View Full Version : Making a Vacuum Pump

09-11-2012, 10:06 AM
Right, have been scouring the net for a good pump, have so far found this:


By the look of it, the apparent look of it (emphasis) it can be made or used for distillations etc… judging by the end with the metallic tip, it looks as though it can be cut off and a tube attached that would fit a standard outlet if needed although I have no idea what the device is actually for (and neither does the seller). Assume it vacuums with the end tip or creates a vacuum in the bottle.

Confusion abound I stumbled on:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-DC-2-STAGE-VACUUM-PUMP-KIT-silicone-resin-degas-small-lab-hobby-/260954242025?pt=UK_BOI_Medical_Lab_Equipment_Lab_E quipment_ET&hash=item3cc215bbe9

After some research then discovered that it shouldn’t be too difficult to create an efficient pump from one of these… having the suction end go into a mason jar and another end coming out to avoid moisture issues that may otherwise effect the pump itself…


^^ Has a pump taking the air from inside a jar with in/outlets, this would not avoid it taking in moisture, again a relay would be needed in and out of a second jar in order to make this suitable for lab experiments.
In my opinion. *”Stares wide eyed at the screen briefly**

Anyone out there have a pump or has made their own?


09-11-2012, 01:15 PM
Anyone out there have a pump or has made their own?
If you have an air compressor, it can be converted to vacuum pump easily, by locating the air inlet and fitting a tube there.
Yes, a mason jar in between air compressor and the distillation setup can be used (for safety reasons).

09-11-2012, 02:43 PM
Forgive me my ignorance, but for what reason one uses a vacuum pump?

09-11-2012, 03:29 PM
^ To use lower temperatures during distillations or while using an extractor, although my main intent is to macerate any product in vacuum, fully sealed in a boiling flask. Loose less 'goodies' the less heat is used in certain operations. Am being neurotic though. Its not necessary .lol.

So, air compressor, have scoured once again and have dug up:

Amazon link to product (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mini-Airbrush-Compressor-With-AS186/dp/B004Y4JSPQ/ref=pd_cp_diy_3)

By the look of it, the air inlet is at the front.... has to be the inlet.... **is no mechanic** Its basically a vacuum pump .lol. Hardly much to tinker with although I'd still adapt a mason jar as per the above to keep the product safe.

Further scrawling found an airbrush who did not pretend:

Air Brush Vacuum Pump (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Airbrush-Mini-Compressor-4bar-and-Vacuum-Pump-in-one-AS20W-oil-free-/330790504456?pt=UK_Crafts_DrawingSupplies_EH&hash=item4d04a68808)

09-11-2012, 04:17 PM
Same company make an even smaller compressor, looks like it'll be as quiet as a mouse, one that chugs like a moped engine but does so discreetly:

Air Compressor (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Airbrush-Mini-Compressor-Type-AS18-2-piston-compressor-oil-free-150W-/330790497032?pt=UK_Crafts_DrawingSupplies_EH&hash=item4d04a66b08)

The vacuum pump version in the post above has a pressure reader, always helpful but am sure one can simply be attached to a hose and used, measures resistance so any slack on its end should be read.

Also came upon this....

Solder De-fumer (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Solder-Fume-Extraction-System-Smoke-Absorber-Aoyue-933-washable-filter-/330790496553?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item4d04a66929)

Now this has two purposes that'd prove useful to the home alchemist .lol. The label of the valve says it all really, again would need to relay into a jar. Perfect for use with a small kiln suppose if you're calcining (final stages) in doors you could attach a hose and extend it to a multiple styled attachment without much trouble... you could then fabricate a fume hood from simple plastic, cut a large bucket in half perhaps and attach the hose inlets inside, this model would likely be too small and feeble... would consider using a vacuum cleaner, one of those cheap Henry type ones you see in an office.... fill the inside compartment with a cut out foam insert thats porous enough to keep a steady flow going, then adapt the hose end to suit... but this would not be a vacuum pump and it is vacuum pumps we are concerned about here... not sure if I'll go for the mouse like compressor and enjoy using it outside of its given purpose or lame out and use the compressor that doth not pretend, for the sake of convenience and a well functioning pressure reader.

09-11-2012, 08:46 PM
My opinion is, if you going to buy something new from the internet, dont buy a compressor, try to find a real vacuum pump with this money. The idea was to find in your local store a cheap, second hand compressor, they are used everywhere.
I have done this compressor to vacuum pump "conversion" once. In my compressor, there was an air filter I had to remove (unscrew) and the air inlet was found easily. I don't know if this is so easy to do with other models, especially the small ones, maybe their air filter is glued or sth, I don't know. I just say this so you can check the air filter "removability" before you buy.

09-17-2012, 12:43 PM

This is what you really want. I bought one on eBay for $180, competing to the last 3 seconds.The Gast DOA-P704 was recommended to me by a biochemist who posts in Chemistry & Pharmacology at shroomery.org, and believe me, he knows what he's doing with vacuum distillations of organics.

I tried to create a source of vacuum with small carpet vac and Mason jars, but a Gast will chug along all day. I am not proficient at this (I'm accumulating equipment for retirement in 1-3 years), but be sure to insert a glass tube with a fire-drawn pinpoint hole into the distilling flask. In fact, look up vacuum distillation procedures on YouTube (I have an educational filter here at work or I'd post one for you).

09-17-2012, 02:36 PM
Interesting, having a look on ebay now, their search engine has to be the most frustrating looking under one topic doesn't reveal much from another, in searching for a Gast pump its now thrown up all kinds of options and used bits and bobs.

Tried to convert an air compressor today to no avail, maplins (UK) had one for £20. Dismantled it and gave it a whirl only to find that its air intake wasn't effective enough and that it also required pressure on its end valve, connected to a tyre for it to then draw air in from a piston pump at its rear.... the air intake was at the top but it didn't look so good so didn't get that far.

Gast looks good, my inquisitive side is dwelling on this...


Most Gast products are sold Stateside by the look of it... pricey over here in the UK.

09-17-2012, 06:23 PM
Hmmm. You'd really need to throw a couple of pressure gauges on that, with needle-valves to control the flow. I appreciate the price differential there vs. the States. :(

03-12-2013, 02:11 AM
I use either a water aspirator :


or a hand pump vacuum. Mine came with a buchner funnel separation kit:


Both work and are much cheaper and quieter than a compressor.