Turning Archive 2005

Vacuum Chuck safety

Philip Duffy
>Buddy of mine, a brilliant engineer, developed a vacuum system that is a bit different and definately safer than those I have seen. It is a joy to use.

He has his pump pulling a vacuum off a purged propane tank, with the tank connected to the headstock rotator. All the pump has to do is maintain a safe vacuum in the tank. Propane tanks are more than capable of resisting the atmospheric pressure, even with 30in of vacuum in the tank. The guage sits on top of the tank so it is in plain sight. When the pressure drops, as in an elec. failure, there is plenty of time to take control of the workpiece and remove it from the lathe when the vacuum releases. Thanks, Bob Wilkes, MIT '55&56!

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