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Tool Time Let's talk shop. Equipment, Tips & Tricks, Safety issues - Post it here.

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  #1  
Old 07-12-2003, 07:25 AM
Bill Vining's Avatar
Bill Vining Bill Vining is offline
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Vacuum and flammable liquids

I just acquired a new Gast Vacuum pump for stabilizing and had a thought. How dangerous is it to draw a vacuum on a vessel containing flammable liquids such as the various types of epoxys and other wood hardners? I would think that the extreme heat the pump generates or a small spark inside the pump would turn the pump ino a mini flame thrower. Should I be worried? I havn't used the pump yet but there are warnings of "This part gets very hot" all over the thing. It also sataes in the manual that that you should draw clean air only.

BTW.....the pump is an oil-less carbon vein pump.

Thanks

Bill
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:31 AM
AKmik AKmik is offline
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Howdy Bill,

I have been using my gast vac pump to apply vac to the jar set up for a while now with no incidents yet. acetone,minwax wood hardener and about every poly based finish I could get my mits on .

I am ready tho , the jar sits in a box with a lexan front and the pump is 4ft away on the floor in the shop.Fire extinguisher by the bench . I figure if the jar gives I just remove the lexan and toss the box.

right after the over flow jar I have a check valve, so once the vac is applied I just disconnect the hose going to the pump , so it dosn't get hot at all, then release and re apply the vaccume daily. It holds forever, once the wood is saturated.

I will post some pics of my set up soon, I used the guage and release mechanism from an auto hand vac pump, so you can read the vac pressure and release the vac with a press of the lever. also the check valve and lines came from the auto shop.

See ya
Mike
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2003, 09:47 AM
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Geno Geno is offline
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Never heard of one blowing up, but it is a possibility.
Any time you work with fumes or flamibles, it pays to be cautious.
Fire extinguishers are a must for safety.
Be careful!
Work safe.
Be blessed!
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:04 PM
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Bill Vining Bill Vining is offline
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I have the extinguisher at the ready. Here is a photo of my setup. The guage is huge but I picked it up cheap on Ebay. Pulls a constant 26.

Bill

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  #5  
Old 07-30-2003, 09:02 AM
PaulD PaulD is offline
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I would assume that the exhaust could be a fire hazard so I don't run my setup near anything else electrical, spark makers or smokes. The extinguiser is always near by.

I have a small ball valve inline to "shutoff" the chambers from the pump. This allows me to control the initial "boil" by just cracking the valve a little. If the chamber leaks down some, I start the pump - open the valve - close the valve - stop the pump. I try to hold at least some vacuum for a week.


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  #6  
Old 08-09-2003, 09:24 AM
N House N House is offline
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bill
Were did you buy for vacum pump from?
very nice looking set up.Have you tried B72
it works better than Min wax wood hardner.


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Old 08-09-2003, 10:05 AM
AKmik AKmik is offline
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N House,

I am just about to cut up a beautiful big maple burl thismorning. I was wondering what you use for a mixture with the B-72?

I have done abo
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:09 AM
AKmik AKmik is offline
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Too quick on the draw there.

Was just wondering if you had any measurements on the mixture you use? And if you have altered it for different woods?

Thanks
Mike
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2003, 12:40 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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I'd wrap some tape around those jars to keep the glass from flying around if one of the vessels implodes. The stuff called filament tape works great. Otherwise, I'd consider putting the vessels in one of these small plastic bins that you can buy. Glass implosions will spread the glass and contents all over a room. (Learned that in the lab the hard way! )

The valve Paul described is an excellent idea. As an alternative, I'd maybe put in a "T" with a small vent valve to accomplish the same purpose, and allow you to break the vacuum when you're done.

You will be sending acetone vapors through the pump and out the exhaust, into the room, so adequate ventilation is obvious. One way to cut that down a bit is to extend the line from the first jar down into the second, maybe an inch off the bottom, and then setting the second jar in ice. This will make a crude condenser, and possibly trap some of the vapors.

My suggestions are probably overkill, but as the safety signs said "Caution Pays". I had a vacuum implosion on a distillation unit in the lab once, and it made a heckuva mess; I was lucky, I had been watching it 10 seconds before it blew, but had turned away. Saved my eyes and face. Eyeballs don't like acetone. (Learned that the hard way, too.)
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Old 08-10-2003, 08:49 AM
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Geno Geno is offline
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I esspecially like the taping the jar hint.Makes perfect sence.
Always better safe, than sorry.Thanks
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