Re: Dipping My Toe In The Vacuum Press Water

The biggest piece I did was 4'x24', or some of the staircases I have veneered. I don't have an expensive system, I just use 6 mill plastic, and a rotary vein pump I bought for $24. That was 40 years ago, so the ones that cost over 100 today are probably comparable. You can find them at parts costs if you want to. The heavy bags are good for the systems Bill doesn't like because they are less permeable, I guess. Though my system on the large pieces didn't leak either. I just use calking on the bags. Or one can sometimes find came that snaps around the plastic and is reusable. Sometimes the dollar store has stuff that reseal dog food bags.

If you want a state of the woodworking arts system you are probably on the right track, but just to do that small piece you have, you don't need to spend any money at all.

Actually, I tell a lie, I did the 4x24 piece using the smallest shop vac. And there is an important point from that. If you use compliant materials they only need a few pounds per square inch to be pressed. But you need to use something like epoxy that will bond 100% at those pressure. And a lot of veneers need heavier pressures also. They may be seemingly compliant, but stuff like local crinkles as around a birdseye may not press down, but actually compliant materials do not require high pressures. These include flat stock like plywood and fibers.

Vac bagging is incredible. They say woodworkers can never have too many clamps, but one shop vac would bond plywood to the surface of an aircraft carrier, because the pressure comes from the atmosphere. Of course it would need something else to get that much air out of the bag before the glue set, but that is a separate issue.

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