entry level vacuum laminating setup

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Forum topic by dbouch posted 09-23-2018 05:32 PM 681 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 795 days

09-23-2018 05:32 PM

i’m interested in putting together an entry level vacuum pump/bag setup. i have no experience with this at all. i’m assuming i’ll need a pump and bags, but have no idea about anything else i might need – ie. valves, correct tubing etc.

i’ve checked the woodcraft, rockler, grizzly catalogs and only one system shows up for $1400 or so. i’m hoping some body here with experience can recommend a beginning system that i can put together for a lot less than that.

thanks in advance….


4 replies so far

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1354 days

#1 posted 09-23-2018 05:44 PM

Here is your guy.
You can call him, he is a lot of help.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1645 posts in 1949 days

#2 posted 09-23-2018 09:32 PM

Joe Woodworker site posted above is great resource. :)

There is another industry that heavily uses vacuum bag for creating laminated parts: fiberglass and epoxy resin Composites. Everything from aerospace parts, marine hulls, and surfboards use vacuum bagging processes.

For absolute beginner; investment into universal, large size, reusable plastic bag and system for veneer work can be scary. When you start out, not sure what you might eventually need?
There is a solution:
Composites folks make mostly odd shaped parts and use much thinner disposable bag materials, breather ply for odd shapes, and heavy tape to seal bags. Using disposable materials for your first project will be much cheaper than what wood working stores want you to believe.

Here is what I call the ‘back yard’ vacuum bag supplies list:
Get a single stage vacuum pump from HF for <$80 with coupon, buy a plastic thru bag connector for $5, proper sized vinyl tubing, ball valves and brass fittings (BORG or Ace Hardware), use 2-3mil polyethylene or nylon plastic film (BORG or ACE hardware), and Gorilla Brand duct tape to seal bag; now you will be ready for your 1st vacuum bag project for less than $150.

Must add that if you intend to produce a lot of veneer panels, using disposable materials will be more expensive in long run. If you want to create a permanent veneering station in your shop, that you should invest in a heavy reusable 20-30 mil bag, reusable closures, and upgraded flat bag connector; I.E follow advice Joe Woodworker site or wood working magazines recommend for bag materials. :)

Here are some WWW sites that offer vacuum bag supplies for composites market:
[Have worked with fiberglast folks for 25+ years. They like to help the DIY folks.]

There are many more sources of information and supplies if ask Google for help.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View AandCstyle's profile


3217 posts in 2712 days

#3 posted 09-24-2018 09:30 PM

+1 on Joewoodworker. His site has a wealth of info.

-- Art

View dbouch's profile


8 posts in 795 days

#4 posted 09-25-2018 03:08 PM

it’s a start. thanks for the input.


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