Work holding for small parts - Build a vacuum table

A friend of mine asked a while back how did a vacuum table work? I drew him up some cad files and sent them to him. He sent these pdf
pictorials back.
Be sure to always make special considerations for best fit for your parts and your cnc.
http://www.microsystemsgeorgia.com/smartcam_repository.htm http://www.microsystemsgeorgia.com/Vacuum_Fixture_Part_1of2.pdf http://www.microsystemsgeorgia.com/Vacuum_Fixture_Part_1of2.pdf
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Michael Gailey
Artistic CNC Mill, Router and Engraver Programming
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Michael wrote:

Michael:
    Pretty cool. Your friend explained what & why he did things very well. I especially liked the small size of his vacuum pump. We have one but it's huge in comparison.     We machine vacuum chucks from time to time to use on jobs that will justify the time/cost. But for our normal onezies-twozies - clamps, screws in through holes, or double-sided tape, are usually more economical for us.     
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BottleBob
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I built a universal vacuum plate. It is a plate set up on risers. (saves tool change time) and I have various 1/4" PVC plates I screw down to it. A 3/16" ball mill will outline the part, and then drop in the gasket O- ring with a little bit of Super Glue. Dropping a new plastic plate on it, zipping in the O-Ring groove , and you are making parts. Takes a very few minutes. With the sacrficial plastic, you can cut out the outline of the part, and into the plastic.
I make up a batch of plates ahead of time. And you only need One port... Or, cut a wafflle pattern with the ball mill when setting up.
The shop has a central vacuum pump, with coolant traps at each machine.
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Michael wrote:

Michael:          One other point, I usually cut interconnecting slots on the TOP side of the chuck within the sealing O-ring, and connect them to the outside with one 90 degree intersecting hole. That way it eliminates the need for a second sub-plate.
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BottleBob
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BottleBob wrote:

cool, and don't forget neither of us have a blog, just couldn't help myself.
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Michael Gailey
Artistic CNC Mill, Router and Engraver Programming
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Jerry wrote:

You can buy and use rotating unions.
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John R. Carroll
www.machiningsolution.com
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