Thank you Lee Valley for cool clamp!

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In my line of work, this is soooo handy:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pY743&cat=1,43838
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Robatoy wrote:

They're nice looking - for anyone whose budget doesn't stretch that far, I put up the recipe for a DIY version at
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/VacuumPuck /
and that recipe works for any size/shape puck of at least 16 sq in. My tubing is 3/8" vinyl ($15/100' at Menards)
With a recycled refrigerator compressor I can pull about 25" of vacuum almost silently.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I'm still going to make my own pucks like yours and I'm sure interested in a recycled vacuum system. Any hints or suggestions in regards to the refig units? Do keep some sort of filter to stop the dust from going into your pump? I would also like to find some way to make pucks on pedestals about 4" high so I can reach under the work piece to move/locate the pucks/pedestals. The eStone boys build their tops upside-down so that all rabbets and cut-outs are done referenced to the finished face. Many of the cheaper acrylic solid surface sheets vary in thickness ± 1/32. The better ones like Staron and Corian don't.
These are exciting times.
Kohler and Franke and Blanco all publish .dxf on their sink cut-outs, but some off-shore sinks only supply a paper template. I have to find an efficient way to turn those into a .dxf. I get it done, but the key word is: efficient. Now I do the photo/trace/scale routine and know nothing about probes. The local blueprint guy has a scanner which will do, but he's pricey. Any thoughts?
as always,
r
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Robatoy wrote:

Type of refrigerator doesn't much matter - nearly all of the compressors used are made by only a handful of companies.
Hmm, filter - I folded a piece of Kleenex until it was about 1x3, then folded that over the cut end of the output tube so as to catch excess oil being pushed out of the beast. The input side has a 10' length of vinyl tubing which seems to catch the dust before it gets to the pump. That's not a particularly razzle-dazzle filter, but I haven't had any problems in the five-plus years I've been using this compressor (which came out of a refrigerator more than 20 years old). Since I put that one into service, friends have brought in three more compressors, so I haven't felt any need to coddle the thing.
Pedestals should be easy - I think I'd just make 'em out of 4x6 cut-offs (or glue up some 2x6 scraps) and screw the pucks to those.

I kinda like the p/t/s approach. With practice it's fairly quick. I've heard that Corel Draw can produce a line drawing from an image file, but I've never tried it out.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

CorelTrace which comes with CorelDraw is very good, if you have a good clean scan/image file. I've typically used it for customer supplied jpegs, that we need to convert to spot colours, yes I am currently working in the graphics industry.
Illustrator comes with similar tools, but Corel's are much faster and more accurate and easier to clean up, if required.
--
Froz...

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wrote:

Yo Froz!
I used to use Adobe Streamline, years ago. The problem with most of the software that does tracing, is that they create very detailed, but huge vector files. Even if you set them to 'sloppy', they still create huge files. ( not 'huge' in terms of the size of what a large image file can be, but even a 100K file can translate into an hour of machining on my cnc, while a 60K file created in ArtsCAM can be done in 3 minutes. I guess it is all about data points. So much to learn and loving it.
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Robatoy wrote:

That is a totally different application, I admit, they go through the RIP in our case, and then hit the press leading to *very* rapid duplication.
I have no experience with CNC, but it sounds interesting.
Just thought I would toss an opinion in here.
--
Froz...

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Robatoy wrote:

How're your programming skills? If you examine toolpath cutting commands (movement with tool below surface) in groups of three, you can eliminate all points that don't lie more than a pre-selected error value (say, 0.001") from a straight line joining the endpoints.
If you want to further refine what's left, you may be able to do a fair amount of reduction by fitting arcs to groups of three or more points and use arc-producing movement commands.
I played around a bit with code that re-ordered toolpath segments to minimize waste tool/spindle movement and for /some/ files it made a big difference in machining time.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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I created an oval in CAD. Exported as .dxf, .eps. and as an image file (jpeg) Then I imported into VcarvePro via .eps, .dxf. and traced the image file. I also created the same oval within VCarve Pro. The file sizes were different, but not as significant as the estimated machining time associated with each type of file. The trace off the image file was close to an hour, the same oval in VCarve was 3 minutes. Same oval.
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Robatoy wrote:

Sounds like the the cad was generating way more points than necessary, and there may be a precision parameter that you can adjust to reduce the number of points.
In my DesignCAD package, I can (very carefully!) sometimes use the "smooth" command to reduce the number of points. You might experiment if you have a similar command.
A while back I cut a 48x24 elliptical template for a local cabinetmaker (for a conference table inlay) and still have the file:
1 command to position spindle 1 command to lower tool to cutting depth 1440 straight-line moves to cut perimeter 1 command to raise tool 1 command to move spindle out of the sway
The program calculated points in polar coordinates 1/4-degree apart and converted the polar coordinates to cartesian on the fly. Run time was just under three minutes with a 1.5"/sec feed, and the curve was smooth.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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digitizer.
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On Sep 7, 3:03 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Did I forget to add: economically?
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"I put up the recipe for a DIY version at http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/VacuumPuck / and that recipe works for any size/shape puck of at least 16 sq in. My tubing is 3/8" vinyl ($15/100' at Menards) With a recycled refrigerator compressor I can pull about 25" of vacuum almost silently. -- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto / "
And, thank you very much for sharing. But I have a question regarding the "ball/button catch (valve)" you used - SOURCE, ITEM NUMBER and a request fot an instructable on converting my olf fridgerator into a vacuum pump - maybe a picture of yours. Not trying to be a smart ass here, seriously interested.
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Hoosierpopi wrote:

They're also called "bullet catches".
The source was a (now defunct) Woodcraft Supply store in West Des Moines. I bought the remainder of their supply and (I think) I still have the bag in the shop. I tried to order more from Woodcraft but they were never a stock item - so I tried to order from the manufacturer and they wouldn't respond either letter or e-mail. I'll try to get the manufacturer and part number and post here. Those I bought from Woodcraft were priced at $0.50/each.
To make a local search easier, I think they were metric-sized. They consisted of a swaged tube with a captured ball-bearing and spring. In short, they are the cheapest kind of bullet catch imaginable - but they were exactly what I wanted for this application. :-)
I'd suggest having the refrigerator compressor removed by a pro who has the equipment to capture the Freon coolant, and who can dispose of it properly. If you have an HVAC-capable friend, it's worth a six-pack to not abuse the planet more than it's already been. I suspect that my "extra" compressors weren't removed by pros, but that wasn't my choice. I understand that Freon is one of the causes of the polar "ozone holes" and not a good thing to let loose.
Next time I'm in the shop I'll make compressor photos.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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That would be cool! TIA
r
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Would these work?
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Okay..next time I will add the link *slaps forehead*
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p=43248&cat=3,41399,41405
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Robatoy wrote:

They'd be better without the mounting flange.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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here's some as well http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p=41404&cat=3,41399
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Robatoy wrote:

If the hole goes all the way through the bottom, the small bullet catch might be a good choice. If there isn't an air passage all the way through when the ball is depressed, the clamp can't work...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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