a Dual Axis, Variable Height Vacuum Holder
Generally I don't mind too much if whatever I'm doing causes wood chips to spread over a fairly wide radius.
However, there are times when the chips can not only interfere with your work but can actually ruin it.
Without going into the math, I've found that I can make
magnetic model-building fixtures
most efficiently as sixteen sets of thirty pieces (twenty-two fixtures plus eight vertical presses). All
but the 1-1/2" tall have three holes drilled in them. The 1-1/2" tall fixtures have only two holes.
Including the vertical presses that comes to 1,248 holes that need to be drilled. I've set up a fixture for my
drill press that allows the holes to be very accurately placed. It's basically a pair of
fences on an X-Y
table. The problem is that when a hole is drilled and the work is removed there are chips that remain on the table and prevent
the next piece from snugging up against the fences.
I've tried a couple of fixes such as putting under-cuts in the fences and opening the corner between the two fences
but the undercuts eventually clog and I'm back to having the same problem. Up to now I've just blown the chips
away which is probably good for my lungs but bad for my attitude and noticeably slows down the process.
At first I thought I'd do the same thing that a lot of people have done with their
— get an aquarium pump to blow the chips away.
While I was studying the problem I was gazing over a
workbench that was covered in wood chips from the fixtures
I'd already drilled. Making a device that blows the chips around even more wasn't the best solution.
So I decided to make a fixture to hold my vacuum. My first version was quickly rigged and worked very well.
There were two problems with the first version. The height wasn't adjustable and the vacuum couldn't swivel up
and down. The vacuum could swivel back and forth and I built it for the task at hand so the missing features
weren't a problem.
Soon after I had another situation where this tool would have been the perfect solution. But it was not the
correct height. I could have rigged something to the existing setup to make it work but I decided to make
something more universal so I wouldn't be adding rigging on top of rigging.
The only real problem with this setup is that the vacuum is on full time. I don't know how much that
affects my energy bill but whenever my vac will be on for more than a few seconds I wear hearing protection which
means I have to turn off the music since I can't hear it anyway. My life continues to be one of strife and