Darryl Keil Last Activity 2024-04-17 6:18 AM
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Joined: 2016-07-15

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Subject : Tiny "universal" hold-down for clamping veneer to CNC router bed?
Posted : 2022-07-07 5:07 PM
Post #38025

A little background about what I'm doing: I have been working on methods for veneering compound curving forms with parquetry patterns. I am using a CAD/CAM workflow to make this possible over fairly extreme geometry. (Here is an example: https://www.jackmauch.com/marquetry#/formed-panel/ ). After modeling the curved plane and dividing it into small "tiles", I use software to create flat patterns for each little section. The geometry is very complicated and there are subtle distortions to each tile which allow them to tessellate a curving plane rather than a flat one. It requires too much precision to cut by hand. I have been cutting with a laser but there are drawbacks (biggest one being I don't own a laser cutter).

I do, however, own a good CNC router, so I'm trying to figure out a way to hold these little pieces flat and tight to my spoilboard so I can cut them out. Some CNC's have a "universal" hold down system in which a vacuum is created under the entire spoilboard so you can just lay material down and it sticks (the vacuum pulls air through the semi-porous MDF spoilboard to clamp the piece). I know that people use Vacupress pumps to create gasket-style hold-downs, but will it work for a very small universal hold down system, say 12"x12"? Would this use damage the pump? Is there a different kind of pump that would be better for this purpose?

I'd love to to hear anyone's ideas or advice on this topic! Is there anyone out there cutting veneer on their CNC router?

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Darryl Keil

Posts: 1445

Joined: 2003-05-22
Location: Maine

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Subject : RE: Tiny "universal" hold-down for clamping veneer to CNC router bed?
Posted : 2022-07-13 9:29 AM
Post #38026 - In reply to #38025

A VacuPress pump would work for a gasket type setup but not with the spoil-board approach. A 12”x 12” hold down should work just fine. If all your doing is hold down work and no vacuum bagging, our pumps may be overkill for you as they are auto self cycling and you could get a “raw” pump and just run it continuously.

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