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Cold Press panels

james e mcgrew Member


How many of you are pressing your own panels vs outsourcing, lead times are 3 weeks around here and considering a press.

what are pros and cons,, is it like doors and best outsourced ?

3/30/17       #2: Cold Press panels ...
Tom Gardiner

I only press what I can or won't order from board supplier. Such as fancy veneer layups where I want to control the veneer width for equal spacing, or when I want edges under my veneer. I will press laminate as well because I prefer PVA to contact.
Pros: veneer selection and layup control, option of edges first, arguably better material use.
Cons: time to piece, tape/stitch and press panels, a lot more sanding when using raw veneer. I cut bundles of veneer on my sliding saw and curly veneer can tear out necessitating a pass on the jointer and much grumbling from me. You need space for layup table, press, and place for sheets coming out of the press to equalize for a time. Removal of tape if you are using is slow, but then what were you going to do while you wait for the next load to come out.
I am not making a good case for pressing yourself am I? I used to work in a shop where we pressed everything. Dogmatic owner. He had a hot press with a seven minute cycle time, a Haug table top stitcher and me at $9/hr. I learned to veneer there and would not be without a press but I use it sparingly on projects that require the attention to detail and pay for the extra time required.
I hope this helps.

3/30/17       #3: Cold Press panels ...
David R Sochar Member

We vacuum press all our small veneer projects, and outsource once it gets above 3-4 large panels. We just pressed a 54 x 108 Walnut table top (in the Projects Forum). There is a learning curve, mostly on glue types and application.
We use pump and bag from Vacuum Pressing Systems in Maine. He (Daryl Keli) also has some very helpful video/dvds on process.

3/30/17       #4: Cold Press panels ...
james e mcgrew Member


My Primary question is plastic commercial plam panels, on large orders we always outsource wood veneer panels

3/30/17       #5: Cold Press panels ...
Tom Gardiner

Time for two people: roll out glue on back 2 minutes, apply back lam and flip - 1 minute, roll out and apply face and into flip top press 4 minutes to draw down of vacuum. You can stack in the press multiples of panels. TB II safely out of the press in 25 minutes in the spring to fall. You will still need to handle the sheets carefully for a day to allow balanced drying even with Plam.
My only problems were not having a perfectly clean platen in my press that embossed indentations on a high gloss panel. Since then I use a spare sheet of Plam on the press bed to ensure a clean surface.
I recommend a hopper glue roller and a flip top. Mine is also from Vacuum Pressing Systems.

3/30/17       #6: Cold Press panels ...
Alan F.

We have been outsourcing for over 20 years, ours used to take 2 weeks, now we are 2-7 days depending on the laminate brand and availability.

On the West Coast the are lots of companies providing laid up panels. Both lumber distributors and hardware companies as well as direct. Do any of your laminate suppliers lay up panels?


3/30/17       #7: Cold Press panels ...
james e mcgrew Member


Yes but they still want two weeks..

3/30/17       #8: Cold Press panels ...
Robb Parker  Member


Call David Ostroff my contact at Wurth in Charlotte 980-505-3134 see if he can do you any better. They laid up some stuff for me awhile back that was non-stock. Seems like I didn't wait 2 weeks.Pretty sure they would deliver to you also. Tell him I told you to buzz him.

3/30/17       #9: Cold Press panels ...
james e mcgrew Member


Thanks,, lead times and needing a few extra panels are the issue !

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