I needed a small vacuum chamber to degass clear casting resin. So I made one.
Note: I would seriously recommend against using acrylic sheet in this application.
When it fails, it fails catastrophically, potentially showering the area with very sharp
fast fragments. While we're on this subject, you are responsible for anything you do, not me.
Following these instructions is not recommended unless you have a good understanding of the
For the vacuum source, I use a normal compressor. Any one will do, just as long as you can
attach to the suction side (the side that normally has a filter on it). To attach, I just
used a 15mm PEX pipe section which I screwed into the fitting, unscrewed then covered in
PTFE tape then screwed back in again. I then reduce the 15mm pipe down to 8mm PEX pipe,
since it's more flexible. At the other end of the pipe, I again bring it back up to 15mm
with a straight pipe adapter. This is easily good down to -27 inches of mercury (0.1 atmospheres).
Bits you'll need
To get the air out, you'll need a hole. I used a 15mm "speedfit" plastic tank connector, for which I drilled a 28mm hole.
You'll also need to apply a strip of neoprene to the top of the pressure cooker - The supplied
rubber ring is great at retaining pressure, not so good at holding it out.
Take the tank connector and form a neoprene gasket on the inside. This is simply taking the
neoprene strip and running it round the outside of the flange. Note that this one has already
been used and compressed, hence the dents. When you've made one complete loop, leave a small overlap.
Place the tank connector in the hole you've just cut, ensure it's centered, and screw on
the outer fitting. No need for any rubber or neoprene on the outside - The inner gasket
forms the seal.
Ready to pump down
On the bottom of the sheet of lexan I have attached neoprene feet so you can put it down
without worrying about scratching or contaminating the bottom surface.
Now all you need to do is attach a hose to your vacuum source, put the lid on,
pump it out and watch the fun :)
A small video of pumping down the chamber with 1/3 of a glass of shaving foam
(warning - The compressor is loud):