Finally, progress to show. I'm taking the same excuse as WitsRUs (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=57566
), and claiming the weather was too cold to work in an unheated shop last week. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. I'm sure you folks up north where it's really
cold are laughing at us Texans for thinking it's cold in the 30's. No problem, we're laughing at you for living in a deep freeze.
I spent the cold days as productively as possible, checking my drawings and making sure everything is in order. I moved the headboard aft 2 inches, and everything went aft with it. I also lowered the door an inch. Then drawing checking and drawing the framing, outline and roofline details on the plywood. If someone wants to see it, I'll post the video, but it's the same kind of stuff I posted before.Video editing is a bit of a PITA.
I also got my vacuum press modified and in order, because I want to use it for gluing up the wall framing. Got the last Tee fitting I needed this morning, and it's good to go. So today I got to try out my 5 x 12 vacuum bag. It works!
I made two practice runs before I popped the top on the glue jug. First one was after I got the 5 platen boards (2 x 4' MDF. HEAVY!) into the bag. Then a dry run with no glue to verify I could manage to get the wall in and out of the bag without mishap. A half-inch splinter in my finger, and I added leather gloves to the kit. It only bled a little. On the second run, it took forever for the little vacuum pump to evacuate the bag. That's when I added the shop vac. That's the ticket for getting most of the air out of the bag.
Here's everything ready to start glueing:
I thought I was going to be smart and use a paint roller to spread glue. Ha! That didn't work well at all. Used an old credit card with notches cut in one edge. Pour the glue from the jug, spread it with the card, place the part and shoot a few nails to try to hold it in place long enough to go into the bag. Lather, rinse and repeat. Then staple the breather mesh (that's the white sheet of stuff in the upper left of the photo) on top of the assemblage so it stays in place all the way to the bottom of the bag. Stuff it all into the bag, suck out excess air with the shopvac and turn on the vacuum pump. Have a smoke/beer/lemonade/snack or whatever you reward yourself with. Come back in an hour.
Here's what it looks like bagged and the vacuum running:
I only attached the end pieces and baseboard in this operation, since I hadn't tried something this large before -- trying to keep the tree destruction to a minimum.
Here's a different view:
The baseboard is on the left, front end piece nearest the camera, and the aft end piece waaaay in the back. The bag is 40 mil EPDM pond liner. To give you an idea of how well the vacuum bag clamps, the line you see on the end piece is the edge of the breather mesh, which is only 60 mils thick (That's .060" or about a 1/16"). Ditto the line running vertical from the end of the end piece, on the right. Then you see the 1/4" plywood with the platen board under that.
Here's the gear:
Right to left: Air compressor for the brad nailer, green monster blower from an A/C unit to blow into the bag to open it up for sliding the wall in. Blue tarp to put the wall plywood on so it doesn't get all scratched. 2 PVC pipe vacuum reserve tanks in cardboard box shrapnel guard. Vacuum control board has a pressure switch that cycles the vacuum pump as pressure rises/falls. Shop Vac to remove excess air from the bag after loading. Small Harbor Freight vacuum pump to do the really hard sucking. Duct tape. Orange air hose suction line to the vac bag. Bungees hanging from the garage door to hold the mouth of the bag open. Vac bag, clamped shut. The yellow bucket did not participate.
Shrapnel guard? Yes. Homemade pressure vessels scare me.
Like the absent-minded skydiver once said, "So far, so good." http://VeneerSupplies.com
has a ton of good info on building vacuum presses and related stuff for sale, of course. They get the capnTelescope seal of approval.
The vacuum setup cycles from -15 to -18 inches of mercury every minute or so. I need to do some leak fixing to slow down the cycling. First I need to do some leak finding.
Tomorrow, more glue-up. then some router dust!