When I’m face-gluing wide panels together or mounting veneer to substrate, it’s easy to clamp the perimeter but harder to make sure the center area is pressed flat. Instead of using a veneer press or a vacuum bag, I turn to my “heavy helpers” for the weight I need. They’re simply plastic windshield washer jugs filled with sand. The jugs were freed from the trash bin of my local gas station. I use play sand because its fine consistency is easy to pour into the containers.
A gallon-size jug weighs about 18 pounds when full, and I keep 15 of them around my shop. When not in use, I store them on the bottom shelf of my workbench and lathe stand to add mass and reduce vibration. They’re convenient for holding boards vertically when I assemble large casework, and they make great doorstops!
– Serge Duclos