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.

Black Box Vacuum Solutions offers affordable vacuum hold down systems that cost up to four times less to purchase, don’t require expensive three phase power (whether from a three-phase installation or a phase converter), include everything you need to get started, and perform just as well. 

Vacuum pressure is applied via plumbing to a gridded out section of sealed MDF which then directs the air coming through a surfaced spoil board made of LDF or MDF (Light or medium density fiberboard).
Airflow > Workpiece > Surfaced LDF > Table Grid > Plumbing > Vacuum System > Exhaust

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. Please call us so we can discuss your best solution with you.

Our Replacement Brush Kits come with an insertion tool/gauge to help determine if the brushes need replacing. The brushes in the motors last approximately 900 hours depending on the operating environment. Before replacing brushes you should examine the commutator for any wear or scoring. WARNING – DO NOT TOUCH THE COMMUTATOR. If there is any scoring, the motor is NOT a candidate for brush replacement.

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