DIY ForumCategory: Infusion LayupsWhere can I get a cheap vacuum pump for DIY layups?
Ann Staff asked 3 years ago
4 Answers
Common Fibers Staff answered 2 years ago

I’d recommend a simple vacuum pump off of Amazon. I’d recommend ~6 CFm and 1/2 HP. We use a Mastercool Pump, but I am sure there are other good ones.

Geoff answered 2 years ago

This is 5 months down the road, so I don’t know if Ann will ever see it, but a fridge compressor makes a good vac pump. I got one for free from a neighbourhood fix-it shop. He easily had 20 old fridges out back!
A fridge compressor will pull to somewhere around 25 to 27″ of mercury or almost 2 atmospheres. This is ample for bagging. The volume will be low. This could be a problem for infusion methods. Fridge compressors normally run as a sealed unit with oil lubricating the pump vanes. Deconstruction may have spilt the oil and you will need to inject oil. You will need to use a catch-basin on both the sucking end and the outlet end, to avoid spouting oil around the shop: the outlet might spit at you and the inlet might spill. 
Getting a vacumn bagging pump for free: priceless!

Geoff answered 2 years ago

I forgot to add:
I made a ‘catch basin’ out of a Mason jar and an old sealing lid. I found some barbed end to compression fittings at Home Depot. I drilled 2 holes large enough for the compression fitting side, and effectively bolted the fitting through the lid, with some silicone seal to ensure that it was airtight. One side in, one side out. A little bit cheaper than the $100 plus listings on Amazon!

Ann Livingston answered 1 year ago

Great, thanks Geoff! I ended up going with the Mastercool and have used it without issue for the last year.