At Best Value Vacs, chamber supply is our bread and butter. We have three options for our BVV Chambers: Standard BVV, SVac, and Glassvac chambers. All are top-quality products, but there are some distinctions between them of which you should take note and research before purchasing.
Our signature brand chambers are not compatible with stabilization resins (Cactus Juice™, Gator Venom™, Minwax), alcohol, ethanol, acetone, acrylic-based polymers. This means they are not the tool you would utilize for processes like wood stabilization. The lid can only be washed with soapy water.
These chambers are also not compatible with stabilization resin (i.e. Cactus Juice™, Gator Venom™, Minwax™, etc.), acetone, acrylic-based monomers or polymers. The lid is a little more lenient and may be cleaned with soapy water and low strength cleaning agents.
GlassVac chambers are the most versatile chambers offered by Best Value in the sense that they are compatible with all solvents and stabilization resins. However, they’re recommended to limited use for resin infusions and wood stabilizations only. They can be cleaned with any solvent or cleaning agent.
Now that you know the differences, how do you get up and running? Here’s a quick tutorial on the basics of operating our 3 gallon vacuum chamber kit.
The Basics of Our Three Gallon Vacuum Chamber Kit
First, you’ll open the vacuum pump and chamber kit. Both devices are in two separate boxes, but they’re still shipped from the same location. This means your tracking will be a master tracking system to account for the two parcels within your overall order. The boxes are unmarked discreet-ship boxes for your privacy.
The chamber lid comes enclosed in a protective paper which you will need to peel off. The silicone gasket is the orange, rubber band-like seal that provides an airtight clamp. On the lid, there is a gauge filled with glycerin (for most accurate measurement in less-than-ideal conditions) and nickel-plated valves. They are attached to the lid without the need for assembly, something BVV designed specifically. The kit also comes with five feet of vacuum hose and the pump itself with a bottle of oil. It also includes an instruction sheet that outlines how to quick-start the system, some FAQs, and BVV’s contact information so you can reach our customer service department at any time.
Once you’ve unpacked all components and cleared a workspace, it’s time to get started.
Filling the Vacuum Pump
The first step is to fill your vacuum pump with oil. The oil receptacle is in the pump and comes with a min and a max line for how much oil to add. Unscrew the oil cap on the pump and simply fill the oil between the max and min line and the first step is complete.
All BVV pumps come directly from us - there is no middle man. This allows for a higher degree of quality control and insight into improvements to be made. For example, the pumps are designed with a built-in check valve. This prevents backflow from oil from the head of the pump going back through the chamber and into the product; when the vacuum is off, the chamber is still under vacuum, which could contaminate the end result.
Installing the Flare Fitting and Applying the Hose
Next, it’s time to install flare fitting. Every Best Value Vacs product comes with a ¼” flare. All flares are designed in-house by BVV to fit on both BVV-brand vacuum pumps AND every other vacuum pump you come across. The flare is a 37.5-degree pitch, which is right in the middle of the standard 32 or 45-degree pitches you find on other products, so with a BVV flare, you will never run into a sizing issue. The flare is simply twisted on the pump in its marked placement. Use a wrench to ensure it’s secured on tightly.
Then, the hose needs to be attached to the valves. Our hoses come flared swivel ends, which is consistent with any conventional HVAC fitting. The flared end is easily hand tightened on the valve flare.
The last step before turning on your vacuum chamber is to cut the tip off the top of the nipple of the gauge. The gauge has what is essentially a black cork on it, and needs to be atmospherically calibrated by cutting off the tip. You can use something like a razor blade or pair of scissors, as long as the rest of the cork is not cut off or just lift it to release the internal vacuum pressure. Once this is all done, the gauge is ready.
Running the Vacuum Chamber
To fire up your vacuum chamber, pull the valve to initiate the vacuum. You might have to press down firmly on the lid to make sure it’s fastened, but it will not take much to lock it in place. And there you have it: your vacuum is running!
You’ll notice some immediate advantages of this particular vacuum chamber. When tested in our own facilities, the pump is about 68 decibels of noise, which creates a calmer atmosphere to work in. Second, you will see the gas cap does not exert a ton of smoke into the air. The reason for that is the oil we provide: it is fairly clear, and at a very high viscosity, which means the fluid flows at a more rapid rate. This reduces the amount of oily mist you see secreted from a lot of other pumps on the market.
As your pump is going, keep tabs of your mercury measurement. Our shop is about 800 feet of elevation, which means it would be sitting at about 29 inches of mercury. The gauge itself is roughly +-.5 inches of mercury. (Note: please refer to an altitude/vacuum level conversion chart depending on the area you live in you may not achieve a ‘full vacuum.’)
Once you’ve vacuumed what you need, simply turn off the valves to shut off the pump. Remove the hose and then open one or both valves to let the air out. And boom - that concludes the entire process. If you need a more thorough explanation of the process, contact one of our pros today to walk you through it step-by-step.
Interested in one of our vacuum chambers? Check out our selection!