Vacuum tray replacement for cutting lightweight materials

I am totally going to make Amazon a little richer in the coming weeks as I explore this, and I appreciate all of the knowledge/information you share.

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I have two soldering irons. Both purchased for crafting (although they have been used for the occasional repair). I have designed and soldered circuits in a past life. I don’t have any interest in designing now, but I find soldering an immensely satisfying activity. I started learning circuitry in middle school and soldering may have been the thing that pushed me into pursuing electrical engineering, but don’t quote me on that (paired with a passion for robotics and a desire to be an Imagineer).

For @Xabbess and @dklgood, a bit of inspiration (I’ve made ornaments like these, but can’t find one handy).

The rest is just simple instruction following. Connect the red wire to the other red wire… sort of stuff.

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My first soldering iron is on its way!

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you never fail to amaze me. excellent work.

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I do all mine with a really bottom of the line 40w weller. I have a nicer one, but this weller is pretty much perfect for what I do and the tips are cheap to replace. I use a medium-sharp needle tip.

If I were buying now I’d probably get the fancier upgrade with the LEDs and the triangular base:

They have an 80w version too, might be a good upgrade. It would heat up a lot faster.

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Thank you for the details and the walkthrough. I’m going to save your post and maybe someday…

And, thanks Christy for the vote of confidence. I have done some very rudimentary electrical stuff like wiring a lamp and changing a hardwire light to being a plug in, but that’s about it.

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Then you could do this too! :slight_smile: It really is no more difficult.

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Me…this…too!

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I think everything you need to make this is here, list of parts, overall design of the boxes, etc. What else is there? Fundamentally this is just a big box with a fan mounted in it… wiring up a fan is pretty easy, after this it’s just a matter of designing your boxes and sticking them together and you’re off?

I even used a box generator to make the basic shapes. Then I took the box faces and added holes where needed for the switch and power and fan mount…and that’s pretty much it.

There is some thinking to be done around how to make your mesh and some nitty gritty details about your box design, but that’s pretty minor stuff and my photos can probably give you plenty of ideas.

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Thank you. I’ve been reading the entire post very carefully. I think you’re right…just go step by step with your photos, descriptions, and instructions. Can’t even think about doing this very soon, but now it’s in my head.

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This is a really great idea… one I am going to have to try. I had a thought about the dip or flex in the mesh – it sounds like the dip is not really enough of a difference to really be noticeable. Is that the case? Would some sort of support for the mesh help – like this.
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I was thinking that a removable support system would help support the mesh and even made of draft board it would last a while as the power for cutting paper is not great.

Or is that overkill because the flex/dip is not that big.

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So you are definitely onto something. I built a vacuum table a while back that is for sanding, keeps the dust down. I used pillars like that to keep it from collapsing (it’s powered by my vacuum cleaner, which has a much higher static pressure than this project).

I posted about it here, let’s see… aha here we go:

The mesh barely deflects at my current vacuum amount, I’m not worrying about it anymore. If I upgrade the fans to something with a much higher static pressure I will think about making a metal support grid along the lines of what @rbtdanforth suggested.

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Such a great idea!

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Great! i cut tons of tiny pieces and they always fly away or go down the holes in the crumb tray.

Some folks put a piece of tin/aluminum foil under their work - the laser can’t cut through it so your little pieces are safe. You may end up with greater flashback though, so testing is in order.

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Ok, if I get brave enough I’ll give it a try. I’m a terrible chicken when it comes to fire.

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