Vacuum table frame design help

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Old 01-26-14, 07:28 AM
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Vacuum table frame design help

I'm looking for a few ideas to get around a design flaw in my vacuum box design.
The top sheet holder (basically a frame that holds the plastic sheet), is designed to be two MDF frames, with the plastic (polycorbonite or abs) sandwiched between. The frame is clamped together with a series of bolts with wing nuts. The problem I'm looking at is the wing nuts will hook on the oven rack, and I need there to be a bit of a riser to allow the plastics to bow without touching the oven rack.
The other side has to be perfectly flat to mate with the vacuum table.
I thought about adding a wood frame on the wing nut side, but this could make accessing the plastic when forming a bit tough and removing the wing nuts when cooling.
Any thoughts or ideas?

The frame is 2x2 and the inner plastic area (work area) will be 18"x18"
 
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Old 01-26-14, 08:45 AM
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Could you use Tnuts on either end? That would keep the profile down a little.

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Old 01-26-14, 01:46 PM
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That could work for the one side, but I would want wing nuts or similar on the other so I can easily separate the frame and remove the plastics.
This is similar to what I am looking at except I'm using one piece of MDF for the top and one for the bottom with the center cut out.
 
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Old 01-28-14, 05:41 AM
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I opted to use those T-nuts as you suggested. I ended up picking up 1/4 HD MDF so there wasn't enough material in the wood to counter sink the bolts.
So, the two sides of the frame will require a 1/4" ratchet to assemble and separate. Shouldn't be too bad to work with.
For the box, I'll glue and screw like I use to for when I made speaker boxes. I figure 1/2" HD MDF should be strong enough (and offer enough material to screw into) while not being super heavy
 
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Old 01-28-14, 06:04 AM
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I was figuring the sacrifice of using a ratchet over your hands may trump things. Hope it works out. At least it will be a lower profile to deal with.
 
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Old 01-28-14, 06:07 AM
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It will lower it a bit for sure.
I just need to setup a temp wood shop in the basement now. Its been -25'C to -40'C here the last few weeks. I don't want to be outside trying to cut wood in that temp.
 
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