veneer without a vacuum press

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Dabcan posted 06-18-2015 09:42 PM 1092 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4008 days

06-18-2015 09:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer canoe paddle epoxy tightbond

I’ve been making canoe paddles lately with some intricate wood patterns. I’ve done it using solid wood, but there are a few patterns I’d like to try on the blade that would be easier if I simply put a veneer over the blade (think marquetry ). The blade is mostly flat with a slight convex shape to it. What’s the best way to attach this to the paddle? I don’t have a vacuum press, and I was thinking maybe support the bottom side, then lay the veneer on the top side, and weight it down with some sandbags?

I was thinking of using tight bond 3, but if the blade isn’t completely smooth it might be better to use some West System epoxy?

-- @craftcollectif ,,

7 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1821 posts in 4197 days

#1 posted 06-18-2015 10:09 PM

Maybe Paul (Shipwright) will be along soon to discuss the fine details of applying veneer use a veneer hammer. I know he has a blog post about it and he’s a true expert.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View jmartel's profile


9290 posts in 3487 days

#2 posted 06-18-2015 11:05 PM

Since it’s going to see a lot of water use, I think it’d be better to use epoxy.

I don’t think that sandbags would provide enough clamping force.

As far as gluing it up, your best bet is to make a mold that fits the paddle curve exactly and use that to clamp it down to. I would think something like a thin layer of rubber/neoprene would be enough to smooth out any imperfections that would arise from making the mold to it. Then just clamp the hell out of it.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2761 days

#3 posted 06-18-2015 11:28 PM

I have seen videos of the Bentley factory and they just use wide tape to hold the veneer in place until it dries.

Section I reference starts at 5:12

They do use a vacuum system though. I guess I would too to insure best adherence.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 4008 days

#4 posted 06-18-2015 11:49 PM

The Bentley video is just using the tape to hold it roughly in place before it goes into the press, I don’t think it’s doing much clamping on it’s own.

I don’t think I’m able to make a mould that matches the paddle blade, and ideally I’d like to do this on more than one paddle but they are always different.

I wonder how much clamping pressure epoxy really needs?

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View JAAune's profile


2088 posts in 3654 days

#5 posted 06-19-2015 12:30 AM

Canoe paddles aren’t that big so why not just make yourself a vacuum bag with some plastic sheeting and a wine bottle air extractor? That’s what the skateboard kits use. OSI Quad can be used to hold polyethylene plastic together or old-fashioned 3M window sealant for cars.

You’re looking at a max cost of $20-$30 to do it.

-- See my work at

View shipwright's profile


8781 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 06-19-2015 02:20 AM

It’d do it with epoxy and clamps, pretty much like Jeff (jmartel) said. Should be easy.

Thanks for the thought Herb by you can’t use the hammer veneering technique with marquetry. It also only works with hot hide glue which isn’t the best for this use.

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

View HerbC's profile


1821 posts in 4197 days

#7 posted 06-20-2015 05:23 PM

Paul, that’s why I defer to you. The closest I’ve ever come to doing anything with any kind of veneer was installing formica on cabinet counters back in the 60’s.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics