Stop the presses! Big assist for a vacuum chuck.

Maybe the title is a little over the top but I’m pretty pumped about a stupid-easy fix that I tripped onto for a common problem when using vacuum chucks.

It's a wrap.

Yesterday I was vacuum chucking a hollow form to finish the foot (I usually use a special arbour I have for this). Although not Malcom Zander thin, it was still fairly thin walled compared to most turnings that I put on a vacuum chuck. Like all wood, it leaked – to the point where I felt I shouldn’t procede. Normally a piece will leak in the end grain areas and a little masking tape over the areas solves the problem. This leaked everywhere and being  cheap I didn’t want to use half a roll of tape to solve the problem. I picked up a roll of shrink wrap that I have, tore a piece off and wrapped the hollowform totally with the stuff, including the gasket on the chuck face. The gauge instantly went from a fluttering 5 inches of mercury to about 20 inches with the needle rock steady. The picture was taken after I finished so the plastic was a little thrashed but it got the job done. It will look far more sophisticated next time.

As always, I encourage your comments and questions, so please refer to the tag line at the bottom of the article to post a comment.

About Ed Pretty

I am a professional woodturner, specializing in gallery work, commercial work, teaching and demonstrating. I have been turning since 1958, so... a long time. I use this site to present my work to the public at large and to let people know that I am available for teaching private lessons in woodturning. Wood turning is one of my passions (the other is motorcycle touring). It is my desire to pass on everything that I have learned over the years to others so that the craft of woodturning will grow.
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