Vacuum Pump... Noise?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I recently got a vacuum easel and pump for a great price. In using it to print my 8x20's I have noticed that the Gast pump makes a rattling noise when in use. It is an oiless model. Is this normal?

    Jim
     
  2. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've had two, a small Kostiner one and a large unmarked one that was used with a large process camera. Neither rattled, but both were very loud. They also vibrated. I would put a soft neoprene or similar pad underneath. I'd also locate the vacuum in another room if possible, using a long hose. It works _MUCH_ better this way as you won't hear it as much.

    If they really rattle perhaps something has entered the vacuum chamber? I'm not exactly sure how these work but opening it up might be a suggestion.
    Does it pull a good vacuum?
     
  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Phillip, yes it pulls good vacuum. I have never had one before so i don't know how noisy they are. It doesn't sound like anything is inside of it I guess the thing is just noisy. Thanks.

    Jim
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    yeah, I think so. The ones I've ben around always made a lot of noise that way....but, that was almost twenty years ago.
     
  5. lee

    lee Member

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    vacuum pumps should make a noise if turned on. Sounds as if everything is ok. I would try to locate it away from the easel.

    lee\c
     
  6. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Do you have a vacuum gauge on your easel? Or is yours the type where there is a flat plate with holes?
     
  7. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Jim,

    With regards to the noise, if you can't locate it in a different room, head over to your local Lowe's or similar store and pick up a pair of John Deere noise canceling head phones. They cost about $90, but they work great. You can even plug in your mp3 player to listen to your favorite music. I think Bose makes something similar for the typical Bose inflated price of something like $300.

    Good Luck,
     
  8. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    When new the gast pumps don't rattle, but as they age the rattling is more pronounced as the carbon vanes wear. At some point the pump will lose efficiency due to so much wear and they can be rebuilt with new vanes.
    Sometimes the powder from the vanes will cause them to stick and lose pressure, this can be remedied by running some oil free solvent through the pump in a well ventilated area. Watch for sparks and flame sources!
    They are always quite noisy even new, they usually have a muffler in the form of a filter with a glass jar over it. You can even add more muffling to it if you are careful not to choke the air supply too much.
     
  9. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Well, it looks like the noise is normal. I saw that some of the hew ones had mufflers. This one has a vacuum gauge. I guess I will have to put it in another room and my neighbors will have to deal with the noise. Not bad when I'm doing silver contacts but will be noisy for my carbon prints.

    Jim
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    You might be able to find a new Briggs & Stratton lawnmower muffler that can be fitted to the exhaust port of the pump. It uses standard water pipe fittings, screw on. I don't remember how many times I've replaced a rusted out muffler on those motors with a length of waterpipe way back when. It may take some step up or step down adaptors but you can make it work.
     
  11. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    You can get foam sheet which has been cut to have a dimpled surface like an egg carton. Build a box big enough to allow about 6" clear space around the compressor and line it with the foam. Put a foam pad under the compressor. This will cut the noise to a tolerable level.
     
  12. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Great ideas everyone. Thanks. I have plenty of foam and this gives me an idea.

    Jim
     
  13. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Because of the noise, I keep my vacuumm pump in another room--two rooms away, in a closet inside on a homemade insulated box (with a vent so that heat does not build up). No sound at all in the darkroom, and the pump barely can be heard in the room it is in.

    Michael A, Smith
     
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  15. Steve Sherman

    Steve Sherman Subscriber

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    A la MAS, I put my vacuum pump in another part of the basement away from the DR so noise would not be a factor.

    Just don't put it under the floor where the wife is still sleeping in the wee hours of the morning as I did!
     
  16. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Try replacing the carbon vanes. Not hard to do; just unbolt the head, note the orientation of the vanes, slip each one out and replace with a new vane. Blow out the head with compressed air (outside of course) and check the motor for lubrication (most are sealed, so no maintenance is needed).

    We used these pumps on wet gate motion picture printers and they were very, very simple to service.
     
  17. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Into the other room she goes! I'm making an insulated box tomorrow. Thanks to all for the information.


    Jim
     
  18. philsweeney

    philsweeney Member

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    Mine is in another room - very quiet. You cannot hear Michael's at all! I thought he had it in the dungeon.
     
  19. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    The pump has been banned from the darkroom! The hose live to see another day in the darkroom.

    Jim
     
  20. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    Just in case anyone reading this has money to spend, there are some very nice diaphragm or membrane pumps made for backing up the exhaust of more powerful turbomolecular pumps in high-vacuum and ultra-high-vacuum systems. They are small, quiet and clean, and even come in chemically-hardened versions if you're creating nasty smells. They also have no problems with generating oil mist.

    The best is the enemy of the perfectly good enough, but if you're searching for a new solution, these are the bee's knees:

    http://www.pfeiffer-vacuum.com/filepool/2/File/MVP_006_PU0048PE_061009.pdf

    http://www.edwardsvacuum.com/Products/75187/overview/Product_Details.aspx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  21. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    Michaels insulation must work because I can't hear it at all. Then again, he is in Pennsylvania and I am in North Dakota and the wind noise from last night at minus 38 with 30-50 mph winds might have something to do with it. (wind chill factors to minus 75, not good for stargazing outside)
     
  22. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I was just at Wal Mart earlier and saw a screw in muffler that can be used for less than $2. That and the insulation will make it purr like a Mercedes.
     
  23. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Jim are you using the vacuum easel for contact prints? With or without glass, I'm not familiar with these types of easels but would like to make a vacuum easel for projection printing.

    Thanks,
    Curt
     
  24. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Curt,
    If it is for horizontal projection, you want high volume airflow. A furnace blower with a squirrelcage fan is ideal. Build a manifold around the fan intake and use 4" flexible hose to your easel. I have built a couple and can provide more info if needed.
     
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Curt, wow old post and still questions! I'm using this to do 8x10, 11x14 and 8x20 contact prints. It has glass and the glass forms a seal on the rubber seal and I can control the pressure with a bleeder valve. Either Azo or carbon transfer prints. I have switched to a NuArc 26 1KS unit that has a nice built in vacuum frame and pump and I have gone to printing in carbon only.

    Jim
     
  26. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Thank you Jim and Richard, I used NuArc equipment in college for my Graphic Design and Photography degree, it's the best equipment all right. I have a Kostiner vacuum pump with a foot switch and will be making an easel.

    Curt