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Veneer Press Frame and Table

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Project by TampaMark posted 09-01-2014 01:24 AM 2066 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been working with walnut burl veneer lately and needed to invest in a good vacuum press. The size of the panels needed was just too large to try and clamp up. I went to the joewoodworker.com website and ordered parts to build my own vacuum pump. While there, I became intrigued with the idea of building a frame press instead of using the more traditional vacuum bags.

I decided to make a 35”x51” frame press that I have incorporated into the outfeed table of my table saw. I built the frame to lay flat on a leftover sheet of prefinished maple plywood. I notched the edges of the setup to allow my outfeed table to lay down on top of the frame press when it is not in use.

The frame build took about two hours to build, while the pump took about four hours to build. I used them both for the first time today with great success. I glue up three panels of 24”x48” walnut burl veneer leaving them in the vacuum for an hour each.

If anyone is interested in vacuum pressing, the joewoodworker website is excellent. In addition to great information, they get your order to you very quickly and answer any questions you have super fast. I have been ordering my veneer through Joe’s other website for years, but was blown away with the service he provided as I put the pump and frame together.

-- -- Mark (maker of high-grade kindling)





6 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2012 posts in 1629 days


#1 posted 09-01-2014 11:31 AM

Thank you for your contribution. A nice table and press. I,m also glad with the joewoodworker website.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

954 posts in 2755 days


#2 posted 09-01-2014 01:35 PM

Mark,
How are you getting the initial vacuum closure? I’m not seeing clamps or weights to hold the top down until the vacuum takes over.

I have been using a heavy vinyl bag for quite a while and curse it most times for being hard to maneuver. Bought a poly bag from Joe, just not taken the time to install the valve.

+1 on the service from Joe on anything from his site. Veneer arrives very well packaged.

Steve.

View TampaMark's profile

TampaMark

38 posts in 1412 days


#3 posted 09-01-2014 02:02 PM

Dutchy – thanks for the comment. Fair to say your English is much better than my Dutch :)

Steve – I have used bags in the past as well, and still have curses echoing around my shop. I made the frame so that it bows up slightly off the table in the corners (as per Joe’s suggestion). Look closely and you can see the top of two quick clamps at the far end (from the valve) to hold down the corners. I only need slight pressure on the near corners once I start the pump to create the initial vacuum closure. It has worked well so far. My plan is to install a piano hinge on the far end that will provide enough pressure to replace the clamps. The hinge should also make it easier to get panels in-and out-of the press.

-- -- Mark (maker of high-grade kindling)

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

954 posts in 2755 days


#4 posted 09-01-2014 02:47 PM

Look closely and you can see the top of two quick clamps at the far end (from the valve) to hold down the corners. I only need slight pressure on the near corners once I start the pump to create the initial vacuum closure.

That makes sense and is simple. I used to see a similar set up for vacuum forming vinyl with a hing on the far side. Now I need to find a neat place to hide such a thing like you have.
Steve.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

5257 posts in 3342 days


#5 posted 09-01-2014 03:06 PM

Hey Mark,

That looks great. I made a press like this a few years ago and I find it much easier to use than a bag. I have to hold down the frame to the press plate with spring clamps, which is a bit of a pain, but works. I love how you hid it in your table saw extension – neat.

Certainly Woods is also a great place to buy veneers online.
http://www.certainlywood.com/

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View TampaMark's profile

TampaMark

38 posts in 1412 days


#6 posted 09-01-2014 04:07 PM

Steve – thanks for the link. Always looking for good resources.

-- -- Mark (maker of high-grade kindling)

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