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veneering 4mm veneers in a vacuum press

651 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  splintergroup
I have the equipment but haven't used it in a long time. Anybody with more experience care to comment on whether I'll need to use a caul or not? It's for a guitar shaped form that needs to be carved called a solera. I'll be carving shallowly into the 4mm veneers using an MDF core.

Also can I get away with this breather cloth stuff? I never used it before, maybe it wasn't available. I'm looking at the price of materials to make a caul and a and all that on this project and I'd like to do it as cheaply as possible. Is a rounded over caul essential to prevent damage to the bag?
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LOL! been a while as well, think just the form, no cauls required, plastic mesh will work fine.
By plastic mesh do you mean the breather cloth or something else? Do I have to put it on top or just the bottom?

Thanks for replying.
The breather mesh keeps the vacuum inlet (outlet?) from self-sealing against the boat or other object so It should install against it.

I used to cover my caul/platen boards with oversized pieces of card board so their sharp edges wouldn't damage my bag. The card board acted as a "sort of" breather mesh in that the bag would shrink up and hold, but it just took longer. You can really used most anything that is non-compressible and porous.
The cardboard is a great idea. Thanks.
Breather Mesh, Plastic mesh, what ever it is called, any solid rigid plastic grate pattern. Top or bottom shouldn't matter as long as it extends to to the Vacuum inlet, suppose card board would work as long as no paper fibers get sucked into pump or plug tubing? Sorry for the delayed reply's, traveling for Mothers Day:)
If you want less expensive breather cloth; visit your local Michael's store, or some place that sells sewing supplies. Breather mesh is same polyester batting used on inside of home made quilts and pillows. Comes in different thickness. Can buy a couple feet, or a giant 48-60" wide roll.

Would be cautious using corrugated paper board as breather. The inner layer is ribbon folded, and it might leave impressions where ridges land on veneer. At same time, if your laminated object as edges too sharp for double layer of breather cloth to prevent bag tearing, place some corrugated paper squares on top of the breather at corners to protect the bag.

Good observation Capt'n. I always use flat boards over my veneers and the cardboard to protect the bag from the boards. I wouldn't use cardboard directly for just the reasons you mention.

Speaking of sewing supplies, that plastic mesh used for cross stitch (I think that is what it is called) is the same stuff I use. Might be a good place to save a few $ on smaller sections.
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