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Veneering: A Foundation Course Paperback – June 30, 2000
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As a previous reviewer notes, the author's approach to vacuum pressing is to make his bag by gluing and taping two thin plastic sheets together, making a bundle of more plastic sheeting around a [garden?] hose to make the connection valve, and then connecting the hose to a wooden block covering the intake port on his air compressor (Don't try this at home; constricting the intake port on many piston driven compressors can screw up the valves). He reports that 'real' vacuum presses are expensive, and he finds vacuum pressing not terribly effective...
If you've never veneer vacuum pressed before you might not recognize that as the hominid precursor approach. I'm surprised he shows use of a veneer hammer instead of the more cost effective stone club method. For a lot of (better) info on vacuum pressing, google up the Joewoodworker website.
As others have noted, some of his approaches to glue preparation are a bit odd as well. Coating with thinned wood glue and then ironing to heat activate... I suppose you could do it that way, I'm just at a loss as to why you would want to. There are several other approaches and glues that bond better, are less mess to handle, and generally produce better results. 'Course if you bought a load of past its prime Tite-Bond at discount I guess it would make sense (and be consistent with his vacuum press).
Some good stuff, some just flat out weird. Look at a copy in the library first maybe?
The second half of the book walks you through 5 projects step by step to build projects from scratch. The author made a point to select a wide range of projects that brought their own set of challenges and the building and veneering techniques used to over come them. The author admits that he selected projects an emphasis on building and veneering curved pieces as if you can master that, you will have no problem with flat surfaces.
What I like most about the book are tips and tricks the author has learned from his building experience and home made tools and equipment he's made. The book is also profusely filled with colored photos (no b&w here) and is written as though you were working as an apprentice in his workshop. The book and print are large and makes easy and entertaining reading.
The book is highly recommended to novices and seasoned wood crafters alike and is a great value in price and for the information it provides. You won't be disappointed.
I was hoping to learn more than I was able to in this book. This book covers small veneering projects. If you build cabinets, entertainment centers or other large pieces, you'll find better sources for info online.
The section on vacuum pressing was a joke. I feel as if he was forced to include the subject by his editor and he made up the most ghetto vacuum press I've ever seen (don't waste your time or your tools following his instructions). On that subject, don't let some moron try to convince you there is something wrong with a vacuum press. It's simply the only economical way for a small shop to properly adhere veneer, especially on large panels. If you hate excellent results, good tools and modern ways, then avoid the vacuum press.
He also makes strong statements, then ignores them in his projects (I'm thinking about facing MDF, specifically). I turn to books like this to guide me with examples and I lose faith in the authority when they cannot follow their own advice.
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