Vacuum Bag Platen Details
From contributor P:
We use two platens in all of our bags:
1) a lower platen with grooves
2) another platen same size made of melamine. This is slid in and out of the bag and when out of the bag, rests on a pair of sawhorses at the same height as the lower platen. We press all flat panels with the veneer laying on the platen, and place the glued up blank on top of the veneer so that the blank acts as its own platen. This is done outside the bag and then the platen, veneer, and substrate is slid into the bag. The glue won't stick to the melamine, and it is easy to pop it off the melamine when you are done.
From contributor B:
I use a lower platen sized for the bag I'm using (grid up) and then I cut a separate lower and upper platen from 1/4" hardboard or 1/4" vinyl coated hardboard just slightly larger than the piece(s) I'm pressing. If your main platen (with the grooves) is used without this smaller platen on the bottom of the veneered piece, the grid lines will cause the substrate (especially if the backing veneer is thin - I often use plain phenolic sheet) to be transferred as shallow ridges in the backing veneer where it is sucked into the lower platen's grid lines. I also cover the smaller custom cut platens in some 4-mil plastic sheet for squeeze out.
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