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Homemade Tubes?

Homemade Tubes?

I’d like to try pumping, but I don’t have the money to spend on a pumping kit. No problem - I think I have everything I need except a tube.

I have a vacuum gauge, tubing, various fittings, and an old blood pressure cuff. The check valve from the cuff could be turned around to hold air out instead of in, the vacuum gauge can be spliced in with a Y fitting, and I can pull a vacuum without a pump by sucking on the tubing. But, what to do for the tube itself?

Has anyone come up with a good, cheap homemade solution, or are the commercial tubes the way to go? What does a decent tube cost?


Hey Hobby, my opinion would be to order a pump with a gage try their a good company and their Deluxe Pump cost 149.99 I believe but if you don’t have the money try this link. They have a diagram of making your own pump but don’t look at the other pics just the one with the diagram of the homemade Pump.…chorRollYourOwn


I’m also thinking about building my own pump. I already own one of those old ‘cheapo’ pumps so I already have the pump and plumbing (only worthwhile parts). For a gauge I was thinking about using a turbo boost gauge that reads vacuum on one side and psi on the other. I saw it at AutoZone and I think it was 20$ but it may be more. I did however see a NICE vacuum only gauge in Summit but its over 40$. It reads from 0 - 30 ” Hg in 1” increments and is only 2 1/16” in diameter. I guess for accuracy it would be more ideal for a pumper’s gauge to only read up to 10” Hg or less but I wouldnt know where to find one (locally). Any ideas?

I got an idea for a tube when I was over at my parents and saw two different rain gauges in their flower garden. One was way too small, I’d guess about 1” and the other was too big, about 2 1/2”, but if I can find those two I should be able to find the right one (1 3/4”). The good thing about the bigger tube is that it had a flange on top that looked excatly like a tube from La pumps! I’m thinking that both are in the area of 10” long so bottoming the tube wont be a problem, at least for a while ;) .

gauges sold online

I was looking for vacuum/pressure conversion charts and found a store that sells vacuum gauges including low pressure types that should be very good for pumping. Check out

Thanks for the link, New2. I’ll check prices on the brake bleeder gizmo.


The rain gauge sounds like an excellent idea, much better than aquarium cleaner tubes. One end is already closed, and it even has a ruler printed on the side. I’ll check Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. Some place ought to have one the right size.

So I'm a bit odd, what can I say...

I’m not in a great rush to start pumping since I’m focusing on hanging right now, but I wanted to see what pumping felt like - if it was something I want to mess with at all.

I found my 1 1/2” inside diameter clear poly tubing left over from making a Bib hanger. It is about 18” long. I’m just a hair over 4.5” midshaft girth, so I could barely fit into the tube erect. I figured what the hell, let’s give it a try.

I found an empty plastic vitamin bottle whose threaded neck was slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the tube. I wrapped the bottle with electrical tape until it fit tightly in the end of the tube. I poked a hole in the bottle near the bottom and made a flap to cover the hole from doubled-over electrical tape with just enough sticky left exposed to hold it in place over the hole.

I lubed up, slid my dick in, and sucked on the bottle over the flap to draw a mild vacuum. I pushed the flap closed with my tongue, and the vacuum held fine for the 5 minutes I used it. I need a bigger tube, probably 1 3/4” or so, but I plan to pump when I take a break from hanging.

I like the idea of not being connected to hoses, and I’ll probably incorporate the flap seal or something similar when I get into this in ernest.

Hey hobby,

Most of the commercial pumps come with quick disconnect fittings (they are sold seperately also) that allow you to remove the tubing and hand pump. McMaster-Carr may also sell clear acrylic tubing with a wall thickness good enough for a guy to make his own tube. Attaching the top piece would be the problem I guess.

One of our non-active members actually made tubes for himself and quite a few others by acquiring various I.D. acrylic tubing from a plastics supply house.

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Originally posted by ThunderSS

One of our non-active members actually made tubes for himself and quite a few others by acquiring various I.D. acrylic tubing from a plastics supply house.

One thing I noticed is I’ll have to modify the base of any straight-walled tube to make it more comfortable. Did he heat and roll the base or maybe use some kind of homemade gasket?

Hey hobby,

I think he figured out a way to heat and turn the bottom on a lathe. Not sure about that though. I do know that he made the bottom of the tubes more comfortable. I didn’t get one myself and the memory is shot now. I get an email from him every couple of months, I’ll ask him for details the next time I can.

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Forming a flange

You need a former that fits the tube and has a radius at the bottom just like the way you want it. You will need a lathe and some hardwood.

Dry heat from a electric paint stripper or cooking ring should supply enough heat.

Cap the tube with an acrylic disk using chloroform as a glue. No saw marks or it will leak.

I can make them for you at $30 complete. (tube only) 1 13/16 id


Thanks for the info. I do have a lathe available as well as a few pieces of oak that can be used to make a form. But, I have another idea: epoxy or epoxy-like material such as Brownell’s Accraglass.

Form an epoxy ring around the base of the tube in roughly the desired shape, then trim, grind and polish it to the final contour.

no need

The results are very pleasing and can look shop made.

after looking at the massive prices of pumps ive decided to try to make my own but the pump creation is very confusing to me. im not even entirly sure what it should look like. dont know where to start and where to get what

I have made my own out of what is called a ‘rock cleaner’, a device used in fish tanks and can be purchased quite cheapy at any pet supply store. It is a clear plastic tube usually 12” long and anywhere between 1½” to 2” wide. I used apoxy to seal up the cap end of it and made my own seal using tape and an inner tube and it DOES NOT leak at all! Altogether it cost me less than $10 to piece this together…

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