[EMS Discuss] Vacuum Former Fundraiser Part 2 - Vacuum System

Tue Sep 24 14:11:24 PDT 2013

Long story short, I'm looking to raise $360.  Really I'm trying to get up
to $400 but I have $40 left over from the previous fundraiser that will get
put into this.  Any extra money raised will get put to the fittings, hose,
and anything on top of that will get pushed back to purchase the electrical
stuff for the last phase of the build.

$231.50 - Vacuum pump
~$150 - Vacuum tank
$18.50 - misc fittings, hose, etc.  This will likely cost more but I can
pay for these smaller bits out of pocket as needed since they aren't a big
impact on my wallet.

Now for more details!

Thanks to all of your generous donations from the last time we were able to
purchase the heater element kit and get it built and installed rather
quickly.  Now it's time to purchase all of the actual vacuum components and
get the vacuum system installed.  Unfortunately, vacuum pumps are not
cheap.  I think I found a good deal with one on Amazon.  It has good
reviews, seems to be about half-off right now, and it pulls 8CFM which is
actually more than we need.  The 8CFM pump should work up to a 2'x3'
forming surface.  If we upgrade to a 2'x4' then he recommends we get at
least a 10CFM pump.  We can always get one of those later though if needed.
 The 8CFM pump will likely still work at that size for thinner plastics.
 It will just take a long time to evacuate a larger tank with only 8CFM.

Here's the pump I'm looking at:

I have Amazon Prime so I can get free shipping on it.  The current price is
only $231.50 which is REALLY cheap for an 8 CFM pump.  In fact I was a bit
skeptical at first but all of the reviews are good so I feel comfortable
with it.  Amazon is pretty good with returns too so if it doesn't work out
I can likely return it.

The other major component is the tank.  We need somewhere around 20 gallons
for the 2x2 table.  A single 20 gallon tank is ideal but we can
theoretically use multiple smaller tanks.  It will just require more
complicated plumbing.  Another thing to think about is we ideally want a
tank that has a 1 inch opening.  This will allow the air to flow very fast
and strong.  A smaller opening will not pull the vacuum as strong.  After
some research I think we can get a 20 gallon tank with a 1" opening for
about $150 or possibly less.  I actually think this water well tank should


It goes for $150.  It supposedly has a maximum pressure rating of 100PSI.
 Since we are only using it to pull a vacuum I imagine it should only
really feel a negative pressure of 15PSI.  Does anyone have any thoughts on
this?  Any previous experience?  I'll keep looking for cheaper alternatives
before purchasing anything but I think this should work if I can't find
something else.

Lastly I'll need to buy miscellaneous hoses, fittings, etc to hook
everything up.  I'm not too concerned about this part since I can buy the
smaller parts slowly with my own money out of pocket and it won't be a big
hit on my wallet.  Of course any extra money that comes in will go towards
this and to the final stage (electrical wiring).

If you can donate anything more to this project, please reply and let me
know!  If you are a member of OCCU you can transfer money directly to me.
 I also have a paypal account, google wallet account, and of course I can
meet up with you at EMS if needed.

Thanks again!
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