Crazy question about vacuum pumps

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DownHome, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    KS
    Has anyone made their own vacuum pump for a milk machine? Any suggestions out their?

    The cheapest one we've seen has been about $1000 and I know we can come up with something for a lot less than that. Can you use an old vacuum cleaner motor? Can it be made out of anything else?

    I know I'm probably dreaming, but you guys know everything else, so why not ask :)

    Thanks in Advance.

    downhome
     
  2. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Yes, there was something on here, or in Countryside, about using the vacuum lines on your truck. (is that really how you spell vacuum? what a weird word)

    His goats would come running to be milked when he started up the truck. :) Also you can remote milk, from anywhere. Was very cool article. It should be on the web somewhere...someone on here knows.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Any air compressor is also a vacuum pump. As an air compressor the outlet is where the lines are connected. As a vacuum pump the lines are connected to the input. The input is where the air filter is located on an air compressor. You will need some type of regulator to match the vacuum achieved to the need of the milking equipment.
     
  4. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    visited an Amish farm a few weeks ago, been thinking about a milker since then. Surplus center has vacuum pumps that are not so expensive. i know for a fact that automobile airconditioner compressors can also be used as a vacuum pump. (old mechanical illustrated project used the square shapped ford compressor as a vacuum pump) even small vacuum pumps could be used if a storage tank were used to store a vacuum, lp tank maybe. it would have to have time to recover before the next milking but would work. how much vacuum (inches Hg) is required to run a milker?
     
  5. lewbest

    lewbest Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    Been lotsa years since I milked but I do remember it took a lot of volume but not much "vacuum pressure." I do know that vacuum is measured in inches rather than pounds.

    If you can find out how much is required, I have a coupla pumps I'd planned to sell on ebay (iirc they usually bring bout 75-100 bux there) but I really doubt they'll have enough capacity. They do have the capacity on them; I can look if you find out what is required. I'd be glad to sell one (or however many I have); just never got around to listing them.

    Lew in TX
     
  6. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,082
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Arkansas
    You need 12 inches of vacuum at 6 cfm to run a Surge bucket milker for goats, 15 inches of vacuum for cattle.
     
  7. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    ok so if i remember correctly a perfect vacuum is 29.5 inches (or -14.696 psi, but you are correct -psi is incorrect way of measuring, just a way for us normal people to get a handle on it). so 14 inches is not a hard vacuum for equipment to handle...

    i'm planning to order a pump from surplus center,,,,and i have a medical unit around here somewhere.....but so far i cannot afford a surge unit from ebay....i think most have been going around $80.00. this weekend, when i find some time, i look at volumes on pumps and maybe post back if it would be of any help.
     
  8. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,082
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    North Central Arkansas
    The oil in auto refrigeration pumps is easily fouled by the damp air from milkers. This air compressor from Harbor Freight:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94734

    Runs at 1720 rpm and has a valve body that can be reversed to make a vacuum pump with sufficient cfm to run a single bucket milker. There are other modifications; pulling the plug in he check valve, a vacuum regulator, a vacuum guage, etc., that need to be done.

    I built milkers using this conversion for a couple of years. It's sufficient for milking a few goats morning and night. My problem was, people were using them to milk 100 or more and it just won't stand up to that. Not changing the oil in the crankcase on a regular basis and not cleaning the manifold of milk solids were other problems. A couple of years ago, you could buy a fine Surge bucket with a good pulsator on Ebay for $40. Those days are gone.

    If there is sufficient interest, after we get back from vacation, I'll do a pdf of instructions to convert a compressor to a vacuum pump and if I have enough components left, to put together a Surge bucket for milking goats. DeLaval buckets that use a claw are better for cattle unless you don't mind applying inflations one at a time. They're more expensive though, and there are no rebuilding kits for the original DeLaval pulsators.

    I'll sell instructions, including parts sources, milking instructions and clean up for $38 or build you a vacuum pump $399, you pay freight. I'll no longer put together buckets, just too much of a pain trying to gather parts since they're onto us at Ebay, but the directions would include putting together your own. That way you can build your milker as you can afford it rather than laying out the $$ all at once.
     
  9. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,862
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Central WI
    With buckets your cfm isn't so big of an issue. Unless you have a bunch of them. Used to milk with 3 floor buckets on a 2HP Universal pump. Had to upgrade to a 3HP when we got more buckets. I've seen one bucket run off the vacuum on a Farmall B. Anywhere from 5-10 CFM should be enough for 1 bucket.
    The most important thing would be controlling your vacuum. 15 inches on a bucket seems a bit much. I would dial a pipeline up to 15 but never a bucket. 10-12 would be better IMO.
     
  10. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    KS
    Okay, so let me get this right. I can do something to my husbands air compressor to make it into a vacuum pump for my milker?

    He has a fairly nice air compressor and it may take some serious persuasion to convince him it won't harm his compressor. But since it is something we already have and we could get a bucket off of ebay, it would definitely be the cheapest route for us.

    Does anyone know any links to the specifics in how to turn the compressor into a vacuum? And would I be able to toggle it back and forth from a vacuum to a compressor still?

    WOW you guys really do know everything!!
     
    smwon likes this.
  11. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Here is the story, I found it. Farm Show is a great magazine. Lots of inventions and neat neat stuff in them.

    Farm Show Mag Truck Milker
     
  12. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    642
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    KS