A vacuum press is not a difficult project to build, but if you prefer to jump right into veneering, this 1.1 CFM vacuum press kit is just for you. The Excel 1™ Vacuum Pressing System is designed for woodworkers looking for a simple and affordable method of veneering wood panels and clamping wood projects for routing, sanding and carving. With an integrated speed control valve, the system is fully adjustable from 840 to 1750 lbs of pressure per square foot. This system is suitable for vacuum bags up to 4' x 4'. For larger vacuum bags, consider the Excel 5™ vacuum press.
Simple is Better
The Excel 1™ Vacuum Pressing System is designed for woodworkers looking for a simple, powerful, and affordable method of veneering wood panels and clamping wood projects for routing, sanding and carving.
Every part of this system was designed with simplicity in mind. This makes it easy to assemble and incredibly durable. The system is fully adjustable to 1,750 lbs of pressure per square foot. The assembly consists of only a few pieces and each uses standard NPT threads. There is no wiring involved in the assembly process and the whole system goes together very quickly.
At the heart of the system is a very quiet 1.1 CFM vacuum pump from Gast Manufacturing to ensure many years of trouble-free operation. The unit is designed to run on standard household current (120v AC).
Assembly Time: 15 - 20 Minutes
Tools Required: Wrenches (9/16" and 5/8" 11/16")
Assembly Instructions: Included or by clicking here
Vacuum Clamping Option
Excel Podz™ Kit (26 Piece Podz Kit + Foot Pedal)
Podz™ are simple vacuum jigs designed to affordably clamp projects to your bench top. Using the power of your vacuum press and vacuum clamping add-on, the Excel Podz kit allows you to configure the clamping jigs any way you choose to clamp projects as small as 4" x 4" and as large as 5' x 4'. The Excel Podz kit includes everything in the regular Podz kit plus the electric foot pedal.
Wasn't the price higher a while back?
I was able to change some parts around and rework a deal I had for the vacuum pumps. With that, I was able to drop the price by around $40.
What else will I need to have a complete vacuum press system?
You will need a vacuum bag and a few veneering supplies such as a glue roller, veneer glue, and breather mesh. Also needed is a melamine platen board which can be bought at most large home improvement stores.
Why does the clamping add-on on this product cost more than if the Podz clamping kit is ordered separately?
The vacuum clamping option includes the Podz kit and the electric foot pedal. The stand-alone Podz kit on our site does not include the foot pedal.
What is the warranty on this system?
The vacuum pump is warranted by Gast Manufacturing Inc. to be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of 1 year. All other parts of this system are warranted by VeneerSupplies.com to be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of 90 days.
What is the return policy on the Excel 1 system?
Please see this page for details regarding our return policy.
Does this system include a vacuum bag?
None of our systems come with a vacuum bag because we don't want to force you to buy something you may not need. We also have no way of knowing what size bag you want with your system so the bags are offered separate from the rest of the system.
Can this system be used overseas with a power converter?
No. Power converters do not create the proper "cycle" for these pumps and will cause damage to the motor windings.
What is the purpose of the vacuum valve?
It allows you to fine tune (upward) the pressure a bit without having to change the setting on the bleeder fitting. Additionally, the vacuum valve allows you to close off the flow to the bleeder valve completely so that, at the start of a pressing job, the vacuum pump can pull-down the vacuum bag slightly faster.
Why is the Podz option for the Excel kit more expensive than the Podz product itself?
The Podz kit that is selectable on the Excel Vacuum Press product page also includes the electric foot pedal...at a reduced price.
Review by Todd Foster
Ordered on a Tuesday and got it on a Thursday. Took me about 15 minutes to put it together. By mid-afternoon, my first panel was in the press and came out perfectly an hour later. I really wasn't expecting the panel to come out this well but it was perfect.
Some have mentioned that this machine is very quiet. They are definitely not kidding. You barely hear it running. All of the parts are better than I expected them to be for what this machine costs. I have friends with vacuum pressing equipment which cost 3 times more than what I paid but my system works just as well.
It is hard to find woodworking tools these days that are affordable and also made well. This is one of those rare finds where you get more than you have paid.
Review by Richard Somers
I've learned veneering backwards. I bought a bunch of veneer and some glue without really knowing how to adhere it to some plywood. A couple of boards turned out OK but most went in to the trash pile. I tried one technique after another and just kept failing. I finally came up with the money to buy a vacuum press system (the Excel 1 system) and my very first project came out perfectly... not a single flaw in the veneer.
So I've been asking myself why I bought the veneer before I bought a vacuum press. I wasted a lot of time, money, and veneer before I learned that if you want to veneers to come out right, a vacuum press like this is something you have to get. I just had to suck it up and accept the expense but it's better to cry once than cry every time a veneered board comes out wrong.
Review by David Crass
The Excel 1 system is a high quality product that performed flawlessly. Easy to assemble and I'm amazed at how quiet it is. I've used it 8 times already and it worked perfect every time!
Review by Jack Dalton
Joe was recommended by a woodworking guild member for the good service. I must agree, everything came just as I ordered and Joe even sent me a note to tell me about some instructions that would be helpful. I'll be back!
Review by Dan Scott
Joe's instructions were easy to follow and the system was quickly assembled. Runs quiet and smooth. Ordered on the weekend and together and ready to go on Wednesday evening. Looking forward to many years of happy marquetry projects.
Review by Erik Curtis
Easy to assemble, easy to use. Only downside is that it's a continuous run, but that would add another few hundred dollars. For the price, it's a fantastic little pump.
Review by John Hall
This rating is for ease of assembly. I received the item today and had it assembled in 30 minutes with out any questions or problems. So far so good.
I will post another review after I have had a chance to use the system a few times.
Review by Kevin Reed
Normally, I don't write product reviews but since I have had a very good experience with my system and this company in general, I'll post my two cents.
This is a remarkable example of the KISS method that many woodworkers, engineers, machinists, and plumbers subscribe to. This vacuum press does everything you would want without a lot of fuss and expense. It does not cycle off and on but since it's so very quiet I don't mind. I doubt a system like this is drawing that much power anyhow.
I presently use this kit with a 4x4 polyurethane bag. The bag is worthy of a high rating too. Overall I am very satisfied with this company.
It took two days for my system to arrive via UPS once I ordered. I had several questions before ordering and the owner of the company quickly answered all of them.
Review by Charlie Plesums
This has proven to be a great, simple to use, vacuum pump for both veneering and bent wood laminations. It is rated for small to medium bags, but I put a T connection and valve so I could do the bulk evacuation of a larger bag with a shop vacuum, then shut the extra port and have this "real" vacuum pump pull the final pressure. My friend where I got the idea for the shop vac port uses that approach all the time - I must confess that I never have used the shop vac - just squeeze out the bulk air before starting the pump. I use this pump frequently.
Review by Lucas Brown
Bought this press system about 1 year ago (I always try use things thoroughly before writing any reviews). Let me tell you, I couldn't be happier with both the product and more importantly Joe's customer support. Very quick shipping and Joe answered all of my stupid questions very promptly and without making me feel any stupider. He even responded to an e-mail on Sunday. As I said, the press works great. Easy assembly with clear instructions, runs quiet, produces a strong vacuum, (and with the platens I built from Joe's plans) produces nothing but flawless results. Joe recommends no larger than a 4'x4' bag, but I've had no trouble with the 4'x9' bag I bought. (just takes a little longer to evacuate the air) I also bought the Podz Kit for vacuum clamping and I'm absolutely thrilled with their performance as well. Not to mention the Birdseye Maple veneer I bought had the most amazing figure I've ever seen. Very, very satisfied customer. Oh, and did I mention Joe's customer service really is second to none? Thanks again Joe.
Review by Bob M.
I just bought my press, my first, and used it to veneer some fairly complex doors. I was impressed by the clarity of the instructions and the ease of assembly. The doors came out beautifully. It's nice to see a reasonably priced product that delivers what it promises and meets high standards.
Review by Bill E
This little system is a solid performer and has not let me down yet. My last project was a 38" x 102" table top and it handled it with no problems.
The kit comes complete with all high-quality parts. And Joe's tutorials explain everything you need to know to use it. This was one of the best woodworking investments in my shop.
Review by Len Nowicki
This vacuum press is superb. I cant stop thinking how amazing the whole process of vacuum veneering is. There are about 12 panels completed with my system so far and every one of them has been perfectly flat and without any defects. The system is designed nicely and I didnt have any problems assembling it. I would recommend this system to anyone who wants an affordable way to get into vacuum veneering. Of course, you'll need a vacuum bag to go with the Excel system. I bought a polyurethane bag and I'm very satisfied with that as well.
Review by Franklin Kent McKenzie
I've been using my vacuum press for 3 years and I am finally getting a chance to write a review. My shop is my retreat. I like peace in my shop and this means that I want my tools to work the way they should. Sometimes that costs money... to buy the best tools... the ones that I know will never let me down. This vacuum press is one of those tools!
Everything is pretty straight-forward. The parts are all heavy duty. The filter is a nice touch that you dont see on other systems in this price range. The gauge has the glycerine filling which is nice. The locking connector on the tube is excellent. I've never had a problem with it.
As you might know, Joe has a talent for writing clear instructions. This kit is no exception. It will only take 10 to 15 minutes to put the kit together.
My largest vacuum bag is 4x6 which is a bit larger than what Joe recommends for this size pump. My large bag may be stretching the limits of the pump (simply because it takes a bit longer to pull the full vacuum pressure) but once it gets the pressure on, it has no problem maintaining that pressure.
Joe's customer service is outstanding. I've had email questions answered within 2 hours on a Sunday. That says everything. You can tell from his messages, that he is committed to his customers.
Review by Edric Moss
I bought one too! Everyone says how great these presses are so I jumped on the bandwagon. Glad I did.
The vacuum press took only 15 minutes to assemble and my first project turned out perfect. I've tried every other kind of veneering and never had a panel where it was as perfect as a vacuum pressed one.
Review by Manny J.
As other reviews explain, this is a very quiet system. Since I live in an apartment, I have to be careful about the tools I use and how loud they are. This is not a tool I worry about. I could run it in the living room and not worry about it being too loud.
Everything about this system exudes quality. The gauge, pump, lock on connector, filter, etc... all top notch stuff.
And the service here is impeccable. Joe answered several questions for me late on a Sunday night. I couldnt ask for more.
Review by Jason Novak
I've had my Excel vacuum press for about a year and I absolutely love this thing. Seems like I'm using it more and more each week. The vacuum clamping jig is simple but amazing. The jig is a very dense plastic with a barbed fitting, tubing, and a special adapter that allows it to connect to the vacuum press. The foot pedal is also very high quality. Its made of heavy gauge steel and I really like the latching part. I can just click it on and let it run. When I'm not using the foot pedal on the veneer press, I use it on my router table. As for the core parts of the system; everything is high quality. There are comparable systems out there for more money. My woodworking club has one and its good but not great. It's very basic and not adjustable like the Excel vacuum. Shipping was reasonable and I got it within a couple of days after I ordered.
Review by Russell Newhart
Count me in with the rest of the users here. This system is unbeatable and the price just right. My system took 15 minutes to assemble thanks to crystal clear instructions and oustanding product quality. I'm hooked on veneering and vacuum bagging now. It is addicting! This system just makes it so easy. For the money, you cant beat this system. My press arrived in 2 days along with my bag and a nice selection of veneering tools and glue. My 1st panel came out perfectly. No worries mate!
Review by Louis Foster
My vacuum press is running at this very moment and as it purrs along, I look forward to removing the burled panel I made this morning. Now is a good time to write this review.
I thoroughly researched the small vacuum press systems available from this website and three other companies. Ultimately, I decided on this model for several reasons. First, I wanted a good system at a good price. Second, I knew there would be times when I would need lesser pressure for some torsion box projects I do on a regular basis. Third, I wanted a system that is well supported. Having asked the owner of this company many questions, I was thoroughly impressed with his level of customer service. And one last reason I made my purchase here... It felt good to give my hard-earned money to a fellow woodworker. This is a great company to support and the level of customer service is outstanding.
Review by Thomas Pastorio
I'm writing this review immediately after ordering my 3 systems from VeneerSupplies.com. My first two units are in continuous use and my shop has plenty more panels to get down. We are primarily an art studio and it is imperative that the machinery noise levels are kept to a minimum. This system really meets that requirement. You hardly know its running.
And when it is running, it runs cool and doesnt miss a beat. Even our clients have remarked about how great this system runs. There are so few places where one can find a vacuum press like this and I think this is the only place where you get a pump that is actually made in the USA. As for the other components, they too are all of excellent quality. The filter is a nice touch and gives piece of mind. The vacuum adjustment idea on this pump is ingenious too.
Overall, I'm as happy as can be with this outfit. Our third unit is going to fit in perfectly with the two other units and complete my vacuum press setup. I've noted also the service here is impeccable. The last two orders literally took less than 24 hours to arrive. How about that!
Review by Ronny Warner
You can't beat this system. For the cost, no one offers anything close. Other places are selling what are basically low duty pumps with junk tubing, no gauge, no filter, no connectors. On the other hand, this system has it all including a stainless steel gauge, lock on connector, a very nice filter, and a very well made vacuum pump.
My system took only 10 minutes to assemble. I was veneering my first panel only minutes later and my first veneered project came out perfectly.
A little bit about Joe... I have to say that he is tops in my book. He definitely knows his stuff and this kit shows it. Joe also supports everything like no one else I've ever bought from. Its nice to speak to someone who understands the products he sells. And clearly, he's not in this for the money. He even called me on a Sunday afternoon to answer questions I had about this kit. Seriously... where else would you find this level of customer service?
I mentioned the phrase "customer service" to Joe when we spoke. He actually doesnt consider his conversations with his customers as a from of "service". The truth is that he's just trying to help people that he considers "friends". I really appreciate being treated like a friend and not a sale.
Two thumbs up and ten stars to Joe and this kit.
Review by Mike Armstrong
I bought this multi-use system with the clamping kit. I'm now in a semester-long veneering class and wanted to get right into it without taking time to chase down parts for a system just to save a few $$. Joe's system is absolutely complete and goes together in minutes. I'd also strongly recommend one of his quality 30-mil bags as it will obviously hold up for years of pressing in the average home shop. My first pressing job went flawlessly.
Joe's web site is a wealth of great information on veneering and other woodworking topics. Besides offering a good selection of quality products at fair prices, Joe's customer service is unbeatable. Although there were a couple problems with my first orders - which were not his fault, his response assured me that he stands behind his products and service. I will be doing more business with him and I highly recommend him to anyone for veneering supplies.
Review by Joann Trumel
We assembled our vacuum press in about 10 minutes and made a vacuum bag later in the day. The whole system goes together in a snap and the parts fit perfectly. Each component is top notch and especially the pump which is a Gast model that you runs so quietly, you almost dont even know its running. My husband and I are thrilled to add veneering to our list of abilities. The press just makes it so easy.
Review by JR Hart
I am very pleased with this vacuum system. The assembly took less than 15 minutes and the system runs as well as I had hoped. The valve stem is an ingenious idea and one that should have been thought of by the big boys of vacuum presses.
The optional part of the assembly involves rotating the head of the vacuum pump. I was a bit apprehensive about doing this at first. But the system is much more compact with the head turned 180 degrees (as the instruction say) so I gave it shot. It was very easy and certainly something that I shouldnt have been worried about.
I also bought the vacuum bag vinyl and cement. With the instructions found on the other part this website, I was able to build a custom bag that connected to the vacuum system very nicely.
Overall, I am very happy with the vacuum press. The shipping was reasonable and the package was well protected.
Review by Jesse Hines
This is an excellent system. I say this after owning one for 6 months and using it nearly every weekend.
At first I was apprehensive about having to build the vacuum bags. But the bag material is so easy to work with (yet appears incredibly durable) that I'm happy as a clam to have made it myself.
Overall, the system works just a Joe says it does. Its quiet and reliable and has very heavy duty parts. And of course, Gast Manufacturing makes some dang fine units. This is one of them!
I scoured the internet for a few months and had recieved nothing but great comments about Joe, this website, and its products. If you plan to do average size veneering projects and want something inexpensive, this is your best bet.
Two thumbs up!
Review by Greg Hillman
I was surprised by how fast this system could vacuum out my veneer press bag. I am very satisified with this press. The instructions are very clear and the parts are all top notch. The pump runs smoothly and has very little vibration. The air filter also makes a convenient place to grab the unit for toting around the shop.
Review by Jonathan Palsko
Very happy with the press. Even had my first panel come out perfectly.
Review by Thos. Willams Jr.
I bought this product in August and have used it almost every weekend since then. I have built above 14 or 15 projects using this press and the vinyl that Joe offers here. My projects range from humidors to coffee tables. The vacuum press works very well and I am very satisified with it. It is very quiet and it always vacuums the air out of the bag quickly.
Review by Jared Gilmore
I love this tool. It was purchased to do some light veneering of kitchen cabinet doors. The bag took about an hour to make and the press was assembled in about 15 minutes. Within 2 hours of receiving our order I was veneering!
I want to mention that Joe is a fine shipper/seller. I ordered the pump on a Tuesday morning and received a tracking number from Joe by noon. The item arrived two days after that in perfect condition (great packing job).
Overall, I am extremely pleased with this product and many of the others sold here. I will be coming back for more veneer and glue very soon.
Review by Joe B.
Excellent system! Highly recommended for weekend warriors.
The system is quiet and pulsl the vacuum very fast. My first try at veneering an elm burl veneer to my Jaguar dashboard was a success!!! WOOOHOOO!
Thanks Joe for the system.
Review by Bernie Miller
Very happy. Quick assembly. Works quickly and quietly. Great tool.
Review by Robert Olhimmer
I met Joe several weeks ago - before these units were available. Judging by his comments, I knew this was going to be a great system and now that I have one in my shop I can only say how great it really is. For starters, its light weight and it stores easily. Secondly, the pump is so quiet, I almost cant hear it running (though my ears arent what they used to be either). Lastly, it is so easy to build, I could have done it blindfolded! This is a fine deal that he's put together and I highly recommend it for weekend woodshop warriors.
Review by Howard U.
I got my press running very quickly and was veneering in no time. Item is very well made and very quiet as Joe said it would be. Everything about this kit is excellent. Heavy duty tubing with crimped on connectors is a great finishing touch. Thanks
Review by Jon Hass
I just had to write a review about this kit today. I put the kit together yesterday (in 15 miuntes!) and was veneering by 7 am this morning. By 9 am, I had a perfect panel of Joe's walnut burl #995. By 2 pm, I had the panel framed in a walnut border. By 6 pm, the table was complete and ready to finishing. Now its 8 pm and the last coat of lacquer is dry and the table is sitting next to me. I never thought veneering would be so fun and so easy. This kit has enlighten me to a new world of woodworking. This vacuum press kit is flawless. A SUPER ITEM AND A GREAT PRICE!!! Thanks, Jon Hass.
Review by Spencer Grayson
I couldn't wait for my system to arrive! This is pretty much what I needed to get some veneering done. I do alot of antique repairs and wanted to get some veneer pressed for a freind's cedar chest. The press is well made. It comes with nice rubber feet that keep in from bouncing around. The inline air filter is a nice touch that I havent seen in any other presses in this price range. The gauge is smooth and has an metal casing to protect it. There is also a nifty on/off switch which is also something not found on many other presses in this range. Finally... the quick connector on the hose is awesome. It goes on easy and quickly. I dont know why he doesnt sell it for other systems.
Joe sells a great system. He even refunded me $10 because he lowered the price on the system after I bought it.
Well its time to go back into the shop and do some veneering!