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2x3 Vacuum Frame Press

2x3 Frame PressI quickly discovered the limitations of flat membrane presses when I tried veneering 3" thick shelves with a flat membrane press. This press was my first attempt at a vacuum frame with a box shaped membrane. The frame design is similar to my first press, but the dado runs around the inside perimeter of the frame. The folded corners of the membrane come through the corners of the cleats (1x1s that fit the dado) and are sealed with 2 sided tape and aluminum clamp strips... While a bit crude, and the small size helps, there is no noticeable leakage.

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Re: 2x3 Vacuum Frame Press
Posted by Peter on Tuesday, 18-Oct-2011

Hi Dave
Just curious about how you use this press. I am in the stages of designing a veneer press but like the potential versatility of a boxed shape for the polyurethane. Do you also use the boxed version for simple, relatively thin veneering or do you use your original flat sheet version?

I don't do doors, but I have some thick veneer and would like to do some of my own engineered flooring in stacks and for which a box press might be more practical if it can be used for multiple functions.


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Re: 2x3 Vacuum Frame Press
Posted by Dave on Wednesday, 19-Oct-2011


I use this press for anything that fits. While the extra material can be a minor inconvenience, a box membrane is definitely more versatile.

...But I do wonder how well stacking things would work. I have two concerns, how many faces you can glue up before the glue starts setting (standard PVA is not an option), and if all pieces will get even clamping pressure. I prefer to glue one surface at a time with a 1/4" cover sheet that will insure the veneer gets evenly pressed against the substrate. I wouldn't consider a 3/4" cover/caul because it would be too thick to conform to any slight irregularities. I'd think that stacking would require a relatively thick plastic resin glue line.

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