When I was in Humber College, taking my Industrial Woodworking Technician course, I was introduced to veneering, wood bending, and lamination techniques. By using vacuum or manual screw type presses, steam or heat, and combining with woodworkers clamps and shop made jigs the woodworker has an opportunity to make projects that have curves or shape to them. Parts such as half moon tables aprons, cylinder shapes columns, or stair case sides could be formed from solid pieces which could be steam bent, formed from the lamination of pieces of thinly cut solid wood strips or from a combination of flexible plywood and wood veneers. This would mean the woodworker could make cost effective components instead of using large pieces of solid wood that may be prove to cost prohibitive or that may not even be available in the required sizes to get the components out of. In addition when it comes to availability of exotic and old growth woods, solid forms of these woods are simply are not available and only come in a veneer form.
To start my adventure into lamination, bending and pressing in my workshop,I have bought a 6 CFM vacuum pump from Veneer Systems Inc. in Buffalo,New York. With this pump I also purchased a 49” x 49” 30mil vinyl vacuum bag and have since purchased some 20mil poly from Johnston Industrial Plastics in Toronto, Ontario to make some custom size bags and a frame press. I have also purchased some fixture components from Veneer Supplies.com from to allow me to build a small frame press.
So if you are looking to add some new curves to your work or species of woods that are out of the ordinary give lamination, bending and pressing a try.
Website for Veneer Systems Inc. http://www.veneersystems.com
Website for Veneer Supplies.com http://www.veneersupplies.com
A good resource for information on building vacuum presses and bags, Joe Woodworker http://www.joewoodworker.com
A good resource for wood bending and lamination techniques and projects, Fine Woodworking magazine http://www.finewoodworking.com
I will be adding BLOG entries once I get the construction of the frame press going and do some vacuum pressing projects.
See you in the Workshop!