How to Build Your Own Vacuum Bag Press

Written by scarlett gauthier
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How to Build Your Own Vacuum Bag Press
Bag presses are used in veneering to glue thin sheets of wood onto core panels. (wood background image by Nataliya Litvinova from

Bag presses work on the principal that if all the air is squeezed out of a container or bag, it will squeeze in on itself and create a press. This type of press can be efficient for various procedures such as veneering. Although press bags can be purchased to fit your vacuum pump, it can be challenging to find a bag that is of the right measurements and they are often too small. An alternative is making your own bag from inexpensive materials and items commonly found at most hardware stores and centres.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shower-pan liner
  • Scissors
  • Contact cement
  • 2-by-4 pieces
  • J-roller
  • Toilet fill valve
  • Water supply line
  • Vacuum pump
  • Tube and sleeve closure

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  1. 1

    Determine the size of the vacuum press bag you would like to create. Cut two pieces of shower-pan liner of the same size to the desired measurements.

  2. 2

    Place the first sheet of shower-pan liner on a flat surface with the inside of the sheet facing upward.

  3. 3

    Apply glue along the seams of the sheet of shower-pan liner. Only apply the glue to three sides of the sheet--one side must be left for the bag opening.

  4. 4

    Form a frame with 2-by-4s by simply laying them on the first sheet along the edges. Do not lay the pieces on the contact cement but rather beside the cement. The wood pieces will act as temporary spacers that prevent the top liner from touching the contact cement and bonding prematurely.

  5. 5

    Spread the second sheet of shower-pan liner on top of the first sheet. Align the edges of the sheet together and press them down onto the cement. Remove the wooden pieces.

  6. 6

    Press down on the seams with a J-roller to ensure a tight seal. Allow enough time for the contact cement to bond. Read the label to determine drying time.

  7. 7

    Make a small hole with scissors close to the open end of the bag only through the top layer. The hole must not be bigger than the lower fitting of a toilet fill valve.

  8. 8

    Insert the lower fitting of a toilet fill valve into the hole. Thread the mounting nut into place and seal the hole with the valve's rubber ring gasket.

  9. 9

    Attach one end of the water supply line to the toilet fill valve.

  10. 10

    Insert the desired item into the bag. Roll the open end of the bag over the first tube. Seal the bag with the C-channel of the tube and sleeve closure. The entire side should be secured by the closure

  11. 11

    Attach the free end of the water supply line to the vacuum pump when you are ready to begin the process.

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