I'm trying to build my own vacuum press frame system. I currently am making
bent laminations 2-1/2" wide x 48" long x 3/4" thick. They have a radius of
I don't know is what to use for a membrane.
This is what I have in mind to build:
I did a google search and saw that Mike Hide was working on something
similar a couple years ago. Mike, did you ever get it working? Has anyone
else built anything similar to this? If so, what did you use for the
Thanks for the help.
We use a shop built frame from 8/4 and the sameish heavy
clear vinyl as sold by all the vacuum bagging companies.
You have to work the membrane as the vacuum is pulled to
prevent bridging (big, wide areas where the membrane isn't
pulling against the table or the item being pressed) but
it's an economical alternative to what looks like an
expensive system as shown at the link.
I was thinking of building an aluminum frame similar to the link, but I
could do hardwood too. How do you attach the vinyl to the 8/4 frame? What
size frame are you using?
Where did you get the vinyl? How often do you have to replace the vinyl?
Have you tried any other materials such as the silicone or polyurethane on
Have I asked enough questions yet? lol
If anyone else has anything to add, please do.
Thanks for the responses.
I have been a lurker on the group for some time.
I have absoluely no personal knowledge or experience in vacum pressing or
laminating but I seem to recall someone using EPDM rubber. This is the same
material that commercial roofs are covered with and is all pond liner
From my experience with my pond, I think EPDM might have some of the
bridging problems Bridger is talking about but the 45 mil stuff is very tuff
and still stretchy.
You don't. You just lay it between the table and the frame
and F-clamp it around the perimeter.
We have two. The larger frame is 4'ish by 8'ish. The
smaller is smaller but not by much.
I believe we get it the same places as everyone else like
Quality Vac. I suspect similar could be found at
McMaster-Carr or other places specializing in vinyl.
I couldn't tell you. We have around 35 guys in our shop and
we use it for radius work only (no flat panel process) so
I'd think a smaller shop, if it took care not to stretch the
vinyl could get years (2-3) out of it, dependent on use.
Not that I'm aware.
All good questions I might add. Sorry, I'm not the guy who
uses the machine and can't get specific.
How about here:
20 mil vinyl, 53" widths. I've been eyeballing this as a source of
vinyl for making a few vacuum bags since the bag that came with
my vac press is larger than I'll usually need.
Scott Post firstname.lastname@example.org http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /
Just wondering why the frame press? A bag is a lot more simple, easy to
store, and doesn't take up any real estate. Frame press is kind of designed
for a production shop, where you slap your pieces in, press them, get them
out and repeat. Basically and expensive table.
I run my vacuum on a set of saw horses, roughly a 4'x8' bag with a routed
piece of mdf as the interior base, when done, the whole system goes in a
I have quite a few of these things to do so a frame press seemed to be the
most logical choice. I figured if I was going to invest in the construction,
may as well go all out. Real estate is always a problem, but I think I could
find a place to put it.
The bagging system just didn't sound quite as convenient. Maybe I'm wrong
here. The system in the link in the original post seemed to be quite easy to
use. Load pieces onto mold. Close cover. Evacuate the air. Whamo. Done.
The bag system seemed a bit more difficult to do. And also, I was thinking
of doing a couple at a time. Side by side. I would think with a bag system,
this would be pretty difficult. Maybe not?
I'd sure appreciate hearing from others who have tackled this problem.
Does anyone know of any good books out there on vacuum system usage, design,
Thanks to all.
I have a 5cfm rotary vane vac pump.
I also have a 1 cfm venturi pump and a 4cfm venturi pump.
I thought I'd evac the air with the rotary vane and then use the 1cfm
venturi to maintain the vacuum. Or maybe I'll let the rotary vane start and
stop. I have it on a vac switch.
Either way, I can maintain a relatively high vacuum for an indefinite
period. Just depends on whether I want my compressor or vac pump running.
Just be careful searching the web...
Some years ago... See, I make wine at home. Getting rid of dissolved CO2 is a
not insignificant problem for home winemakers. Commercial wineries generally
vacuum-filter their wines to remove sediment, which removes CO2 as well. But
that's not really practical for someone who makes maybe twenty gallons a year.
So, knowing that hand-operated vacuum pumps have uses as automotive test
equipment, and finding the prices at the local NAPA store not to my liking, I
decided to search the web.
For vacuum pumps.
In all my innocence, I was completely unaware of the various, um,
"recreational" uses for vacuum pumps. Yeeeeooowwww.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
I've looked at all the information there. I'm just not terribly interested
in bagging. For what I'm doing, I think a vacuum press would function
Did you ever get one made?
I did a google search and saw that you were working on one a while back. Did
you end up using bags or making a press?
Thanks for the response.
I found a few sources for the silicone membrane. It appears as though most
systems use a 1/16" thick membrane. Some use translucent some use opaque.
Prices varied from a couple dollars per square foot to over $10. I'm trying
to figure out the differences between them.
I'll let everyone know how it goes.
By the way, does anyone know how to attach silicone membranes to aluminum
I would like to know where to get polyurethane sheet material. I have found
sources for vinyl but have samples of both and the polyurethane is much more
flexible and nicer.
The cost of pre-made bags will take you breath away.
I also though that the pre-made systems were awfully expensive so I bought a
rotary vane pump from Gast and built my own.
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