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Thread: Veneer press

  1. #1

    Veneer press

    Has anybody out there built a flip top vacuum veneer press?? Or know of any articles on how to??
    I do a bunch of flat panel veneering and I have a space to put one, plus I have a couple of bags I can use for curved veneering. I'm just not ready to give up six or seven hundred dollars for a commercial model.
    Surley it cant be rocket science.

    Thanks
    Dave
    Mission Furniture- My mission is to build more furniture !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,578
    Dave, while I'm not familiar with a "flip top" press, I built the JWW vac press for around $200 if memory serves me. It is not rocket science as you say and if you already have bags you can build for less. JWW has instructions on his web site. The major cost is a pump, if you chose to go that route, which I did. I think the pump, off an auction site, was less than $100, and the remainder came from JWW. If you turn, it is also useful for vac chuck, and you can also do vac clamping.
    Good, Fast, Cheap--Pick two.

  3. #3
    Here is a pic of a flip top. Its basically a frame covered with a vacuum bag material and is hinged on one end.
    You lift it up, place your work in the press and close the frame down over it and fire up your pump.
    fliptop.jpg

    I have the bag materials and pump, just looking for ideas on building the frame and base.


    Thanks
    Dave
    Mission Furniture- My mission is to build more furniture !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,578
    Dave, it looks like you could modify the vac clamp from JWW to do that. If you are not familiar with the vac clamp all it is is a frame that can be sealed top and bottom so you can place work on it and hold the work in place with the vacuum. If you built the vac clamp frame and sandwiched the bag material in it, it might work.

    Where are you in Central Texas? I grew up in Cameron and we have a place in Gatesville.
    Good, Fast, Cheap--Pick two.

  5. #5
    dave, i`ve considered doing the same thing but haven`t yet....what`s kept me from even starting is the gasket design and implimentation..have you done any research along these lines? tod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    6,429
    I built a big one when I wanted to veneer a 72"x90" panel, and thought that wrestling it into a bag was too daunting. Here's some tips...

    • The table was a torsion box. I used melamine-covered particle board for the top skin, hoping that the sheet of plastic would hold a vacuum. It doesn't. I eventually covered it with a sheet of vacuum-bag vinyl.
    • Vinyl comes 54" wide. To make a wider sheet, I made the sheet as a double thickness, and didn't overlap the seams in the layers. The composite sheet didn't have any steps in it for the gasket to try to seal.
    • I made the frame from 1x6 dry construction lumber, reinforced at the corners with plywood gussets. I applied the vinyl loosely, so it could go over workpieces without being stressed. The vinyl went under the frame and up the outside. I just duct taped it to the outside.
    • For a gasket I used closed-cell foam weatherstripping tape, available at most building stores. The whole top clamped down to the table every 12" or so, and that seemed to provide sufficient sealing.


    This rig worked, but eventually I junked it. It was just too big to store conveniently.

  7. #7
    i`m currently using a 17`x6` 20 mil poly bag for most stuff and have it sitting on a torsion boxed table. getting 5x10 in isn`t much trouble for one man but much larger and i really wish i had a flip-top. i`ve played with the closed cell foam and also heavy duty weatherstrip from peterbilt and haven`t found a workable solution for me yet......tod

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    41
    Have you thought of using refrigerator gasket material with a magnet in it on some thin steel?

  9. #9
    I have a 4 foot by 7 foot workbench on wheels that I use the top of the bench for my vacuum bags but the bottom shelf just seems to be a catch all.
    My thinking is I would build a frame out of one by, straight grain white oak, attach the vinyl to it, build a torsion box for the base and connect the frame to the box on one end with some hinges. JWW has some gasket material that I could use to make the seal between the frame and torsion box. His gasket material is a special made stuff for vacuum clamping.
    I will attached the vacuum hose fitting to the center of the vinyl in the frame.
    Think this will work ????

    Dave
    Mission Furniture- My mission is to build more furniture !

  10. #10
    dave, it didn`t work for me. at least not well enough to go further with the wood/tape approach..the problem i was having was getting a good seal without 47 clamps involved. the only reason i was looking toward the lidded approach was for speed and chasing leaks and clamping them wasn`t doing it. i went so far as to weld a frame up of 1 1/2" square tubing and tried it with the wally-world vinyl..after a couple of fruitless days i figured if i really needed a lidded press i`d be money ahead to buy one with the bugs worked out.....i`m still baggin`.....02 tod

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans
    dave, it didn`t work for me. at least not well enough to go further with the wood/tape approach..the problem i was having was getting a good seal without 47 clamps involved. the only reason i was looking toward the lidded approach was for speed and chasing leaks and clamping them wasn`t doing it. i went so far as to weld a frame up of 1 1/2" square tubing and tried it with the wally-world vinyl..after a couple of fruitless days i figured if i really needed a lidded press i`d be money ahead to buy one with the bugs worked out.....i`m still baggin`.....02 tod
    Interesting-
    I would think that the 1 1/2 square tubing would do the trick. If you dont mind me asking- How did you attach the vinyl to the steel frame?? And what kind of gasket material did you use between the base and the frame??
    Thanks
    Dave
    Mission Furniture- My mission is to build more furniture !

  12. #12
    dave, i used closed cell tape between the steel and vinyl and then more tape between the two layers of vinyl. then the weatherstrip from peterbilt for between the two layers of vinyl when the tape wouldn`t seal well. then a few tubes of caulk but without numerous clamps i was unable to get a good seal.( my venturi pump was cycling 3-4 times a min.) with the large bag it cycles once every 5 min. or so... i just got fustrated and dropped the idea.....if you`ve got a large pump you can probably get by with what i did but a tripple venturi unit didn`t cut it for me....02 tod

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