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Thread: vacuum bagging help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    203

    Default vacuum bagging help

    I need to vacuum bag a few small parts. I have most everything I need other than a small vacuum pump. I could use my compressor with a Venturi generator, but really don't want loud compressor running all night while resin sets up. I am a bit confused as to specs I will need. Higher CFM but not likely and how much max vacuum required to bend small/thin wood over mold. So looked at a bunch of small vacuum pumps online, with prices between $150 and $400 and watched a bunch of videos. I don't want to end up going too cheap and it not being suitable for various projects down the road. Any recommendations on brands and specs needed? Oil or dry motor? Your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Trenton, ME
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Gast makes good vane and diaphragm pumps. They show up used on Craigslist, eBay, and surplus vendors such as NRI. A 1/4 hp vane pump was able to handle 5’ by 15’ panels. WEST and Fiberglast sites have tutorials with guidelines.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    From what I have read so far, oil or vane pumps are more efficient but require more maintenance, but can reach higher vacuum pressure. Will I need anything lower than 5 PA as most pumps and kits seem to be rated at this?

  4. #4

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Perhaps this document from the Gougeon brothers / West System will be helpful: https://www.westsystem.com/wp-conten...Bag-7th-Ed.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Walnut Creek,ca,usa
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Can’t speak to exact specs, but the (probably cheap ,oil type) pump we got off eBay had plenty of suck for 4x8 panels, but constantly blows a fine mist of oil out. We just set it up near a fan in a window. We were only running it for maybe two hours tops using titebond cold set glue . Much longer than that would get old. Veneersupplies.com has pumps and info . Gougeon Bros. Has a lot of info available. I’d go oil less next time. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    I now use a small Gast diaphragm pump and love it, but at 1/2 CFM it takes a while for the bag to come down and if you have lots of leaks, you won't develop enough pressure to find them. The advantages of the diaphragm pump are that it is very quiet and doesn't use much juice and it doesn't get hot. I sometimes use the vacuum cleaner to pull the air out of the bag before plugging the pump in. Mine cost around $200 and has run thousands of hours trouble-free.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    203

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Thanks for all the feedback. It seems the Gast is the most commonly quoted brand. I probably went a little overkill and ordered a 1 HP, 12 CFM, rotary oil unit that can get down to 1 PA. Would like the option to have enough vacuum to bend some wood over forms rather than just bag composite parts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Morgan View Post
    Perhaps this document from the Gougeon brothers / West System will be helpful: https://www.westsystem.com/wp-conten...Bag-7th-Ed.pdf
    Already have the bagging kit for air compressor Venturi and manual, just needed a source of vacuum instead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
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    203

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    My little pump only cost $300 Cdn. and will not run that much. Likely not more than a 10 days per year, so likely it will outlast me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    2,283

    Default Re: vacuum bagging help

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Tait View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. It seems the Gast is the most commonly quoted brand. I probably went a little overkill and ordered a 1 HP, 12 CFM, rotary oil unit that can get down to 1 PA. Would like the option to have enough vacuum to bend some wood over forms rather than just bag composite parts.
    Just curious as to how you will use the vacuum to bend the wood? I have a couple of vane pumps, 1 & 2 hp. Used on a defunct project for a big cat. The larger one was for 40 x 6 ft side panels for the hull, hi density foam sandwich.

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