|Project by newTim||posted 05-15-2011 08:03 AM||6546 views||26 times favorited||16 comments|
Why complicate things when you don’t have to? Here’s what I think is a simple solution for an adjustable height, adjustable width, veneer or lamination press using pipe clamps. It is as easy to set up as it is flexible. If your horizontal bar is long enough and strong enough you can bridge the length of a table or you can mount them across the width, on an angle, or even across a corner. As you can see it is also very easy to us a couple of setups for large flat pieces or long laminations.
The only drawback to this idea is cost. Since you need one pipe clamp set and two additional slider/locks you would need to buy three sets of pipe clamps to make up one vertical support. The good news is you can always use them for your regular pipe clamps. I contacted Rockler to see if they were interested in packaging clamp sets with the two slider/locks and/or veneer screws, but no joy. Woodcraft said they’d sell one slider for $10. Harbor Freight has 3/4” pipe clamps without the pipes for around $7-$8. I already had three sets so I had enough for one support and bought six more at HF. Then, just yesterday, I saw an ad on Craig’s List and sure enough, a guy had thirteen pipe clamps with pipes which he sold to me for $50. Clearly that is the way to go.
The amount of force you can create with this setup is impressive. I first used a regular 2×4 which I broke pretty quick. So I got my mind working and came up with the prototype bar in the last two pictures. I bought some metal strips at Home Depot and laminated them together with some 2x stock and plywood. So far it is working great. I’m building another bar and will add it to a future blog. The next big challenge is to come up with an adjustable horizontal bar, or maybe a bar that allows the veneer screws to be positioned anywhere between the supports. If anyone comes up with an idea please let me know.
-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com