How to make a vacuum chamber?

KenH

Well-Known Member
Take a chamber and put a vacuum in it?

OK, enough smart mouth - I've been looking at that myself. Believe it or not - it's about as cheap to buy the vertical one from Cactus Juice as try to make one. I've looked for clear PVC pipe to make one myself, and by the time I buy just a single foot of pipe, and the associated parts - I'm getting VERY close to his price. As he says, he's selling the vacuum chamber close to cost to encourage folks to buy his Cactus Juice.

If you do find a cheap source of clear pipe (I want clear so I can see the process), let me know.

Ken H>
 

TurnTex

Forum Owner - Moderator
Hello folks...sorry for the slow reply. Been really busy in the shop and have not had much internet time! If you want to stabilize without having a lot invested, here is what I suggest.

Get a large mason jar or pickle jar. Make a top out of a piece of Corian or other type of thick plastic. It needs to be plastic since vacuum will suck air right through MDF or plywood! Drill a hole through it and install a fitting. Drilling a 1/2" diameter hole will be perfect to allow a 1/4" NPT fitting to cut its own threads. Go to a tire shop and get an old inner tube. Cut it to fit the bottom of your lid and glue it on with Super 77 spray adhesive. This is your gasket and is a great vacuum gasket material.

Of course you will need fittings and hose. You will need a valve to control the amount of vacuum applied in the beginning to control the amount of foaming as the air is rapidly being evaluated. I use a brass tee and on one side, I put a mini ball valve and the other is a hose barb to connect the hose.

For a vacuum pump on the cheap...get a compressor out of an old refrigerator! These can be obtained for free in many cases. The cord will be cut so you will have to wire in a plug. Then plug it in. On the compressor, there will be two 1/4" copper lines. Figure out which one is blowing and which one is sucking. Use compression fittings to make the connection to the side that it sucking and then add a hose barb to that to connect the hose. Walla, a very cheap vacuum pump that will do a pretty good job. It is not going to pull as strong of a vacuum as a true rotary vane pump but it will do the job!

As for cheap clear pipe...if you find any, please let me know where!
 
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Roger

Well-Known Member
Here is a picture of the one I made for use at work. Not for stabilizing but the idea is the same. Use a piece of neoprene or rubber top and bottom to cushion the jar when the all-thread is snugged down. Close the bleed valve on the right, suck on the left and when you have your vacuum close the valve on the left. If you need more vacuum open the valve again.

vaccuum 003.jpg
 

akey

Well-Known Member
I bought a vacuum pump off of ebay for $70. The same model was listed by others for around $200 but the guy I bought it from had the auction set to end at 4 in the morning and no one else bid on it!

$T2eC16RHJGkFFmzKiCp!BSQZ0S58Tg~~60_35.JPG


Single Stage (500 Microns)

◍For A/C And Refrigeration Evacuation

◍All Metal Construction

◍Dual Voltage 1/4 Motor

◍Brass Fittings

◍Male Flare Intake Parts: 1/4 x 3/8" SAE And 1/2" ACME

◍Blank Off Insulation Valve

◍6' Power Cord
 

Roger

Well-Known Member
Score!

I bought a vacuum pump off of ebay for $70. The same model was listed by others for around $200 but the guy I bought it from had the auction set to end at 4 in the morning and no one else bid on it!

View attachment 44153


Single Stage (500 Microns)

◍For A/C And Refrigeration Evacuation

◍All Metal Construction

◍Dual Voltage 1/4 Motor

◍Brass Fittings

◍Male Flare Intake Parts: 1/4 x 3/8" SAE And 1/2" ACME

◍Blank Off Insulation Valve

◍6' Power Cord
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I know this is an older thread but I just built a vacuum chamber for stabilizing and thought I'd share a few thoughts.

I went to the local thrift shop and bought an aluminum pressure cooker ($8). 13" in dia and 12" deep. I cut the locking tabs off the outer ring and cut the top rim flat. Then I took a 14"x14" one inch thick piece of Polycarbonate that I had laying around from a job I did and cut an "O" ring groove in it to match the pressure cooker. I put a vacuum gage on the top of the polycarb lid and a port for hooking up my pump. I went this route for a couple reasons:

1)cost....it took me three hours to build and work is slow in the shop and I have more time than $$.
2) I wanted a bigger chamber so I could use old milk jugs that have the top cut off to hold my cactus juice and wood. Then cleaning is just throwing away the milk jug. I also wanted to be able to do a little larger batch of wood.

If I didn't have the capabilities to machine, I would have just hand drilled the lid of the pressure cooker and put the fitting for the pump in. There is a pressure release emergency insert, that is where I'd drill. I doubt you really need the visibility, you just need to make sure you keep the wood under vacuum well past what most guys do to penetrate with the juice. The pressure cooker already has a gauge in it you just need to swap it out for a vacuum gauge. This would be a super easy and cheap way to have a zero visibility vacuum chamber. I have bought about 5 of these pressure cookers for canning they're so nice there was only one I was willing to cut up. I think less people are canning than previous generations so you can find them cheap.

costs for me:
pressure cooker----$8
o ring mat'l---------$5
gauge---------------$18


Curtis has a nice chamber on his turntex site for $137 or so. I would have bought that no problem if I messed up my project. it's definitely not as crude as what I devised and will do a lot of scales.

Hope this helps.
Ted
 
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Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Just tested out my vacuum chamber. It will go to 27 hg. I'm at 2800 ft above sea level so that is about the best I can expect. If I turn the pump off it drops pressure at about a pound every 30 seconds. my o ring is split where I tried to glue it so I'm sure I'm not exactly air tight.
 
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TurnTex

Forum Owner - Moderator
You should be fine with your chamber. Remember, to get the best results, you will want to keep your pump running the entire time anyway so if you are maintaining 27" with the pump running, you should be in good shape!
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Thanks Curtis.

I went on your site yesterday and used your altitude/vacuum calculator. very cool. I was initially worried about not pulling enough vacuum but your site said that at the higher altitudes the air is thinner and compensates for the lower vacuum at the corresponding altitude.

I'll probably try a batch of wood on the weekend. I have to do some rearranging to make room for knife projects/equipment. I sure could use another 100 sq ft in my shop....
 
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