This Bike Pump Now Sucks

Pulling a vacuum is something every proud maker must do once in a while. Whether you’re degassing epoxy or vacuum forming parts, you’ll need a reliable pump to get the job done. [drcrash] has just the guide to help – on how to convert a regular handpump to vacuum duty. (Video embedded after the break.)

[drcrash] recommends starting with a Slime brand 2060-A pump or similar. It’s a basic hand pump, with no pressure gauges or other frills to get in the way. It’s also got a strong steel shaft that can hold up to repeated use. You’ll also need some tubing and a check valve to get the job done.

The basic concept is to reconfigure the pump to suck air out of things rather than blowing it into them. By removing the original check valve and installing one in the opposite direction, and reversing the pump’s piston, it’s possible to pull good vacuum without breaking a sweat. [drcrash] reports that it’s possible to go up to 11 psi below atmospheric with this setup, which is plenty for a wide range of applications. If you need to go further, you can try building your own turbomolecular pump instead.


18 thoughts on “This Bike Pump Now Sucks

    1. The potential energy is much more when doing pressure, the 1 inch steel in a turbomolecular pump is only there to protect from a potential failure of the blades rotating at 30000+ rpm, the worst that could happen to the pump is collapsing, it is metal after all… The glass jar on the other hand…

  1. The Instructable calls for a pressure valve, it might be worth a couple extra bucks to get one designed for vacuum.
    “Backflow-Prevention Valve for Vacuum Service” 4610K13 McMaster

  2. I found a rubber dinghy pump that goes both ways with either hookup. Double acting too! Quick to deploy, quick to strike. It’s four or more inches in diameter, so it pulls less hard but with more volume. I have never met a drain it would not free by hot water and suction. A clear hose from the drain goes to the tank, look at the crud! Close any vent valve or overflow port first. It has a pressure cooker pot as a wet catcher before the gunk would get to the pump. Pressure just makes clog worse, suction breaks it up in reverse of formation.

    The foot style bicycle tire pump would be handy when you need those hands. Vacuum pickup tool?

  3. If you take a normal airbrush compressor, you open the head and reverse the plate with the valve, and voila you have a nice vacuum pump….
    it maybe possible to do this on cheap electric 12V tire inflator.

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