Router Vacuum Holddown

Self-described Router Lady Carol Reed, in her Router Joinery Workshop book, describes a vacuum system of holding down work for routing. The idea was totally new to me and one I would like to try. Does anyone have any experience with it?
Basically, it is a motor and vacuum pump, which, by way of a tube and a wooden plate, holds down your work without anything getting in the way of it. My problem is that while aquiring washing machine type motors is not a problem, the vacuum pump is not common and not exactly cheap for this application, and this is not a typical garage sale item. Any idea on where to find used ones, please, and thanks.
(Not incidentally, anyone on my end of the learning curve, before not after the bell, should look at the book. It is wonderfully intuitive for a novice, much better, in this regard, than those of her mentor, Pat Warner, whose books and cd I also own.)
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Lawrence,
Take a look over in the rec.crafts.woodturning group. There's a fella there that is usually selling vacuum pumps that may suit your needs at reasonable cost. Sorry I don't recall his name but if you make a post there or Google, I'm sure it will pop-up.
Bob S.
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Take a look at
www.joewoodworker.com
He is helpful and sells some nice stuff. I mounted one of his pumps on a 10 gallon tank and I use it all the time....
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Lawrence Rottersman wrote:

used as a blower or a vacuum.
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You can get inexpensive vacuum pumps on ebay. I took a pump and used a discarded helium tank, the kind you can get a any store to fill balloons with. This is my tank. Make your jigs to the shape you want. Drill a hold in the middle and screw a male air line connector into it. Get some closed cell 1/8" thick insulation tape like you would use for a door or window and put the around the outside edge on the pattern. I use a coiled plastic airline suspended over the router table. I also have a cut off valve at the end of the airline. When I finish routing I turn the valve and the cuts off the vacuum and I remove the pattern and change out the wood to do it all over again. I call this part of my "poor man's CNC router techniques". I have many more tricks I use in place of a CNC.
Eric Morehouse ELM Woodworks, LLC
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You guys are terrific; best thanks to all of you for your help. Not only do I have clues, but trails as well.

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also, you can get a vacuum jig that will use shop air to create the vacuum. Key in any vacuum system is a jig that is made to hold your sample and maintain a vacuum. It can be as simple as a piece of wood with gasket material and a hole for the vacuum hose attachment. Please remember that a router's force on a piece of wood can be great...you must make your vacuum jig to withstand that force.
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The most interesting vacuum pump I've seen was made from an antique compressor. The Old man that did it said it was just a matter of "plumbing", and that he had done it first to power an old milking rig that died on his farm when he was broke. He said he later made some changes to make it work for his shop. (it was used for hold down on pattern cutting not vacuum pressing veneers)

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If anyone can provide details on how to do this, I would like to see it. I've heard of this before, using refrigerator compressors. Apparently, the compressor is eventually destroyed, since you are running without the lubricating refrigerant, but the useful life is still worthwhile. Do you just give the compressor a spin and solder an appropriate fitting to the side that sucks?

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