Quality Vakuum Electric Press Kit

WOOD magazine rating
Brand:
Quality VAKuum Products
Model:
EP1
Price:
$295

Description

* Press with 1,700 lbs./sqft of even and uniform pressure using a vacuum pump
* 1 year manufacturer's warranty

WOOD magazine review

Vacuum-bag press priced under $300

Review Summary

I’ve been using vacuum presses for years for assembling and veneering curved pieces, such as arches and doors. After placing the glued-up assembly in a heavy-duty bag, all of the air is sucked out of the bag, creating up to 1,800 lbs per square foot of clamping pressure equally distributed across the entire assembly. My system uses an air-compressor-powered venturi and cost nearly $1,000. You needn’t pay that kind of money, though, to get a small vacuum-bag press.
Quality VAKuum Products sells the EP1 Kit that performs much like the big boys, for under $300. Instead of an air-compressor-powered venturi pump, the EP1 uses a surprisingly quiet electric air pump to evacuate the air from the bag. The electric pump isn’t as fast as a venturi—my venturi system evacuates the air 3–5 times faster than this pump’s rate of about 1 cubic foot per minute—and time is important when you’re talking about wet glue. (To some extent, the evacuation time depends on how well you can squeeze excess air out of the bag before sealing it shut.) But I sped up the process greatly by sucking most of the air out of the bag with a shop vacuum first, then finishing the job with the electric pump. A backup valve holds the vacuum pressure even with the pump shut off, as long as there are no holes in the bag. For example, I veneered a 12"-diameter cylinder, left it in the bag for 18 hours with the pump shut off, and it still held plenty of clamping pressure. Speaking of the bag, the EP1 comes with a 63×52" 20-mil vinyl bag. If your glue-up can fit inside the bag (allowing a few inches at the bag's end for the closure), you can clamp it. Polyurethane bags are more durable than vinyl and tend to stick less to themselves, and Quality VAKuum offers a number of upgrade bags in vinyl and poly, 20-mil and 30-mil, and in larger sizes, as well. —Tested by George Granseth

Detailed Ratings

4.3
out of 5

Performance

4

Features

4

Ease of Use

4

Value

5

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