Does Anyone Know Anything About Vacuum Pumps?

CalgaryPT

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#1
I need what I think is a small vacuum pump. I have a friend who is an amateur gold miner who I fabricate equipment for and help him experiment with different designs. One design we are playing around with I can't test very well without a vacuum pump. I don't know much about vacuum pumps and don't know specs yet...except that I tried using a manual brake bleeder kit from PA and it almost did the job. So I'm thinking something like the ones in the pic below might work (pending specs from him).

Has anyone used these things before? Do you know design features to watch for or avoid? Thanks.

1593661370193.png
 

Dabbler

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#2
I once built a science fair project using an old salvaged freezer compressor. I achieved enough vacuum for electron beams. The evacuated chamber was about 1.5cm X 20cm long, with about 1m 6mm ID of vacuum hose.
 

PeterT

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#3
I have one similar to your pic on the right. I'd have to check specs but its somewhat like link. I got it in a package with degassing pot, gauges, valves, hoses... the whole enchilada. I used it for composites work, degassing epoxy & urethane resins & also vacuum bagging. In that application you need seals that can handle the resin vapors which are not super nasty but can cause issues with some of the O rings & gaskets. The included degassing pot was just the ticket because buying a cooking pot & fiddle farting the lid for a seal... would have cost me a lot more. It runs quiet & (been a while) seem to recall set up & cycling was pretty straight forward. None of this may pertain to your application. I used to have a much smaller vac pump which could pull vac just fine but could not handle micro leaks in the bagging layup. So it was used in conjunction with a small pressure vessel that acted as a buffer for slow leaks. So kind of depends on how much vac over what period & sustained rate you need. My RC buddies all had fridge pumps but you have to know your way around the wiring to make the pressure switch work at your set-points. They were also oil bath filled & so had to be moved a bit careful.

Vacuum pumps are actually really cool. Not just for composites but woodworking, laminating especially curved shapes & veneers. Also hold-down clamping systems like cnc routers. Or making those homebrew forming machines where you heat sheet plastic & suck it down over a mold (think kids halloween masks). Somebody told me they are used for some <cough> plant based extraction process for <cough> medicinal products & that's why so many on ebay. I don't know & I don't wanna know...

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/4-CFM-Vacuu...er&brand=VEVOR&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
 

PeterT

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#4
Forgot to mention, pic on your left... do some checking. I might be wrong but if its the kind I'm thinking of, they use your big compressor & create vac by venturi? So inefficient on multiple fronts.
 

CalgaryPT

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#5
OK, that's all useful intel. Thanks guys. I've seen the composite stuff done and know you have to maintain the vac over time for it to work. That won't be our issue. No access to a 60 gal compressor in the field either so the option on the left is out I guess.

Leaning towards something similar to the refrigerator one on the left.

No electron beams will be involved. Sorry.
 
#7
Those food freezer bag sealer thingies have a vacuum pump...might be able to find one of those that still works at the local used household stuff store.
 

Brent H

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#8
We use the refrigeration ones from time to time and my son is an HVAC guy so they use them as well. How much vacuum are you looking for and for how long?

The HVAC ones will have a oil sump that takes the same oil as the refrigeration system that you are pumping down - so like an R410 type system will use a POE type oil. The R22 systems used a mineral oil. The good thing about the HVAC units is that they are designed for continuous use and will run the vacuum as long as required (like for pumping down a refrigeration plant to remove contaminates and moisture)

A older solution for a vacuum pump is to use a refrigeration compressor. They are designed to pump down to a vacuum and can be cheaply had if you can locate an old fridge - R22 is now a banned gas and parts etc cannot be sold (should not be) but you may be able to get one and adapt that.

You may be able to pick up an older one that some HVAC guy is selling off: https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-other/hamilton/yellow-jacket-vacuum-pump/1509740731?undefined
 

PeterT

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#11
Video at bottom showing some features of this particular brand/style. No endorsement just overview & idea of noise level if that's a consideration. There's lots of info on the net. Depending on what the application is you might still benefit from intermediary vessel. HVAC is relatively clean & low moisture gas relatively speaking. If you are into food products, resins, or particulates ... best to Google around to make the appropriate choices.

https://www.amazon.ca/Robinair-1550...7VJR18G796B&psc=1&refRID=G7F3ZZXVK7VJR18G796B


Unrelated, but I just love sharing this video.

 

Tom O

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#13
I have a couple old single colour multi printing presses and a air tank that I want to combine for vacuforming I could pull out the pump if you want to borrow it.
 

CalgaryPT

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#14
I have a couple old single colour multi printing presses and a air tank that I want to combine for vacuforming I could pull out the pump if you want to borrow it.
Thanks Tom. It's a pretty sweet relationship I have with the guy I fabricate this stuff for. He and I work on the designs, he pays me for all materials and any new tools I need to do the fabrication. So he'll foot the bill if I decide to buy one. I don't know if he has ever made more money than what he's put into it, but clearly he has a lot of fun. I think it falls into the millionaire hobby category. I just enjoy the design and fab portion of it. Last night I tried a PA oil evacuator just for giggles, and it worked like a charm.
 
#16
I need what I think is a small vacuum pump. I have a friend who is an amateur gold miner who I fabricate equipment for and help him experiment with different designs. One design we are playing around with I can't test very well without a vacuum pump. I don't know much about vacuum pumps and don't know specs yet...except that I tried using a manual brake bleeder kit from PA and it almost did the job. So I'm thinking something like the ones in the pic below might work (pending specs from him).

Has anyone used these things before? Do you know design features to watch for or avoid? Thanks.

View attachment 9854
Are you still looking fro a vacuum pump?

I was thinking of getting one to use for a vacuum holding plate. I can get a lot with two for sale and I only need one.
PM me if you are interested.
 

ShawnR

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#17
Isn't a vacuum pump just an air compressor and you are using the inlet? If you can determine what vacuum you need, then measure a few air pumps to determine what vacuum they draw? If you need it in the field, then a 12 volt one can be easily obtained and modifiy the inlet so that you can control it? If the manual brake bleeder did the job, then I would think any small tire pump would do it but durability would be relative to the quality of the pump. I wonder what this type can draw? It would be a little project I think to replace the inlet valve plate with a block tapped to a female pipe thread and you are golden. Just a thought. Fun project! Good luck!

https://www.princessauto.com/en/portable-12v-air-compressor/product/PA0008670986
 

Swharfin'

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#18
I have a vacuum pump off a milking machine in one of my satellite storage facilities ( skid shack) been awhile since I looked at it C.I. 2cyl? V belt sheaved. Bought at a farm auction with all the fixings lol thoughts of carbon fiber were on my mind but... You pay freight from Athabasca it's yours if it suits.
 

CalgaryPT

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#20
You could look at automotive style vacuum pumps as they are used on hot rods that don't create enough vacuum at idle to run power brakes
Not a bad idea. The solution turned out to be a small auto vacuum (wet shop vac), which worked like a charm except it is noisy. I put it in a foam wrapped box which works well, except I question how long it will last as it runs for about an hour at a time. Eventually it will need a more robust model I think. It was more of an experiment; if any of his contraptions extract enough gold, money won't be a problem LOL. In the spring when he goes gold hunting again I'm sure I'll be building more stuff for him. Kind of a cool hobby. Too bad there is so little gold in Alberta; I can totally see myself getting sucked into this for fun.