Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Every fusor and fusion system seems to need a vacuum. This area is for detailed discussion of vacuum systems, materials, gauging, etc. related to fusor or fusion research.
Ameen Aydan
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Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Ameen Aydan » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:58 pm

After some searching on the internet for a 8” O.D. ConFlat flange, it came to my attention that they a quite expensive and not a viable option for me. I mean, these things go for $190 cad at its cheapest. So I thought that maybe I could use the 3D auto cad files that come from the manufacturer such as MDC vacuum or Kurt J. L., and request a custom piece to be made on a CNC machine. They are pretty accurate with it 5 axis controls and precision techniques. Could this be a viable option, and can it work in the conditions needed to produce fusion?

Just a side note:

I plan to use 304ss and as a finish to ensure a quality surface, I thought I could sand it down with fine grit sand paper then use an electropolishing technique. Any suggestions?


And if anyone wants to sell me it cheap, not caring if it’s used, that would be great.

Thank you!

Dan Knapp
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Dan Knapp » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:42 pm

It is doubtful that you could buy the SS material and pay for a CNC job and end up with a flange for less than just buying it. Check LDC Vacuum Products for some of the lowest prices from a regular vendor. Best deals are on eBay, but the “buyer beware” rule applies.

Ameen Aydan
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Ameen Aydan » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:51 pm

Btw I will be using a cnc machine through college to make it cheaper than Normal

Bruce Meagher
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Bruce Meagher » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:11 am

Clearly these type of flanges are made on CNC machines, so no reason you couldn't make one on a “precision” 5-axis CNC. However, as Dan mentions, it’s very unlikely you can make one cheaper (unless you have access to cheap 8”x8"x7/8” SS plate, custom CNC tooling, free time on the CNC, and don’t make mistakes). If your goal is to learn precision machining then by all means go for it. If you’re trying to do physics experiments maybe consider scaling down your chamber.

If you provided an introduction and told us about your goals maybe we could help steer you in a more cost effective direction.

Bruce

Ameen Aydan
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Ameen Aydan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:26 am

Bruce Meagher wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:11 am
Clearly these type of flanges are made on CNC machines, so no reason you couldn't make one on a “precision” 5-axis CNC. However, as Dan mentions, it’s very unlikely you can make one cheaper (unless you have access to cheap 8”x8"x7/8” SS plate, custom CNC tooling, free time on the CNC, and don’t make mistakes). If your goal is to learn precision machining then by all means go for it. If you’re trying to do physics experiments maybe consider scaling down your chamber.

If you provided an introduction and told us about your goals maybe we could help steer you in a more cost effective direction.

Bruce
What might make my goal more clear. I live in Hamilton, and there is a HUGE steel factory, so that’s not a problem. I have contacted a college to ask to use there machines, if that doesn’t work out, $50 an hour isn’t too much compared to some 400 I would need to pay. Plus, I already have the AutoCAD files, so no need for too much work, I would imagine.

Ameen

Dan Knapp
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Dan Knapp » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:45 am

I was just browsing eBay and found about 45 pages of conflat components including several 8 inch flanges for under $100US. There is what I’m pretty sure is an 8 inch blank flange for $45US. The seller didn’t state the size, but the photo looks like an 8 inch. In my experience, sellers will often accept a lower offer. One must be careful not to get a flange with fatally nicked knife edge. Sellers range widely in knowledge about these items. Often they are listed for more than the new cost. I’ve even seen people trying to sell used gaskets. Unless you particularly want to try making conflats, there are cheaper ways to achieve the goal of building a vacuum system.

Ameen Aydan
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Ameen Aydan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:08 pm

Dan Knapp wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:45 am
I was just browsing eBay and found about 45 pages of conflat components including several 8 inch flanges for under $100US. There is what I’m pretty sure is an 8 inch blank flange for $45US. The seller didn’t state the size, but the photo looks like an 8 inch. In my experience, sellers will often accept a lower offer. One must be careful not to get a flange with fatally nicked knife edge. Sellers range widely in knowledge about these items. Often they are listed for more than the new cost. I’ve even seen people trying to sell used gaskets. Unless you particularly want to try making conflats, there are cheaper ways to achieve the goal of building a vacuum system.
Thats very odd. I only see two pages on ebay, and not one single 8” flange. I dont know why. Perhaps it’s because I’m from Canada? Can you show me some links, please?

John Futter
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by John Futter » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:03 pm

Amen
It has already been hinted at
You have not followed the rules of this site
this sort of question would have been better in the "New User Area"
and should only have been asked after posting in the introduce yourself section
also your username and real name need to be the same as your real name
no handles no nicknames

Ameen Aydan
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by Ameen Aydan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:35 pm

John Futter wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:03 pm
Amen
It has already been hinted at
You have not followed the rules of this site
this sort of question would have been better in the "New User Area"
and should only have been asked after posting in the introduce yourself section
also your username and real name need to be the same as your real name
no handles no nicknames
sorry, my real name is ameen i just had a typo saying that it was amen. i also did not know about the introduce your self area. also, i highly doubt that this post belongs to the new user area, as i require this to be answered promptly, hence why im usinh this website

John Futter
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Re: Can I make my own ConFlat flanges?

Post by John Futter » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:54 pm

Ameen
I would seriously doubt that you will be successful in making your own flanges
The knife edge sharpness and smoothness is critical and your saying you will sand it to get it right is how many destroy commercial flanges.
It requires a huge CNC to do this with utmost rigidity to stop tool chatter.
There are CF flanges available from china that are below cost of the material
So again why are you trying to make them

As for speed of answer the new user chat area tends rto answered quickest

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