Custom Hinged Maslow Build/Vice/Dust Collection/Silencer

From day one, I didn’t think I’d cut too many full 4x8 sheets of plywood. I made my frame smaller (4x4) so it didn’t take up the full size all the time. It can, however, still cut a full sheet when and if I wanted to. It’s still a full build minus the huge cutting area. I also made it hinge on the wall (don’t have a lot of space). Noise was also a concern so I made a vacuum silencer for my dust collection. Very little noise and no dust. Pictures of this are below.

The only thing left was a good way to clamp smaller random pieces to my cutting area. I didn’t want to drill a million holes in the backer and have to worry about where to put screws so I didn’t router through them. I also didn’t want to go through sheets of foam waste board (perhaps I’m too cheap). I would also need a skirt for each random piece that I cut. As you all know, thicknesses of the “same material” even varies so I’d have to create multiple skirts and store them. Big problem - introducing my custom Maslow vice.

It works similar to a camera iris. The four inside corner pieces that hold the material are adjustable from about a 4" square piece to a 36" square piece. Each inside corner is glued to one rod while the other rod passing through it can slide. A nut on each corner clamps it tight. The nice thing is you can fit .25"-1.5" material thickness in the vice and you won’t need any waste board behind it. The material is flush with the top corner pieces so it is suspended from the frame. The larger rectangular darker boards are the skirt that adjust to the size of the material. They also just slide on the rods. The top surface of the material, corner clamps and skirt are all coplanar so the sled rides smoothly across all of them. Little blocks on the outside of the frame hold the vice in place. Precision was key to make everything line up.

Here’s creating the new home to start the cut.

A closer shot right before I started cutting.

And a side shot of the whole set up.

All done with the cut.

A close up of the cut. The material was a piece from an old book shelf (particle board). 1/4" perimeter through cut with a 1/8" detail cut in the middle.

Here’s the whole thing put away (uses very little space).

Closer up on the vacuum silencer box and dust collection.

Now for the finishing of the snowman project.

After lightly sanding the top surface, black paint was gobbed into all the cuts. Once dry, power tools came out to sand the whole surface smooth and clean.

Then it was like painting a coloring page (easy). A few touch up spots were needed. Turned out great and am happy with the custom adjustable vice.

More detail about the vacuum silencer later once I get more time. It’s not as easy as throwing a vacuum in a box…


Wow. You sure put a great deal of thought into that set up. I love it. Congratulations.

PS. I make a shallow cut with a down spiral bit on a job like that for a first pass. Greatly reduces the fuzz for the sled to ride on. Then change to a normal bit.


That’s a good tip for the fuzz. I’ll have to try that!

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wow looks nice! why is your vac hose so long? seems like it could be much shorter?

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If I ever cut a full sheet of 4x8 I’ll need the extra length in the bottom corners.

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I would be very interested in hearing about the vacuum silencer

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Clean, low noise, safer. That is inspiring.

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I too am interested in your silencer. I recently took a tour of the acoustic improvements to a wind tunnel. The key was to get the air to pass through smoothly without letting noise pass through. They used a set of wavy walls to allow the air to “slither” through, whereas the sound waves had to bounce off of multiple noise-absorbing surfaces. It was amazing how much noise that setup would catch!

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I thought I had more pictures during the build but I guess I didn’t take as much as I thought. I just took a few but they aren’t the best - sorry.

There are some elaborate ideas out there and my box was a little overkill. Making sure your opening and pathways were sized right after the carpet pad was on so you didn’t restrict air flow was a bit tricky. I made the box out of mdf and glued all cracks so it was “air tight.” I painted it inside and out to seal it even more.

Then I lined every surface with carpet padding. This silences the vacuum. There is a hole in the main box where the hose exhaust air travels through a labyrinth in a separate chamber. This silences the hole for the exhaust air.

Then my vacuum was overheating in the hot 100° summer so I made another labyrinth on top where I force fed fresh air with a fan through a labyrinth to the motor and had a separate labyrinth for the motor exhaust air (again all lined with carpet padding). I wished I had a better picture of the inside of the upper box but basically its cut in two halfs. One half draws air in from the two openings on its side, turns a corner and in the center is a large fan pushing air into the main chamber. The other half has a large hole in the middle of its side and vents around two corners to the openings on its side. (confusing - sorry).

This is a shot of the inside of the box looking up through the top box for the motor ventilation/fan. Because the hose exhaust vents straight to the side labyrinth through a tube, the main inside cavity where the vacuum is is only heated by the vacuum motor. The white around the holes is just paint to help hold the carpet pad together.

All cracks for tubing were filled with putty and the front door had a complete rubber gasket around it. I got lazy and just used some straps to hold the door closed. I have a thermometer so I can monitor the temperature inside the box.

All you can hear is the air traveling through the hoses. But to be honest, with the vacuum on and the front door completely off it cuts 60% of the high pitched wine. I’m not sure all the extra work was worth the last 40%. If you want a quieter vacuum, just put it in a box with the front side off and line it with something to dampen the sound (carpet padding). Then you won’t have cooling issues.

Oh, and PS, did I mention how crappy it is to work with vacuum hose diameters?? They don’t match up with anything standard. I used an old bike tube as seals for my sloppy joints with pipe clamps.


I’ve had good luck CNCing myself adapters :grin:


I have worked with so many different diameters of pipe and tubing while impromptu pumping water out of basements. Bike tire inner tube would have been a luxury. It is amazing what you can accomplish with ANY kind of tape to increase outside diameters until you can BARELY friction fit them. Then any adhesive backed tape on the outside really reinforces! Hose clamps are amazing in those situations as well. And if forced to be in that situation and got to choose what kind of tape?.. duct tape. Angus MacGyver had it right!

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Duct tape fixes almost everything, gorilla tape most of the rest (hide it from the duct tape artwork kids), although trying it to fix the VH4D pistons they shipped for my VG4D did seem like too far a reach


This whole setup is awesome! I am going to have to assess my garage and see if I can do something like this. The vacuum box is definitely a really nice thing to have. Thank you for sharing!

In Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) we use monofilament tape (the packing tape with the white lines) for removing bomb fuzes. I actually watched a guy move a 500lb concrete filled bomb with his rope going through a caribiner held to a tree with about five wraps of monofilament tape. I thought for sure the tape would break before the fuze came out, when the bomb moved and the fuze wasn’t budging I became a firm believer in the strength of monofilament!

EDIT: The monofilament is normally used to spin the fuze after a wrench breaks it loose. Attaching the carabiner to a tree was a new use of monofilament for me.

I’d like to build a vice like the one shown here for my Maslow CNC. Are there any measurements or dimensions available?