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Vacuum Table

edited June 2015 in Mods / R&D
Here are a few pics of the vacuum table I made. Bottom is MDF top can be MDF or ply, Table insert is MDF and can be turned over and end for end as need for a fresh surface. Finger hole to allow for easy removal of the insert.
Photo 26-03-15 2 00 25 pm

Picture of table inserted. Note the battle damage, I engrave 0,0 lines before I start using it.
Photo 24-03-15 1 05 38 pm

The insert is 300 x 200 there is a margin around the box to allow clearance for the laser shroud.
The entire table is held in with 2 clamps on the left and front, There it butts up against 2 stops/slats super glued to the base plate for registering the table when removed replaced.
Total height is 30mm to allow it to be slid out the right side.
Vacuum is a Festool, very quiet, I previously built one to use on my CNC using a Bunnings wet and dry vac.

This photo is of it with the inset removed. Note the wood inserts overlap the hole and also the 2 near the center
act as a divider making 2 chambers - they help even out the vacuum and also prevent the insert from being sucked down when the vacuum is on.

Photo 24-03-15 1 08 18 pm

The margin under the cover is ducted around to the center - this is a previous one that warped while I was building it so I had to start again.

Photo 24-03-15 1 08 44 pm

Ply placed on top, finger holding one corner to show total warp
Photo 24-03-15 1 10 28 pm

Vacuum on
Photo 24-03-15 1 10 57 pm
I usually place a paper towel on top of the insert then the work on top of that, any extra holes I place a piece of paper over.
There is a gate by the vacuum inlet to allow reduced pressure.
Fumes are also sucked out once the cut is started.
I have a CNC and can do any number of holes on the insert, The first test was done using peg board, worked fine
It took about 4 hours to make but has saved a lot of time as I don't have to tape things down.
If the material you are working with is severly warped, while it may flatten under the vacuum, cutting may allow it to spring up again.


  • Nice work! The fume extraction from below is a great feature.
  • That's very clever! I've got an idea for a design that might work, at least in my situation and it's a simple build but very versatile. I'll post about it when I've finished building it.
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