JoeWoodworker Veneer
The Official Website of this Non-Professional Woodworker ™

Part 1

Veneering Basics
14 Good Reasons
Vacuum Press Uses
Vacuum Press Options
Questions & Answers
Part 2
DIY Vacuum Press Plans

Vacuum Press Chart
Project: EVS™
Project: EVS-2™
Project: V4™
Project: CRS™
Excel 1™
Excel 3™
Excel 5™
Part 3
Vacuum Bagging

Vacuum Bag Basics
Polyurethane vs. Vinyl
DIY Vacuum Bags
Connect the Bag
Bag Closures
Bag Platens
Breather Mesh 
DIY Frame Press
Part 4
Veneering Information

About Veneer
Veneering Glossary
Veneering Myths
Balancing a Panel
Veneer Glues
Veneering Tips
Substrate Materials
Flattening Veneers
A Sharp Veneer Saw
Jointing Veneers
Taping Veneers
Dealing with Defects
Curing Glued Panels
Veneering w/o Vacuum
Hammer Veneering
Iron-On Veneering
Veneer Storage
Amazing Bookmatches
Edgebanding Guide
Paper-Backed Veneer

Part 5
Miscellaneous Info

Vacuum Press FAQ
Veneering FAQ 
Veneer Glue FAQ
Vacuum Forming
Vacuum Clamping Pedal
Vacuum Clamping Jigs
Vacuum Clamp Matrix
DIY Vacuum Manifold
Vacuum Press Gallery 1
Vacuum Press Gallery 2


Vacuum Veneering - Tips, Tricks, and More!

Clamping With a Vacuum Press
Goofing Off In The ShopI've wanted to adapt the EVS and V4 vacuum press systems for vacuum clamping for quite some time. Of course it's not too difficult to hook the vacuum line from the system directly to a clamping board but I wanted something easier to use. The biggest restriction from making this adaptation a reality was the on/off control of the vacuum to the clamping jig. I wanted to build something that could shut off the vacuum without depleting the vacuum reservoirs and at the same time allow the work piece to release quickly from the clamping jig when the pressure was released.

Luckily, I stumbled upon an excellent source for an affordable 3-way pneumatic latching valve. They offered me a very good discount if I bought a decent amount of units so I agreed and this updated version of the clamping system is now available. It does not require any wiring or electricity and it goes together very easily.

How It Works
As mentioned previously, it wouldn't be too difficult to directly connect the vacuum press to a vacuum clamping jig. But there are two issues with taking that approach. The first is that the pressure in the vacuum reservoirs would be depleted when switching between the clamping projects. The other issue is the amount of strength it would take to remove the work piece from the jig while vacuum was applied.

By using a 3-way latching (tap on, tap off) foot valve, pressure can be applied to the clamping template and be instantly released as needed. This kit doesn't force the vacuum system to run continuously. Instead, the system only runs when the vacuum reservoirs need to be recharged.

Whether it's a simple hold down jig or a production run of vacuum template projects, you're going to get a kick out of using the power of vacuum to hold projects in place!

DownloadFoot Pedal Parts List
(A complete kit is available at

Composite Plastic
Base Plate & Upright


Warning: Brass products may contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

Foot Pedal Assembly

  1. Remove the four rubber feet on the bottom of the foot pedal using a screw driver. Discard the screws but save the rubber feet and the small washers.
  2. Use the four #6 x 1/2" coarse-thread screws (included) to attach the rubber feet to the bottom of the composite plastic base plate. Pilot holes are not required for this step. The thicker rubber feet should be attached at the back of the base plate. The thinner rubber feet should be attached at the front of the base plate. Do not over-tighten the screws.
  3. Attach the composite plastic "upright" piece to the base. This part fits snugly into the recess in the plastic base plate. Use the included black screws to secure the upright to the base plate. Pilot holes are not required. Do not over-tighten the screws.
  4. All metal-to-metal connections will require thread-sealing tape. Wrap the tape clockwise around the fittings. Do not apply thread sealing tape to the brass fittings that will be attached to the vacuum filter.
  5. Remove the plastic plugs from the three ports on the foot valve.
  6. Use an Allen wrench to attach the brass plug to the B port on the foot valve.
  7. Attach the brass street elbow to port "A" on the foot valve. When it is tight, it should be facing toward the "B" port.
  8. Attach the 2" brass pipe to the street elbow from the previous step. The easiest way to tighten this fitting is with a pair of vice-grips. To prevent marring the brass, you can wrap masking tape around the pipe. There is no need to excessively tighten this fitting.
  9. Remove the filter cover and filter element from the filter head being careful not to lose the rubber sealing ring inside.
  10. Attach the filter head to the brass pipe on the foot pedal assembly. The arrow on the side of the filter head shows the correct direction of the vacuum flow. It should be pointing towards the foot pedal. The filter head is made from a soft composite plastic so be sure to avoid cross-threading as the fittings are attached. When the filter just becomes snug, continue tightening until the filter is parallel to the body of the foot valve as shown in the pictures on the next page. Do not over tighten the brass fittings that attach to the filter head.
  11. Re-attach the filter element and filter cover to the filter head.
  12. Attach the long brass street elbow to port "P" on the foot valve. When tight, the open port should be facing upward.
  13. Attach the brass attachment fitting to the long brass street elbow.
  14. Set the foot pedal assembly onto the composite plastic base plate so that the open port on the vacuum filter is inserted through the hole in the plastic upright support.
  15. When positioning the foot pedal assembly, allow 1/8" of space so the clear filter canister can be removed for cleaning. Once the pedal is in the correct position, mark the base plate and drill a 5/32" pilot hole (1/2" deep) at the mounting tab on the left and right sides of the foot pedal.
  16. Attach the foot pedal to the base plate with the included #12 x 3/4" screws.
  17. Attach the brass barbed elbow to the remaining port on the filter. This fitting should be facing upward when fully tightened. Do not over-tighten this fitting.
  18. Attach the blue vacuum jig tubing to the barbed fitting from the previous step. The other end of the tubing is connected to your vacuum clamping jig.

The final assembly should appear as shown in the pictures below.

Twin Vacuum JigsNow that the vacuum clamping foot pedal assembly is complete, it's time to make the vacuum clamping jigs. I'll show you a couple of basic options and then use can use this information to make your own and complete your clamping set up. Click here to continue.

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