Is This a Good Vacuum Pot?

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LK&T

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When answering this question, pretend like you're speaking to someone who has no experience with resin vacuum systems. My main goal here will be stabilizing wood for pen blanks and knife handles, with the possibility of making pen blanks down the road. So, thoughts from the IAP universe?

 
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Brandy

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I saw this sale as well. I was wondering if the pump they have is good. It is small but looks like it's all you would need
 

LK&T

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I saw this sale as well. I was wondering if the pump they have is good. It is small but looks like it's all you would need
Which pump are you looking at? The product looks like it's just the pot and a couple things used with the pot. I assumed you need some sort of device to create vacuum and an air compressor in addition to the pot.
 

Brandy

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Which pump are you looking at? The product looks like it's just the pot and a couple things used with the pot. I assumed you need some sort of device to create vacuum and an air compressor in addition to the pot.

They have this vacuum generator that I think is used with the pot
 

TDahl

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I have only used the Harbor Freight Pressure Pot /Vacuum chamber combo (see the tutorials in the IAP library) and have had much success with it.
 

ccccchunt

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This pot will absolutely work for stabilizing pen blanks etc. Since this is only the pot, you will need to find a good vacuum pump. From my experience (limited) you need to have a pump that can remain running for hours at a time. My last batch of blanks took 5 hours with pump running for the bubbles to stop coming out. The addition of the tempered glass top is a MUST. My plastic lid shattered after the 3rd round of stabilization. I have a glass lid now and wish I had started out with it.
I do not see a gauge included with this kit. You will need a gauge to monitor your vacuum in order to stabilize properly.

Just my comments. I started ordering and stabilizing last month so if you have any questions, you can probably learn from my mistakes!!
 

ccccchunt

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They have this vacuum generator that I think is used with the pot
I looked at this also. But you need to be running your air compressor in order to maintain the vacuum. I personally didn't want my air compressor running for 5+ hours at a time. My vacuum pump is much quieter.
 

Brandy

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I looked at this also. But you need to be running your air compressor in order to maintain the vacuum. I personally didn't want my air compressor running for 5+ hours at a time. My vacuum pump is much quieter.
Which pump do you have?
 

PatrickR

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Take a look at Best Value Vacs (with glass lid) on Amazon. I would find that square top annoying/clumsy. Don’t skimp on a vacuum pump. I got the one that is recommended on the CJ site from Zoro, They run % off sales, so you can get a deal if you buy at the right time. Buy the vac oil by the gallon, you need to change it a lot to keep the pump in good shape.


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LK&T

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Thanks for all the replies folks. With the pot, vacuum generator and having to buy a compressor, that's more play money than I have at the moment. Just got excited by a good deal. And honestly, I need to do some research on the subject before I jump in.
 

Old Hilly

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WOW! as we say down here, "cheap as chips"! With all the penetrations through the side rather than the glass lid the lid should be really strong. If only the freight down here to Oz wasn't so expensive!
 

Rodney W

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Must be something in the air. I'm looking at a wood stabilizing setup too. I'm probably going this route.
https://www.amazon.com/BACOENG-Stai...ords=bacoeng+vacuum+pot&qid=1614562687&sr=8-8 I see a lot of Youtubers using the Bacoeng pots, so I figure they must work ok.
And for the pump, this one. It was recommended as the best cheap pump by Cactus Juice. If it breaks, I'll upgrade to the USA made one then.
I want the 5 gallon pot because I plan to do larger pieces for my cane handles.
 

johnjohnson42

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You definitely don’t want your air compressor creating a vacuum... invest in a good pump. I stabilized a large cherry burl in a similar vacuum chamber a few months ago... took three days for the bubbles to stop. I can’t imagine running any air compressor that long.


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Old Hilly

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You definitely don’t want your air compressor creating a vacuum... invest in a good pump. I stabilized a large cherry burl in a similar vacuum chamber a few months ago... took three days for the bubbles to stop. I can’t imagine running any air compressor that long.


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The thing is, does the pump need to run all the time? If the amount of air to be removed is small and the vacuum pot is large then there should be some sort of residual vacuum "reserve" pulling air out of the wood. Could you just run the pump on a timer, on for 5 minutes, off for 20 mins. sort of thing?
 

greenacres2

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The thing is, does the pump need to run all the time? If the amount of air to be removed is small and the vacuum pot is large then there should be some sort of residual vacuum "reserve" pulling air out of the wood. Could you just run the pump on a timer, on for 5 minutes, off for 20 mins. sort of thing?
I have no idea on using a compressor venturi, but if using a vacuum pump--the vacuum should be broken before turning off the pump or there's risk of damaging seals in the pump. If one used a manifold, drew down a vacuum on 2 chambers, sealed off one then broke the vacuum on the other--that seems like it would work. Again--that might not be an issue using a compressor and venturi.
earl
 

Old Hilly

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While my vacuum system is still in the process of being built, based on an air compressor running as a vacuum pump and with a 1/2" bsp non-return valve in the line right at the pump, it seems to drag 23" Hg and will hold that for 5 hours using a 10L/2gal spray paint pressure pot as a chamber. Once the first rush of air is extracted I reckon I should be able to just run the pump for 5 mins each half hour or so. When you look at a lump of wood, even "spalted" wood, I would guess that the volume of air in the wood may be 50% to 60% so really all I need to remove is somewhere a bit less than the volume of the pot and lines to the pump allowing for the volume of solid wood, stabilising resin and containers.
 

PatrickR

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Is 23 max theoretical vacuum for your altitude?
Where I’m at it’s 28.5, 23 would have a significant impact on the process. You need max for this process to work well.
The compressor systems are commonly used in vacuum veneer systems where reaching max is not critical and 23 would be plenty of pressure to draw everything down. A low end Chinese pump isn’t that expensive and would be worth it if your not reaching max. If you want MIUSA look at a JB Eliminator economy pump.
Using a pressure pot will work but if you plan on using CJ you’ll have to deal with overflow. It’s hard to keep it from running over when you start the process.
I have switched to SOS, really like it and have not had any overflow with it.
I have been using vacuum followed by pressure and think it does a better/ faster job than simply soaking after vacuum.


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Old Hilly

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Is 23 max theoretical vacuum for your altitude?
Where I’m at it’s 28.5, 23 would have a significant impact on the process. You need max for this process to work well.
The compressor systems are commonly used in vacuum veneer systems where reaching max is not critical and 23 would be plenty of pressure to draw everything down. A low end Chinese pump isn’t that expensive and would be worth it if your not reaching max. If you want MIUSA look at a JB Eliminator economy pump.
Using a pressure pot will work but if you plan on using CJ you’ll have to deal with overflow. It’s hard to keep it from running over when you start the process.
I have switched to SOS, really like it and have not had any overflow with it.
I have been using vacuum followed by pressure and think it does a better/ faster job than simply soaking after vacuum.


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I should have given a bit more detail about the setup, I am actually using a compressor that had a burned-out motor (it was free) driven by an old washing machine motor (also free) just to see if it would work. The gage reads 23 or perhaps 24" Hg but will hold that pressure for hours. I can start the system "softly" so that the juice doesn't boil over and then I figure that I can switch the motor off when the majority of the air is evacuated and rely on the residual vacuum in the system to draw out what little air is left in the wood. That would save me a heap of electricity from my stand-alone solar system. Using pressure after vacuum is how they treated power poles way back when I was in that industry. The pressure would drive the Creosote further into the timber but that was for green timber sometimes 20" in diameter and the end result was "envelope treatment", the preservative never really got to the heart-wood due to the size of the poles. On small sections it would definitely work and give 100% penetration.
 

PatrickR

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Your system could work but not if you can’t reach max vacuum for your elevation. If that is 23 you are good (check online to determine what it is). I would find using CJ blind a big drawback. You could run it low for a long time but as soon as you boost it up it will foam. I would normally have to watch it and boost the vac until it was foaming then cut it back so it doesn’t overflow, then repeat several times until it could take full vacuum.


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Old Hilly

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I was afrai
Your system could work but not if you can’t reach max vacuum for your elevation. If that is 23 you are good (check online to determine what it is). I would find using CJ blind a big drawback. You could run it low for a long time but as soon as you boost it up it will foam. I would normally have to watch it and boost the vac until it was foaming then cut it back so it doesn’t overflow, then repeat several times until it could take full vacuum.


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I was afraid of that. I may be able to cut a viewing port into the lid or just go out and buy a cheap USB video camera and a tube of Sikaflex silicone sealer. My guess is that the compressor running as a vacuum pump won't quite do the job but it's worth a try. The cost of freight on a pump from somewhere like Amazon is more than the pump so I went for the least-cost option first.
 

PatrickR

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Yes a window or camera in the pot will work, as long as you never intend to use it for pressure again. Vacuum pumps are used in a lot of industries. You should be able to find one in country.


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Old Hilly

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Yes a window or camera in the pot will work, as long as you never intend to use it for pressure again. Vacuum pumps are used in a lot of industries. You should be able to find one in country.


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Thank you Patrick, I will have to do some more scrounging around. If I can find some 5/8" polycarbonate sheet I may make a clear lid for vacuum work and keep the steel lid for pressure treating.
 

PatrickR

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5/8 wont be thick enough and i know that acrylic even at 3/4 doesn’t work. The CJ makes it crack. There was some one here recently that had this happen. Polycarbonate may or may not be better. glass is the preferred material for this. I don’t want to come off a negative here but sometimes it’s best to stick with what’s known to work.
Have you found out what max vac is for your area? If its 28+ and your getting 24 max you will not get good results.


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ccccchunt

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I didn't have any luck with acrylic lids. Cracked and imploded. I have been using a glass lid for about a month now with zero issues. Even bought the same size so the silicone gasket could be used from my old acrylic one that lays in pieces in my garage.

Recommend going with Tempered Glass top. I have a 3/4 inch circle that I ordered which works awesome!!
 

Old Hilly

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I didn't have any luck with acrylic lids. Cracked and imploded. I have been using a glass lid for about a month now with zero issues. Even bought the same size so the silicone gasket could be used from my old acrylic one that lays in pieces in my garage.

Recommend going with Tempered Glass top. I have a 3/4 inch circle that I ordered which works awesome!!
Looks like I should consider glass as the only material to use and probably fit the inlet into the side of the chamber somewhere near the top.
 

PatrickR

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Yes, glass is the best option. Go through the top for the vac port if you want to retain pressure use of the pot.


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ccccchunt

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Looks like I should consider glass as the only material to use and probably fit the inlet into the side of the chamber somewhere near the top.
I drilled my inlet through the pot side about 1 inch from the top. When I stabilize, I put all my juice and blanks in a 2.5 gallon bucket that just barely fits inside of my vacuum chamber. I actually had to cut out a notch in my bucket top to allow for clearance of the vacuum suction on the side.
 

ccccchunt

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I bought my glass lid at slickvacseal.com and was able to re-use the gasket from my acrylic lid. They also have stabilizing equipment for sale but I found the glass lid under the parts section of the website.
 
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