Putting it All Together
Once the rotary adapter arrived, it was a simple job of attaching the threaded rod to the rotary coupler and trimming it to the right length on the lathe. I guess my lathe has quite a long spindle as there was only around half an inch to cut off.
I also bought a small air filter to fit between the pump and bypass valve. It is advisable to use a filter to avoid dust getting in to the pump. Including the thread adapters, the cost was only a few pounds.
The last two key components of the system are the bleed valve and the vacuum gauge. If you are constructing your own system, a gas ball valve from your local plumber’s merchant can be used. Hardware suppliers or online auctions might be a suitable source for the vacuum gauge. I was fortunate that my pump came complete with both vacuum gauge and bypass valve already fitted. All I had to do was to fit the filter and replace the hose connector with a smaller diameter one for the hose supplied with the rotary adapter. I made sure all the threaded connections were wrapped with PTFE tape before assembling to make sure a good seal was made.
Once everything was assembled I fitted a vacuum chuck head to the lathe and attached a piece of wood. The vacuum gauge was reading just over 25″Hg (inches of mercury) so it looked like everything was adequately sealed first time and the system was ready for use.
Next – Vacuum Chuck Theory
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