I am going to build a chamber type vacuum sealer.
Unlike the Food-saver Seal-a-Meal machines that pull a weak vacuum, do not seal really well and use expensive special bags, a chamber style has an impulse sealer inside the chamber and the product is bagged, set inside the chamber, and sealed after you have drawn a vacuum.
The reason I am going to build this is that prices for the commercial models start around $1,500 and you have to repack a whole lot of food to recoup that kind of money.
I think I have most of the design figured out, but I am unsure how to fabricate the chamber itself. My first thought was to use a stainless steel steam table pan, but I am worried that this might crush in under vacuum, as the thickest one made is only 20 gauge.
My first thought was to make a tubular frame and epoxy some supports that could then be wired to the frame to give some support to the pan to prevent it from crushing.
My next thought was to layer a 1/4 inch of fiberglass on the outside of the steam table pan using epoxy resin.
Then I wondered if the pan was necessary at all or if I could just mold a fiberglass chamber over a chunk of foam or plywood and end up with a chamber that would hold up to the pressure and the cycling.
So I figured that before I went to a bunch of work and watched a failure because it was not quite strong enough, or wasted a whole lot of money overbuilding, I figured I would run it by you guys for your thoughts.