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Vacuum Pressing At A Reasonable Cost

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Review by vipond33 posted 451 days ago 2957 views 11 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Vacuum Pressing At A Reasonable Cost Vacuum Pressing At A Reasonable Cost Vacuum Pressing At A Reasonable Cost Click the pictures to enlarge them

To begin: If space is a vacuum, who changes the bag? Hmm?

Back to earth.

We use a vacuum bag extensively at our shop. Everything goes in it;
veneered panels & torsion box assemblies
.

.
solid layups and curved work pressings of course.

.

Recently, our old bag had had the bun. Full of difficult to patch holes, it was a mess. A new one though, was going to run us $550 from our original supplier. You have to pause at that expense, grimace a bit and patch a few more times.

Then, frustrated and cruising the net one day I ran across veneer supplies.com. Besides providing an amazing array of veneers and supplies, they also offered a Build A Bag system for a reasonable cost. What it was consisted of a seamless tube of 20 mil polyurethane plus the bag closures and a flush mount valve stem. A 5’ x 12’ bag for us ran only $185. Hell, let’s get two.
Much smaller ones are available for the home shop.

One and a half days after ordering we got it shipped from Maryland across the border to Toronto! That’s fast. E-mails to the site were helpful and returned promptly. Read their about us to have a good idea of the fine US company here.

We ordered additional fittings to have dual air flow from our HI-Flow pump and were very pleased with the quality of these pieces. Solid brass and accurately machined.

The stretch factor compared to our old vinyl bag was outstanding. No more un-pressurized ridges on top (so important with veneer) and it also being a glue releasing surface.

Because it was so clean and new we had to put in a chain to the corner of the work most times because the bag would self seal around it and provide no pressure. That’ll change as it gets dirty.

If you’re new to this clamping method, they also provide low cost venturi or oil-less pumps to make up a complete system. For a bag replacement or entry into the world of vacuum pressing I heartily recommend this company and their products.

It’s all good now, yet it seems that some guys in the shop are still not perfectly clear on the concept.

gene

Don’t remind me of the lovely bits of sawdust on the lens. Phff.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.




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vipond33

1405 posts in 1095 days



20 comments so far

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2490 days


#1 posted 451 days ago

the vacuum press ?

Oh ya

Ah ha

u betcha ?

y r the tools vacd to the bench?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1095 days


#2 posted 451 days ago

M, I’ll press those flowers for you if send them over.
Put them on mdf and you’ll look pretty in pink.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4746 posts in 2479 days


#3 posted 451 days ago

Space is like a Dyson, it’s bagless. Silly boy.

I have my bag and flat press made out of this. Good stuff. Much smaller than yours. Good people to work with.

Nice tip with the small chain, I have been using small strips of plastic mesh and they always slide around. It looks like the chain would stay in place.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jap's profile

jap

1224 posts in 651 days


#4 posted 451 days ago

Thanks for the review, i will keep this company in mind for future.

-- Joel

View stefang's profile

stefang

12560 posts in 1931 days


#5 posted 451 days ago

Nice to see that you can get a decent bag and accessories for a much lower price now. I will probably never need one, but I have an old carpentry book from the early 70’s where a vacuum bag setup is just a black plastic trash bag and vacuum cleaner was used to pull out the air. I have always wondered how that worked.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4838 posts in 1395 days


#6 posted 451 days ago

I made the venturi style years ago from their free online plans and my own bags from the heavy vinyl that soft boat tops’ windows are made from, edges glued with vinyl pool repair glue. It has worked really well for me on many projects. My large bag is about 4’ x8’. Whole system was around $250 as I remember, not counting the compressor of course. Good company to deal with .

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1017 days


#7 posted 450 days ago

I’ve found that my local fabric store sells a 10mil vinyl super-cheap. I also use double sided foam tape from HD that seals the edges fast and leak free.
They won’t be as durable as 20 mil or 30 mil bags, but for that one time use goofy setup they are perfect.
And did I mention cheap? ($3/yard in 60” wide rolls)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Carl Stammerjohn's profile

Carl Stammerjohn

5 posts in 768 days


#8 posted 450 days ago

Great tips on how to make up a new bag. Thanks!

Just curious – why no grooves in your platen? Grooves would make the chain (or plastic mesh) unnecessary.

-- -- Carl Stammerjohn, http://stammerjohn.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34853 posts in 2997 days


#9 posted 450 days ago

I use grooves in the base, really squares going both directions and my hose goes into the side of the melamine and up into the groove. So all of the vacuum is being pulled through the slots.

I’ve bought a lot of stuff from Joe.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View tinnman65's profile

tinnman65

1104 posts in 2011 days


#10 posted 450 days ago

I built my vacuum pump from parts and plans from this company. It was very reasonable and the directions were very clear. My first Bag was made from heavy vinyl I bought at Jo Ann Fabrics, I made a 4’x 10 bag for under 40 bucks with the glue veneer supplies .com sells. I still use that bag but just recently bought a 2’x4’ bag from them for smaller projects and I can really tell what a quality bag is like now. Great review!

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

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SteveMI

845 posts in 1891 days


#11 posted 449 days ago

I had a pump, but bought the hardware kit and made the PVC reservour with the plans. Good company to do business with.

Steve.

View vipond33's profile

vipond33

1405 posts in 1095 days


#12 posted 449 days ago

Nice to see everyone sharing their experience. More is good. Thanks a lot.

Our system and procedure, to answer a couple of questions, is like Karson’s.
There is an dead on 8” torsion box underneath, holding two sheets of melamine inside the bag. The top one slides out to take the work. The bottom sheet is square grooved underneath right up to the two valves.
Grooves on the top surface (or even heavy knife cuts for that matter) can give very low pressure resulting in pressed ridges on veneer.
Air is escaping everywhere yet the new plastic is like Saran Wrap now and so we need a chain to allow air flow to the piece no matter what.
Still, what a delight to use a good vac bag.
gene

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34853 posts in 2997 days


#13 posted 449 days ago

Gene: It might be the groves that are giving me problems. For my home use I’ve found it easier to only veneer one side at a time, So I’ll have a caul on the one side and then after a couple of hours I’ll do the other side if it’s required.

I’ve also found it easier to use a large caul put it on the bottom and then place my veneer on the veneer side down. That way I don’t need to cut a bunch of cauls to match my piece. I never get an caul bending over the edges and giving low pressure toward the edge of the panel. This way the panel itself is the top cau and the bottom caul is pressed against the veneer.

I also cover my bottom caul with butchers paper which is a white paper with a plastic coating. The glue doesn’t stick to it and it keeps the blood from seeping out of my meat. (LOL)

The veneer source that you referenced also sales a top sheet of what looks like plastic fencing. I put that on top of my panels (It doesn’t work well on the veneered side even though he advertises it that way.) That’s what I use to give an air passage to edge of the bag.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4838 posts in 1395 days


#14 posted 449 days ago

.... Er, .. Ah .. there’s always hammer veneering.
One full atmosphere of pressure and no bag. :-)

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1017 days


#15 posted 448 days ago

Paul, you say that as if Hammer Veneering is easier… (Which, for you, it may be.)
The rest of us will likely use what we know and are set up to use.

Hammer veneering is intriguing to me, but, I’d probably need a tutor to get started and also not be working on a time critical project for a client when I do it.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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