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Proper vacuum bag setup w/ breather mesh?

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Forum topic by milehighwoodworker posted 07-28-2010 08:40 PM 2874 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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milehighwoodworker

11 posts in 2407 days


07-28-2010 08:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer veneering vacuum press vacuum bag breather mesh platen

I am working on a dresser with sapele veneered case and drawer fronts. I’ve always sandwiched my panels between two grooved melamine platens, however I’d like to use breather mesh for this project. I’m wondering, what is the right set up? In my mind, it should be:

1. Un-grooved platen with hole drilled for hose
2. breather mesh a bit larger than panel
3. veneered panel, show face down
4. breather mesh on top of panel
5. close bag and turn on vacuum

Tell me if I’m wrong, and specifics are appreciated!!

-- "A craftsman who is respected nearly always rises to the task, and is happy to do so." -Thos. Moser


3 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1281 posts in 2484 days


#1 posted 07-29-2010 12:08 AM

I use a grooved MDF panel on the bottom. Then wax paper where there might be glue squeeze. (Don’t want anything sticking to the forms.) Veneered panel face up. Then a thin flexible door skin with mesh. I use a vacuum bag that already has the adapter for the vacuum hose connection. You can use another ungrooved platen on top of the mesh. However, it is not normally required. If you use a top platen make sure it is only 1/8” oversize of the shape so as not to have the vacuum bag put too much pressure on the perimeter. Too much overhang can cause the center to try to bow up thus putting less pressure in the middle. Or actually break the top platen from extreme pressures on the edges.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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milehighwoodworker

11 posts in 2407 days


#2 posted 07-30-2010 04:16 PM

Welp, I went ahead and did what I thought made the most sense, and I got SPECTACULAR results. Flattest, most bubble-free panels I’ve ever taken out of the bag. Here’s the proper set up:

1. Un-grooved platen
2. Panel, show-side down
3. breather mesh overhanging panel on all sides
4. close bag and turn on vacuum

We flattened the veneer with J-rollers as the bag tightened, but for the most part it wasnt necessary. The breather mesh really takes care of flattening everything.

-- "A craftsman who is respected nearly always rises to the task, and is happy to do so." -Thos. Moser

View sh2005's profile

sh2005

93 posts in 1983 days


#3 posted 07-31-2010 09:18 PM

I am going to do veneering for the first time for my current project and there will be a quite a bit of veneering. Since i have no experience with it, I am curious about one thing you mentioned: How does the breather mesh flatten out the veneer if the veneer face is down? Does it do it by evenly distributing the pressure?

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