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Homemade Vacuum Cylinder

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Originally Posted by Piet
You could step into a bicycle repair shop and ask for valves from old tires. They’re also called Dunlop valve, Woods valve and English valve.

I shortened my cylinder a bit and it’s still working great.

Yes, the Woods/Dunlop valve seems a very good choice for DIY pumping equipment, in localities where these valves are readily available. I mentioned this possible use of Dunlop valves a long time ago on “another” forum that I now no longer attend. My first bike as a kid was a rusty old second hand one which had Dunlop valves, however, I have not personally seen these valves in my part of the world for at least ten years or more now. About one year ago, I did enquire at a major bike store here about the possibility of obtaining some new Dunlop valves and the salesperson said as best as he knew no store here sold those valves for many years and that I would probably have to buy them myself from an overseas source!

My understanding is that Dunlop valves fell out of favour in many places around the world as the Schraeder (car tyre) valves were more convenient as you could pump your bike at any gas/petrol service station using the provided car tyre inflator without needing an adaptor. I believe the Dunlop valve may still be commonly used in India, parts of Asia (Japan?), and Holland. Even though they are also called “English” valve, I think they may no longer be commonly used in England these days.

For DIY pumping equipment: Car tyre valves are too fat for the commonly available 1/4 inch aquarium air hose. I am not familiar with their use but another common type of bike valve here are Presta valves, but they do not appear at first glance to be suited either. The Dunlop valve would have been my choice if they were still available here.

I just remembered, our old garden wheel barrow that has a Dunlop valve, and if that valve ever becomes faulty we’re in for big trouble to find a replacement for it!

Piet, you are over there (Holland), perhaps you could do some research for us all! Do you know of any bike shops that will do mail order of these valves to the world? Websites?

Originally Posted by Piet
The valve used is called a Dutch Valve (Hollands Ventiel).

You slipped that one past me, had to re-read to pick up on it!

Some bikeshops sell convertors that can be put on car tire valves or Presta valves so they can be used with a regular pump for Dutch/Dunlop valves. Several bikeshops sell Dutch/Dunlop replacement valves, the cheapest I found was 10 for €0.79. They come without a threaded cylinder, because you can’t replace those. If they somehow break you need a new tire. Perhaps suitable threaded cylinders can be bought at a metalshop.

Wow Piet, thank you very much for finding that!

That is EXACTLY the type of Woods Valve I had in mind to experiment with, that is, one with a rounded end! That rounded end might fit just about perfectly, I think, into the end of some common 1/4 inch aquarium air hose. With the valve end being rounded, that would effectively provide similar facility to quickly connect and disconnect as one may expect of the more expensive commercially made cylinders. The valve screw end (hidden under the cap) could probably be screwed into or be bonded into a drilled hole at the end of a suitable plastic cylinder. This idea is a bit different to the setup you have shown in your previous pictures where you appear to have also used the threaded metal tube part from a bicycle inner tube.

It’s a real pity that web site you found is only in Dutch language (English translation not fully working) as I’m really tempted. For ten valves, €0.79 seems like a real steal, especially when just one single aquarium air hose check valve might probably cost something like three times that much and doesn’t even work very well for our purposes.

I think we can forget about car tire or presta valve adaptors. Those valves do not appear suitable for our purposes anyway, so no need to waste time and money to adapt them.

Attached Images
WoodsValve-50006513.jpg
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Just for completeness, here’s a picture of a square ended (right side) Woods valve with the cap off and thread showing (left side).

Attached Images

That website will only ship within Europe and parcels only. I could buy it for you and then you can PayPal me back afterwards. It would be 10 for .80 + 4.99 + 2.85 = 8.64 euro from the website or I could probably get them from a local bikeshop at 2 for 1-2 euro with 1.90 for shipping.

Originally Posted by Piet
That website will only ship within Europe and parcels only. I could buy it for you and then you can PayPal me back afterwards. It would be 10 for .80 + 4.99 + 2.85 = 8.64 euro from the website or I could probably get them from a local bikeshop at 2 for 1-2 euro with 1.90 for shipping.

You’re a good man Piet, but I wont take you up on your kind offer this time. I really do want to get some of those valves to experiment with eventually, but I’m just too busy for the foreseeable future to find the time to do so! Thanks anyway.

No problem. I may experiment with them if friends of mine want to get in pumping as well.

It’s great post. I trying to make mine, but the problem is it’s impossible to use mount suction or even hand pump to suck air out of this valve.

Can you help me fix it?

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