Can Stabilizing Resin damage a vacuum pump? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Can Stabilizing Resin damage a vacuum pump?

I was looking at vacuum pumps online today and came across a web page where the manufacturer says they'll void the warranty if you use stabilizing resin without a cold trap. Has anybody heard this before? The pump I'm using is an older one that I borrowed from a friend, so I want to be sure I don't mess it up.

Here's a link: http://www.bestvaluevacs.com/rs1-f.html


Here's what it says:
•Customers using solvents such as stabilization resins (Cactus Juice™, MinWax™, Gator Venom™ etc.), alcohol and other polar solvents must use the vacuum pumps in conjunction with a cold trap for evacuations in excess of 5 minutes.
•If the consumer is using the pump for prolonged periods of time exceeding 5 minutes we require that a cold trap is used or the pump warranty is void.
•These stabilization resins have the ability to break down the internal components of the pump that are plastic resulting in a seized motor voiding all warranties.

•When evacuation exceeds 5 minutes these solvents begin to vaporize and then re-condense in the vacuum pump reservoir. Once enough solvent re-condenses in the pump displacing the oil the plastic internal components may begin to warp, melt or seize. The use of a cold trap will condense the vapors prior to making their way to the vacuum pump preventing pump damage due to excessive use. Furthermore, Minwax Wood Hardener™ is not to be used with any vacuum pumps, EVER. (A seized motor will result within the first use.)
•To prevent these issues from happening to your process, change the Oil after each vacuum pump use, Even if the use time is only 5min.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 12:27 PM
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I would not use a vacuum pump in any application where there was a chance of ANY foreign material getting into the pump.

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post #3 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 04:35 PM
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I've yet to have any issues with cactus juice messing up my pump. Something like the minwax wood Gardner, which is mostly acetone, I could see having problems, because the acetone would boil under vacuum, vaporize and get pulled into the pump. I've never seen my cactus juice boil under vacuum, so I don't imagine it'd be that much of an issue.

You do want to make sure you don't get fluid running through the line and into the pump. That will kill it in short order

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 11:11 PM
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I think that the notice is a knee jerk reaction WRT the Cactus Juice. I suspect that the seller is lumping several things together that are used in stabilizing wood without doing any investigation. Cactus Juice is much different than things like Minwax Wood Hardener which are mostly VOCs that evaporate quickly. From what I have seen, the Cactus Juice is stable even under a hard vacuum. However, the thing that concerns me is that the pump is made with plastic parts. If it were me I think that I would search for a better vacuum pump.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-11-2016, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Bill,

Those were my thoughts exactly regarding plastic parts in the pump. BTW, I'm not looking to buy that pump, it's just where I found the reference to the warranty stuff. I can see if you let the pump suck up a quart of Cactus Juice, but not otherwise. I do think I will replace my hose with clear tubing though!
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-12-2016, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Bill,

Those were my thoughts exactly regarding plastic parts in the pump. BTW, I'm not looking to buy that pump, it's just where I found the reference to the warranty stuff. I can see if you let the pump suck up a quart of Cactus Juice, but not otherwise. I do think I will replace my hose with clear tubing though!
Very, very good idea on the tubing. If you dont mind an extra tip, ive found it handy to have an overly-long hose running from the pump to the chamber, and to have the hose somehow run vertical to the chamber before looping back down to the pump. The long hose gives you a buffer zone if you do start to suck up the resin, and the extra altitude makes it harder for the resin to make it to the pump, versus having the hose running horizontally at the same elevation at the pump.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-12-2016, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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That's a great tip.

Since you've done this before, maybe you can answer another question...

What I've read so far says to run the vacuum pump continuously until you see bubbles stop coming from the wood. Would it not work to close a valve on the vacuum chamber once the max vacuum is achieved?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-12-2016, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
... Would it not work to close a valve on the vacuum chamber once the max vacuum is achieved?
No, as long as air bubbles are coming out of the wood, if you were to close the valve it is the same as having an air leak. Think of it this way -- the vacuum that is being measured is only what exists in the space above the surface of the liquid, but below the surface if air bubbles are still coming out of the wood it means that the air pressure inside the wood is still greater than what the gauge reads above the surface of the liquid. Dry wood has an amazing amount of air in it ... it's almost like a sponge with respect to the amount of empty space and solid material.

When I watched Curtis Seebeck demo this at SWAT a few years ago, he used the valve in the early part of the procedure to keep the foaming under control. There is so much air coming out of the wood that it almost looks like a bubble bath above the surface. That's why it is necessary to close the valve and let the bubbling settle down. Otherwise, there is a risk of sucking liquid into the hose. If that happens, it WILL reach the pump. When the process reaches the point that the bubbling stops then the valve can be closed and the hose removed. Then the valve can be opened to let in atmospheric air pressure.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-12-2016, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I'm hoping to have my inaugural resin infusion this weekend.

So far, I've got a $5 pressure cooker from a yard sale, a $6 piece of plexiglass to make a window in the pressure cooker so I can watch for foaming, some plumbing fittings scrounged from my parts bin, $12 worth of plumbing fittings that I bought, including a vacuum gauge, a vacuum pump borrowed from a neighbor and the priceless advice I got here. I'll post some pictures after I'm done (fingers crossed)
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-07-2016, 02:18 AM
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I've got experience using these vacuum pumps with a chamber to purge oils. What they are saying is that because you are creating a vacuum, the oils involved will become gaseous and get mixed in with the oil. So what they are talking about is using the pump/chamber excessively, purging a lot of oil gunking up the oil resulting in the resin collecting on the plastic parts of the pump and eventually ceasing the pump due to the resistance from the oil.

Also, when there is dirty oil, the pump tends to not want to work as long without a break to cool off. I run it as long as possible because when the vacuum pump is on, maintaining the vacuum, you have to have the vent valve slightly open so the pressure is consistent. After many years I can say that you will extract the oils faster the longer you do it with the pump on, but you need a good one to run 24hrs, even 6 hrs. Metal internal parts reduce this and can easily be cleaned using any kind of ISO while changing the oil. They want you to change the oil after every use, which can be expensive, but allow you to run the pump longer b4 it overheats. Watch the exhaust, when/if it gets cloudy or smokey or you smell smoke, turn it off, but get the pressure locked in cause you may not be able to turn on a hot vac until about 30-45mins sometimes, seems to be a safety feature.

Just change the oil as you have extracted oils for say 12-24 hours. You will be happy with the longer life, run time and overall performance of your pump.

But, when the pump is on, maintaining a specific pressure, the extraction of oils will be faster. You will notice right away that the bubbles will slow down dramatically after the pump is turned off and it's still under vacuum. So, try to run it as much as possible, get your money's worth out of that oil your gonna be replacing anyway. You can cut times in half, 4 times by running the pump and maintaining vacuum as opposed to getting it up to pressure and turning off the pump. I know this for a fact and have kept this in mind for many years now and have tried many times to reduce the pump use, but it just adds time to the extraction process when off. I only run it 30min, turn off, let sit til cooled and another 30 min. At first, I may run it for an hour, all depends on the pump temperature and trying to avoid overheating.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-07-2016, 02:45 AM
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So build a cold trap. A coil of copper tubing with say a half inch copper pipe mounted vertically for an accumulator after the coil. Then submerge the whole thing in a bucket of ice.

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-11-2016, 07:40 AM
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I agree with George. I use a venturi system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I would not use a vacuum pump in any application where there was a chance of ANY foreign material getting into the pump.

George
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