high vacuum pump for vacuu-form

At our last meeting, Brad mentioned that the high vacuum pump we currently have would be more trouble to repair than replace. Considering that Harbor Freight has vacuum pumps which meet our needs for $80, he suggested we go that way. I agree.

I am simply writing this here because Brad was on the remote feed and not everyone may have heard the discussion (some of it had to be typed, due to bad audio).

This is not a vote. Just an FYI and opportunity to criticize Brad’s idea(s).

I can speak/type more about this.

The orange beast on the bottom shelf is an awesome vacuum pump but spews a mist of oil and air out the exhaust port when run (off 220v). They sell oil separators for the unit but we would also need to get some adapters to connect things. Since it is a fancy pump used with electron microscopes nothing is cheap.

I can make a vote proposal to get a “good enough” vac pump for around $100. Should we also fold in another shop vac for the system? I think one runs around $100. I’ll write up a vote proposal for $200 to get the equipment.

Have we gotten an owner for this? I’m thinking it would be part of the FabLab warden responsibility.

Writing from FL beaches. :sun_with_face:


A brief glance at some catalog seems to indicate that a mist seperator for that beast would be more than $200. It’s also kinda overkill.

As far as shopvac goes, would a mini work? https://www.shopvac.com/product/shop-vac-2-5-gallon-2-5-peak-hp-hangon-wet-dry-vac-catnum:2036000

I have one and love it. It’s just as powerful as the big one I have, but comes with wall mount and could actually be mounted to the vacuu-form. We could try mine first, but it is 10 years old, so won’t be quite as powerful as a new one. Another full size seems like it would be bulky and clutter the space, or just wander off to collect sawdust…


I use the harbor freight vac for home and car ac’s. It has worked awesome for me and after the first oil change after break in, I went to a high grade oil to keep it going as long aa possible. I have 4 years on mine now and its still running strong.

Aa for a shop vac that home depot vac head that is made to go on top of 5 gallon buckets does very well for the 24 bucks i think it is.

I own one of those buckethead vacs, if we want to try it before buying one for the Hive.

There are also usually decent cheap used shopvacs on Craigslist most of the time. They don’t hold value very well.

  • Ry

I have a ShopVac ® that I would gladly part with for $25. Works fine, I just have too many in the home shop (don’t ask!).


Sold. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Falls under the area warden budget.

OK, should be by sometime next week.