Pressure Tank usage

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
So I recently purchase a paint tank that I intend to convert in to a pressure tank. I will be using it for resin castings but I have no idea on how to use it. Will some kind soul explain it to me so that I will be able to use my tool for my intended purpose?
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
I always thought for resin casting that a vacuum chamber was the best to remove air bubbles. BUT, I've never done in either and don't have a clue....Let's just say that I'm along for the ride on this thread!
 

Dee2

Gene
Corporate Member
The conventional notion is vacuum for stabilizing, pressure for casting. Not clear to me why vacuum won't do both and I will try in the future. OP, there are YouTube videos that explain how. Maybe you could start with the Cactus Juice site and explore.
 

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
The conventional notion is vacuum for stabilizing, pressure for casting. Not clear to me why vacuum won't do both and I will try in the future. OP, there are YouTube videos that explain how. Maybe you could start with the Cactus Juice site and explore.
The videos I have seen show how to convert the tank but don't really explain the process. I am trying to gain knowledge so that I can freely navigate projects knowing what to do and what not to do.
 

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
Both ways will work if you don't have a vacuum pump you can pressurise the tank to say 40 PSI any pressure other than atmospheric will chase the bulles out.
Will you elaborate on that, please? It seems you have knowledge that I would love for you to impart.
 

Jim M.

Woody
Corporate Member
Check out Zac's site, he has some tutorials in his video section that may be of some help. I've ordered some of his blanks, he has some skills.

 

gmakra

George
Senior User
First off you can search You Tube and there are plenty of videos there.
In a nutshell when you go lower than atmospheric pressure you lower the boiling point of liquids.
So you will out gas from the resin for a long time plus it will make a mess in your vacuum chamber.
Pressurising the resin will make any bubbles so small you will not see them with the naked eye.
Either way will work.
Also note you can use a pressure pot for a vacuum chamber.
 

Dee2

Gene
Corporate Member
The videos I have seen show how to convert the tank but don't really explain the process. I am trying to gain knowledge so that I can freely navigate projects knowing what to do and what not to do.
Have you looked at Andy Phillips or The Pohl Barn videos?
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
If by "paint tank" you mean pressure pot:

Remove all the gauges and fittings from the top and the siphon tube from the bottom side. Clean off all old paint, etc. In the hole where the pressure relief safety valve was installed, install your vacuum gauge. In the hole where the air fed into the tank, install a quarter turn valve to use when you want to relieve the pressure. In the hole that the paint was designed to come out of, install your vacuum tube fitting. If you are not going to contiuously run the vacuum pump, install another quarter turn valve on this fitting.

If its not new, you will probably need to thoroughly clean or replace the lid gasket. I would recommend using grease on it. It will help it seal as well as make it easier to remove any resin that may spill on the sealing area. Normally, for a vacuum fitting you would use silicone grease, but this would run the risk of contaminating the work for future coatings, so a grease that you have a solvent for would be better.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I have both vacuum chamber and pressure pot. I have only been using the vacuum chamber, but plan to use the pressure pot for resin casting pen blanks in the near future. I use the vacuum chamber, with a Harbor freight vacuum pump, to stabilize those blanks that need it. I've stabilized corn cobs, and made beautiful pens from it, as well as stabilizing a variety of woods that seemed too soft for pen blanks. When stabilizing with vacuum, cactus juice is the medium used in the tank, followed by baking the blanks.
 

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
I have both vacuum chamber and pressure pot. I have only been using the vacuum chamber, but plan to use the pressure pot for resin casting pen blanks in the near future. I use the vacuum chamber, with a Harbor freight vacuum pump, to stabilize those blanks that need it. I've stabilized corn cobs, and made beautiful pens from it, as well as stabilizing a variety of woods that seemed too soft for pen blanks. When stabilizing with vacuum, cactus juice is the medium used in the tank, followed by baking the blanks.
How do you use the vacuum chamber, is it transparent?
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Yes, it is transparent. I bought it from another pen turner. I put CACTUS JUICE in the chamber, put in the objects to be stabilized and make sure they are all submerged; I use a flat stone to keep them weighted down. The vacuum pump is from Harbor Freight and does the job well. I run the pump, and the tank will foam wildly as the air is sucked from the wood. Keep the vacuum pump running for half an hour, or even more. Shut down the pump and leave everything as it is for an amount of time equal to, or longer than the pump was run. I usually just leave it all overnight. Remove the blanks from the vacuum chamber and wrap in aluminum foil, then bake for half an hour in an oven. I have a small sandwich oven I use. I can't remember the temperature to use, so look it up. I bought my cactus juice from Arizona Silhouette, Barry Gross. It costs about $100 per gallon and comes with a small bottle of activator. Save all the unused cactus juice as it can be used again. There are some great YouTube videos by ZACH HIGGINS. He can teach you everything about stabilizing and casting. Good luck Tonika, you'll do just fine as your past work testifies.
 

Mauser44

John
User
X60 for zack Higgins. He is very thorough for the set up. Make sure you have a good safety valve for the psi you will be using

I use both vaccum and pressure and have no real preference for resin. Stabilized a lot of burl and spalted wood with cactus juice in vaccum. I have noticed no difference in the end result for resin.

Pressure is primarily for fast curing resin (allumilite). You can't vacuum the 7 minute resin. Process is quick and simple. Mix resin and put it under pressure at 60 psi for 60 -90 minutes. I have a circle jig to flatten the bottom. The benefit of pressure pot is that you can be done casting in a couple of hours. Bubble are compressed and as soon as the resin dries, you are good to go.

Vaccum I use for slower resin,
Because of the bubbling process, mixing intricate patterns doesn't work as much with a vaccum, unless you vacuum individual colors and poor them slowly. Both are fun and addictive.
 

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
I bought and downloaded the resin casting for beginners book off of Zac Higggins website. I will read it and try to make good decisions for casting. I know I see alot of his videos on what he is doing but they dont really explain what I need them to explain to me. I have been following him for years now and find his work very interesting but I have questions. Hopefully they will be answered by reading his book.
 

Tgillis

Tonika
Corporate Member
Sorry I rambled on.
Do you have specific questions on the process?
I would like to know what pressure to use for how long and why it is like that. I would also like to understand the process so I can make informed decisions. I was asking for someone to break the process down for me like the beginner that I am. I watch a lot of youtube videos before I come to this forum because I don't want to sound like an ignoramus asking questions...
 

Mauser44

John
User
I use 60 psi based on my research.
Allumilite has a cure time on it, but I always go a little over. The bottle will have a temp range for use as well. Prep everything, measure part A and B separately and pressurize you compressor. Have your molds ready and clean. You will need to combine, mix and put under pressure in 5 to 6 minutes, with a 7vminute open time.
Once dry, I let then sit for another day or two before turning.
The issues I have had was rushing the process and not mixing well enough; the resin will not cure no matter what.
I have made molds and purchased some.often I use plexiglass and duct tape /heat glue gun to seal seams.(many molds have leaked under pressure).
Buy boxes of latex gloves. You will need many.

Vacuum process is more relaxed as the open time is a few hours for the slow resin.
 

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