From: "Jeff Calkins"

Subject: Fw: Home brew vacuum sealer.

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 09:15:38 -0000

Well I bought the plans from Tom Halverson and used his very basic idea. I used what I had laying around. I had some 1 1/4 by 1/4 steel strap that I bent into a 2 U shapes. These are the same width as the compressor and bolt to the sides. Then welded a piece of thin wall tubing( conduit ) to the underside of these. I found some pvc pipe fittings that went from 1/2 in. pipe to 1/2 pvc.These fit into the conduit just right.This is what your crank that turns the big pulley go through.The crank is made of 1/2 in. steel rod that I heated and bent into a 8 in. crank, then goes through the pvc bushings in the conduit.You may have to ream or file the pvc bushing a little so it fits nice.The top pulley I used is a 10 in for a 1/2 belt with a 1/2 bore. You will probably have to buy a blank pulley and weld the 1/2 hub in it. The bottom pulley I used was a 3in. zinc pulley with a 3/4 bore.

It goes on about half way and if you dig some ,you can find 5/16 washers that fit inside the pulley and act as a spacer,then use a 5/16 bolt with larger washer to hold it on.Works great and does not wobble.I used a 1/2 by 35 in. belt.

The original fittings that hooked to the top of the compressor can be cut off flush with the top of the nut. Then tap for 1/4 in. pipe thread.Next screw in a 1/4 in brass street tee. In the side port screw in a 1/4 in radiator drain cock.In the top screw in a 1/4 in. pipe to 3/8 compression fitting.For hose I used about 2 ft of plastic air brake hose.I bolted the compressor to one end of a 18 in. 2x6. At the other end of the 2x6 I nailed down a 4in.pvc pipe rubber cap. I nailed it down with 3 plastic washered nails sealed with clear silicone. The sealing chamber is 4 in. pvc pipe, 9 in. long with a pvc cap glued on it.I tapped 2 1/4 pipe holes in the top.One for another 1/4 pipe to 3/8 compression and the other for a vacuum gauge.

Put whatever in a jar, put a sealing lid on it, screw on a ring so it touchs, put jar in rubber pvc cap.Put chamber over jar and in rubber cap. Make sure drain cock is closed. Crank about 8-12 times or till vacuum reads about 25 inchs.Release drain cock.Check and see if it sealed.

I put a suction cup at each end of the board so it would stay on the countertop.

Read this and if you didn't grasp something let me know.


Sheri Nakken

Coordinator - Western Nevada County Y2K Preparedness Network

PO Box 1563, Nevada City, California 95959

Phone 530-478-1242


From: "Martin P. Pezzaglia" <>

For those that might be mechanically challenged, or time sensitive relative to vacuum packaging, and have a credit card just itching to be used, I offer this awareness.

The FoodSaver delux...The Ultimate Home Vacum Packaging System. It is shipped out of Sparks, Nevada

Cost of the Foodsaver Kit $179.97, cost of 4-Pack Mixed Vacloc Rolls $34.95, Tax $20.53, cost of two day ups $ $285.40. Phone customer service for information or to order 1-800-777-5452

Big bucks, yes...but what can it do? I packaged 150 lbs of dried fruit into two-day's worth portions for my family, in six hours. It took about an hour to package 50 lbs of almonds into small proportions, and for my children, I vacuum packaged 25 lbs of chocolate chips! :)

From and engineering perspective, the machine and the Vacloc bags are a marvel. It will pull a vacuum strong enough to crush aluminum cans, and then seal the bag...all automatically. There is also a cute little attachment and hose that will seal mason jars with their gasketed lids. There are many other uses for the machine, and gadgets that can be ordered.

In terms of justifying costs relative to time and money...I paid myself $35.00/hour for a days work to vacuum package a years supply of dried fruit, nuts, and few chocolate chips (later to become cookies) for a treat.

How 'bout those 49er's! :)