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Thread: DIY Vacuum Chamber For Stablizing Wood

  1. #1
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    DIY Vacuum Chamber For Stablizing Wood

    I made one before out of some PVC pipe, but that did not work well, poor design on my part

    I was working on this chunk of wood that Vaughn sent me, a piece of >> Spalted Alder << and man it was punky in spots, for the life of me, I could not get any really nice clean cuts, on certain areas, I tried my entire bag of tricks, but the wood was just simply tearing out like crazy.

    I decided I needed to try something besides CA glue, but to do any kind of soaking that would work, I'd need to really stick the piece in a Vacuum Chamber and really saturate it.

    I was talking to my lovely wife about this, and asked her assistance on finding a good used pressure cooker on auction or even a reasonably priced one for sale. She asked me how big it had to be, I wanted a fair sized pot, but I did not need anything huge. She suggested that she buy a new one, and I get her old one......... DEAL


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    here is the bottom of the pot, it is fairly old, but well taken care off, and of good quality.

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    I checked the safety valve, and as this was a pressure cooker before, and now I'm using it as a vacuum chamber, I took out the safety valve and reversed it......... honestly do not know if that will work, but it seems like a good idea.....

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    So then I hook up my vacuum pump with the stabilizing solution and the spalted Alder piece in there, turn on the pump......... and get all kinds of fluid into my vacuum hoses and air filter

    I had to clean the whole system but at least the fluid did not get past the air cleaner, so the pump is OK..........

    Plan "B"........

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    I got my Mighty Vac out of the bike garage, and used it, seemed to work

    We shall see how this goes
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    There are a lot of people who use brake bleeding pumps for pulling a vacuum. Harbor Freight seems to be the favorite. I haven't seen one so I can't say how they work. There is a lot of information on the penturning sites on pressure/vacuum stabilizing. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Yep, the "Mighty Vac" is a hand operated vacuum pump designed for bleeding brakes.



    Specifications:



    Packaged Weight:
    Packaged Size:

    Pump Displacement:
    Max. Vacuum:
    Max. Pressure: 12.8 oz (360 g)
    10 1/4" x 7 1/2" x 2 1/4"
    (260 mm x 190 mm x 57 mm)
    1 cu. in. (16 cc) per stroke
    25 in. Hg (85 kPa)
    25 psi (172 kPa)
    Should be good enough, I guess.........
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Yep, the "Mighty Vac" is a hand operated vacuum pump designed for bleeding brakes.





    Should be good enough, I guess.........


    I recall some have said that, since you are using solvents, the life of the plastic pump is limited. But they are cheap and probably OK for occasional use.

  5. #5
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    Frank, I've had this little pump for about 10 years, and let me tell you, brake fluid is nasty stuff, and the pump is just fine
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Stu, Thanks for documenting this! What do you use as a stabilizing solution?

  7. #7
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    I have this stuff that is used for a primer of sorts on the old style wall covering here, called Wara Juraku is composed of natural sand, straw and clay. This stuff looks fairly nice, but if you touch it, it rubs off. A lot of people want to paint over it, in old houses, so the stuff I have is designed to be rolled on,with a long nap roller, to hold this stuff in place, then, when it dries you can paint it.

    I hope it works......
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Stu thanks for the info.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Frank, I've had this little pump for about 10 years, and let me tell you, brake fluid is nasty stuff, and the pump is just fine
    Barry beat me to it. But that will never stop a stupid joke.

    You stabilize with brake fluid?


  10. #10
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    Actually, without the yuks, fumes from such things as Acetone can be hard on plastic things.

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