Looks like I'm headed for a vacuum press(Lumber Gloat #2)

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Blog entry by matt garcia posted 07-14-2009 03:40 AM 9401 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well guys, a few projects ago I told you of a gorgeous 8’ stick of beeswing aniegre I saw at Clarks Hardwood here in town, and how I couldn’t afford it. This past Saturday, I went back for a 8/4 piece of black walnut for my Walnut Chippendale Chest I plan on building this Fall.

I looked in the stand up bins for something that matched the grain of my walnut, but no luck! So off to the rough lumber warehouse I went. You guys should really take time to visit Clarks if you’re ever here in Houston. Once I found my 8/4 stick of walnut, I have to tell you I started window lumber shopping!!

There, just to the left of the 8/4 rough walnut, was 8/4 rough cherry. In that stack, about 3/4 of the way down was a 8/4 thick piece of cherry that was 17 1/2” wide!! I couldn’t get the timbers moved around enough to get a closer look at it for color/grain/sapwood, but man it sure was an impressive piece of cherry. I bet it was 12’ long!

Tired from my attempt to look at the 17 incher, I grabbed my walnut, and headed back to the front office to pay. On my way there, I passed the stand up bins on the opposite side (they are in alphabetical order) there I found another gorgeous piece of beeswing aniegre! It was over 2 years ago that I saw the first one. I don’t remember seeing any rough aniegre in the rough stock warehouse. Just looking at the grain alone made me want to put the walnut back, and grab the aniegre! Well my buddy Lee at Clarks made me a deal I couldn’t refuse, and now I’m the proud owner of a gorgeous 8’ stick of beeswing aniegre! Looks like I’m going to get me a vacuum bag next month, so I can start veneering. I want to savor this piece of gorgeous lumber!!



I think I could bookmatch 3 slices into a table top, and build a frame in cherry and really set this beauty off!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4088 days

#1 posted 07-14-2009 03:45 AM

Darn pretty wood

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 4253 days

#2 posted 07-14-2009 04:10 AM

wow! very nice find, i love clarks, so much so that i have yet to make it to houston hardwoods for a tour.. have you?

are you thinking of getting a vacuum press or hand pump bag, these are the one Norm used on his bow front chest .. they come in fairly big sizes

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View dog2bert's profile


13 posts in 3750 days

#3 posted 07-14-2009 04:25 AM

Looks great…keep up the good work

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1910 posts in 4182 days

#4 posted 07-14-2009 04:32 AM

Thanks Jim!!


I went there Friday at lunch. It is only a few minutes away from work. I don’t tend to see pieces like this at Houston Hardwoods. Here is the press I was looking at. I already have a pump from my auto repair days. I think I can adapt it to my a/c gages so I can use the valves on it to close the bag once it is sucked down, and turn the pump off. I’ll have to experiment, though.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4710 days

#5 posted 07-14-2009 05:30 AM

Matt go the the web sight joewoodworker he has kits to build your own vacuum press. I did, it’s very easy an a fraction of the price of what they ask for them in stores. I have a 4×6 bag not much I cant handle.

-- Billp

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4502 days

#6 posted 07-14-2009 06:16 AM

:) Really nice.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4610 days

#7 posted 07-14-2009 06:21 AM

You will love using a vacuum press.

I went for a professional model with the higher grade bags. I spent $1500 for my vacuum pump and two bags, a 4’x4’ and 4’x10’.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4499 days

#8 posted 07-14-2009 06:48 AM

Fantastic looking piece of wood.

When you veneer them book match them at an angle making a chevron pattern. It looks great like that.

Here the top of one of the end tables I made like that. This was mahogany though.

I think I spent maybe $300-$350 for a pump and a 4’x8’ bag. Nothing fancy. I don’t use it often enough to justify spending a lot of money.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View RBWoodworker's profile


441 posts in 3862 days

#9 posted 07-14-2009 08:25 AM

Tom.. Or anyone.. I really want to get into vaccume bags and stuff…but have no clue how they work or how to work them..can you give a blog or something showing step by step how to go about using these things?

-- Randall Child

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4183 days

#10 posted 07-14-2009 12:13 PM

Nice wood, Matt.

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