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Thread: Vacuum Veneering - Oil or Oilless Pump?

  1. #1
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    Vacuum Veneering - Oil or Oilless Pump?

    Just as the title says. Does anyone have trouble with the oil discharge from a oil based vacuum pump in a woodworking shop?
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  2. #2
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    I use a cheap oil vacuum pump as the vacuum source for my vacuum adapter on my lathe.

    It does spit a fine mist of oil out of the exhaust and there are filter/exhausts that can be added to minimize this vapor, re-condense and return the oil, but I just place a loose towel over the port and this seems to capture and condense the mist.

    If you are concerned about the mist settling on and around your shop or workpiece, you can always extend the tube from you vacuum bagging area to the pump and maybe locate the pump where it's more suitable.

  3. #3
    I've always used an oilless pump. Some of the oil pumps are designed for air conditioning work. They will pull a very deep vacuum but they're somewhat slow. And you don't need a really hard vacuum for veneer work.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
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    How often do you use the pump. I would use a longer hose and put it outside when needed.
    Bil lD

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Just as the title says. Does anyone have trouble with the oil discharge from a oil based vacuum pump in a woodworking shop?
    Some notes by "Joe Woodworker" on vacuum pumps, perhaps useful. (I bought a piston pump and components from him to build his EVS design.)

    https://www.joewoodworker.com/veneer...cuum-pumps.htm

  6. #6
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    My first vacuum press had an oil pump which I got nearly for free. It was a mess. I built a filter for the outlet, but it was still annoying. I replaced it pretty quickly.

  7. #7
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    This is all good stuff. Thanks to all so far. I was a little put off by the combination of Joe not selling oil pumps and talking them down; no offense intended to Joe. The comments here and elsewhere help me see that the reason he doesn't offer them is that they are not well suited.

    I have seen a lot of pros that veneer a lot that do not bother with a controller. Rather they let the vacuum just run for 30 minutes to an hour for the glue to set and move on. Having never vacuum veneered, I am gathering all the info I can. I will be getting a vacuum pump for an HVAC install and wanted to optimize my spending by getting a good vac pump and just using it for the install as well. Maybe this is a good time for a $50 Chinese pump for the one job and wait on the veneering pump?

    Thoughts from the collective?
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  8. #8
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    I would loan you one, if you weren't on the opposite side of the country.

  9. #9
    HVAC pumps can run for HOURS! It often takes 24 hours or more to vacuum down large systems. Most important thing is to install a filter between bag and vacuum pump.

  10. #10
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    Last place I worked, doing composites, we had 3 or 4 of the 5 CFM JWW pumps. I couldn't begin to estimate how many hours we had on them. We'd typically hold vacuum on layups overnight. Weekends they'd plug them into a timer to shut off after 12 hours or so.

    They set them up with manifolds and valves to run multiple bags if needed.
    Never once had a problem with any of them. And they're surprisingly quiet.

    Yes, I have one at home too. The only thing I wish they had was a built in switch.

    3/8" tubing would evacuate a bag noticeably faster than 1/4", BTW.

    They had an oil pump when I started there. It always blew a little oil out. A lot more if the bag had a leak.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I would loan you one, if you weren't on the opposite side of the country.
    You’re a good man Tom. Thanks for the offer.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  12. #12
    With oil based pumps you need to change the oil frequently. This is because the oil gets contaminated with water vapor and dirt.also vacuum pump oil is pretty expensive.

    You do need to need to go into a deep vacuum with veneering.

    The purchase cost is similar so why not go with the oiless which is no muss or fuss.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    If you are concerned about the mist settling on and around your shop or workpiece, you can always extend the tube from you vacuum bagging area to the pump and maybe locate the pump where it's more suitable.
    If at all possible plumbing/ connection wise, it would be much better to run a tube from the pump's exhaust port to outside your shop than to extend the upstream volume/ distance. The only negative this way is the pump noise is still inside the shop. Also, even for small pumps a drip pan at the exhaust hose exit may be desirable.
    Last edited by Justin Meyer; 07-03-2020 at 7:56 AM. Reason: minor clarification

  14. #14
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    I picked up a surplus Gast pump for this application many years ago. It was "brand new", never used, but a pennies on the dollar surplus. I think it had a GE label slapped on it, but I don't recall at this point. I've never had to do any kind of maintenance on it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I picked up a surplus Gast pump for this application many years ago. It was "brand new", never used, but a pennies on the dollar surplus. I think it had a GE label slapped on it, but I don't recall at this point. I've never had to do any kind of maintenance on it.
    Jim, how is your oil consumption and oil discharge at the exhaust please?
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

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