5 HP Shop Vacuum
Issue: Issue 136
Posted Date: 11/8/2005
Q: Is there enough suction from a 5 HP shop vacuum to remove the air from a large vacuum press bag? Also, will a fine mesh wrapped around the project inside the bag reduce veneer bubbles?
Carol Reed: There is, but you will need to design your system to "bleed" air, or you will burn up your shop vacuum right quick. In any event, your shop vac will be mightily abused with this practice. There are many sources for good used vacuum pumps designed for this kind of work. With regard to the fine mesh question, some people use fiberglass screen material as the mesh material. Enough suction, however, and you will have imprinted the mesh pattern onto the veneer. Use a piece of melamine scored on your tables aw to 1/8" deep by 4" squares. That way, you have three advantages. One, the melamine won't glue itself to your veneer. Two, the air can escape, leaving no bubbles. Three, you get a flat piece of veneer.