I Got a Vacuum Pump

I recently obtained a Vacuum pump from the school (they got it from like a barn or something where it was sitting for like 10 years, so it needed a lot of cleaning, lot of dirt). I'm not sure how strong it is, but it is powered by a 1/2 HP motor (the same motor that I got earlier, I'm just now using the Vacuum pump) and uses pullies to make the torque more around 2HP. Couple of Questions: -It works (I'm not sure how well, if you put your hand over the output and give the pulley a 1/4 rotation turn it generates a noticeable amount of sunction (and sounds like an opening bottle of wine when you take your hand off). -What usually goes bad with old pumps, can I prevent it? -I should probably change the oil, is there a cheap local way of getting some (like some sort of auto oil?) -Do you think there's enough suction to create a vacuum tube. (doesn't have to be precision made, it's for Tesla Coils, think large Vacuum Tubes)

sort by: active | newest | oldest
Xellers8 years ago
From your description, I strongly doubt that one of those is strong enough to play around with thermionic emissions, gas discharges, or x rays. I borrowed something similar from my dad's lab and built a little vacuum chamber for it. I turned it on, and it barely pumped anything. Post some pictures.
lemonie Xellers8 years ago
There's one here

you should definitely change the oil, in the one I have you can use SAE 10 detergent oil.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. Most vacuum pumps use a special oil that won't boil under a vacuum. . The valves and the piston rings are the critical parts for producing a vacuum. It sounds like they are in reasonable shape, but you won't know for sure until it's under a load. . Do not start it up until you have at least removed all moisture/dirt/&c from inside (you may need to do some disassembing to be sure) and changed the oil. Make sure you have a good filter on the inlet (the suction side). . Search the 'Net for info in vacuum pump maintenance and service/servicing.
Do you have any pics of it so we know what it is like?