I thought I would try something a bit different on the vacuum veneering front – an experiment per se.
I came across Reynolds’ Handi-Vac in the supermarket. It’s a low cost vacuum for food storage. Hmmm, maybe it could work for veneering small items? So the following is a quick recounting of my little experiment.
Here’s what the unit looks like in the package. Bags come in quart and gallon sizes.
The business end of the vacuum unit and the bag. The blue circle on the bag is the valve used to pull the vacuum. The nose piece is set on the circle and the button pushed.
The victim – two pieces of 0.025” veneer and a 1/4” piece of Baltic birch plywood.
The glue-up: I used Better Bond cold press adhesive. (First time I’ve used it – and used too much I think. Plus the walnut shell filler had settled out.)
Post pull – It might be apparent from the reflections, there is a bit of a bulge in the center, and the closest side is a bit curved up. I pushed the glue out of the center, but could not get that last little curve at the end to lay flat, the unit doesn’t pull enough vacuum to force it down. So I put a clamp on it.
The end result – the veneer is flat and well adhered. One side did slide a bit. Most likely when I put the clamp on it.
So, was it worth the trouble? Yes and no. I think if I lay the glue down properly, and use a thin flat veneer, it would be faster and easier than cauls and clamps. But I don’t think the unit has enough oomph to do difficult or thick veneers. It would also remain to be seen if any dimensional pieces would work. It will never replace a full vacuum set-up, but might be worth it to play with. If I get a chance, I might do a few more pieces to see what it can do.