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Vacuum Press or MDF and Cauls for Veneer Installation?

Vacuum Press or MDF and Cauls for Veneer Installation?

Posted by Jay


I have never veneered before and would like to know if It’s better to use a vacuum press or would MDF and cauls work just as well? If using a vacuum what glue is the best? Different websites suggest a myriad of glues. What glue works best if using manually made press (MDF/cauls)? I’m getting ready to order veneer (bamboo carbonized vertical) through your website. It will be placed over particle board. I want to do this right the first time and understand what I need to do in the future.

Thank you for your assistance.



Hi Mike,
What you are asking about is two ways to achieve the same result. The difference is that using a vacuum press is an easier process than using a manually made MDF/caul press (using glue and clamps against a form or plate). With the vacuum press, you simply apply the glue, put the veneer in place, and then place the vacuum bag over the whole board and veneer and the vacuum press sucks all the air out and it’s done.

In the case of an MDF/caul procedure, you do pretty much the same thing, putting the veneer in place, with glue, on the substrate, and using a number of clamps to keep even pressure on the veneer as it dries. Done properly, you wil have the same result as with the vacuum press. Just be certain that all parts are carefully clamped down for a perfect seal. About the glue, at Oakwood Veneer, we recommend any PVA extended open time adhesive.

FYI, we do carry vacuum presses here at Oakwood. 

Jay White
Oakwood Veneer Tech Support