have used it for all the things you asked about - routing, the Domino, sanding, and sometimes just for holding a piece to match up another piece. I have even clamped a drawer to it while sanding each side. It's very stable and creates a strong vacuum bond between the heads and the board. You can even use it for pattern routing. It's especially useful when you want to sand all edges or rout all edges. It's just a great tool, although very expensive.
Randy

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6061
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 12:59 AM »
Im in nyc so im good there. Lol what have you used it for?

Everything you listed and a few things I probably shouldn't have....

Tom

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2667
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 04:17 AM »
It is a nice tool that aids holding work. The work has to be flat and not too porous for a strong grip. That is really the only limitation I have come across...using pieces too porous or not flat enough on solid stock to create a good suction to the plate.

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 828
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 07:52 AM »
Vacuum clamping can be extremely helpful in certain situations is something we agree on. The ridiculous price of the Festool solution is a downside. The working height is too high for most normal sized people. The vacuum pump from all indications is low powered and not good for other vacuum projects. You can get into vacuum clamping system for less than the cost of a single Festool clamp. I personally did this back in 2009 when Festool first start talking about their unit in Europe only. If you got deep pockets go for the Festool, if not there are other options.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2225
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 08:34 AM »
The Festool vac system is great.  Granted it is expensive for a hobbist but if you are making multiples of parts to be sanded or machined it is the closest thing to a industrial system out there. I've been vac clamping parts for the last 40+ years.  Started using self made jigs and my Craftsman vac, went from there to using the intake on my air compressor, did that for a long time.  Got serious and bought a surplus HVAC compressor for $15.00, cheap as it was 220V, still using my jigs.  Found out that Virutex had a system and bought two and of course Festool finally decided to bring in their system soon after.  The variety of head shapes available with the Festool is only mirrored by truly industrial options which are believe it or not even more salty price wise.  It is easy to get into vacuum clamping on a budget.  There are cheaper compressor options and there are also small modules available from various woodworking suppliers.  Most people way over think the complexity for vacuum clamping.  It's really no different than sucking on a straw.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6061
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2019, 08:52 AM »
Vacuum clamping can be extremely helpful in certain situations is something we agree on. The ridiculous price of the Festool solution is a downside. The working height is too high for most normal sized people. The vacuum pump from all indications is low powered and not good for other vacuum projects. You can get into vacuum clamping system for less than the cost of a single Festool clamp. I personally did this back in 2009 when Festool first start talking about their unit in Europe only. If you got deep pockets go for the Festool, if not there are other options.

Masking tape and backer plates with foam seals.

Tom

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6363
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2019, 09:43 AM »
Here's a great example of a problem solver. The sides of a cabinet needed to have Dominos placed on the edge, from the outside surface, however on the inside of the cabinet, low voltage wiring, barrier terminals, cable clamps, micro switches and Dominos had already been installed. I could spend time building cribbing to support the cabinet from a workbench surface or...just vacuum clamp it.

I wanted to support the piece in the center however because of all the junk on the backside I couldn't, so it's being supported at the 2/3-1/3 position. This is 18 mm ply 25" x 46" so the material offset is heavy. I used just 1 vacuum head.






Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1738
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2019, 01:52 PM »
The system is great for sanding parts through several grits.  With regular clamps you have to apply the clamp, sand the bits that aren't covered by the clamp, then reclamp in a different location (unless you are using clamping elements which let you sand the whole thing in one action).  Then you have to repeat that for each side, each grit on each piece.

WIth the vac clamp you start up the system, put a part on, sand it, then step on the foot pedal to release pressure, swap pieces and keep going.

Sounds like a small thing, but if you have a lot of parts the many small time savings add up to a huge benefit.

BTW, the altitude issue really doesn't come up until you get really up there.  My shop is a little over a mile above sea level and they work well here.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1190
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 02:03 PM »
Guys,

Do ya work for Festool part-time or what? [tongue]

You don't have to convince us anything. Just PM us your cc #, expiry date, and the csc on the back -- we'll take care of the rest. ;D [laughing] [laughing] [laughing] [laughing]

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 475
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 02:08 PM »
Here's a great example of a problem solver. The sides of a cabinet needed to have Dominos placed on the edge, from the outside surface, however on the inside of the cabinet, low voltage wiring, barrier terminals, cable clamps, micro switches and Dominos had already been installed. I could spend time building cribbing to support the cabinet from a workbench surface or...just vacuum clamp it.

I wanted to support the piece in the center however because of all the junk on the backside I couldn't, so it's being supported at the 2/3-1/3 position. This is 18 mm ply 25" x 46" so the material offset is heavy. I used just 1 vacuum head.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

@Cheese I believe if you were to stack two sys1 you could support the other end level with the vacuum head.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 26
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2019, 07:55 AM »
Keep in mind that, if you already have an air compressor, a venturi type generator will be much more economical.   

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 62
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 08:19 AM »
I agree w economical but i figured it would be louder. I have a small portable 3 gallon craftsman compressor and that thing is louder than i would.like.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1279
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2019, 08:54 AM »
I agree w economical but i figured it would be louder. I have a small portable 3 gallon craftsman compressor and that thing is louder than i would.like.
Reciprocating and rotary valve vacuum pumps are quite different: while the former has a high pressure difference each time the valve opens (which is the primary sound source of this type) the latter dosn't have one... making it more quiet.

See for the difference in mode of operation.

Offline Peter Halle

  • Global Moderator
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  • Posts: 12003
  • MacGyver - My boy 2010 - 2019 RIP
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2019, 09:04 AM »
Keep in mind that, if you already have an air compressor, a venturi type generator will be much more economical.

A venturi type will require the air compressor to be running continuously to maintain vacuum.  Air compressors in general are noisy and there might be air supply issues with duty ratings and cfm delivery. 

All things to be investigated prior to buying.

Peter

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 62
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2019, 09:47 AM »
Thx for all  input if i go  w venturi system ill.put a check valve in line to hold while im using  w a ball valve..

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6363
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2019, 10:03 AM »
Keep in mind that, if you already have an air compressor, a venturi type generator will be much more economical.

It's a cheaper solution but also a much louder solution.  [crying]

The other issue is the potential downside from a safety aspect. If anyone wants to use a venturi generator, I'd STRONGLY suggest using the vacuum chamber that's under the Vac Sys head. This testing was partially targeted at venturi users.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-reviews/vac-sys-vacuum-decay-times/msg458918/#msg458918

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1909
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2019, 02:48 PM »
All the things to investigate before buying are the reason I just went with the Festool VacSys. I was up and running within a few minutes of bringing it home and using it to make my life easier in the shop. I know that some love the process of getting all the parts and constructing the system and, admittedly, it would likely have saved me a lot of money if I did build it myself. However, I have gotten a huge amount of satisfaction from just using it and all the tasks in my shop that made my life easier without thinking about it. I bought mine within 3 days of the VacSys introduction into the US and have never been disappointed or sorry.

I do, however, give you guys who want to build your own a lot of credit for your acquired knowledge and the ability to build your own. I hope you get as much satisfaction from your system as I have from my purchased VacSys.
Randy

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 828
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2019, 04:16 PM »
Some my find this interesting with regards to vacuum clamping.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/other-tools-accessories/vac-sys-my-version/msg122188/#msg122188

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2225
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2019, 05:11 PM »
kcufstoidi, if you go to Virutex's website... http://virutex.com/vacuumclamp.aspx,  you'll see that this is Virutex's basic unit.  I had bought two of the Vacuum Clamp -Model SVN-470 units and mounted them onto bar stool swivels before I bought the Festool version because the differing heads are more versatile for the projects I build.  Wanna buy two Virutex units anyone?

Offline kcufstoidi

  • Posts: 828
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2019, 07:25 AM »
RST the Virutex units weren't around when I did my little project and even my LV setup is typically too high on a MFT to work comfortably. I only use the Carvers clamp now when I want to do something on 90 degrees.

The vacuum pads are produced by an Australian company and I find placing the pads directly on the MFT surface works much better for me. The bottom lines is when I put this together, for less money than the Virutex head alone I bought 2 pads, the LV Carvers clamp and then later a vacuum pump. If I truly needed more and wanted to spend a stupid amount of money I would purchase something from Barth.

https://www.martin-usa.com/products/vakuucar-vakuucar-xl/

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6061
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2019, 09:28 AM »
Seeing as the height of the working surface has come up a few times, a few links to threads on the subject.

Sedge uses his variant of the mount in the first link.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/vac-sys-on-mft-3/msg460739/#msg460739

RST took it a further using 80/20.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tools-accessories/festool-vac-sys-vacuum-clamping-system-set/msg503550/#msg503550

Tom

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1909
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2019, 10:07 AM »
Mounted mine on the side of my MFT with a piece of plywood and some t-nuts. That puts it down lower and, if mounted at the correct height will keep head below the MFT work surface if not in use and in the right position. It works well that way and keeps it out and handy when it's used. I believe the plans for mounting  this way are in the Conturo User Manual. This manual can be found online by searching for "Conturo User Manual".
Randy

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2225
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2019, 05:35 PM »
I used 8020 to create adjustable shelve to mount my modules at table top height.
297982-0   297984-1
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 05:38 PM by rst »

Offline LDBecker

  • Posts: 102
Re: Vacuum Clamping system limits downsides
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2019, 05:00 PM »
I use the VacSys 1 and 2 to hold long boards when handplaning the edges - I was really disappointed when I tried it with them mounted on the MFT/3 (even with the braces installed), but when I mount the vacuum heads on a solid surface, like my table saw, it's just fine.