Anybody made their own vacuum pads/vacuum lifter?
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    Default Anybody made their own vacuum pads/vacuum lifter?

    So anyone made a vacuum lifter before? Venturi vacuum pumps are cheap on McMaster Carr so I figured why the hell not try. Trouble I'm having is figuring out what seal to use on the flat plate vacuum pad. I may start out with foam EPDM unless someone else can offer some advice. Two 18x14 vacuum pads can theoretically lift 5,000lbs at a vacuum of 26" Hg(with no safety factor). Thanks

    Edit: Foam I might try. - Amazon.com: Foam Weather Stripping, Adhesive Foam Tape Sound Proof Insulation Closed Cell Foam Seal 1 Inch Wide X 3/4 Inch Thick X 13 Feet Long (1in 3/4in): Home Improvement

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    Quote Originally Posted by ME Newb View Post
    So anyone made a vacuum lifter before? Venturi vacuum pumps are cheap on McMaster Carr so I figured why the hell not try. Trouble I'm having is figuring out what seal to use on the flat plate vacuum pad. I may start out with foam EPDM unless someone else can offer some advice. Two 18x14 vacuum pads can theoretically lift 5,000lbs at a vacuum of 26" Hg(with no safety factor). Thanks

    Edit: Foam I might try. - Amazon.com: Foam Weather Stripping, Adhesive Foam Tape Sound Proof Insulation Closed Cell Foam Seal 1 Inch Wide X 3/4 Inch Thick X 13 Feet Long (1in 3/4in): Home Improvement
    .
    vacuum base for drilling has been around decades but dont be surprised if it pops off
    .
    strong arm is one brand
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails using-vacuum-foot.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    vacuum base for drilling has been around decades but dont be surprised if it pops off
    .
    strong arm is one brand
    Popping off shouldn't be a problem with the right seal unless it's overloaded or excessively dirty material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ME Newb View Post
    Popping off shouldn't be a problem with the right seal unless it's overloaded or excessively dirty material.
    .
    the shown ones can come with a compressed air vacuum generator to help make up for less than ideal smooth surfaces

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    i first saw vacuum drill press on Australian site for drilling glass and non magnetic surfaces with compressed air vacuum base and air drill over a decade ago
    .
    Vac-Force 2 – Evergreen Tool Co
    .
    different styles of bases made by many companies now

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    Closed cell EPDM sponge rubber cord stock. I use a lot of 1/4 and 3/8, buy it 1000s of feet at a time. Set it in a groove so it sticks out a bit. How it holds depends on how you size your vacuum source and the porosity of the object. I lift 360 pound sheets of plastic with the one I built. Has 4 pods. What are you trying to lift?

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    I wish I had some pics of us picking up 2" thick aluminum weighting around 5,000 lb with vacuum. We were loading a big gantry mill to mill aircraft wings. The vacuum pump was surprisingly small but doesn't take much if you get a good seal, you didn't want to stand under it though.

    They make pads specifically for this purpose, I wouldn't think they would be very expensive.

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    Alcoa, now Arconic, had some very large vacuum lifters. Each one had a mechanical vacuum pump driven by an electric motor. They also had a tank on the vacuum line so momentary loss of power to the pump would not drop the load.

    I am sure there are ASME or ANSI standards for vacuum lifting systems. It would be a good idea to check them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scruffy887 View Post
    Closed cell EPDM sponge rubber cord stock. I use a lot of 1/4 and 3/8, buy it 1000s of feet at a time. Set it in a groove so it sticks out a bit. How it holds depends on how you size your vacuum source and the porosity of the object. I lift 360 pound sheets of plastic with the one I built. Has 4 pods. What are you trying to lift?
    I'll have to give this a look. Mainly want to lift 5x10' 1/2" steel plate and down.

    Bought vacuum pads are pretty expensive compared to what you can make them for. It's not rocket science as long as you have a good seal

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    I have seen self contained vacuum lifters that use heavy truck air brake pots for the vacuum generators. I don't remember which way they were connected, but the pushrod went one direction and the chamber went the other. The one side was fastened to a spreader bar. The lifting action pulled the diaphragm on the lifter, creating the vacuum.

    The lifters looked properly made, but I don't know if they were commercial items or well thought out shop builts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    I have seen self contained vacuum lifters that use heavy truck air brake pots for the vacuum generators. I don't remember which way they were connected, but the pushrod went one direction and the chamber went the other. The one side was fastened to a spreader bar. The lifting action pulled the diaphragm on the lifter, creating the vacuum.

    The lifters looked properly made, but I don't know if they were commercial items or well thought out shop builts.
    Not a good idea, but prob made from good parts. Venturi vacuum generators provide a continuous evacuation of air. Diaphragm does not. You want air extraction happening at all times, not just by stroke of cylinder on diaphragm. The pads I use are about 9 x 7 with just a groove for the epdm rubber cord stock. Epdm is glued into a big O ring with nothing more than a sharp razor blade and super glue. A venturi pulling 24-26 inches on mercury has apx 12 PSI holding power, or maybe 750 pounds holding for the 7 x 9 pad. I make my own venturi vac generators and they easily pull 26-27 inches, yet consume .4 cfm each. I also make some bigger ones that use a lot more air, and can evacuate a lot more volume much quicker, or combat a lot more leaks.
    What is the total weight and what will be lifting it? You need a lot of control of the lifting because just yanking a 5X10 sheet up in the air has other considerations. If there is another sheet below it you may see both get picked up. And second sheet will not always make an orderly fall back in the pile. Top sheet needs to be lifted very gently at first to break the vacuum from the sheet below. Having the pads slightly off center helps.
    What does a 5 x 10 sheet weigh?

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    If your lifting STEEL plate (per post #9), why not just get a magnet ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    If your lifting STEEL plate (per post #9), why not just get a magnet ?
    Magnets don't work well for picking up thin sheets one at a time. The magnetic permeability also grabs lower sheets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Magnets don't work well for picking up thin sheets one at a time. The magnetic permeability also grabs lower sheets.
    Has the OP stated this as a requirement ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    If your lifting STEEL plate (per post #9), why not just get a magnet ?
    You need to be vary careful when using a magnet or vacuum lifter. A magnet can also exert pull on sheets below, and both methods will have a suction effect on sheets below if you try to lift quickly. I usually apply lift pressure until the top sheets breaks free. Then start lifting to position.

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    Any pics of what you have made for pads? Cant believe how much they get for the good rubber ones, looking at making some with foam seals. I want to build a lifter to put 5x10 sheets of stainless on my plasma table, anywhere from 18 to 24 ga. Thinking with 6-8 good sized pads(maybe 8" dia) it should keep the really thin stuff from being too floppy.

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    I made one a year ago to move some big alum plate around since my plate magnet was no use. It's just slices of some big thin wall tube I had with quick torched out lids and a spreader welded on. The vac ports are weld-o-let flanges and the push to connects were just junk out of the drawer. Push to connect probably isn't the best choice as air could possibly suck past the o-ring. I sealed to the plate with some soft rubber drops from another job that had a round hole cut in them smaller than the tube. I sprayed some water on the plate to get them to stick initially. Do some quick math at ~12psi to find the min area for the vac cup. I tripled it, but the lifts were a low stakes game and only ~400 lbs. I'd go 5+ to 1 for lifting over anything that counted. I used an old surplus scientific vac pump.






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    0221181224.jpg0612171826.jpg
    Makes loading the big sheets very easy and safe. Each pad has its own venturi and the up/down control is on the right side of the handle bar. The venturi control valve requires that you take your hand from the handle bar so no getting a brain fart when placing the sheet.

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    I made a thread on mine just a while ago, not having seen this thread.

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...rklift-346439/



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