Simple Vacuum Table

This weekend I decided to test out a simple Vacuum table. I have several sheet good projects coming up and didn’t want to fumble with clamps and tabs over and over. I have seen some similar posts and thought I would share my experience in hopes that it helps someone else.

I made mine 11" x 22" with a vacuum surface of about 9.5" x 20". It is made from a single sheet of 1/2" MDF (what I had laying around). I created the file for the underside in Easel. Same with surfacing the top.


  1. Carve out what will be the underside of your vacuum table. (Design created in easel with the round circles cut depth zero, replicator app for spacing, then a square pocket cut half the depth of your MDF and sent ‘to the back’)

  2. Draw a quick and even grid on the top surface and start drilling! Lots of holes…lots of them…

  3. Flip over and clean up the bottom with a chisel or run the program again just to clean up the drill tearout.

  4. Surface the top about 1/32" of an inch.

  5. Trace the outline of your vacuum house on the surface of your current waste board. Cut or route out a hole of the exact size checking often for a snug fit. Make sure this centered on the vacuum table surface.

  6. Connect the hose through the bottom, level with your waste board and place your vacuum table board on top of that. Screw or secure with clamps to the waste board.

I use a 5hp Shop Vac and have run a few test cuts and am blown away with how well it works. Nothing has moved yet and I did some fairly “aggressive” cuts. Really happy so far.