Budget vacuum press?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by goodchicken, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. goodchicken

    goodchicken TDPRI Member

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    I'm going to do an arm carve on a Tele (and maybe a carve top on one in the future), and I have some purdy veneer to glue on. I tried testing with clamps, but it was a bit problematic.

    I had read somewhere in the past (probably here, but I can't seem to find the thread) about a fairly cheap DIY vacuum press setup. Seemed like it used some stuff from Harbor Freight.

    Any thoughts on this or vacuum presses in general is much appreciated :)
     
  2. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Vacuum is the way to go for veneers - but there's a bunch of things you need to buy to get set up. The bag material, pressure gauge, mastic, tape, fittings, veneer softener, breather material; and then there's the pump. You could use a household vacuum for a small piece like a guitar body, but it would barely work and almost surely kill the vacuum cleaner

    A big aquarium pump might be enough. A fridge pump would work, but you have to find one. Pressure needs to be held for duration of initial set/cure of adhesive. you can either have a regulator control pump cycles or sit there yourself and babysit

    Definitely test before you do your real work. There is a learning curve.
     
  3. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    I have bagged epoxy with a shop vac, taped plastic film and polyester fabric for a release film. That's easy, but nothing like doing good veneer. How do you keep it neat?
     
  4. sergiomajluf

    sergiomajluf Tele-Meister

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    Would a storage vacuum bag work for this?
     
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Meister

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    I have an old vacuum pump from a priinting company. I build windsurfers with epoxy/Divinicell sandwich with it, so plenty of pressure from it. A fridge motor would be a cheap source though.

    There is a learning curve, like dkmw said.
     
  6. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

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  7. Mike9

    Mike9 TDPRI Member

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    That's a slick setup @Boomhauer

    Vacuum is the way to go IF you want to invest in the setup. I used to lay up miles of veneer back in the day. You have to make a platen to evacuate the air. I made mine from 3/4" melamine and used an old refrigerator compressor for a pump and bought a vinyl veneer bag and a pressure switch. I let the freon out then stuck the exhaust port in a jar to catch the oil. I used that setup for years with no problems.

    You could also "hammer" veneer using hot hide glue.
     
  8. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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  9. ecoast

    ecoast Tele-Holic

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    just rent the vacuum pump (used to suck down A/C) from advance auto

    give deposit (full price of pump)
    use
    return

    no problem; this is how their tool rental program works
     
  10. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Vacuum cleaner, food wrap plastic film, masking tape.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. spartan warrior

    spartan warrior Tele-Meister

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    Photo 21.JPG

    Photo 2.JPG

    I used a vacuum storage bag as suggested above by sergiomajluf when gluing the 6mm thick front and back onto the core for a body and it worked a treat.
    I used a domestic vacuum to pull most of the air out, then used a wine-saver type hand pump to get the last bit out.
    I glued it using Titebond first thing in the morning, and kept checking every now and then that the vacuum was holding, giving a few more pulls on the hand pump if needed.
    By the end of the day the Titebond had cured enough to hold firm, but I left it in the bag over night, just for good measure.

    Vacuum is definitely the way to go when doing something like this. On a body sized bit of wood measuring say 17 inches x 14 inches, the surface area is 238 square inches.
    Even if you can only pull 25% of a total vacuum that means each square inch is seeing 14.7 x 0.25 pounds of force (14.7 being atmospheric pressure in psi) = 3.6 lbf.
    That means the whole surface of the body is subjected to nearly 860 pounds force, over 1/3rd of a ton. Best of all, it is evenly spread over the whole surface.
     
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  12. spartan warrior

    spartan warrior Tele-Meister

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    By the way, the clamps and aluminium T section spreaders were there for insurance before I established that the vacuum would reliably hold.
     
  13. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some one gave me this I’ve had it a couple years. I think its time to put it to use Maybe a Vacuum table. Can’t find to much on this model but seems to still be in use deferent model number.

    From link Blood analysis, respirators/nebulizers, vacuum pad hold-down, dental/surgical, automobile cruise controls, graphic arts equipment, air and gas analysis, breast pumps, sterilizers, air brushes, agricultural foam markers, oil atomizers and lab equipment.

    https://www.rg-group.com/product/doa-v722-aa/doa-series
     

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  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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