Dave Coleman is one of our readers, and one of the dedicated craftsmen putting the White Water Shaker Village back together. He’s been building Shaker furniture and boxes for a number of years, and recently he dropped by our office to show us a new veneer press that he is making. If you’re serious about veneering and want to work efficiently, a good press is the best method. You won’t be fooling around with clamps, cauls or vacuum bags and you can be assured that your panels are flat.
The design of this press is based on an antique book-binder’s press, and the most noticeable feature is the single screw. That’s what makes this press a snap to use, and in order for that to work, the entire press has to be built both like a tank and a Swiss watch. Dave and his partner have accomplished both.
The frame is welded steel, and the work fits between two 1/4″ thick steel plates that are attached to multiple layers of plywood. After the steel is attached, the working surfaces are machined flat. In use, it only takes about a quarter turn of the screw (after the plates make contact with the work) to apply all the pressure you need. This small press weighs 70 pounds and will handle panels up to 12″ x 17-3/4″, and a larger, two screw version will handle panels up to 12″ x 36″.
It’s nice to see something made this well in these days of offshore production and value engineering. Dave is working on developing a website to market these presses, but in the meantime you can contact him directly for more information or to order. The small press sells for $349, and the larger version for $599 plus shipping. You can reach Dave by phone at (937) 219-9039 or e-mail. The video below, shows the press in action in our shop.
Tours of the Whitewater Shaker Village are a part of this year’s Woodworking in America conference.
Learn more about veneering with these items from our online store.
Get Thomas Moser’s book, How to Build Shaker Furniture