Custom made vacuum fixtures!

Here are a couple vacuum fixtures that I made for a project that I am working on

What do you guys think?

here are all the parts nested in Fusion 360


Love it. What are you forming?

Thanks yeah actually I am not forming I am making grilling planks and this is the fixture to swap them in and out easy



A grilling plank is used to cook anything from fish to beef on the grill

Getting flavors from the particular wood used

Thank you

I really am liking the look of mine

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Yeah you have to soak the board for a couple hours and then grill the meat a certain way to make sure that you don’t catch the plank on fire

You can get about 3 uses out of a single board

I will send you some at a sweet price and instructions to try out?

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sweet man!!

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It is a great way to add flavour unless cooking salmon in that case cook salmon on board throw salmon in trash and eat the board. lol j/k


back to the vac base great idea I like the repeatable swap out I do it on a few projects but not with vac just yet. those little set ups look nice!


how do you currently make repeatable jigs and fixtures now? Toggle clamps?

I test the boxes this morning and everything works perfect!!

I screwed a wooden L to the waste board ran an x and y to make a perfect 90 decree corner and put the toggle clamps on it. slide in lower bit cut, slide in the next piece and repeat…

That’s pretty cool! Did you make the pockets in the top of the boxes to fit just the planks or do you think you could put any shape in there and get a decent hold on any shape?

yeah I milled them specific to the parts that I was trying to hold down but I imagine that any shape that will fit withing that square boundary will work and just use tape to mask off the holes that are not being used

What vacuum are you using?


just a little cheapy from Wally World provides more than enough vacuum

I am thinking that I have an issue with the design of the box

So on one box the opening or vacuum pad for the piece of wood is 4.5x10 inches now I drilled a bunch of .125" holes in the top to allow the vacuum to reach the piece of wood.

When I place the piece of wood on the top and turn on the vacuum it holds the piece down but when you start to engrave on the wood the piece will try and move sometimes depending on how deep that you are trying to cut

So my thoughts are that the .125" holes are the issue and not providing enough surface area for the vacuum to hold down the piece. I might need to open up the holes to 1/4" to double the amount of surface are the vacuum has to act on the piece of wood being placed in the jig.

So there are 180 holes at .125"
Surface area of a .125" circle = .0122718 insq
total surface area= 2.208924 insq

Opening is 4.5 x 10"
surface area of rectangle is= 45 insq

So if I open up the holes to .25" total surface area acting on wood would be= 8.835732 insq

maybe I need to open to .375" that would be 19.88046 insq

Could someone check my math and share thoughts


If you put a small grid connecting the holes, it’ll increase the vacuum area dramatically. Just make sure you put a piece of paper or something over the holes and gridlines that aren’t covered by the wood.


yeah i might have to do that because the piece still wants to move around a little bit

the wood blank is supposed to fit in the hole tight so it covers all the holes but on the ones I was cutting there was a .0625" gap because the board was ripped to small I covered that with plastic but it still wants to move around a little bit

I think if the wood was made to fit tight in the impression that I made it would have a positive stop on all 4 sides so it would not have a chance to move around

I like the idea of the small channel to help increase the surface area because it would be nice to have the wood blank stay stationary even if it is not touching the positive stop on all 4 sides

here is a video of drilling the holes out larger I started to do them by hand and then I said wait a minute lol I have a cnc machine!!

hmm not sure I changes the design of the top to this and it still does not want to hold it down super solid

maybe I need a stronger vacuum

See if you can find a used vacuum pump. The shop vacuum will burn out very quickly. I use a vacuum chuck for wood turning. You don’t want to lose pressure half way through your carve.