What the best material to use for vacuum pucks?

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Puck Material:

  • Try regular MDF sealed with slightly thinned shellac. The thinning allows it to really soak in and seal. While it's a little more trouble than some other materials due to the extra step of sealing... it's cheap and plentiful in my shop. Watch out for swelling and warping on large pucks, letting the first coat of sealer dry before applying the second seems to do the trick.
  • Almost anything Non Porous and flat will do the trick. Sealed MDF works but if you get your hands on the Celtec, Komacel, Komatex, PVC, Azek or the like in 3/4" to 1" , they make nice pucks. Usually you can talk a supplier or factory out of a few 12" x 12" samples to test so can't get much cheaper than free samples and there is no sealing required. Just set up gasketing tape like allstar adhesive in the shape one needs, port a hole from the side and top to hook vac hose/valve to and you're off to the races
  • Don't forget Corian, if you can find a local cabinet shop that'll let you have some sink cut outs you can make some nice pucks as well.
  • Also try Plexiglas, Starboard, PVC Solid & Foamboard (dense) The plastic products are not porous, don't require sealing and usually wont warp or swell like an mdf or plywood product. If not available try hard maple. A light coat of a lacquer won't hurt.
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