So the first part of this is the fact that I needed a vacuum press to really get the results that I wanted. I did a lot of reading on the joewoodworker site and decided on the excel1 continuous run system. It came in the mail yesterday and get everything set up and sealed off.
The next step for me is working on making the vacuum bag. I bought 30mil vinyl from the veneer suppliers website. I have the glue for the vinyl and the roller and the valve stem now I just need to get things assembled.
Ok so did the first glue up on the vacuum bag. First thing was cutting off some of the vinyl in order to have a piece to “edge-band” the second glue up for later on. I didn’t have any rulers or long straight edges on hand so I just used a roll of painters tape and a marker as I slid my finger down the bag to get a (somewhat) straight line for cutting.
Next is preparing the glueing area for glueing. This is done using acetone and a greenie scrubbing pad. The acetone helps remove all the manufacturing oils and the scrubby helps add perforations to the vinyl to promote a good bond strength of the glue.
So after lining up the ends and marking things off, I got the glue up done. The glue up was done by overlaying the ends and not sandwiching them on top of each other like you would simply folding the vinyl in half. The seem was sealed using a wooden roller and then after it was rolled tight, I went along the top border and added glue to where the edge met up with the face of the other side of the vinyl. This will be done to the inside seam as well once the glue dries and I can turn the bag inside out. More to be done later!
Next I’ve finished work for the most part on this vacuum bag and my bag closure that I’ll be using. It took a little bit of work on and off but so far so good. The valve stem is in place and it’ll be ready for when I start pressing my veneer.
This is my bag closure that I’ll be using. It’s just a piece of oak that has a ½” dowel ran through it and glued into place on one side. Then it has dowels at the end that allow the two halves to be aligned while closing the bag and then it will be squeezed together with clamps to seal off the bag during pressing.
I drew down the bag for the first time and to my surprise no leaks at all! I was going to go around with another later of glue on the edges but I couldn’t find any leaks to draw the glue into. Pretty proud of the bag! Way better than spending a ton of money on buying one from an online supplier and much more rewarding that I made it myself. I can’t see this bag not lasting me a very long time.
Thanks for looking at this first part of the build thread! I’ll be posting up the next couple installments shortly on the build process of the box.
-- - Still a new guy to the craft, but always striving to learn more