Adventures in Vacuum Veneering #2: Pimpin’ the Pump

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Blog entry by SPalm posted 12-27-2009 03:16 AM 11621 reads 6 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


3443 posts in 3926 days

#1 posted 12-27-2009 03:36 AM

wow, neat!

-- Happy woodworking!

View Karson's profile


35128 posts in 4452 days

#2 posted 12-27-2009 03:47 AM

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 soon moving to Virginia †

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3629 days

#3 posted 12-27-2009 03:57 AM

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

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3874 days

#4 posted 12-27-2009 04:01 AM

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


3338 posts in 3875 days

#5 posted 12-27-2009 04:10 AM

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

View sras's profile


4822 posts in 3181 days

#6 posted 12-27-2009 05:09 AM

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

6860 posts in 4031 days

#7 posted 12-27-2009 11:32 AM

Hi Steve;

Looks real good.

Congrats on the 1,000 posts.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3610 days

#8 posted 12-27-2009 05:21 PM

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

8901 posts in 4151 days

#9 posted 12-27-2009 06:56 PM

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


17563 posts in 3240 days

#10 posted 11-07-2013 10:29 AM

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

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

View robscastle's profile


5143 posts in 2256 days

#11 posted 11-07-2013 10:40 AM


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 Rob

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