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Project Information

This is a vacuum system I made (with the help of JoeWoodworker.com) to vacuum press my veneer and marquetry projects. I live in the Cincinnati area, where we hope someday to have a winning football team, which is where the orange and black stripes came from as decoration on the pump system. I have ganged 2 pumps via a pressure regulator and mac valve system with a reserve system of vac tanks underneath. Being the cautious type, I have wrapped the tanks in vinyl black tape in case they decide to implode for some strange reason.

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Comments

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It only makes sense ro paint a vacuum pump like that, 'cause the Bengals suck! LOL!

I'm just kidding….I'm a long suffering Saints fan, so I've got nothing to brag about. :)

That is one fancy looking setup. Have you had a chance to try it out?
 

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That's an awesome looking vac system! Looks like it could do double duty as a deep sea exploration device. Great paint job too.
 

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Looks like it should do the job. it does look like a submersible. Charlie, you are too funny.
 

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Cool creation, the job a creative woodworker and the machanic. Great job!
Blogg it Wood Wench, for future reference.

Charlie, I would rather say orange matchs the BenchDog's colour…..
 

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that is awsome
do you gain money, quality or both ny doing this yourself
 

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Nice Job, I built a vacuum pump with the parts & directions from Joe Woodworker.com and it works great. I didn't have 600$ to buy a 5'X10' bag so I went and bought some vinyl from local fabric store ( the thickest stuff they had), bought the vinyl glue off Ebay,and the valve from J.W. and had the whole bag for about 40$. I wouldn't compare it to what you get for the 600$ but it still works great for now and was a lot cheaper.
 

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Thanks for the input guys. Yes I have used it. It pumps a 4'x6' bag down in less than a couple of minutes. It only takes 6 sec for the system to pump down to -20 with no veneer bag attached. The reserve tanks help hold the vac constant, even if you develop a very small leak. The Mac valve with the sub-reservoir (detailed instructions available on JoeWoodworker.com) allow for the easy cycling of the pumps during a typical veneer glue curing cycle. If my bag is fresh, I make my own from heavy gauge vinyl I buy from Joe) during a 6 hour cure time the pumps may only cycle on twice. From a cost perspective - I can't remember what the total was (i made this in 2007) but it was significantly less than a mid to high end cycling vacuum system and was just a blast to make.

And your right - this thing sucks, just like my beloved bungals!
 

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Excellent vacuum pump and I like the paint job! I have a pump from JoeWoodworker as well and I really like it.
 

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I made mine also. I found a vacuum pump on ebay that was local. About 20 miles do I didn't have to pay shipping. It works great.

But I do have a monster pump in reserve. I bought it at a junk yard. It was brand new at least unused. It was bought as a spare for a printing plant for running their presses. They bought a new press and so the unused pump went to junk. It's a 220V and I've never put a power cord to it yet. It weights about 50 lbs. a real tank Total cost $25.00.

I love vacuum veneering.
 

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Very cool… I've seen some plans on JoeWoodworker, but they look a little complicated… was this very hard to put together?
 

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Winning and Cincinnati do not go together. We have the Bengals.

Paul Brown was the man. Mike Brown needs to be vacuumed outta here.

East side welcomes. Cool pump.
 

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Where did you come up with all the parts and how long did it take to build this pump? Looks great.
 

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I built a venturi vacuum setup using parts and instructions off of the Joewoodworker website also. It was very easy to do, and has worked flawlessly for 3 years now. I also made my own bags using the heavy mil vinyl. If you want your bag to pull a vacuum quicker, try and flatten it out as much as possible before sealing the end, just like you would with a ziplock baggie.
 

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Wonderful job on the pump. You should get many years of service from it.
Two things (among many) that I found from Joe Woodworker that are great, the bag closure he sells is super.
My pumps were pulling 19-21 inches of vacuum with a dowel and pvc pipe closure (shop made), when I switched to Joes closure, the pumps now pull 24 inches of vacuum. may not seem like much of an addition, but I use my bags for bent laminations on a form. I have noticed better adhesion on the laminations.
The second thing is Joes veneer glue. it comes premixed, just spread it and go. Down here in Texas I can press up a panel in less then an hour in warm weather, and about 1.5-2 hours in cooler weather.
Plus I get next to zip on bleed thru.

Thanks for posting
 

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At the request of a fellow LJ I started a blog on this Shop Made Vacuum Press - I go into some detail as to how I built it. Basically, go to JoeWoodworker and download the instructions. Then spend a day or so looking them over and tracing out the wiring - if you can wire a light switch you can do this. If you don't feel up to wiring a light switch - find a friend who really can, not just says he/she can. If all else fails - ask Joe. Once I was sure I knew what I was doing I would say that the wiring and assembly (after the carrier was made and painted) took about 4 hours. Just taking my time and double checking myself as I went. From the very first time I fliped the switch - it pulled a vac right down to -25, I then slowly adjusted the vacuum sensor, bleeding off vac as I went, until I consistently got -20. As mentioned by daveintexas - if you want to do bent laminations with it - just tweak up the vac (or down the vac - which ever way you want to think of it) to -25. I don't think I would go much lower than that. The PVC pipe acting as the reservoirs are pretty sturdy (Bought at Home Depot) but I wouldn't press my luck. Pardon the pun! All other parts I bought from JWW.
 

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I run my pump at - 28 and that as low as it goes. The other night it was stormy out and I guess we were in a low pressure zone because the pump would never shut off. I turned it down a little and it started cycling like normal.

When mine pulls down I bag get 1-2 hrs before it cycles. (After the first couple of cycles. - There air in the particle board that I use as my lower caul in the bag.) Once all of that air has come out them the bag is very stable.

I modified mine about 5 years after making it, using Joe Woodworkers plans. The vacuum storage canisters definitely keep the pump from cycling as much as it used to. I also like the filter in the vacuum line going to the pumps because you could small dust and wood chips that might suctioned into the pump mechanism.
 

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Who dey!
 

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it looks like a very professional set up well designed and made you obviously know your stuff well done.I bought a really nice looking vacuum pump at a market for about $50 turns out it came from a university lab and was new about a thousand dollars us and I imediately sold it to a french company for aBOUT $ 350 alistair
 

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Congratulations on the great job on the vacuum setup, and my condolences on your team.
 
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