Frequently asked Questions
Screwing down or clamping down the work piece wastes your valuable shop time and is impractical for some applications. A specialized vacuum hold down system, such as one of our Black Box Vacuum systems, can be turned on to apply vacuum pressure to the work pieces while cutting and turned off to release the pieces afterward. Using a dedicated vacuum system designed for CNC applications is a surefire way to increase shop productivity and make it easy to get the job done.
LDF and MDF are porous materials and allow air to pass through them as long as the resinous layers on top and bottom are surfaced off before use.
The Hurricane and the Cyclone vacuum systems include an inline filter that will provide protection from dust being sucked into the plumbing. However, we require that you use a spoil board made of LDF or MDF (Light or medium density fiberboard) as the first layer of filtration on your vacuum grid, especially if using a Storm without a filter. An optional canister filter is available for purchase designed for use with the Storm Vacuum system.
If using a Hurricane or Cyclone Vacuum System, you will need to purchase PVC or ABS piping to connect your system to the table. Purchase enough 3″ piping, 3″ elbows, and a 3″ threaded male adapter for the intake port on the vacuum system. Canister filter adapters are included with the Hurricane and Cyclone. If using bladed gate valves to separete zones, purchase one 3″ to 2″ reducing T connector per valve or optionally a 3″ to 2″ reducing elbow for the last zone in the plenum. (Purchase high quality steel bladed valves from our store here) You will also need 2″ piping and elbows to connect the valves to the T’s and the CNC table. You may construct your plenum to suit your needs; however, Black Box Vacuum Solutions recomends using the least amount of piping and sharp elbows as possible to increase efficiency. You may glue the fittings, if desired. Follow the same method for the Storm but use all 2″ piping and fittings.
All of our vacuum systems are warranteed to be free from manufacture defect for a period of 1 year from the purchase date. This includes the orginal internal motors. All of our replacement parts including replacement motors are warranteed to be free from manufacture defect for 90 days from the purchase date.
Black Box Vacuum Solutions recommends using two Hurricane vacuum systems on two separate zone groups on your table to maximize performance. This can be accomplished by dividing your zones evenly between the two Hurricanes. This setup would be plumbed such that the Hurricanes would not share the same plumbing or airflow for optimal performance. Another option is to try our Grip-Lock mat. Check out the video on the product page. Please call us so we can discuss your best solution with you.
Our replacement brush kits come with a tool to determine if the brushes need to be replaced. The brushes in the motors last approximately 1500 hours depending on the operating environment. Brush wear and life is greatly affected by temperature, humidity, and dust therefore we recommend checking brushes at 800 hours to see if they need to be replaced. Order replacement brush kits here.
When you are going to be cutting small parts, just roll it out on your spoil board. Place your material on the mat, and you will need to re-zero your Z axis with a target of 0.1mm to 0.5mm cut through your material. Grip-Lock mat is reusable. When you are done using it, vacuum or blow it off and roll it up. It is best to store it out of direct sunlight.
Although the mat will lose some effectiveness with age, you should be able to use it many times. The worst thing for the mat is cutting through it and deep tool marks. If you can keep your tool marks between 0.1mm – 0.5mm you will increase the lifespan greatly. You can flip the mat over and use the other side if your tool marks are not deep. Vacuuming or blowing off the mat between runs will also increase the lifespan of your mat.