Homemade Vacuum Press

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Forum topic by Bohaiboy posted 09-12-2017 05:18 PM 843 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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76 posts in 2597 days

09-12-2017 05:18 PM

Toying with the idea to make a homemade vacuum press. Anyone on here done it? Approximate cost? I have been to joewoodworker and, but I would have to assume I have all the correct parts. Also, how many have made their own bag?

Thanks all.

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

9 replies so far

View Bohaiboy's profile


76 posts in 2597 days

#1 posted 09-12-2017 05:28 PM

Never mind on the kit, I found something on joewoodworker. I would like to know from those out there if you went with the pump system or the venturi using your air compressor?

-- Tim, Houston, TX area

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4451 days

#2 posted 09-12-2017 06:35 PM

I bought a Gast pump on ebay for less than
$100. I made my own bag from supplies
I bought from Joe. At the time I don’t think
he sold finished bags.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6310 posts in 3296 days

#3 posted 09-12-2017 07:38 PM

I bought everything from Joe. My system is built on one of the Rebuilt Thomas Ritchie pumps (I think there has been a name change for these since then) he sells, and the other stuff in the kit. It’s awesome, as well as a lot of fun to build. I also got my bags from him. The first one was vinyl, then I bought a polyurethane one when he had them on sale….get one of those. They are so superior to the vinyl it becomes well worth the extra cost.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View madts's profile


1941 posts in 3142 days

#4 posted 09-12-2017 07:56 PM

Try Gougeon Brothers INC. They do epoxy and bagging very well.


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7874 posts in 3717 days

#5 posted 09-12-2017 08:26 PM

I had a Gast vacuum pump, made my own bag with thick flexible plastic sheet material, and I used an old refrigerant tank (think Freon). Since I did not have an automatic sensor, that extra volume I got from the refrigerant tank came in VERY handy in maintaining the vacuum over time. At the time, I was vacuum bagging fiberglass/Carbon Fiber/Spectra/Kevlar/others over hot wire cut Styrofoam aircraft airfoils for my radio controlled sailplanes. Had great fun on a shoe-string budget when younger in the 80s and 90s… Sold it all in the end.

Now-a-days, if I were to do this again, I would opt for an automatic vacuum sensor system that takes the tediousness out of the process. After all, that West Systems Epoxy and all that high-tech cloth costs way too much for each “failure”, if you get my drift… ;-)

In other words, too much/many expensive parts in the process to risk effing-up. Just my 2-cents worth. Good luck in your choices…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View jtdon's profile


29 posts in 1309 days

#6 posted 09-12-2017 08:29 PM

Here’s an article about making a bag from shower pan lining.

View splintergroup's profile


3855 posts in 2025 days

#7 posted 09-12-2017 08:51 PM

I have the venturi kit from Joe. I have an ample compressor so I went the venturi route, no other particular reason.

Cost-wise I believe you can same a little money by getting a vacuum pump.

View DS's profile


3518 posts in 3223 days

#8 posted 09-12-2017 08:59 PM

I have built the version from Joe. It is a decent pump. The high efficiency venturi works well.
If I were doing this all day, everyday, it would be worthwhile to buy a commercial pump.
For the occasional projects I do that need a bag press, it is more than adequate.

I make my own bags using the same vinyl material (only thinner) that can be bought at fabric stores for relatively cheap, (Same stuff that Gramma used to cover her sofas – you might not remember that). I tried the glue Joe recommends to close his bags – I didn’t have much success (Lots of leaks), but, I found that double-sided tape works great!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View HorizontalMike's profile


7874 posts in 3717 days

#9 posted 09-13-2017 03:13 PM

Rope caulking from your local contractors store works fine with the vinyl sheeting.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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