Boggs vacuum box

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I found this on a woodwork site I visit. It comes from Brian Boggs, the fellow that builds chairs. The holes in the top are situated right below the cutter head and the vacuum will keep thin stock from being pulled up into the cutters. It may make the thickness planer a bit more useful for thin stock.

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Uke-alot

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Interesting idea. Please report back on how it works, including how thin you can go!
 

Timbuck

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I bought some mahogany plates from a supplier who didn’t have a thickness sander.....he got them down to 2.5mm before the planer rebelled..and I had to take them down from there ...I should have stuck to 4mm as a starting point. In the first place.:D
 

dwizum

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I have a vacuum table jig I made for holding thin and delicate panels and small parts for router planing. It's useful in situations where a drum sander can be awkward. If anyone is considering this, one word of advice: go easy on the holes! Even a cheap tiny shop vac can create enough suction to hold a board down so tightly you'll swear it was nailed there!
 

Timbuck

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My son Mike who does a lot of CNC routing ..says the problem with some vacuum tables is that if there isn’t enough internal bracing the top has a tendency to dish when the shop vac is sucking....How is the workpiece fed into the planer blades ...By hand ?
 
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dwizum

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Tim - on my design, the workpiece is meant to be fixed to the vacuum box, and you slide the whole thing through. My box is only about 3"tall. I find that's a lot easier than trying to slide a super thin panel across the top of a vacuum box. And it works great for small pieces - i.e. if you want to put a bridge blank through a thickness sander, you just throw it on the vacuum box and shove it through.

It also works great as a sort of small makeshift downdraft dust collection system, if you leave a few holes partially open around the piece it'll suck any dust right in.

I don't use it often but when I do need it, it's super handy. And it cost all of about $4 in mdf to build...

They do need internal bracing! Lots of it!