|Project by Wingstress||posted 03-31-2011 05:28 AM||5815 views||36 times favorited||18 comments|
I built this vacuum press from the plans and kits provided by Joe Woodworker at www.veneersupplies.com. I had owned a hand pump vacuum bag, but I could never tell if it kept its suction after I left the shop, so I wanted something with a cycling feature that turned on and off when any air leaked. At the start of this project I knew absolutely nothing about vacuum presses and how they worked. Veneersupplies.com has all the information you need, in fact it can be a little intimidating – talk about information overload. I purchased the VSE kit and at the time really didn’t understand what I was building, but the directions on the web were very informative with excellent interactive pictures. Also, I must have emailed Joe 5 or 6 times with questions and he always responded quickly and informatively.
About the vacuum – I saved a lot a money by using a rebuilt pump (also sold by Joe). The tanks are PVC spay painted blue and all the pluming came in the kit. The frame is just scrap plywood painted gray. The design of the frame was copied directly off the website which has a ton of pictures of people’s designs. The only thing original thing I added were the two drawers under the frame for the 10 foot hose and some veneering tools and tape. If I hadn’t painted it, it could have easily been built in a weekend.
Overall I’m very pleased with its performance. It could suck a watermelon through a straw and hold it there. The last picture is it in use. I’m gluing up 7 plies of rock maple for a longboard. The jack screw in the middle is to add some camber form tip to tail. Its being pressed onto a foam mold that is curved from side to side.
-- Tom, Simsbury, CT