Adventures in Vacuum Veneering #2: Pimpin’ the Pump

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 1671 days ago 7765 reads 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting Out Part 2 of Adventures in Vacuum Veneering series Part 3: Adding a Frame Press »

Woo Hoo, this is my 1,000 post. Another checkpoint in life.

I installed a complete complement of parts to make my vacuum pump more usable. I pretty much added a kit from JoeWoodWorker and followed his lead. My pump now is on a carrier with a handle and an On/Off switch. This alone would usually be enough for me to celebrate. But there’s more…

I also added a vacuum controller that allows me to dial in the amount of pressure that I want. It is the little black box with the black tubing. It directly turns off the pump. But when you turn off a vacuum pump, you must relieve pressure to the pump, or it will not start again. Hence the Mac valve which is the blue valve sticking out from the front of the pump. It is wired in parallel with the pump. When the pump shuts down, it opens up, and relieves the pressure to the motor through a breather fitting. But there is a check, or one-way valve underneath the Mac value, and a small reservoir out of PVC pipe above it. The reservoir will hold spare vacuum and helps smooth the starts and stops of the motor.

There are two large PVC canisters that I made that hold spare vacuum. These work just like the tank on an air compressor. I also have a gauge and a shut off valve. And I installed a filter to the inlet of the pump.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

11 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3434 posts in 2473 days

#1 posted 1671 days ago

wow, neat!

-- Happy woodworking!

View Karson's profile


34853 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 1671 days ago

Great Steve. It looks somewhat like mine.

I have a mac valve also even though my pump doesn’t have a problem starting with a full vacuum. The problem that I had was the vacuum bleeding back through the pump and thereby causing it to come on sooner than normal.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#3 posted 1671 days ago

I built one pretty close to this one from joes plans also. Good job.

-- Custom furniture

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2420 days

#4 posted 1671 days ago

Steve, that is pretty neat. I have got to get into veneering one day. It looks like it would be a lot of fun.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View blackcherry's profile


3146 posts in 2421 days

#5 posted 1671 days ago

That cool stuff Steve thank for in site on building a vacuum pump…Blkcherry

View sras's profile


3780 posts in 1727 days

#6 posted 1671 days ago

This is getting interesting. Until now I have just kind of not paid attention to veneering. Now I’m starting to think about the possibilities. Just what I need – more projects!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2578 days

#7 posted 1671 days ago

Hi Steve;

Looks real good.

Congrats on the 1,000 posts.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2156 days

#8 posted 1671 days ago

I just got to get to building me one of these pumps. Veneering has really got into my blood and I want to learn how to do it myself. Got to get me a pump built.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8715 posts in 2698 days

#9 posted 1671 days ago

As craftsmen we create designs that revolve around our abilities. The vacuum press opens up a lot more possibilities with veneer and bent laminations.

You will love using this tool.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Ken90712's profile


14821 posts in 1787 days

#10 posted 260 days ago

Nice Steve I will be making one like this very soon.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View robscastle's profile


1494 posts in 802 days

#11 posted 260 days ago


Nice job on the vac, I have studied these on Joes site as well but I have not built one yet I still use my roarocket kit and hand pump, or a screw down veneer press.

-- Regards Robert

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