Simple Jigs and Techniques #11: Modular Veneer Press Build

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 02-03-2015 12:14 AM 2279 reads 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Easy DIY Safety Straightedge Part 11 of Simple Jigs and Techniques series Part 12: Locating Critical Insert Nuts »

Just a few more pictures and explanations than the project post had room for. The concept is simple and can be adapted in many ways but here is what I did.

First off I selected knot free parts of 8’ construction 2X4’s and ripped them into 1X4’s. Then I laminated them up in half laps so that the result looks like a box joint but is easier to get perfect fit and glue ups. I used PVA glue because I had it around and threw a few staples in to keep things aligned while I quickly laid up the frames.

Just for a little added strength I pinned each corner with 1/2” dowels when the clamps came off.

Next I bored holes for the screws…....

.... and expanded the holes on the inside with a trim router to fit the “nuts” and provide a shoulder for them to work against. This is the one of the old frames but the same was done with the new ones.

The shop made screws are epoxied in with cheap quick set epoxy. All it does is keep them from falling out. The force is taken on the wood shoulder inside the holes.

Once you have the frames you can make the platen and screw it to the bottom cross members. this is just to keep the pieces together and again has no bearing on the strength of the press. You can use more or fewer frames and can also add a few C clamps around the platens at the outer ends if you like.

The conversion of cheap C clamps to veneer press screws is detailed here.

This is a really easy build and makes for a very versatile press. You can use the whole area to glue up a large project or have several smaller items even different thicknesses, pressing at the same time. I use it all the time for flattening veneer, pressing veneer after paper backing, glue ups on assembly boards, actual pressing of marquetry with or without hot cauls, and generally just to keep things flat while they await assembly into a project.
In short, since I’ve had these presses I have come to depend on them an cannot imagine what I would do without them.

Thanks for looking in.


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

5 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1837 days

#1 posted 02-03-2015 12:20 AM

Thanks for the additional info Paul. I noticed in one picture threaded rod at either end of the (old) frame. I’m assuming the new ones with the thicker sides and half laps don’t need the additional support.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View grizzman's profile (online now)


7781 posts in 2722 days

#2 posted 02-03-2015 12:26 AM

thanks paul for the blog, i hope your well and that things are thumbs up with your golf game and such…i know you must notice the play on words, just making sure you have not slipped…lol….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

55 posts in 2106 days

#3 posted 02-03-2015 01:00 AM

Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your design. I might have missed it in a previous post but can you share the dimensions of your frame?

View shipwright's profile


7084 posts in 2217 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 03:31 AM

Bill, the frames are 20 1/4” wide inside for a 20” wide platen. I’m not in the shop right now but as I remember the height is about 14” or 16” inside. None of the measurements are critical. You can make whatever size you like. The height should be enough to accommodate lots of options. Not high enough will limit you. Too high can be easily filled with blocking. I really like my 4X4 cross blocks as they really even out the force.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Roger's profile


19711 posts in 2223 days

#5 posted 02-03-2015 12:33 PM

This is one heck of a press

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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