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Thread: My $300(ish) vacuum press

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Stanwood, WA

    My $300(ish) vacuum press

    Hi creek,

    I have had number of people ask me how I put together a $300 vacuum press system so this thread will serve as a gloat for my new system as well as a rather simple (and I mean simple) "how to".

    First off, thanks to Bill Wyko who helped me out with some ideas and convinced me that a continuous run pump was not a bad thing. The system I will show you is the same as Bill's (Excell-1). See these threads:

    You can buy the system straight from JWW new for $299 but you will then need a bag which is going to run $100, plus shipping and you won't have the clamping system either. The 4ft x 4ft bag is the largest bag that this system will handle. Now... If you want new then buy this.

    But... if you don't mind "next to new", spending some time on the Bay, and want to save $100 read on...

    Here is what I did:
    Go on the Bay and search for "gast"... tons of pumps will come up but you will only be interested in the DOA series pump that looks like the one in the pics. Now I am not saying you have to get this pump but for the money I doubt you are going to beat it. Gast makes one of the best pumps you can buy. Also, getting this pump vice a different one will allow you to use the instructions that will come with your supplemental kit from JWW (more on that later). When the search returns the results, place a max bid for no more than $86. If it goes for more than that just wait and place another bid on a different one. Most of them wind up going final around $85 so the $86 bid should win it. Buy the time I paid for shipping, the pump was $113. Maybe you will get lucky and do better than I did.

    Now that you have the pump, go to JWW and buy the kit $79:

    While you are at it... add the vacuum clamping system with foot switch $26.90. It adds nothing extra to the shipping if your already buying the kit.

    Now go get the bag $99: (the bag closure comes with it so don't buy one)

    Resist the urge to buy the elite bag. This one will work just fine for a long time and save you $$$.

    Once you get done paying for shipping it is slightly more than $300. (it could be less if you don't want the vacuum clamp kit or if you could live with a smaller bag). If you are able to get a pump cheaper than I did you will do even better. The whole key is obviously the used pump price. These little pumps have a great reputation for long use so the used ones to me are a no-brainer.

    Once you get the kit from JWW the instructions for putting it together are great. I will caution you that these pumps are made so that they can be vacuums or compressors so you may have to open it up and change the diaphragm or reorient the hardware. Also, JWW has the pump setup so that the filter assembly. overlaps the back of the pump. You will need to set yours up that way as well. Most of the pumps on the Bay are not set up for vacuum presses but don't worry, I found the pump manual and have PDFs for the DOA series which I can e-mail to you. I also numbered the top (4) screws on my pump just to make the JWW instructions easier to follow.

    This strategy could work for any of the systems on JWW by buying the pump separately.

    The kit is real simple and you could always fire questions at me if you get stuck... yes I put it together backwards at first, but still figured it out.

    Here are some pics.
    1) The pump
    2) Numbering the top
    3) Correct way to orient the pump
    4) Compete system w/clamping and foot switch, bag, closure... the whole nine!
    5) Better shot of the foot switch

    Attached Images Attached Images

    "Everything is better with Inlay or Marquetry!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Phoenix AZ Area
    I agree that Gast pumps are great. I bought a 110V 1/2HP from years ago for $75. They only have 220V pumps right now, but you can get a new 1/4HP pump that will move even more air from them for $89. Here is a link.

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