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Vacuum Chuck for Lathe

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Project by mdzehr posted 02-25-2019 05:05 AM 663 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There are times when finishing a bowl on a lathe that I don’t want to use a mechanical chuck because it can mark up the bowl. A vacuum chuck is an excellent alternative. This vacuum chuck was made with a 10” x 3/4” plywood disc covered with closed cell foam. The lathe headstock back plate fastens to the disc with 1/4” bolts that are drilled through, recessed into and epoxied to the disc. There is a 1-1/8” x 3/8” sealed bearing epoxied into a recess at the center of the disc. A 3/8” hollow threaded lamp rod inserts into the bearing using Teflon tape to help seal the joint. The rod goes through the headstock where it connects to a vinyl hose leading to my cheap HF vacuum pump. A cutoff valve is used to regulate the vacuum if the seal is too tight. If the wood is too porous water can be sprayed occasionally on the bowl or use sanding sealer. This works great for light turning such as finishing the bottom of the bowl, sanding or applying finish to the bowl.

This was a collaborative effort with a good friend and mentor of mine from Akron, Don Brubaker, who got me started turning in October

-- Mike, Lancaster PA





11 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

12670 posts in 4087 days


#1 posted 02-25-2019 02:00 PM

Fantastic build, Mike! Thanks for posting the details.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mdzehr's profile

mdzehr

301 posts in 699 days


#2 posted 02-25-2019 02:14 PM

Thanks Lew. The one thing I learned the hard way is to keep my fingers away from that spinning block of foam. It can leave a burn in a hurry!


Fantastic build, Mike! Thanks for posting the details.

- lew


-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View Sasha's profile

Sasha

1018 posts in 1544 days


#3 posted 02-25-2019 02:15 PM

This is for those who have not received on the head for a long time …... LOL …..

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

3601 posts in 2614 days


#4 posted 02-25-2019 03:09 PM

Always wanted to building one, this one is great, simply done.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View DMiller's profile

DMiller

490 posts in 804 days


#5 posted 02-25-2019 03:13 PM

Very Cool!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

View mdzehr's profile

mdzehr

301 posts in 699 days


#6 posted 02-25-2019 03:27 PM

Thanks Brian. It was a very easy build and the one extra feature you could add would be an extra bearing where the shaft exits the head stock to keep the shaft from flopping around . I actually have the bearing but was too impatient to try it so I haven’t added that feature yet.


Always wanted to building one, this one is great, simply done.

- bushmaster


-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View mdzehr's profile

mdzehr

301 posts in 699 days


#7 posted 02-25-2019 03:27 PM

Thanks Dale


Very Cool!

- DMiller


-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

5839 posts in 1044 days


#8 posted 02-25-2019 03:58 PM

a very kewl idea you are full of them lately Mike GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View mdzehr's profile

mdzehr

301 posts in 699 days


#9 posted 02-25-2019 04:24 PM

Thanks Tony. I have a lot of fun with it.


a very kewl idea you are full of them lately Mike GREAT JOB :<))

- GR8HUNTER


-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View Jacksdad's profile

Jacksdad

230 posts in 756 days


#10 posted 02-26-2019 03:49 AM

Where do you get close cell foam

View mdzehr's profile

mdzehr

301 posts in 699 days


#11 posted 02-26-2019 10:33 AM

We have a wonderful hardware store up in Ephrata called Paul B Zimmerman. They have just about any kind of thing imaginable. When it comes time to replace mine though I think I will try something a bit denser and not black. I think I will try the local UPS shipping store for rigid white packing foam. The black sometimes leaves slight marks that I need to rub out.


Where do you get close cell foam

- Jacksdad


-- Mike, Lancaster PA

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