Questions about Vacuum Chambers
#11
  
So, I'm thinking about getting set up to stabilize wood with a vacuum chamber and I have 2 questions.  What size chamber do most people have?  I'm thinking 3 gallons would be more than sufficient.  And what are the advantages of having the vacuum attached to the side vs the top?

Thanks!
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#12
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
I use a TurnTex chamber, chose a 6" diameter, 16" deep so i could do a few layers of pen blanks at times--i've actually only done that twice. I do though at times use a smaller diameter container inside the 6 x 16 for small batches or color. Also added a manifold to my pump and picked up a small vacuum oven (lab oven that can double as a vacuum chamber). I use that to dry/cure without pulling a vacuum, and also for very small color batches of stabilizing. Will probably add another TurnTex chamber soon--just to get more flexible in colors. Still have 2 ports left on my manifold--and the JB Eliminator will easily draw the vacuum!!
earl
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#13
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
(05-09-2020, 11:30 AM)badwhiskey Wrote: So, I'm thinking about getting set up to stabilize wood with a vacuum chamber and I have 2 questions.  What size chamber do most people have?  I'm thinking 3 gallons would be more than sufficient.  And what are the advantages of having the vacuum attached to the side vs the top?

Thanks!

The bigger the chamber, the longer it takes to pump down, but you can put buckets/bowls inside the chamber that are sized to what you are stabilizing. You may also need a way to keep the wood being stabilized fully covered by the fluid (i.e.: stop it from floating).

Ideally, you would also like a window where you can see when the bubbles stop.

Are you looking to stabilize peppermill blanks or salad bowl blanks or just pen blanks?
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#14
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
I use something like the Harbor Freight paint pot.  I don't recall anymore where I got it at, but very similar.  I use it with a small electric vacuum pump that is also very similar to the ones HF sells for $90.  I had some very thick plexi or acrylic or whatever they use for hockey rink glass these days, so I cut it into a circle big enough to use for a lid.  I got a piece of silicone sheet and used that to make a gasket for between the lid and pot and cut some slots in the lid so I could use the wingnuts from the pot to tighten it down enough to get the seal started.  I drilled a hole through the lid and added some fittings to attach to the pump with some air compressor hose and also a second hole for a vacuum gauge.  It only takes a minute or two to get full vacuum on it.  I added a shutoff valve at the pot so once I get vacuum pulled I just shut the valve and then shut off the pump.  I use it with its normal lid for pressure more often than for vacuum, but I've used it for vacuum a couple dozen times with no issues at all.  If you get stuff from a hockey rink, just check it over really well to make sure there aren't any cracks.
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#15
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
I was wanting a pot that was wide but not tall.

I looked at PVC piping that was 14" up to 20" and one foot or less but they are very costly.  I think the 20" was something just a tad over $500 for a 12 or maybe 20" long piece and the 14", 16" and 18" was between $200 up to $425.  I was going to get some 3/4" to 1" acrylic for the top and bottom which is not very much on Ebay for under $50 for those sizes and I have a electric vacuum that stays at 28hg when in use so no cost for that well no longer a cost now.

To me the ideal would be 16" to 20" wide and 9" tall but just where do you find a piece like that??
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#16
  Re: RE: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by Arlin Eastman (I was wanting a pot ...)
(05-11-2020, 12:59 PM)Arlin Eastman Wrote: I was wanting a pot that was wide but not tall.

I looked at PVC piping that was 14" up to 20" and one foot or less but they are very costly.  I think the 20" was something just a tad over $500 for a 12 or maybe 20" long piece and the 14", 16" and 18" was between $200 up to $425.  I was going to get some 3/4" to 1" acrylic for the top and bottom which is not very much on Ebay for under $50 for those sizes and I have a electric vacuum that stays at 28hg when in use so no cost for that well no longer a cost now.

To me the ideal would be 16" to 20" wide and 9" tall but just where do you find a piece like that??

I think that I have seen big Dutch oven pans that are in that size range.

I am thinking one could coat the rim with Flex Seal Paste, put a sheet of wax paper on it, then put a flat sheet of plexiglass on it until the paste hardens.

I picked up a big, heavy-wall aluminum pot to do something like that with, but I have not had the need to follow-through on that project yet. Sigh

The comment about hockey-rink plexiglass has me thinking about how to access the panels that they have to take out of service. Wasn't there someone here whose son was working as a trainer for a sports team?

Edited to add: I have not priced the flex seal paste yet, but if it lives up to its ads, one could make the vacuum box out of wood and seal the inside and outside with either flex seal or epoxy paint. Just have to make sure that the 5 sides are strong enough to handle 14psi pressure. Then use the flex seal or one of the automotive gasket-making compounds to make the gasket for the top.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#17
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
Thanks for all of the replies.  I'm more interested in doing larger pieces, from vases to small bowls.  Not really interested in pen blanks.
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#18
  Re: RE: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by iclark ([quote='Arlin Eastma...)
(05-11-2020, 02:59 PM)iclark Wrote: The comment about hockey-rink plexiglass has me thinking about how to access the panels that they have to take out of service. Wasn't there someone here whose son was working as a trainer for a sports team?

I would just look up local rinks and give them a call if you have any nearby.  Most rinks are closed right now due to the pandemic stuff, but they will probably start opening up in the next few weeks or so, and most rinks will have an answering machine for people calling in wanting to book ice time.  When I got mine, the rink had a few of them that had corners busted off sitting in a closet.  I think I paid them something for them, but it wasn't much.  The "glass" doesn't break very often if the rinks are managed well, so it may be something where you have to keep trying back and ask them to keep a broken one for you.  They are big and heavy if they're all one piece, so moving them around can be a trick.  I'd have to go measure mine, but I'd say it's close to 1/2" if not maybe a little thicker.  Depending on where you are and how big of a piece you need I might be able to help you out, too.
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#19
  Re: RE: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by iclark ([quote='Arlin Eastma...)
(05-11-2020, 02:59 PM)iclark Wrote: I think that I have seen big Dutch oven pans that are in that size range.

I am thinking one could coat the rim with Flex Seal Paste, put a sheet of wax paper on it, then put a flat sheet of plexiglass on it until the paste hardens.

I picked up a big, heavy-wall aluminum pot to do something like that with, but I have not had the need to follow-through on that project yet. Sigh

The comment about hockey-rink plexiglass has me thinking about how to access the panels that they have to take out of service. Wasn't there someone here whose son was working as a trainer for a sports team?

Edited to add: I have not priced the flex seal paste yet, but if it lives up to its ads, one could make the vacuum box out of wood and seal the inside and outside with either flex seal or epoxy paint. Just have to make sure that the 5 sides are strong enough to handle 14psi pressure. Then use the flex seal or one of the automotive gasket-making compounds to make the gasket for the top.

I do have a 3/16" wall stainless steel 74qt pot with a lid. It is tall and something like 11.5"and 14+" high, but I would like wider not taller.
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#20
  Re: Questions about Vacuum Chambers by badwhiskey (So, I'm thinking abo...)
Not cheap @ $160 but this one is ~18" ID and 8.5" deep. It is also 63lb.
24qt Dutch oven

This 24qt aluminum one looks to be smaller but cheaper:
https://www.amazon.com/Uniware-Quality-A...en&sr=1-67

There are some 40qt Dutch oven out there, but I did not find any that I want to link to.

If this is getting to be the right size range, it might be worth posting a thread in the basement asking about sources for really large Dutch ovens or canning pots strong enough for use as a vacuum pot. Fred probably has some ideas. I do not know whether Fescue might have any large canning pots still left over from his jelly business (or if they would be strong enough).
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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