Veneering the Inside of a Drum

Instead of vacuum, use an inflatable tube to apply pressure. October 15, 2009

I'm going to be veneering inside of a drum for a customer using bubinga. Since I can't vacuum the inside of a cylinder, what is the best way to glue it up? I have considered using inner tubes to press the veneer but I'm a little worried about movement, and finding a tube that's about 18" to 20" in diameter and 14" wide isn't easy.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor G:
Make an inflatable bladder, cylinder, or drum shaped to just fit inside. Buy a couple of yards or so of thin neoprene or rubber, appropriate cement, and make a tube with two ends on it to fit. Glue on a valve stem from an old inner tube... May need outside hoop or two on the drum shell you are laminating to, to resist pressure, and may need a plywood disk inside each end to reduce the tendency for the ends to pooch out.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the reply. That is what I was thinking of doing, just didn't know if it was a feasible idea! I'll cross my fingers!

From John Van Brussel, forum technical advisor:
You could also use an airform bladder, which is normally used to equalize the press when you are vacuum pressing an irregular shape.