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
Project: EVS Vacuum Press

About Project: EVS
Parts List
Pump Selection
Build the Manifold
Build the Sub-Manifold
Build the Reservoirs
Make the Carrier
Final Assembly
Wire the Press
Testing and Adjusting
Mods and Options
Part 3
Vacuum Bagging

Vacuum Bag Basics
Polyurethane vs. Vinyl
DIY Vacuum Bags (A)
DIY Vacuum Bags (B)
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
Copper Veneer Guide
Paperbacked Veneer

Edgebanding Guide

Part 5
Miscellaneous Info

Vacuum Press FAQ
Veneering FAQ
Veneer Glue FAQ
Copper Veneer FAQ

Vacuum Forming
Vacuum Chucking
Vacuum Clamping Pedal
Vacuum Clamping Jigs
Vacuum Clamp Matrix
DIY Vacuum Manifold
Vacuum Press Gallery 1
Vacuum Press Gallery 2

Downloads (PDF's)

Project V2 Information
Type: Adjustable Auto-Cycling
Vacuum: Air Powered Venturi
Page: 4 of 9
Drill Caps

Build the Reservoir Tanks
The reservoir tanks are used to hold spare vacuum. It prevents the vacuum source from having to cycle on and off frequently. The reservoir tanks that are used with this system are 3" diameter, solid core, schedule 40 or 80 PVC that can be found at most local plumbing shops. In fact, it is best to buy it at a plumbing shop because if you were to find it at a hardware store, you would have to buy a 10' length of it. Your local plumber may even give it to you for free if you are lucky. Be 100% sure that it is solid core schedule 40 or 80 PVC. If you can not find this type of PVC, ask your local plumbing supplier to order it for you. Do not substitute any other type of PVC. Foam core PVC and black ABS pipe will collapse under negative pressure.

You will need 2 pieces that are 14" long. The more reservoir space that is available, the less the unit has to turn on and off. This minimizes the wear and tear on the Mac valve. However, these valves are designed to withstand a hundred thousand cycles or more so don't feel the need create a jumbo reservoir system. You can opt for 4" diameter PVC but the end caps are nearly twice as expensive and the entire system will double in weight.

Two schedule 40 or 80 end caps are used to make the reservoir ends.

Tap the Tank
There are two ways to tap the reservoir caps. The first involves the use of a dedicated thread tapping tool. This is the easiest method and produces the cleanest threads. The second method involves using the fitting itself to cut the threads and requires a bit of strength and patience.

Parts used in this section: Tools Required:
3" PVC Pipe (2 at 14"L )
PVC Caps (4)
PVC Cement
Pipe Tap (optional)

Drill press
7/16" Drill bit
Vise-Grips or pliers
Tape measure

Method #1
The easiest and most reliable way to create the threads is with a dedicated 1/4" NPT tap. Note that pipe tap sizes do not refer to diameter. The actual outside diameter of a 1/4" NPT pipe thread is .54 inch. Most hardware stores carry pipe taps for about $9 but you can save a couple of bucks and pick one up at

To create the threads use a drill press and a 7/16" bit. It is critical that the hole be drilled straight through the top center of the cap. To do this, be certain to drill into the cap from the top as shown.

Use a pair of Vise-Grips to hold the tap. Carefully screw in the tap using about 3/4 of the tap length. Then test the threads with a brass fitting. If it is too snug, re-tap the hole and screw in the tapping tool a bit further. This will slightly widen the hole. You may find it necessary to use a chisel or razor to remove the burr on the top of the cap caused by the tapping tool. Be sure to tap only two of the four caps in the system.

If you don't have a tap, you can make your own using an old 1/4" NPT brass fitting. Simply bevel the leading threads and then cut an angled groove in them with a hacksaw so you have something similar to what is shown in the picture to the right. The sharp brass edges won't last long but will hold up for a couple of uses. Thanks for Mark Porter for the suggestion and picture.


Drilling the Caps

Tapping the Caps


Method #2
If you prefer to tap the caps with the brass fitting itself, you can drill a 31/64" hole into the cap and create the threads with the ¼" pipe thread of the fittings.

To create the threads in the cap, use a wrench or socket to insert a brass fitting. Any fitting with ¼" NPT threads and a hex nut on the top will work fine. Remember, you will be threading the fittings into unthreaded plastic so work slowly. A small amount of light oil will assist in the threading process. After you have inserted the fitting completely through the hole, remove it and repeat the process on the other cap. Be sure to tap only two of the four caps in the system.

From Mike Lonchambon of Houston, TX
After I drilled the caps out at the drill press, I chucked a brass fitting into the press and lowered it down to the cap. I gave the chuck a few twists by hand to get it started straight and true and then removed it from the press and continued with a wrench. This ensures that the fitting goes in perfectly straight which is difficult to do by hand.

Assemble the Reservoirs
Cut two pieces of 3" PVC to 14" in length. They must be the same length to make it easier to mount them on the carrier.

At this point, you can carefully cement the PVC pipe to the top and bottom cap on one of the reservoirs. Remember to use one tapped and one untapped cap on each of the two reservoirs. Use regular PVC cement and apply it generously to both sides of the mating areas. Give the cap a slight twist (1/4 turn) as the parts slide together. For goodness sake, do this in a well ventilated area.

Before assembling the second reservoir, measure the length of PVC pipe between the two caps on the first reservoir (in my example, the measurement was 10.5”). Now, attach one of the caps to the second reservoir using the cement. Measure from the edge of this cap to the length you just measured on the first reservoir and mark the PVC with a pencil. Apply cement and attach the last PVC cap. Slide it up to the pencil line to ensure that both reservoirs are the exact same size. This will make it easier to attach them to the carrier.

Attach the Reservoirs
Now attach the manifold system to the PVC reservoirs. Be sure that you have applied thread sealing tape to the male threads that are remaining on the street tees.

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