Pipe clamp veneer press

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Project by newTim posted 05-15-2011 08:03 AM 8494 views 29 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Why complicate things when you don’t have to? Here’s what I think is a simple solution for an adjustable height, adjustable width, veneer or lamination press using pipe clamps. It is as easy to set up as it is flexible. If your horizontal bar is long enough and strong enough you can bridge the length of a table or you can mount them across the width, on an angle, or even across a corner. As you can see it is also very easy to us a couple of setups for large flat pieces or long laminations.

The only drawback to this idea is cost. Since you need one pipe clamp set and two additional slider/locks you would need to buy three sets of pipe clamps to make up one vertical support. The good news is you can always use them for your regular pipe clamps. I contacted Rockler to see if they were interested in packaging clamp sets with the two slider/locks and/or veneer screws, but no joy. Woodcraft said they’d sell one slider for $10. Harbor Freight has 3/4” pipe clamps without the pipes for around $7-$8. I already had three sets so I had enough for one support and bought six more at HF. Then, just yesterday, I saw an ad on Craig’s List and sure enough, a guy had thirteen pipe clamps with pipes which he sold to me for $50. Clearly that is the way to go.

The amount of force you can create with this setup is impressive. I first used a regular 2×4 which I broke pretty quick. So I got my mind working and came up with the prototype bar in the last two pictures. I bought some metal strips at Home Depot and laminated them together with some 2x stock and plywood. So far it is working great. I’m building another bar and will add it to a future blog. The next big challenge is to come up with an adjustable horizontal bar, or maybe a bar that allows the veneer screws to be positioned anywhere between the supports. If anyone comes up with an idea please let me know.

-- tim hill

16 comments so far

View prompt's profile


341 posts in 3935 days

#1 posted 05-15-2011 10:19 AM

Good adaptation

-- Elhan, Azerbaijan

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 5541 days

#2 posted 05-15-2011 11:04 AM

What a cool idea. You got me thinking what if you had two angle irons laminated into to cross bar. That way the screws could slide in between them and would push up on the bars when engaged. This is the first thing that popped into the noodle. I will give it some more thought.

-- Billp

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4917 days

#3 posted 05-15-2011 04:04 PM

Great idea Tim. That suits the purpose perfectly!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12486 posts in 4770 days

#4 posted 05-15-2011 04:53 PM

Wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnefrul!

How about a couple angle irons as Billp suggested. You could attach the press screws to hardwood sliders to move between the angle iron.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4034 days

#5 posted 05-15-2011 04:58 PM

I wish I had the space for this wonderful idea. I’m stream of consciousing that angle iron, too; made up word but you get my drift.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View shipwright's profile


8781 posts in 4139 days

#6 posted 05-15-2011 05:13 PM

This is a great idea Tim.
My guess it that several people will be thinking about this and rolling it over in their minds. I know I will. Steel sounds right but a laminated or box beam might be more elegant to a woodworker.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Ken90712's profile


18106 posts in 4530 days

#7 posted 05-15-2011 06:40 PM

Well done! Very practical and creative.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4029 days

#8 posted 05-15-2011 09:11 PM

very nice idea

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View newTim's profile


625 posts in 4948 days

#9 posted 05-16-2011 05:57 AM

Thanks everyone. I think this is a very workable setup and look forward to seeing some more adaptations. Good suggestions regarding the metal track. I’ve been thinking hard about it but haven’t come up with anything yet. Meanwhile I was working on another bar and came up with the following. It has narrower metal inserts and is thinner overall but it seems to be strong. I cut grooves in each end which makes it easier to setup and and adjust along the top. I also cut more holes for the screws.

Again, thanks everyone and please let me know what you come up with.

Here’s an example of one of the uses.

-- tim hill

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5439 days

#10 posted 05-16-2011 05:59 AM

Nice setup. Keep out of the crazy weather today?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View 489tad's profile


4118 posts in 4353 days

#11 posted 05-16-2011 03:10 PM

Pretty Slick! Going straight to the favorite box.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View newTim's profile


625 posts in 4948 days

#12 posted 05-16-2011 07:42 PM

WayneC… yup, strange weather this year. Nothing like they had back in the midwest and east though, but enough to mess up the Amgen up at Tahoe. We’re used to some light rain in May but not hail, thunder, lightening and such. It does make for a nice day in the shop though.

-- tim hill

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5588 days

#13 posted 05-18-2011 07:43 PM

Where did you get the press screws??

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View newTim's profile


625 posts in 4948 days

#14 posted 05-18-2011 08:15 PM

jockmike2… I got them at Woodcraft. I googled “Veneer Press Screws” and came up with a bunch of hits. Here’s one

-- tim hill

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6879 posts in 5321 days

#15 posted 05-18-2011 08:21 PM

Hi Tim,

Nice job on this.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

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