Author Topic: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS  (Read 11212 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mculik5

  • Posts: 52
Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« on: May 04, 2016, 04:02 PM »
I'm considering purchasing a VAC-SYS. Unfortunately, I can't justify spending $1300 on the set with the vacuum pump, as I'm just a hobbyist. So, I'm thinking about buying the clamp itself and providing my own vacuum pump.

I called Festool directly, and they told me a number of guys are doing this. Basically, they are cutting the end off the clamp hose, replacing the European quick-connector with a North American one, and connecting to a non-Festool vacuum pump.

Has anyone on this forum done this? Any vacuum pump recommendations? There are many pumps available on Amazon, but I've heard complaints that the oil-filled pumps put an oil mist in the air, and the dry pumps aren't rated for continuous use.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline rst

  • Posts: 1537
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 06:03 PM »
I've done this, I use a 20 year old (for me) used refrigeration vac pump that I bought for $15.00, probably that low as it is 220V.  I replaced the inlet fitting with a barbed Milton.  Warning the barb is larger than the 9mm hose so it took some effort to insert.  I finally clamped the hose to my bench and thumped it in with a rubber hammer.  I also installed push/pull pneumatic fittings to to the vac units to make assembling and storing the units and hoses easier. 

Offline Greg Powers

  • Posts: 2224
  • Metric convert
    • Stargate Unofficiial
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 07:12 PM »
On Amazon you can buy a Refrigerator vacuum pump for as little as $40, BUT it is only .05 mbars at 4 CFM. The Festool pump is 150 mbars at 3CFM. That kind of pump on Amazon starts at around $500. Still a $300 dollar savings.
Greg Powers
Size:XL

Offline Nat X

  • Posts: 231
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 07:22 PM »
McMaster Carr has some with similar specs, but they're only a little bit cheaper. I'm not a big fan of the goofy housing they came up with for North America, but it's a very rugged little sucker that runs nearly as quiet as an airbrush compressor. Assuming that "hobbyist" also means "working in a limited space which other people also occupy," and "don't want to spend weeks chasing down specialized fittings you don't already have drawers full of" I for one think it's a justifiable expenditure. It's (counterintuitively) the folks with big shops full of stationary equipment who I think stand to gain the least from the Festool branded one.

Offline Steve-Rice

  • Posts: 291
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 09:45 PM »
Try veneersupplies.com, they have a great pump for $329.50. He has good prices on vacuum bags as well.

http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Vacuum-Pump---55-CFM-120v-AC-240v-AC.html
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 09:51 PM by Steve-Rice »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3476
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 11:26 PM »
Milwaukee vacuum pump from a cement core drill.

242998-0

I kept the Festo connectors because they're that good.

243000-1

Festool Vac SYS clamping module.

243002-2

Offline Claimdude

  • Posts: 301
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2016, 11:43 PM »
I attended the Festool Roadshow in San Antonio yesterday morning and talked to the rep about the Vac-Sys, also got to mess with it. Hard to believe the hold that thing has. Anyway he said the housing for the US was designed because they couldn't get UL approval for the style they sell over seas and that the metal tub frame actually stores the vacuum pressure, if I am describing that correctly. All my Festool stuff stays in the shop and most without the systainers so the roll cage style is good for me. I will be ordering mine tomorrow.

Jack

Offline mculik5

  • Posts: 52
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 10:28 AM »
Thanks for the replies. They raise a few more questions, though.

The Festool rep I talked to mentioned the 150mbar. I don't understand this spec. I don't know much about vacuum pumps, but my understanding is:

- The more CFM it pumps, the quicker it will pull a vacuum, and the more frequently I can clamp/un-clamp stuff without losing vacuum and having to wait.
- The higher the max vacuum, the stronger the clamp.

150mbar is 2.2PSI. Assuming this is a reverse measure of max vacuum, with 14.7PSI being standard sea level air pressure, your clamping pressure would be 14.7 - 2.2 = 12.5PSI. What I don't understand, though, is the comment about the cheap Amazon pumps pulling .05mbar. If my logic above is correct, .05mbar is a better vacuum and MORE clamping pressure than 150mbar. But that doesn't make sense based on the prices...

Other questions:

- Does anyone know what fittings Festool use on this? Even if not the manufacturer, maybe the standard?

- Would one these guys work? - http://www.amazon.com/FJC-6912-Vacuum-Pump-5-0/dp/B000XQ2S4M/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1462458272&sr=8-8&keywords=vacuum+pump What is the difference between a pump like this and the $329 one on the veneering website? Quality, for sure, but from a performance/functionality perspective, anything?

Part of my reasoning for not wanting the Festool one, besides the price, is I want to use it for other applications, too, and am concerned about not being able to get quick connect fittings for my other projects to match Festool.

Thanks!

Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2016, 11:01 AM »
Thanks for the replies. They raise a few more questions, though.

The Festool rep I talked to mentioned the 150mbar. I don't understand this spec. I don't know much about vacuum pumps, but my understanding is:

- The more CFM it pumps, the quicker it will pull a vacuum, and the more frequently I can clamp/un-clamp stuff without losing vacuum and having to wait.
- The higher the max vacuum, the stronger the clamp.

150mbar is 2.2PSI. Assuming this is a reverse measure of max vacuum, with 14.7PSI being standard sea level air pressure, your clamping pressure would be 14.7 - 2.2 = 12.5PSI. What I don't understand, though, is the comment about the cheap Amazon pumps pulling .05mbar. If my logic above is correct, .05mbar is a better vacuum and MORE clamping pressure than 150mbar. But that doesn't make sense based on the prices...

Other questions:

- Does anyone know what fittings Festool use on this? Even if not the manufacturer, maybe the standard?

- Would one these guys work? - http://www.amazon.com/FJC-6912-Vacuum-Pump-5-0/dp/B000XQ2S4M/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1462458272&sr=8-8&keywords=vacuum+pump What is the difference between a pump like this and the $329 one on the veneering website? Quality, for sure, but from a performance/functionality perspective, anything?

Part of my reasoning for not wanting the Festool one, besides the price, is I want to use it for other applications, too, and am concerned about not being able to get quick connect fittings for my other projects to match Festool.

Thanks!

Your logic is correct, .05 mBar (also known a 5 Pascals) is a deeper vacuum than 150 mBar.  The thing to watch out for is the CFM ratings and what pressure / vacuum it applies to.  There are many types of vacuum pumps and depending on the type of pump; 1 stage, 2 stage, 3 stage, rotary, piston etc. they can have great sounding CFMs at standard atmospheric pressure (nameplate ratings) but the CFM rate curves deteriorate rapidly as the vacuum builds. This means a single stage rotary vac pump like the $40 ones can in theory eventually get to very deep vacuum but it can take far longer than would be acceptable for clamping etc.

Similar is true on compressors, CFM rates drop as psi increases - look at your compressor ratings - they will be higher CFM at 40 psi than at 90 psi

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 60
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 11:10 AM »
I'm also interested in understanding the pluses and/or minuses of using a Non-Festool pump?  Especially for small shops where the pump will be mounted to a work bench.  Replacing a $800+ pump with a $350 pump looks attractive especially if its a limited life item. It appears the heads are the real engineering IP ...   


http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Vacuum-Pump---55-CFM-120v-AC-240v-AC.html   

http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Foot-Valve-for-Vacuum-Clamping-14-NPT-3-Way-2-Position.html

Offline Festoolian

  • Posts: 12
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2016, 12:53 PM »
The math works more like this:  150mbar =2.2psi.  If the diameter of the seal at the edge of the vacuum is 6 inches, then the total holding force developed is ( area (pi X 3 X 3)sq in) X ( pressure drop 2.2psi)= 62.3 lbs. force.  The 0.05mbar pump could only produce 0.0218 lbs. force to hold an object over the same area. 


Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 01:35 PM »
The math works more like this:  150mbar =2.2psi.  If the diameter of the seal at the edge of the vacuum is 6 inches, then the total holding force developed is ( area (pi X 3 X 3)sq in) X ( pressure drop 2.2psi)= 62.3 lbs. force.  The 0.05mbar pump could only produce 0.0218 lbs. force to hold an object over the same area.

The 150mBar or the .05 mBar (5 Pa) is the pressure achieved by the vacuum pump, not the pressure drop as you have it in your calculation. The calculations by @mculik5 are the correct way, in theory the $40 pump is rated at a "stronger" vacuum than Festool rates their pump for, however that doesn't make it "better" for workholding. If you were evacuating all remnants of refrigerant from a system and had lots of time then the $40 pump achieving .05 mBar would be the way to go. if you are clamping stuff you don't need to achieve as deep a vacuum but you need to do it quickly, also since you are probably applying a finish to the parts you are working on and in the area you don't want oil mist in the air. The Festool pump is a dry pump and will achieve it's vacuum much faster than the single stage vane pump will, these are the differences that matter and cost more.  Having said that there are other more cost effective piston vac pumps available, the one from veneersupplies for $329.50 being a good example.

Offline mculik5

  • Posts: 52
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 02:16 PM »
Thanks!

So, I think this is where we're at:

1. Purely from the perspective of clamping power, almost any vacuum pump will work - from an old refrigerator compressor, to a cheap Amazon pump, to Festool's own pump. However...

2. Cheaper pumps will likely be noisier, take longer to develop a sufficient vacuum, and might fail sooner (not rated for continuous duty, lower quality, etc.).

3. Oil-filled pumps exhaust oil mist into the air.

New questions:

- If a vacuum pump (of any quality/price) is used without a tank, that means when you put a piece of wood on the clamp, you will have to wait however long it takes for the vacuum pump to evacuate the air in the clamp, right? And the pumps with tanks work like a reverse air compressor, where the tank is at negative pressure, and the air moves to the tank when the valve is opened, creating the vacuum at the clamp?

- Same question as before - anyone know what quick-connect fittings Festool are using?

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1537
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2016, 05:56 PM »
There is way too much thinking going on regarding vacuum.  When I first started making vac jigs 30+ years ago, I used my Sears vacuum cleaner.  Went from that to using the intake on my 1 1/2 hp air compressor.  Eventually I bought a used, surplus store, refrigeration pump $15.00.  This is a very good pump...the price reflected that it was 220V so not easily used by most customers.  I use mine in my shop only so that did not bother me and I have used it for 20+ years.  From the very beginning I was using the jigs to manufacture plastic re placement parts for a customer that uses old refrigeration units that are either not longer made or the lead times and prices for replacement parts were outside the customers desires.  I bought the I and II versions for the simple reason that the various heads and ease to changing them makes them perfect for my needs.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3476
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2016, 10:01 PM »
Quote from: mculik5 link=topic=46451.msg457309. #msg457309 date=1462472194
Same question as before - anyone know what quick-connect fittings Festool are using?

Ya I think it's a variation of the Festo KD-4 series, even though the components I ordered, have VAL engraved on them.

They're expensive, but are more than up to the vacuum task. There is a difference between QD's that are tasked for vacuum as opposed to pressure.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 08:21 AM by Cheese »

Offline Rick Christopherson

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 1558
    • http://www.rts-engineering.com/
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2016, 10:21 PM »
I've got the beginnings of a headcold and may regret posting this, but what the heck, you only live twice.  [scared]

At Festool's request, I already sourced a brand new (unreleased) replacement U.S. vacuum pump for VacSys two years ago before Germany killed it and decided to provide the current system. During the process, I even made inquiries with my local distributor about being the main source for these pumps. They agreed to specifically create inventory just for me, and make design changes just for VacSys. The only thing I didn't finish pursuing was the few odds-and-ends necessary for the plumbing, plus the complexity of shipping.

So I'm wondering how many people might be interested if I could supply a vacuum pump somewhere in the $300 to $400 range? It's been well over a year since I looked into this, so I have forgotten all of the numbers and details. What little I do remember is that this pump had higher specs than the original VacSys pump, and higher than the current one.

Offline Rick Christopherson

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 1558
    • http://www.rts-engineering.com/
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2016, 10:39 PM »
Thanks!

So, I think this is where we're at:

1. Purely from the perspective of clamping power, almost any vacuum pump will work - from an old refrigerator compressor, to a cheap Amazon pump, to Festool's own pump. However...
This isn't quite correct. The pump must be able to create a significant vacuum pressure. Not all pump designs are capable of doing that. Some pumps are capable of producing very high negative pressure, but no volume. Others are capable of evacuating large volumes, but very little negative pressure. You need one that is capable of a large negative pressure, but only a reasonably large volume to overcome any air leaks.

2. Cheaper pumps will likely be noisier, take longer to develop a sufficient vacuum, and might fail sooner (not rated for continuous duty, lower quality, etc.).
There are many different styles of pumps. The cost is driven more by style than longevity.

3. Oil-filled pumps exhaust oil mist into the air.
Correct. Oil-immersed rotary vane pumps produce very high vacuum pressures, but the trade off is the potential mist. They are inexpensive only because they are so common--nearly every HVAC tech in the country needs one.

New questions:

- If a vacuum pump (of any quality/price) is used without a tank, that means when you put a piece of wood on the clamp, you will have to wait however long it takes for the vacuum pump to evacuate the air in the clamp, right? And the pumps with tanks work like a reverse air compressor, where the tank is at negative pressure, and the air moves to the tank when the valve is opened, creating the vacuum at the clamp?
Not completely correct. The Vacsys head contains a placement valve that prevents vacuum leakage during the time when a workpiece is not in position. So the vacuum hoses remain charged even when no workpiece is present.

- Same question as before - anyone know what quick-connect fittings Festool are using?

Offline Greg Powers

  • Posts: 2224
  • Metric convert
    • Stargate Unofficiial
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2016, 11:26 PM »
I've got the beginnings of a headcold and may regret posting this, but what the heck, you only live twice.  [scared]

At Festool's request, I already sourced a brand new (unreleased) replacement U.S. vacuum pump for VacSys two years ago before Germany killed it and decided to provide the current system. During the process, I even made inquiries with my local distributor about being the main source for these pumps. They agreed to specifically create inventory just for me, and make design changes just for VacSys. The only thing I didn't finish pursuing was the few odds-and-ends necessary for the plumbing, plus the complexity of shipping.

So I'm wondering how many people might be interested if I could supply a vacuum pump somewhere in the $300 to $400 range? It's been well over a year since I looked into this, so I have forgotten all of the numbers and details. What little I do remember is that this pump had higher specs than the original VacSys pump, and higher than the current one.

@Rick Christopherson  count me in.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 11:39 PM by GPowers »
Greg Powers
Size:XL

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 60
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2016, 11:29 PM »
@Rick Christopherson  Count me in too.   

Offline YOGO100

  • Posts: 17
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2016, 12:03 AM »
I would be interested in something like that too.

Offline Brandon

  • Posts: 214
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2016, 06:38 AM »
@Rick Christopherson I'd be interested as well

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3476
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2016, 08:35 AM »
Rick,
Even though I'm running a Milwaukee vacuum pump right now and am happy with the performance, I may also be interested in your replacement pump depending upon the size of the footprint of the package.

Offline Hawk Nest

  • Posts: 6
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2016, 08:44 AM »
Count me in also.....Hawk

Offline jdm5

  • Posts: 83
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2016, 08:45 AM »
@Rick Christopherson I'm in....take my money!
Drank the green Kool-Aid...gave up counting long ago.

Offline Rick Christopherson

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 1558
    • http://www.rts-engineering.com/
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2016, 04:18 PM »
Someone sent me a PM asking about the following pump, and whether my option might be better. My answer was no. Back when I first started looking into this, I could not find any retail pumps below $700, but this pump is similar to the one I had been examining, and it has a decent price tag.

This one is rated for 12.5 psi vacuum, and mine may have been slightly higher, but that is reasonable. Mine was also a rocking piston pump, which is good for rapid flow, high vacuum, and continuous duty.

So given that someone else already has a reasonable pump in the same price range, it wouldn't be worth it for me to pursue this any further.

http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Vacuum-Pump---55-CFM-120v-AC-240v-AC.html

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3476
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2016, 01:54 PM »
@mculik5
Same question as before - anyone know what quick-connect fittings Festool are using?

I believe it's a variation of the Festo KD-4 series, even though the components I ordered, have VAL engraved on them.

The Festool hose coupling, 494574, is $51 and the Festool plug nipple, 474202 is $17 while the Oetiker hose clamp, 479816, that Festool specifies is $1.50.

The plug nipple, 474202, has one end threaded to fit a G1/4" connection. The G1/4" is also known as a BSPP, British Standard Pipe Parallel thread and uses a flat gasket for a seal.

However, if you're connecting up to a standard NPT connection, Parker makes nipples that will couple the Festool hose coupling to a standard sized NPT. Use the 254 series.

http://www.parker.com/Literature/Quick%20Coupling/catalog_sections/RF%20Series-Catalog%203800_SectionA.pdf

Also note that the Oetiker hose clamps that are original to the VAC SYS, are ear clamps, while the replacement Oetiker hose clamps are gear drive so they are a lot easier to install properly.

Offline kelauben

  • Posts: 153
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2016, 04:08 PM »
@Rick Christopherson  Count me in too.

Offline kelauben

  • Posts: 153
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2016, 04:23 PM »

@Rick Christopherson  Count me in too.

Whoops. Just read the rest of the thread. Thanks Rick.

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 60
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2016, 08:21 PM »
@Cheese

I noticed your post about Parker 254 series fittings.. Do ALL of the 254 series work with Festool Vac Sys connectors?  What your thoughts on using a Parker 3/8 "Nipple- Push-Lok Hose Barb" to create an adapter connection.  Basically the below

Festool Vac Sys Connector <--> Parker RF-254-6PL <--->  3/8 Hose <--> 3/8 barb to 1/4 Quick Disconnect     


http://www.veneersupplies.com/products/Quick-Connect-Assembly.html
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 08:24 PM by ByoBuzz »

Offline mculik5

  • Posts: 52
Re: Vacuum Pump for VAC-SYS
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2016, 10:09 PM »
@Cheese

Great info on the connectors. Thank you!