One of the keys to vacuum pressing success is being able to evenly distribute vacuum throughout the vacuum bag. Breather mesh is the perfect way to do this!
Breather mesh is a unique plastic fabric that is used in the vacuum bag to allow free air to move toward the bag stem and build vacuum evenly on and around the project. It is used in place of a top platen. Without it, the vacuum bag material will seal itself against the veneer causing pockets of air to form. These pockets have little or no vacuum inside and therefore do not provide the even clamping strength required to keep the veneer flat during the vacuum pressing process. Our mesh is made in the USA.
Why Professionals Use Breather Mesh
Breather mesh not only reduces bleed-through problems on open-pore and burl veneers but it also makes the bleed-through areas much easier to clean up. When breather mesh is used you will find that the glue stays in a tight bead on the surface of the veneer which can then be easily sanded or scraped off. After the excess adhesive is removed, the only glue on the face will be that which has filled any voids in the veneer. This is a great advantage and will give you a smoother finished panel.
In the interest of minimizing your shipping costs, we can fold the 48" wide (.021" thick) breather mesh and place it in the box with the other items in your order. Some users are reporting that it is harder to work with the mesh when it is folded so we also offer to ship the 48" wide mesh rolled in a separate box. The additional charge for selecting "rolled" is to cover the additional shipping and box costs and is non-refundable.
The 41" wide mesh is too thick to be folded. It must be rolled up to ship.
What is the working difference between the two types of mesh?
Other than the width, the only difference between the 41" and 48" mesh is the thickness. The 48" mesh is a thinner and very flexible, so it's a better choice for tight radius curves. It has been used to vacuum press veneer onto crown molding. The 41" mesh is less flexible but it's also more durable. Many users prefer the thicker mesh because it is easier to slide into the vacuum bag.
Why is the mesh not sold in a 54" width to match the size of the larger vacuum bags?
The manufacturer does not yet have the capacity to build the mesh any wider than 48 inches. Each time I order rolls of mesh, they tell me that they are continuing to add machinery and technology to improve on this width but I've not yet seen any results.
Will the breather mesh soften the veneer panel corners enough to protect the vinyl bag?
Generally speaking, yes; the mesh offers some degree of protection. The amount of protection is based on the angle of the corner, the age of the bag, and amount of vacuum being applied.
Can the mesh be cut?
Yes. The mesh can be trimmed to size with a pair of scissors.
What if my project is wider than 48"?
Simply order enough mesh for two side by side pieces that you can lay inside the bag. Some users have reported success by joining the two pieces with duct tape.
Why do you charge more to roll the mesh for shipping?
In the interest of minimizing your shipping costs, we fold the breather mesh and place it in the box with the other items in your order. Some users are reporting that it is harder to work with the mesh when it is folded so we now offer to ship the mesh rolled in a separate box. The additional charge for selecting "rolled" is to cover the additional shipping and packing costs. If the breather mesh is the only item in your order, you do not have to select "rolled" since we would ship it that way anyhow.
Why does the rolled option for the 48" version of the mesh cost more than the 41" version?
UPS charges a handling fee of $10.50 for any box with a dimension greater than 48 inches. The box for a rolled up version of the 48" mesh is 54" long. We are willing to cover some of that handling cost but we ask our customers to cover the rest.
If I opt to have the mesh shipped "folded", will the creases make it unusable?
Absolutely not. In time, the creases will become less obtrusive. Here's a tip from Dana Berggren: If your breather mesh has creases in it, make a quick pass over the area with a hair dryer. Reverse the crease while the mesh is warm and it will return to its original flat shape.
Do I need several sizes of mesh for each size project I put in my vacuum bag?
Most people have one piece of mesh that matches the size of their vacuum bag. This way, no matter what size your project is, if it will fit in the bag then the mesh will fit too.
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