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Thread: Question about plenums and vacuum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    , Westminster Colorado

    Default Question about plenums and vacuum

    First off I have a Standard Buddy 32 and Iíve had it about 3 weeks. Iíve figured out I donít like screwing everything down or using tabs, so Iím going to make a vacuum hold down system. Iíve figured out my plenum size, cut files and how to hook it up to a vacuum motor by using a second sheet under the plenum with a vacuum channel.

    Now before I make this whole thing I have a few questions.

    I thought of this instead of using T track and Iím wondering if any one has tried this before? If so, how does/did it work?

    Will this be a problem for maintaining a vacuum seal?

    Gary, what do you use for the perimeter gasket? Do I need one?

    Or should I just use T track?


    Drill holes all the way through the plenum on every third square. Counter sink the bottom of each hole to accommodate a t-nut. Glue the plenum down to the middle sheet and then to the table top. This will allow hold down all the way across the plenum and easy squaring of your work using dowels placed in acrylic or wood blocks. Now I know you shouldnít need hold down spots with vacuum, but if you drill matching holes in a secondary spoil board you have hold down across you entire spoil board if I don't use vacuum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Keep in mind you will lose vacumn thru the sides of your mdf so take some silicone caulk and smear it along all your edges to seal them. That keeps your air pressure flow on your flat sides and not on the edges.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    San Jose, CA, USA


    quote:what do you use for the perimeter gasket?
    I use material from All Star Adhesives. They have been great to deal with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    I used HDPE for my plenum. Its expensive, but very stable. Also, since you are using the BT you can get a chuck for not too much. My 2x4' by 3/4" cost me $100. Then there are no worries about leaks or sealing will also want to use a bleader made of Ultra Low Density Fiber board (ULDF). I didn't use any perimeter gasket since the bleader board sits on top of the actual plenum and acts as the spoil board as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Marquette, MI


    The bolt holes should work well for attaching the different jigs/corners etc. that you mention. I would use them OR t track, but not both.

    If the plenum is made from a porous material it is most likely that you will get leakage thru the bolt holes to the bottom.

    I used a 1/4" wide by 1/16" thick adhesive backed gasket from AllStar. I have eliminated this feature on my new table as it allows us to get vacuum closer to the edges. We now glue our spoilboard to the plenum.

    Having the option to attach corner blocks or jigs is a great feature, as you may not want to hear the vacuum, some materials do not hold well, and it is always nice to have a way to index a part to flop it over or recut itself or another just like it.

    I dont know much about the buddy, but Brady did a great job researching what works and has an article that puts a vac table on the Buddy. Make sure you look it over before you build. In any case do some backwards research and read his posts concerning vacuum. In most of the areas that we varied from his postings, we ended up coming back to them for one reason or another. (mostly performance

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