Author Topic: Homemade vacuum sealer...  (Read 10829 times)

Offline Strangersolz

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Homemade vacuum sealer...
« on: April 28, 2009, 10:58:40 AM »
Many, many moons ago (10+ years) I read an article in American Survival Guide about a homemade vacuum sealer. it wasn't anything like you would buy at the store. It was basically a vacuum chamber. It was built out of a length of PVC pipe, auto a/c compressor, and something to close the ends with.
You would place your canning jar with lid inside the chamber. Then you would start the compressor sucking out the air inside the chamber. Upon breaking the chamber seal, the lid would be vacuum sucked onto the jar.

Has anyone ever heard or seen anything like this? Does anyone even remember the article? I've always been curious about this way of vacuum "canning".

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Homemade vacuum sealer...
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 04:47:12 PM »
I'm not familiar with the article, but the idea sounds plausible.

As long as your chamber is well sealed it should do just as advertised.

Here is an instructable on making a sealer for mason jars.

Here is a short letter from Backwoods Home Magazine. 

Original link here.

Quote
Our home-built vacuum packer

In the May/June issue of Backwoods Home Magazine, someone asked about vacuum sealers. About 5 years ago, we made our first vacuum packing machine. It was made of a vacuum pump, gauge, chamber, and an aluminum top plate with a neoprene gasket. The hoses were water hoses from the local hardware store.

We were getting ready for Y2K and realized that we couldn’t afford the commercial dehydrated food. We decided to try vacuuming dried food. We found our canning jars at thrift stores and bought new lids and rims. Some of the jars we bought were rather dirty, by I scrubbed them up. I’ve been thinking that since vacuuming is a dry process, anything that had leeched into the porous glass would stay there. I don’t know if that is technically true or not. But it is true that bacteria and viruses cannot live in a vacuum. That is why you shouldn’t vacuum yeast, sourdough starter (the dry kind), or any seeds that you intend to plant in the garden.

One of the advantages turned out to be that you could buy large quantities of dried food on sale or at Sam’s Club and vacuum it. As long as the seal holds, the food inside is as fresh as the day you vacuumed it.

Our original set-up was not very powerful. We couldn’t vacuum wide mouth jars and we were having trouble keeping a seal on the regular mouth. Two friends of ours who are mechanically inclined helped us with a better system. We had the wrong kind of hoses for one thing. They said to use rigid automotive hoses. Then they suggested that we add PVC tanks to store the air in between vacuumings. Now instead of releasing all the air each time, it goes into the tanks and is stored there. The pump doesn’t have to work so hard and it doesn’t take as long to do each vacuum seal. I’m enclosing a couple of photos so you can see it. Notice the Martha Stewart vacuum chamber. K-Mart has since discontinued this particular waste basket. We also changed our gasket to closed cell/high density weather stripping. That works much better. We have to put on a new one from time to time. The new system does vacuum wide mouth jars and we have much less trouble losing seals.

I had been thinking of writing an article about this, but I can’t get around the mechanics of it. Well, I don’t know how the damn thing works. Yet for mechanically inclined people, it is a wonderful thing. It might encourage them to enlarge their pantries which is an important thing. It can help them save money, even though it is expensive to build. I was thinking of taking it a step farther and dehydrating food myself which would then be vacuumed. That would help people who live in climates with high humidity.

Oh, another advantage I thought of is that you can vacuum spices. If there is any trouble large enough to affect our imports, I can have some spices stored a long time.

I wanted to thank you for writing about storing white flour. That is the only thing we haven’t been able to vacuum. You said at some time that you had stored some white flour for six years. I’ve tried storing some too, but I’ve only gotten to 1½ years and so far it has been fine.

    Becky Blue
    Cedar Ridge, CA

Offline Puukko56

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Re: Homemade vacuum sealer...
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 10:00:33 AM »
OK, I finally got off my dead butt and went down into the basement and dug out my big box of American Survival Guide Mags and found the article you are looking for. It's in the May 1992 issue. The vacuum sealer is made from a air conditioning pump from a auto junk yard and 7 inch diameter PVC pipe with 3/8 side walls. He was also using a 1/3 hp electric motor. It looks like a good unit. I'm not sure how to get anyone this article because I'm only computer semi-literate. Also there might be copy write problems.

calamityjane

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Re: Homemade vacuum sealer...
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 12:14:13 PM »
Many, many moons ago (10+ years) I read an article in American Survival Guide about a homemade vacuum sealer. it wasn't anything like you would buy at the store. It was basically a vacuum chamber. It was built out of a length of PVC pipe, auto a/c compressor, and something to close the ends with.
You would place your canning jar with lid inside the chamber. Then you would start the compressor sucking out the air inside the chamber. Upon breaking the chamber seal, the lid would be vacuum sucked onto the jar.

Has anyone ever heard or seen anything like this? Does anyone even remember the article? I've always been curious about this way of vacuum "canning".

Hi, (new here and going through forum posts, and just posted this info to Ozzy as well.  Not spamming the product just wanted to share the info.). 

I bumped into a product yesterday I intend to try myself, but I think it's a great idea for reusing jars.

It's called a Pump-n-Seal.  Website: http://www.pump-n-seal.com/

Here's an excerpt about the product:
"Pump and Seal food saver vacuum sealer is the world's fastest, most powerful, and most versatile vacuum food sealing device. It's simply the BEST food saver vacuum sealer and marinating system in the world. Better than Tilia FoodSaver (see Product Comparison Table). Pump and Seal vacuum food saver is the only vacuum packing food system that uses ordinary zipper-locking bags (not special FoodSaver bags) and ordinary glass jars as food storage containers. The Pump N Seal food saver vacuum sealer works by permanently vacuum packing food in a commercial strength vacuum, using the same jar and lid hundreds of times." ~snip~

If you click through the site, you can view a Youtube on the product, and read some press releases, etc.

I recycle everything I can think of, and am taking baby steps to get off the grid too. 

This thing requires zero electricity, so it might be a great little device to carry while travelling or camping as well. 

On sale at the moment as well..  <$40 incl. shipping.