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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > Commercial CNC Wood Routers > Shopsabre > Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    4

    Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    Good morning, fellas. I did some searching on the forum and elsewhere on the web, but I didn’t find anything more specific to a bigger machine like I have. I have a 2-year old ShopSabre Pro 408 with a phenolic T-Slot table. We are a custom stair component and molding shop that does a fair amount of custom Hardwood Flooring moldings, flush mount vents, stair nosing, and tread & riser parts. Most of our material is sourced from the engineered flooring itself which ranges from 5” wide to 8” wide. We have been making fixtures to hold our material down on the CNC table. This has worked well, but we are expanding our capabilities that won’t allow mechanical fixturing. We found a regenerative vacuum pump (25hp 3-phase unit from FPZ) and now need to construct a vacuum table and plumb it. I think it would be wise to use the permeability of MDF to pull vacuum through the spoil board, but I’m not sure which way would be better to utilize the pump; build a hollow vacuum “box” or use a flat sheet of MDF with a grid pattern milled into it and connecting the vacuum hose from the top of the sheet. These two methods seem to be the most common for smaller bench top machines, but I’m wondering what would be better for our bigger Pro machine. I have a custom stair tread order that calls for an overall dimension of 72” long and 36” wide that has a large curve on the front and back spanning about 54” made of multiple parts.

    For what it’s worth, our machine is equipped with the HSD spindle, 4th Axis, Automatic Tool Changer (5pos), Cordless Remote Control, and mister/blower for cutting plastics and metals.

    I’m a bit new to the CNC world, and I don’t know what I don’t know. Hopefully I’m not overlooking something or coming across as a complete dope.

    Thanks for reading.

    -Tim

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1031

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    I've used three different vacuum setup on different machines,none of them a Shop Sabre.The first was one I made using the technique you describe of cutting a grid into the underside of a sheet of MDF and then machining a groove for a neoprene sealing strip into the top of it with holes drilled through to connect with the vacuum channels. It worked reasonably well and we moved around the sheet with various jobs as we had a supply of small plastic top hat type plugs for the unused holes.The other systems I have used had plastic or resin sealed MDF on the machine table with sub-divisions to create six or eight zones that could be individually isolated,and needed to be because small parts need lots of vacuum to remain in place.The plastic was hollowed out with lots of ribs left standing in each zone to support the MDF spoilboard.With a 25Hp pump you ought to be in good shape if you can ensure enough flow capacity over the table of the machine.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    Quote Originally Posted by routalot View Post
    I've used three different vacuum setup on different machines,none of them a Shop Sabre.The first was one I made using the technique you describe of cutting a grid into the underside of a sheet of MDF and then machining a groove for a neoprene sealing strip into the top of it with holes drilled through to connect with the vacuum channels. It worked reasonably well and we moved around the sheet with various jobs as we had a supply of small plastic top hat type plugs for the unused holes.The other systems I have used had plastic or resin sealed MDF on the machine table with sub-divisions to create six or eight zones that could be individually isolated,and needed to be because small parts need lots of vacuum to remain in place.The plastic was hollowed out with lots of ribs left standing in each zone to support the MDF spoilboard.With a 25Hp pump you ought to be in good shape if you can ensure enough flow capacity over the table of the machine.
    Thank you for the response. I did some reading on the different vacuum pumps; what I found is the regenerative types had a lot of CFM, but not as high of pressure. I thought I had a photo of the nameplate of the pump, but I don’t. Based on the FPZ spec sheet, it should be a model K12-MS capable of 726cfm and Maximum Differential Pressure of 8.9”Hg. I’m told these types of pumps do better on smaller vacuum tables/zones due to the lower pressure capability, but will excel in holding smaller parts due to the high CFM value. I’ve think the idea of cutting the grid into the MDF sheet and pulling the vacuum from the top will give us a little more flexibility in that it won’t impede the Z axis as much. We don’t cut a lot of real thick stuff as of yet, but we will venture into signs and bigger stuff at some point. I’m just wondering if I would really need to zone the vacuum spoil board off if I sealed all of the surfaces that could leak vacuum and use non-permeable material to cover the areas not being used. My plan would be to seal the bottom and sides for sure, and I considered experimenting with sealing parts of the grooved spoil board surface to be able to concentrate the vacuum better. But again, I am making a lot of assumptions. I want to do it right the first time. Pulling the vacuum from underneath won’t work as well if at all due to the T-Slot channels in the machines table.

  4. #4

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    Quote Originally Posted by v8S10 View Post
    Good morning, fellas. I did some searching on the forum and elsewhere on the web, but I didn’t find anything more specific to a bigger machine like I have. I have a 2-year old ShopSabre Pro 408 with a phenolic T-Slot table. We are a custom stair component and molding shop that does a fair amount of custom Hardwood Flooring moldings, flush mount vents, stair nosing, and tread & riser parts. Most of our material is sourced from the engineered flooring itself which ranges from 5” wide to 8” wide. We have been making fixtures to hold our material down on the CNC table. This has worked well, but we are expanding our capabilities that won’t allow mechanical fixturing. We found a regenerative vacuum pump (25hp 3-phase unit from FPZ) and now need to construct a vacuum table and plumb it. I think it would be wise to use the permeability of MDF to pull vacuum through the spoil board, but I’m not sure which way would be better to utilize the pump; build a hollow vacuum “box” or use a flat sheet of MDF with a grid pattern milled into it and connecting the vacuum hose from the top of the sheet. These two methods seem to be the most common for smaller bench top machines, but I’m wondering what would be better for our bigger Pro machine. I have a custom stair tread order that calls for an overall dimension of 72” long and 36” wide that has a large curve on the front and back spanning about 54” made of multiple parts.

    For what it’s worth, our machine is equipped with the HSD spindle, 4th Axis, Automatic Tool Changer (5pos), Cordless Remote Control, and mister/blower for cutting plastics and metals.

    I’m a bit new to the CNC world, and I don’t know what I don’t know. Hopefully I’m not overlooking something or coming across as a complete dope.

    Thanks for reading.

    -Tim

    Give us a call at ShopSabre, we sell several options for vacuum and our experts can help you with the best recommendation for your parts.

    We do not often get out to the forums to communicate so best would be to email us at Support@shopsabre.com

    Again you have an entire team of people on our staff here to help out in these scenerios

    Thank you for supporting the ShopSabre brand

    - ShopSabre

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    Quote Originally Posted by ShopSabre View Post
    Give us a call at ShopSabre, we sell several options for vacuum and our experts can help you with the best recommendation for your parts.

    We do not often get out to the forums to communicate so best would be to email us at Support@shopsabre.com

    Again you have an entire team of people on our staff here to help out in these scenerios

    Thank you for supporting the ShopSabre brand

    - ShopSabre
    Which associate are you?

    Thank you for the reply, however we are not in the position to replace the table at this time to do it “the right way”. I’d like to do it the right way, but I’m not the one signing the checks. For now we need the next best thing.

  6. #6

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    No problem, we want to help you come up with a solid solution if we can help.

    You can reach us at 952-461-4570 or by filling out our support request online

    Thank you,

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    4

    Re: Adding a vacuum table to ShopSabre Pro 408 with T-Slot phenolic table

    Quote Originally Posted by ShopSabre View Post
    No problem, we want to help you come up with a solid solution if we can help.

    You can reach us at 952-461-4570 or by filling out our support request online

    Thank you,
    I talked to the owner of my company and he is open to options, so I will reach out in the next few days. Thank you!

    For anyone else reading this, I’d like to hear your suggestions and wisdom as well.

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