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Sources of info on vacuum pump models

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Ric Williams, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. Ric Williams

    Ric Williams

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Location (City & State):
    Highland, MI
    I'm looking for a vacuum pump for vacuum chucking and have found lots of used pumps for sale, but very little info on the specs for specific pumps. I've read the general info here on pumps and done multiple searches for specs on specific models for sale without much luck. Are there any sites that have info on pumps that are no longer made but still available on the used market? Are there specific models/brands that are preferred for vacuum chucking? I know Gast and Thomas are good brands, but there must be others that make or made suitable pumps. The variety of pumps for sale is mind boggling, so it would be very helpful to have more info available.
     
  2. Chris Lawrence

    Chris Lawrence

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Jackson, NJ
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    Frugal vacuum chuck has finished his testing and is getting a new pump in sometime in November. You can go to his website and send him an email to get on the early notification list.
     
  3. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    650
    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    Gee, I thought Bob Leonard was going to retire retire, that is retire from his retirement career of making Frugal Vacuum Chuck kits. It's good to see he changed his mind on that.

    I can strongly endorse his product and customer service.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  4. Chris Lawrence

    Chris Lawrence

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    Ya when i saw he was still going to continue i stopped my search and am holding out until he gets the new pump. What ever pump he gets i am sure is going to work well.
     
  5. Jason Goodrich

    Jason Goodrich

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Portland, OR
    Bob’s chucks are back in stock now. I ordered one this morning.
     
  6. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Baltimore, MD
    Ric,
    You ask a good question about sources of information. I searched a few months ago when I was thinking of putting my system together. I found good information in Doc Green’s “Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning”, as well as lots of information in the archives of this site, with a bit of digging. If you’re at all mechanically inclined (aren’t we all?) I think assembling your own system with a used pump, of which there are several on eBay right now, is very satisfying and of course economical. Mine has been a game changer for me since I have it up and running. I’ve left my Longworth and donut chucks on the wall since I’ve been using the vacuum. It sets up in moments and is widely versatile. Yesterday my wife asked for a small bowl for cooking ingredients. It took no time to make and to finish off on the vacuum chuck.
    All that being said, I don’t know where you’ll find lots of additional information about other brands and specifications, but even if you limit your search to Gast and Thomas, I think there are lots of choices out there. These pumps are made for continuous duty, hardly what a turner will give them. If you happen to get one that’s had a hard life, inexpensive rebuild kits are available to renew them. F44021FA-DFDD-4861-9A9A-B32162AC04C0.jpeg
     
  7. William Rogers

    William Rogers

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Haubstadt, Indiana
    I can only comment on the Thomas (such as the 2660) and Gast rocker piston pumps. In the early 80’s I worked in the medical device mfg. where these pumps were used for oxygen concentrators. I know there are many other uses for them. They are very simple. I own three of them. I use one for my lathe and the other two I rotate for my lake as a aeration pump. The lake pump runs 24/7 for about two years before I rebuild it. I buy the rebuild kits off Ebay for about $40. They are simple to rebuild. If I polish the pistons I can get over 27 in.hg. Really very little change in design since the early 80’s.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

    Joined:
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    7,406
    Location (City & State):
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    look up vacuum pumps in the American Woodturner archives. There were at least 3 different articles and tips on building and purchasing a pump. That should give you all the info you need for what you need. Then of course it's finding that info on the actual manufacturers site.
     
  9. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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  10. Chris Lawrence

    Chris Lawrence

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    Ordered mine last night its already in the mail. Usps says its arriving Tuesday. Looking forward to finishing the bottoms of this pile of bowls i have been accumulating.
     
  11. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    I buy mine from Bill Noble. He knows a lot about pumps, got a spare one from him too. He has a great article in his website. https://www.wbnoble.com/index.html
     
  12. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    I just turned the foot on a bowl today, first time I've used the vacuum chuck on this lathe. Bowl is 19" dia. Here I just wiped one the first coat of GF Bowl Finish

    The pump was about $130 from Amazon, 5CFM, vacuum gauge (Amazon $14).

    The pump is not oilless, so does spit a mist of oil vapor over a period of time. That's why I have the towel over the exhaust port.



    (Okay, no comments on the bowl, it's my 7th (completed) lathe project)
     

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