Type: Adjustable Auto-Cycling
Vacuum: Electric Pump
Page: 11 of 11
Mods and Options for the Project: EVS Electric Vacuum System
There is an astonishing number of uses for the vacuum press system ranging from degassing fiberglass to vacuum chucking projects on a wood lathe. Since the kit contains no proprietary parts, you'll find that it is highly adaptable.
Quick Conversion to Continuous-Run
It's easy to make a cycling vacuum press run continuously. You'll need a light switch and some suitable wire to complete this modification. Simply connect a wire from the normally closed tab on the vacuum controller to one of the terminals on a light switch. Then connect a wire from the common tab to the other terminal on the light switch. Click on the image to enlarge the drawing or click here to see an alternate version of this wiring method.
That will by pass the switching ability of the vacuum controller so the pump runs non-stop. When engaged, the light switch will bypass the vacuum controller's switching and allow the electrical current into the system regardless of the vacuum level in the reservoirs. When disengaged, the system will return to auto-cycling on and off to maintain the pressure set by the vacuum controller.
Why would you want this option?
Unnecessary stresses are placed on a pump if it cycles on and off too frequently. If you are using the vacuum press system for vacuum chucking or vacuum clamping and the system is cycling on and off very often (every 30 seconds), you might wish to consider this option.
If you plan to move your vacuum press around frequently, you might find it convenient to store the power cord on the back of the press. To do this, I picked up a pair of coat hooks from the hardware store and mounted them on the vacuum press as shown below. When I need to carry the system from place to place, I wrap the power cord around these hooks. Then I coil up the vacuum tube and place it over the handle on the carrier.
I've wanted to adapt the vacuum press system for vacuum clamping for quite some time. Of course it's not too difficult to hook the vacuum line from the system directly to a clamping board but I wanted something more durable and easier to use. The biggest restriction from making this adaptation a reality was the on/off control of the vacuum to the clamping jig. I wanted to build something that could shut off the vacuum without depleting the vacuum reservoirs.
Click here for details.
With a vacuum chuck, you can use the vacuum press to hold small bowls onto the lathe so you can finish up the bottoms without showing any machine markings. One nice thing about this add-on is that it allows you to easily monitor the vacuum level on the work piece. When the needle on the gauge is above 18" of Hg, you know that the project is ready to be turned. And with the vacuum valve and bleeder, it also allows you to pre-fit the work piece with light vacuum so you can center the project on the jig easily without having to have an extra set of hands to control the vacuum source. So I spent a few weekends trying to figure out how to do it.
Click here for details.
What Are You Doing With Your Vacuum Press?
Feel free to send pictures and a brief summary of what you are doing with your vacuum press. I'd be happy to post it here. Share your vacuum success stories and you'll make this site more helpful to your fellow woodworkers!
Click here to see pictures of dozens of user-built vacuum press systems.