Bell jar travel case

I recently have been playing around a bit with vacuum systems.

I got a lovely bell jar on eBay, but I was worried it’d get damaged every time I have to move it from one place to another. The glass is very thick, true. But if it’s cracked the chamber might explode in someone’s face the next time it gets pumped down. Hence, I figured a travelling case was a nice project to do.

Laying out the wood panels after using the table saw. Then, laying them out again after remembering to actually tighten the table saw’s extensions so it cuts straight:

Wooden plates freshly cut

I cut some batons to length and glued and stapled the box. I saw Adam Savage use this technique, and I’m a big fan. It allows you to get solid construction incredibly fast:

stapled and glued panels

I stained the wood, then clear coated it. Inside I lined the case with polystyrene foam to act as a cushion:

Inside view of bell jar and styrene of travelling case

Some brass handles and corners I had laying around finished it off:

Finished stained brass bell jar box and travelling case

It’s been very handy so far. While I’m working out the bugs in the vacuum system I’ve had to bring the jar and pumps back and forth to the workshop several times a week. I’m now able to rest easy it’s not going to be damaged by dropping or having stuff piled on it in the car.

The build took about 2-3 hours to get it assembled and stained, then perhaps an hour of coating and fitting the brass fittings over the next couple of days. Not a bad result for a quick project.

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