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Vacuum Systems


Vacuum Systems 

Part Five

Jigs for the vacuum system

 We have made several jigs and fixtures to help us do every day chores. Most of these are not our designs, however they are practicle and are worth having. They are made using Lexan, which is pretty easy to work with, and can be found at plastic supply stores.


 Vacuum ststems - Right angle jigs  Right angle jig  Short dado jig  Long dado jig

The first two pictures are right angle jigs, which will hold pieces perfectly square, while we add screws. Notice the quick connect fittings at the end of the hose. They make them easy to set up.

The third and fourth photos are dado jigs, and are also useful for biscuit joiners. (Notice the blus tape with pencil marks, allowing us to align the bisquit machine very quickly). The machine is held vertically with this set up. Also notice the cross pieces of foam tape in the middle of the jigs. You'll see some of the backing has been left on the tape. This act as a valve, or gate, so we can use the jig on different width pieces. We just bend the tape to allow the vacuum system to either stop at these gates, or go beyond. while this looks rather crude, it is very effective.

Template for drill press inserts  Vertical view of insert jig   Template hold down jig  Hall table template jig

The first two photos here show how we make our drill press inserts. Our drill press has a recessed area which allows us to replace the insert quickly, once it has outlived it's usefullness. We take 1/4" M.D.F., and rip it into 4" wide pieces. Then on the chop saw, with a stop, we cut them 4" long. Our inserts are about 3 3/4" square. so with this jig and the vacuum system, we lay the M.D.F. blank on the jig, and use the router to cut them to size. The process allows us to make a hundred inserts in about an hour.

The third photo is the jig we use for cutting slots with a biscuit joiner. Simply lay the part on the jig, step on the foot pedal, to activate the vacuum, and cut the slots. Step on the foot pedal to release the part. The fourth photo is a table top template. We rough cut the blanks, and with a router, trim them to size. All of these four photos make use of a hole drilled into our bench top. The hole in the jig allows enough vacuum pressure to suck the piece down to where it is firmly stuck to the bench.

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