Author Topic: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question  (Read 19596 times)

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Offline rst

  • Posts: 2191
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2018, 12:28 PM »
The out rigger legs are attached to 8020s bifold UHMW plastic extrusions and are adjustable up/down via screw clamps.  I have stops in the tracks to keep the elevation so that the clamp pad is even with the table top.  I actually have two of these setups as I often have up to 8' pieces that I'm fabricating.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 12:30 PM by rst »

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Offline magellan

  • Posts: 197
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2018, 06:25 PM »
Hi all
I’ve read this thread completely and would like to verify the mention of using an alternative vacuum source.   The reason I’m asking is I have a $1000.00 vacuum pump and I really would like to avoid buying another.   Can an alternative source be used successfully and reliabily used?   I have a set of pods but never used them much just seemed more of a hassle to set up

Thanks for your advice

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2673
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2018, 06:55 PM »
See this thread for using alternative pumps with the Vac-Sys and the Vac-Sys pump with vacuum bags.


Both work.


http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tools-accessories/vacuum-pump-for-vac-sys/

Offline magellan

  • Posts: 197
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2018, 07:42 PM »
Thank you for the link.  Sounds like I don’t need the $800.00 pump.   

Thank you

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6103
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2018, 08:18 PM »
I’ve read this thread completely and would like to verify the mention of using an alternative vacuum source.   The reason I’m asking is I have a $1000.00 vacuum pump and I really would like to avoid buying another.   Can an alternative source be used successfully and reliabily used? 

For the last 2-3 years I've used a Milwaukee vacuum pump that I took off of a Milwaukee core drill. Changed out the quick disconnect connectors so that they'd work with the Festo gear.

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 319
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2018, 08:26 PM »
New question about the VAC-SYS: Are the quick-disconnects a Festool-proprietary design, or some sort of European standard? I'd like to add one so that the foot pedal isn't always anchored to the head, and as you might surmise, the Festool parts are extremely expensive.

Thanks, Dick

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2191
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2018, 08:55 PM »
Couple answers here.  I'm currently using a $15.00 surplus HVAC pump and have for the last 20+ years.  It was probably $15.00 because it is 220v but I only use mine in my shops so never an issue.  I started out 30 years ago making my own vacuum patterns and using my regular shop vac.  Went from there to using the intake on my air compressor until I bought the HVAC pump.  Vacuum systems really are not rocket science, if it sucks enough you can use it.  As far as fittings, I use the European fittings to interconnect the pads but changed the fitting going to my pump to the standard Milton.  In the past I used the Milton fittings for all my connections but some years back I started replacing all those with 8mm push/pull fittings and tube.  I also changed out the fixed fittings on the Festool pads to push/pull to make it easier to store the units without fighting that fixed hose.  I buy the 8mm nylon tube and fittings  and hose from AutomationDirect.com

Offline magellan

  • Posts: 197
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2018, 09:18 PM »
Cheese
Thank you for the info.  I have a very nice vacuum pump from Vacuum Pressing Systems and if I would decide to buy the two Festool devices it would be a great savings.  It’s not only the savings but making more use of the pump I already have. 

One thing I’ve noticed is you don’t see the Vac Sys in the classifieds or the recon site.  I believe I did see a pump offered once on the recon site.   That must say a lot for the system itself, people must like them.  I’m sure they don’t sell them as often as maybe a router or sander.  It must be a good system. 

I believe if I would decide to purchase I would mount them so they were able to swing into position    I tend to not use things if I have to keep setting them up. 

Fellows great info
Thanks

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6103
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2018, 10:25 PM »
Hey Magellan it's a great system...especially handy for sanding and for use with the Domino. I've seen a couple of vacuum heads on the recon site but I can't remember ever seeing a vacuum pump.

As rst so elegantly stated, "if it sucks enough you can use it." Can't agree more.  [big grin]

There are design/material differences in quick disconnects used for pressure applications versus vacuum applications. The differences are subtle and important if you're putting someone on the moon, however if you're just holding lumber, it really doesn't matter. I used the standard Festool/Festo quick disconnects but that was just my choice. In case you're nervous about switching quick disconnects, just remember that you can utilize the vacuum chamber in the bottom of the vacuum head base to increase the leak-down time if something does go awry. 

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 319
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2018, 11:16 PM »
Hey Magellan it's a great system...especially handy for sanding and for use with the Domino. I've seen a couple of vacuum heads on the recon site but I can't remember ever seeing a vacuum pump.

As rst so elegantly stated, "if it sucks enough you can use it." Can't agree more.  [big grin]

There are design/material differences in quick disconnects used for pressure applications versus vacuum applications. The differences are subtle and important if you're putting someone on the moon, however if you're just holding lumber, it really doesn't matter. I used the standard Festool/Festo quick disconnects but that was just my choice. In case you're nervous about switching quick disconnects, just remember that you can utilize the vacuum chamber in the bottom of the vacuum head base to increase the leak-down time if something does go awry.

If this was addressed to me, I was just wondering if I could use a less expensive set of disconnects (and other fittings) interchangeably with the Festool ones. The fittings to make my VAC SYS SE1 disconnect like my add-on VAC SYS SE2 is something like $161 on EKAT (?sp).

Yes, there was (at least) one recon vacuum pump, and I happily grabbed it.   [big grin]   It is "like new" as far as I can see.

Regards, Dick

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3991
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #70 on: March 01, 2018, 07:52 AM »
@rst you said you changed to standard Milton fittings. Are these the standard pressure quick-disconnect fittings? No difference whether pressure or vacuum?
Same question about nylon push/pull fittings, no difference whether pressure or vacuum?

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3991
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #71 on: March 01, 2018, 07:56 AM »
@Cheese “just remember that you can utilize the vacuum chamber in the bottom of the vacuum head base to increase the leak-down time if something does go awry.”

Can you flesh this out? What do you mean by leak-down time.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6103
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #72 on: March 01, 2018, 10:39 AM »
Can you flesh this out? What do you mean by leak-down time.

Michael, when I first started this little project, I was mostly concerned with the folks that were using a venturi style vacuum pump because if they lost air pressure they also immediately lost vacuum. That could prove to be dangerous.

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

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3991
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #73 on: March 01, 2018, 12:45 PM »
Can you flesh this out? What do you mean by leak-down time.

Michael, when I first started this little project, I was mostly concerned with the folks that were using a venturi style vacuum pump because if they lost air pressure they also immediately lost vacuum. That could prove to be dangerous.

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

Great post! Thanks Cheese  [thumbs up]

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2191
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2018, 01:31 PM »
Micheal, I've always used standard air fittings, they don't seem to care which way the pressure comes from.

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 814
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #75 on: March 01, 2018, 07:53 PM »
Just for the record, the Venturi-based DIY kits from JoeWW (which are quite popular) work just fine with the Vac-Sys.  This is because they have a large reservoir.  In fact and somewhat obviously, due to the large reservoir, they actually maintain vacuum after power has been cut longer than the NA Festool pump (which has a small reservoir in its metal cage) and the Excel5 (no reservoir).
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 26
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #76 on: July 10, 2019, 02:46 PM »
I am considering this system and have a couple add'l questions.  One gripe I have about Festool in general is their broad lack of available technical data on the website.

For these vac clamps, am I seeing it right that they do they vacuum themselves to the work surface as well or do you need to mount them?

I already have a 5x10 layout table I use for almost everything, I was first thinking about the MFT table as a nice place to do a better job of holding things and working more efficiently.  However, is the Vac-Sys a viable alternative to the MFT table for clamping?  At this point, I really cannot justify both for my current needs.  I may make up a MFT-ish table top, but I am thinking one or the other for now.

Although I have in the past done some professional woodworking, it is now just the part time stuff here and there and can vary widely in what that project is.  What I am seeing as a great use for the VAC-SYS is the ability to hold items for sanding and finishing with unfettered access to all but the one side.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2673
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #77 on: July 10, 2019, 04:05 PM »
You can either screw them into a base or flip the valve and have them vacuum attach to a flat non-porus surface.

The MFT is great for holding all manner of pieces large and small.  You might start with your current layout table and use something like the Parf Guide (search the forum for it) or watch here - https://tsoproducts.com/workholding-accessories/ujk-technology-parf-guide-system/ - for boring 20mm holes and using clamps and dogs with what you have.  That's a cheaper way to take what you have and do more holding.  Beyond that, an additional MFT could be of help if you have the space.

The VacSys is great for quickly clamping and releasing smaller pieces with the various heads.  Where the VacSys shines is if you need to do edge treatment around a piece - sanding, routing, dominoing all are really easy when holding the material with the VacSys.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1896
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #78 on: July 10, 2019, 04:34 PM »
The key word in the previous response is "non-porous". The surface must truly be non-porous to be a viable surface to use the clamp down feature. I used it by suctioning it to my hardwood top workbench and by suctioning it to a piece of plywood and clamping that piece to another surface (so I could use it on my MFT). It won't clamp itself to a particle board base and some MDF's. I've found that solid wood or plywood is the only sure thing. I don't use it that way now, having mounted it in the track on the side of my MFT so that the head will fold below the MFT surface when not in use.

It's a great tool though and I've used it for tasks I didn't imagine it could be used for, like holding drawers for sanding the sides after assembly, template routing, drilling, various assembly tasks. I also use it when I use my Domino. It's indispensable for holding the boards.
Randy

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 26
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #79 on: July 12, 2019, 11:19 AM »
Part of my motivation was after I visited a local dealer and one of the gents their sung the praises of the VAC-SYS, saying that you really don't need the MFT if you have it.  For me, I remain dubious on that point.  Even if not a MFT, I feel you still need a proper layout table and the various accouterments that go along with it.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3991
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2019, 11:42 AM »
Part of my motivation was after I visited a local dealer and one of the gents their sung the praises of the VAC-SYS, saying that you really don't need the MFT if you have it.  For me, I remain dubious on that point.  Even if not a MFT, I feel you still need a proper layout table and the various accouterments that go along with it.

He just meant you don’t need a board with holes in it for clamping your work if you have a vacuum clamp.

You still need something else for layout and cutting. An MFT is great for that...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 11:44 AM by Michael Kellough »

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 426
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2019, 11:44 AM »
@ChiknNutz The vac sys setup could be something as simple as:



which is how I first used it. That evolved into a dedicated cart that I really enjoy using:







It's one of those tools that you don't need to get the job done. But it makes it more pleasant when doing Domino, edge banding, sanding, freehand routing.
@matts.garage

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 26
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #82 on: July 12, 2019, 11:57 AM »
@DynaGlide

B.E.A.U.tiful setup there!  I am about to pull the trigger on about $2k worth of Festool goods (which doesn't get you much with Festool as y'all well know) and still need to buy a big air smasher, cyclone, router and table, probably a table saw and have a few 220V outlets installed in my shop.  And this is all just part time hobby stuff now, not even sure I will get a new business license here (moved from WA to NC).  As such, I think the vac-sys idea will need to be shelved for now.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:13 PM by ChiknNutz »
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3

Offline campbellcraft

  • Posts: 49
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #83 on: July 12, 2019, 10:31 PM »
 The triad is a large area. I am in Reidsville just north of Greensboro. Due to illness I haven’t been in my shop much lately,  but I have the equipment that you have been looking at. You are welcome to stop in my shop and play with it as much as you would like, and hopefully gather some information as to what would work for you.
Send me a PM if I can be of help.
Bob C

Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 165
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #84 on: July 13, 2019, 04:43 AM »
That's a very smart 'Vac Station' you've created there, DynaGlide.

I have no need or justification for anything like that just now, but that doesn't stop me from drooling.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 426
Re: VAC-SYS (vacuum clamping system) question
« Reply #85 on: July 14, 2019, 08:14 AM »
That's a very smart 'Vac Station' you've created there, DynaGlide.

I have no need or justification for anything like that just now, but that doesn't stop me from drooling.

I'm not sure I understand. What do the words "need" and "justification" mean?  [tongue]
@matts.garage