Vacuum Bag Platen Details

      Fine points of vacuum bag platens. December 1, 2005

Question
I made my first vacuum bag. It is about 4' x 5'. I made two 1/2" MDF platens 4' x 4' with a 2" scored grid on one side. Works great. Can I leave the lower platen in there for everything and just make an upper platen to match an item? For example, if I were doing a 2' x 2' panel, could I just make one 2' x 2' platen to go over the panel and set them both on the 4' x 4' lower platen? I realize that for larger pieces, I can place blocking around the piece.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor J:
The piece that goes over what you are pressing - top platen - should be a little bigger and does not require grooving.



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.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer: Techniques


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article