Refrigerator compressor vacuum bagging

I was looking up some construction tricks and ran across this little gem. Vacuum bagging is used to compress/remove air from resin/fiberglass/carbon lay-ups. This setup uses a common refrigerator pump with some plumbing to create the constant vacuum necessary.


  1. mahder pwned says:

    dude sweet

  2. mahder pwned says:

    is i now the leader of first post? since i like posted like 20 mins after the thing came up??

  3. lolersticks says:

    Dude, that’s almost as cool as the “garbage mail alarm clock”

  4. hcMan says:

    Who was hitted upon such to do? found application a technique

  5. steve says:

    sorry but this is aload of rubbish this is knot a hack come on hackaday you got new softwear lets have some new hacks and no leds come on lets go love steve

  6. Mack the hack says:

    what the hell ?…it looks so lightweight and portable be easier to use dust pan and brush or better still just buy a new vacuum cleaner.if you want something that sucks this is it !

  7. Mike says:

    I’m curious. elliot you should track the trolls’ ips and see how many their actually are.

  8. orwell84 says:

    Great, steve is back. I thought we’d lose him.

  9. trebuchet03 says:

    damnit… I just threw out a mini fridge…. time to go dumpster diving :P

  10. foolsh says:

    that would be so cool as a desoldering tool Im on the lookout for an old fridge now thanks!

  11. Monster says:

    i think its used for casting fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc. since… you know… it fucking says that in the god damned description!!!

    remember the diy surfboard from a while ago? it would be used for something like that, unless my memory is wrong, it was either homemade plywood or carbon fiber.

    or watch the mythbusters episode where they tried to make the ultralight aircraft that looked like a jetpack. they used bags to create the pressure needed (through a vacuum) to make the carbon fiber form correctly.

    try to actually know what you’re talking about before you make yourself look more like a fucking idiot steve and mack. i have not read of one positive comment from you steve, and i read a very revealing comment from yourself mentioning a frisky dog and a basement. don’t come to this site if you hate it, we won’t miss you. at all. seriously, die in a fire.

  12. tom says:

    ok…i think hackaday needs a digg-type format so we can mod down some of these no-talent ass-clowns that don’t know how to spell anything.

  13. trebuchet03 says:


    wow…I somehow missed #6’s post… but thanks for making me look for it – reading that made my day :p who the hell would use a vacuum pump as floor vac…

    well, ignorance is bliss… and then you may ask: “what’s bliss?” :P

  14. crash893 says:


    you could buy this for 9.99

    it has no moving parts and can pull 28.3″ of mercury at sea level

  15. 32768 says:


    That thing requires you to have an air compressor.. Also, you’re making the mistake of believing the advertising copy from harbor freight. ;) If it actually works and you already have a big compressor (4+ CFM) then it would be pretty good.

    The nice part of this hack is that the parts are available for free at least once a week on a streetcorner near you.

    Any suggestions on how to drain the fridge once you get it? Or is everyone just dumping the refrigerent into the air?

  16. drcrash says:

    You can make a vacuum pump out of a $10 bike pump for around $18 total. It can pull 24 inches of mercury (over 3/4 of the way to a perfect vacuum) and for bagging small stuff like skateboard, RC plane wings, and maybe even surfboards, it’s fine.

    (People use a similar but smaller and slower pump for laminating skateboard decks.)

    The conversion is dead easy. Check it out:

  17. drcrash says:

    you can also convert a 12V tire inflator type air compressor to a light-duty but high-vacuum vacuum pump, suitable for vacuum bagging composites and vacuum pressing laminates.

    If your pump’s a cheapie, you shouldn’t run it continuously for more than a few minutes at a time. You’ll also need a car charger or some similarly powerful 12V power supply to run it. (Maybe an ATX PC power supply converted to a benchtop power supply.)

    If you have a gallon jug reservoir and a vacuum switch, so that it just cycles on for a little while now and then, you can leave it “on” (intermittently) overnight. (That’s the advantage over the bike pump.) That can be useful for bagging seriously bent laminates with slow-drying glues, or composites with slow-setting resins.)

  18. drcrash says:

    Ooops, forgot the link to the Instructable on converting a 12V tire inflator to a vacuum pump:

    (BTW, for bagging and veneering it’s usually easy to avoid running the pump for more than a few minutes at once. Suck most of the air out of the bag with a vacuum cleaner—or by mouth if you’re not using nasty resins—and then connect the high vacuum. (If you have a really big reservoir, empty it beforehand in a few goes, rather than all at once at the start of bagging.)

  19. It looks pretty functional to me although I am afraid it occupies too much space. Do you have a little video to see how this works?

  20. bothersaidpooh says:

    or repurpose a used car aircon pump.

    a little tip. a lot of front impacts destroy the engine and aircon radiator, but leave the pump and cables intact, so most you find at scrapyards are typically fine.

    a surplus fan or drill motor can be modified with a simple drive belt recovered from a broken vacuum cleaner and the resulting setup is fully adjustable as well as the motor being replaceable should it fail in use.

    you may however need to find the wiring diagram for the compressor as some have a magnetic clutch to engage the drive..

  21. hijama says:

    how much vacuum in torr can a fridge compressor can made.

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