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Building my own cylinder... anybody interested?

Nice job Tsuga. I had no idea we had such sucking capabilities.

Nice set-up Tsuga. Looks good.

Hey Tsuga, where did you get your clear tubing, gauge and back check valve?

Nice job Tsuga!

I second nemisis’ question. Did you get all your supplies from Mcmaster?

Nemesis & Andrew69

I only purchased the polycarbonate tube from McMaster Carr, the rest I got through industrial suppliers in my business. You wouldn’t have access to these particular parts but I did look through the McMaster Carr catalog and found almost identical items.

Here’s the list I came up with complete with McMaster Carr part numbers and prices.

Polycarbonate 1 3/4” ID clear tube #8585K18 $6.07 per ft. You can buy just one foot (for 2” ID tube #8585K46)
Check valve w/1/4” barbs #47245K13 $5.58
Quick disconnect - male fitting #5012K73 $2.14
Quick disconnect - female fitting #5012K61 $5.86
Gauge #3935K11 $8.11

The clear tubing I got from the hardware store. Its pretty common stuff I’m sure almost any hardware store would have it . Make sure you get 1/4” ID (inside diameter) tubing. If you decide to make this, which is rather easy, I strongly suggest getting the quick disconnect fittings. This allows the vacuum seal to be broken, otherwise it can be hard to get it off when you’re done.

I did make simple change which makes the design a lot simpler. I took the gauge out of the hose and mounted it to the red Plexiglas cap on the top. This eliminated the extra fittings in the hose. I included two more pictures to show the changes. Unfortunately the second one is a bit blurry, I was in too close

One additional construction note. The quick disconnect and the gauge were threaded into the Plexiglas cap since I have a pipe thread tap and die set. I assume most folks wont, not a problem. If you drill a 1/2” hole for the quick disconnect and a 3/8” hole for the gauge they will fit in snuggly. Coat the treads with the Shoe Goo glue and they will seal up just fine.

Hope this helps. For under $30 and a few hours work you can have a pretty good pump.

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I see a problem with the modification where you attached the gauge to the cylinder top. When you clean the cylinder, you will expose the gauge directly to water and that will destroy the gauge.

Put the gauge back where it was, so the one way valve protects it from getting wet.

Good point gprent101, I was so happy with my new modification I didn’t think about water getting in the gauge. I really do like it there better so I’m going to get whats called a “snubber”. This closes up the port in the gauge to such a small hole that water shouldn’t go in but will still sense vacuum. I’ll post again if it doesn’t work.

Nice job Ts, what section of the hardware store do you find the adapters? And do you guys have a problem with the adapters wearing out? Mine don’t last long at all and their leaking! Maybe it’s because I never pump without the tube being full of hot water??

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


Went on holidays for a couple of days. Sent the 95% complete article to Rob to post, but something fell through.

Will post tonight. Sorry again.

Finally got around to uploading the whole shebang. Check it out:

Photo-Documented DIY cylinder guide!

Nice work Tsuba. I need to find myself a gauge just like that one….

You can get a gauge like that in any hardware store. In the plumbing section

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


I got all my adapters and fittings through a place like McMaster Carr, the only item from the hardware store was the flexible tubing. I highly recommend the quick disconnect adapters I listed on the previous post. They are specifically designed for vacuum, have a nice o-ring on the male fitting and an excellent locking mechanism. Maybe hose clamps would help with any leaking.

You mention getting a vacuum gauge from the hardware store, I will say that around where I live none of them have this gauge.

Secjay, what a totally awesome description and pictures of your construction process.

Deadeye - I have never seen a standalone gauge suitable for this purpose in any hardware store i’ve ever been to.

Tsuga, thanks :)

Hey Secjay I from Aus too.
The Tube you can get from any pet store as ‘fish tank vacuum cleaner’ it comes in a variety of diameters so there is a starting point and progress to larger tubes. It is a dead ringer for a tube it even has the top connected to clear tube, but it collapses so get thicker wall tube.

The pump is a dandy but if you go to supercheap autos anywhere in oz you will find a ‘hand pump’ for ‘fluids oils etc’ it is plastic and you will have to pack it alittle with a food grade based grease but it’ll do.

Personally my only real gains from pumping have been from using a brass hand pump like a sanfran one and a good quality tube with the good fittings.

Falcon make some reasonable tubes but specialty adult shops only stock them not those naughty but nice crap shops that are on every corner selling below average apparatus that can damage and hinder the experience.

Sure, are you done yet ?


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