Vacuum chucking

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Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
I am wanting to start using vacuum chucking on my lathe and I am not sure where to start. I have looked at the hold fast systems and they seem simple enough but I’m not sure I want to go that route I’d rather not have my air compressor running the whole time. If anyone can give me some info on their systems and components they use I know I’ll need a pump, line, adaptor to fit the lathe, and chuck of course. If I get a vacuum pump is there anything I will need to run in line as well? Thanks in advance for any info.
 

Phil S

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Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
+1 for the above link. Great value and excellent customer service
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I use the pump and most of the plumbing from Frugal Vacuum Chuck, but I found his handmade chucks to be lacking. I purchased the Hold Fast chucks and extension adapter from here.

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/t/181/Vacuum-Chucks

They work much better than the homemade chuck from Frugal. His pump works great and is $200 versus $500 for that part of the system.

Frugal has great customer service also. My pump wouldn't start when I got it and he diagnosed the problem over the phone and sent me a replacement starter capacitor to fix it right away.
 
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Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
I use the pump and most of the plumbing from Frugal Vacuum Chuck, but I found his handmade chucks to be lacking. I purchased the Hold Fast chucks and extension adapter from here.

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/t/181/Vacuum-Chucks

They work much better than the homemade chuck from Frugal. His pump works great and is $200 versus $500 for that part of the system.

Frugal has great customer service also. My pump wouldn't start when I got it and he diagnosed the problem over the phone and sent me a replacement starter capacitor to fix it right away.
I was actually planning on getting the hold fast chuck from craft supplies so that will work out good. Was there any particular reason you got the extension besides extra length?
 

JonB

Jon
User
The Frugal site is a very good source for a reasonably priced set up. I would also agree that the hand made chucks are a little lacking. You can check JT Turning tools at https://www.jtturningtools.com/ they also carry a full set up along with selling the parts individually and also have a lot of good information on building a system. Two things that JT has is vacuum adapters and vacuum chuck hubs that work very well. I acquired a pump and built my system using the JT adapter and chuck hub and am really happy with the way it works.
 

Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
keep looking at the Harbor Fright pumps. Will they work? Has any of you folks used one?

Pop
I haven’t had a bad experience with harbor freight yet I think it’s just the luck of the draw with them you may get a bad tool or you could get a good one. I got a belt sander and grinder from them and they work well. My buddy got a small air brush kit from them and it did not. But I read a lot of good reviews about their vacuum pumps too. Maybe someone that owns one can comment with their experiences on them.
 

Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
The Frugal site is a very good source for a reasonably priced set up. I would also agree that the hand made chucks are a little lacking. You can check JT Turning tools at https://www.jtturningtools.com/ they also carry a full set up along with selling the parts individually and also have a lot of good information on building a system. Two things that JT has is vacuum adapters and vacuum chuck hubs that work very well. I acquired a pump and built my system using the JT adapter and chuck hub and am really happy with the way it works.
Awesome they have a diagram with everything I needed to know thank you!
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I was actually planning on getting the hold fast chuck from craft supplies so that will work out good. Was there any particular reason you got the extension besides extra length?
After seeing Charlie's setup it looked like a good idea. I have the PowerMatic 3520B lathe and it seemed to fit the chucks better and allowed easy connection of the Frugal vacuum hose.
 

Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
After seeing Charlie's setup it looked like a good idea. I have the PowerMatic 3520B lathe and it seemed to fit the chucks better and allowed easy connection of the Frugal vacuum hose.
Awesome thanks I ordered the frugal system and the hold fast Chucks from csusa
 

JonB

Jon
User
You'll be happy with that set up, I'm sure it'll work well.
A few things to remember when using it, always bring up the tail stock for extra support. You can turn all but the smallest nib on the end and pull the tail stock away for that, cut with light cuts.
Always stop the lathe when you pull the tail stock away to make sure you still have a good seal. Some woods are more porous than others, the vacuum may draw through and it is possible to crack the bottom if you get very thin.
 

Davebrad

Dave
Senior User
You'll be happy with that set up, I'm sure it'll work well.
A few things to remember when using it, always bring up the tail stock for extra support. You can turn all but the smallest nib on the end and pull the tail stock away for that, cut with light cuts.
Always stop the lathe when you pull the tail stock away to make sure you still have a good seal. Some woods are more porous than others, the vacuum may draw through and it is possible to crack the bottom if you get very thin.
Awesome thank you! Yea I had read somewhere to use sanding sealer on real porous woods that it would help to keep a good seal. I’ll have to try it and see.
 
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