I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for some type of a boom arm that would allow me to run a vacuum hose overhead and follow the cnc gantry rails without a lot of restriction. I saw something at my doctor’s office today that I thought would be perfect. They have mounted by the door a boom arm with a curtain that they use as a type of privacy screen. It’s wall-mounted and swings, and then there is a track that holds the curtain on the boom, so it could also slide back and forth. I thought, wow, that would be perfect for the cnc. I have no idea who makes it or what it’s even called.
There are a couple of photography boom arms that are wall-mounted, and they may work. Ideally I’d like to be able to mount some kind of a T-track to the underside with some hooks. I guess I could go another route and use something like shower curtain hooks with some wires that would go around the vacuum hose. This way the whole thing would be able to move easily back and forth, and the boom arm itself would swivel from a pin close to the wall.
Anybody have any ideas as to what might work? Surely I’m not the first person who wanted to mount a vacuum hose above their cnc. How are other people handling the hose management?
We just suspended a bungee cord from one of the exposed joists in our ceiling, centered above our XCarve table, and attached the hose to it. This provides adequate support while allowing for free and flexible movement of the hose to follow the spindle around the carve area.
I used 3/4" EMT Conduit, just a 5’ piece of it straight from the hardware store electrical department. Used their pipe bender right there in the aisle to put two 45 degree bends in it, and grabbed a couple of the mounting clamps to go with it. Zip ties to hold the vacuum hose (grounded) to it.
Thanks Lee and others for the comments. My local Home Depot doesn’t have any benders, but they may have some 45° connectors I could use. I never thought about mounting it to the side of the bench with a strap clamp. I guess as long as there was something to stop it from sliding it would work. I’m using the Fein vacuum cleaner and the hose is pretty flexible, assuming I leave enough slack in the line.
I did see a couple of curtain boom arms on Amazon after my post yesterday, but none of them seem to be heavy-duty enough. Three-quarter inch conduit should certainly be beefy enough. I’ll see if maybe Lowe’s has a bender, but I’ve never seen a bender at either of the big box stores here, but will check a little more closely.
Thanks for all the great tips. I think I prefer something a little neater looking than a bungee cord from the ceiling, and this boom arm that Lee has made looks pretty nice.
Lee: How did you mount the monitor to the boom arm?, That’s a great ideal!
The monitor is on a swingarm mount I grabbed off of amazon for 13 bucks, works great. Most monitors these days have 4 holes on the back in a square configuration, it’s called the VESA mounting standard. Check if your flat screen has one and then grab one of these:
I’m sure using one of their benders off the shelf is definitely against store policy, and no doubt if an employee sees me wrestling around with a length of EMT, they are going to give me grief about it. I don’t think that’s for me! I could just imagine how I would react if a customer came into my shop and took a tool out of the cabinet and started using it. Come on. That’s not right.
Thanks for the link Lee. I could see using some U bolts to mount.(assuming the holes line up?) I just responded to Robert about the use of the tools in store. I think you both know this is not right. For Home Depot or Lowe’s it would be a liability issue, not to mention you’re taking advantage of the store. If they don’t do bends in the store I may be able to rent one from the rental department. Just not me to be doing what you’re suggesting. How would you feel if somebody came into your shop and start using your tools without asking? Really?
I wouldn’t worry too much about being seen, they’re impossible to find when you need one, lol. You could always purchase it, use it once, and return it. That happens far more often than not…you usually find the returns in the clearance areas covered in sawdust. You could also always ask an associate to do it for you, explaining that you only need one piece and will not use the tool more than once.
Let’s drop the holier than thou attitude. Who hasn’t grabbed a tape measure off the shelf to check something and then put it back? If you don’t care for the advice, ignore it.
Actually, I asked permission from the management since I didn’t bend pipe regularly and only needed the one piece, meaning buying a $46 tool for a single task wasn’t practical… Not only was it fine with them since I knew what I was doing, but the guy in the electrical department helped me hold it still so I could get a proper angle.
Edit: The actual task of using the bender is super easy, takes mere seconds and doesn’t scuff or marr the bender in any way if done properly. And i wouldn’t advocate doing it while no-one is looking, but there’s never any harm in asking them if they’d mind. It’e been my experience that Home Depot’s employees are some of the most helpful out there.
2nd Edit: These are the hangers that I used to hold the conduit. They keep it secure while still allowing the whole thing to rotate over the center of the cutting area easily. And yeah, I drew a vertical line on the side of my cabinet with a level and just spread 4 of them out somewhat evenly, with a block at the bottom, beneath the end of the pipe, for leverage. https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-ACC-Steel-Conduit-and-Pipe-Hangers-5-Pack-26781/100161284
Thanks again Lee and Robert. I wasn’t trying to take a “holier than thou” attitude or make you guys feel guilty in any way. I appreciate the input. I can ask the guys back in the electrical department if it’s okay to make a couple of bends, but let’s just say for me I’m not comfortable using tools within the store without permission. That’s not okay “for me”. What you guys do with your own time is your business. Okay?