Shop by Species

Build a Vacuum Press!

    Build Your Own Vacuum Press Monthly Newsletter

Excel 1™
Continuous Run
Vacuum Press System
* Special Savings! *



Regular Price:
Your Price:
$279.50   ($70.45 Savings!)
Customer Rating:
Excel Podz™ Kit:


Product Description

Simple and Affordable -
The Excel 1™ vacuum press kit is a compact and very affordable system for vacuum bags up to 4' x 4' in size. The kit is a testament to simplicity and with its wide range of uses, you'll find it a versatile and practical addition to your arsenal of tools. I recently redesigned this system, updated a few parts, and made the assembly process easier with all new instructions. Most importantly, we were able to reduce the price by $90 by using a different (and in many ways, better) vacuum pump.

This vacuum press is designed for woodworkers looking for a simple and affordable method to apply wood veneer and clamp wood projects for routing, sanding, carving, and more. The system is fully adjustable and can generate more than 1,785 lbs. of pressure per square foot at sea level. At the heart of the system is a small but powerful 1.4 CFM vacuum pump designed to ensure many years of trouble-free operation. The system runs on standard household current (120v AC).

Every part of this system was designed with simplicity in mind. This makes it easy to assemble and incredibly durable. 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.

To complete your press, you will need a vacuum bag, breather mesh, and platens.

pg-need-help.gifAssembly Time: 20 to 25 Minutes
Maximum Bag Size: 4' x 4'
Assembly Instructions: Click here

This system might not be suitable for use with epoxy and similar adhesive types. Please see the Questions & Answers tab above for more information.

Kit Contents

  • 1.4 CFM Vacuum Pump (Continuous Duty, Oil-Less)
  • High Flow Vacuum Filter
  • Braided Vacuum Tube (3/8" ID x 10 ft.)
  • Lock-On Vacuum Connector (x2)
  • Brass Lock-On Connector Plug Fitting
  • Rubber Feet for Vacuum Pump (x4)
  • Stainless Steel Vacuum Gauge
  • Exhaust Muffler
  • Bleeder Muffler
  • Thread Sealing Tape
  • Vacuum Valve
  • Brass Barbed Fitting (x2)
  • Brass Elbow Fitting
  • Brass Cross Fitting
  • Brass Pipe Nipple (x2)


  • All of the parts to build this kit are included.
  • Quick-connect system allows easy removal of the vacuum tube for storage.
  • The oil-less vacuum pump is fan cooled, thermally protected, and comes with a 5ft power cord.
  • Suitable for vacuum bags up to 4' x 4'.
  • This system generates only 55 dB of sound which is very quiet.
  • The Excel 1 kit can create up to 25.5" Hg vacuum at sea level (approximately 1,785 lbs per square foot).
  • The kit is fully adjustable down to 1" Hg for fragile projects such as model air craft construction.

pg-warning-yellow.jpg WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals, including lead, which are known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information visit

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'.

Podz Kit for Excel Vacuum Press SystemThe Excel Podz kit includes everything in the regular Podz kit plus the electric foot pedal.

  • Podz Pre-Drilled Jigs - 4" x 4" HDPE (4 pcs.)
  • Mach Valves (4 pcs.)
  • Brass Plug - 1/8" NPT
  • Blue Vacuum Tube (12 ft.)
  • Brass Barb Fittings (7 pcs.)
  • Removable Podz Gaskets (8 pcs.)
  • Attachment Fitting (to connect to Excel kit)
  • Latching Electric Foot Pedal

Pre-Assembly Option
A vacuum press is not a difficult project to build, but if you prefer to jump right into veneering, the pre-assembled option on this kit is just for you. Select this option and I will assemble the Excel 1 kit for you so the system is ready to run when you open the box. This option will not delay shipping of your order. The pre-assembly option is for the Excel 1 kit only and does not include assembly of the Podz Kit options shown above.

Systems which have been assembled and are put into use by the customer can not be returned. Please note that the assembly fee is non-refundable should you decide to return the unused system.

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 appear to cost more than if the Podz clamping kit is ordered separately?
The Podz kit option on the Excel vacuum press system also includes the electric foot pedal. The stand-alone Podz kit on our site does not include the foot pedal.

Can I use a vacuum press for clamping boards together face to face?
At sea level, a typical vacuum press can put down the equivalent of 1,750 lbs of pressure per square foot. If the boards are flat, then this is generally considered more than adequate for a project where two sheet materials such as plywood or MDF are being glued together face to face. This also is true for gluing solid wood boards together.

Is this pump suitable for running continuously?
Yes! The manufacturer estimates the life of the pump at 10,000 hours until servicing is needed. We stock replacement parts for this pump and though we have been offering these pumps for many years, we've only shipped a few replacement parts. This vacuum pump has been exceptionally reliable and durable.

Will this system have enough force to bend strips of wood so I can make bent laminations?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on many factors such as thickness, species and grain direction. It will also depend on the radius and complexity of the curves that are being used on the project. At sea level, this vacuum press can create up to 1,750 lbs of clamping pressure per square foot. You will need to decide if that is enough for your bending project.

Can I use this system with epoxy?
The Excel system is not designed for use with epoxy and similar adhesive types unless an intake filter is used that can trap airborne particulates and prevent gumming in the system. We do not offer this filter nor can we suggest where to find one. Some users have reported that off-gassing is not a concern with today's types of epoxy but I have no clear evidence to support this.

Why can't I use epoxy with this system?
I'm not saying you can't. The system is not designed for use with epoxy. You can try and it might be fine. Or off-gassing from the epoxy could gum-up the piston in the pump and ruin it which would not be covered by the warranty.

Can this system be used for carbon fiber work?
I honestly don't know the answer to that question. Many have asked about it and then bought the system. I haven't received any feedback from them so I simply do not have an honest answer. If you have used the system for a carbon fiber project, feel free to send me some details.

Does altitude affect the maximum vacuum I can get with this system?
There is a loss of about 1" Hg for every 1,000 feet above sea level. This system can create 25.5" Hg so if you are at 5,000 feet, you will get approximately 20.5" Hg of vacuum. Since this system has a maximum vacuum of 25.5" Hg at sea level, it is not suitable for users above 8,000 feet.

What is the minimum vacuum level for veneering?
Most veneers require at least 17" Hg but a few species such as maple and bubinga are best pressed at 21" Hg.

What is the warranty on this system?
The vacuum pump is warranted by the manufacturer to be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of 1 year. All other parts of this system are warranted by 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.

Product Reviews

  1. Great Little Pump

    Review by Richard Kingston

    Great little pump. It quickly pumps down a 2' X 9' bag. The assembly of the system is simple. It is exceptionally quiet. There is nothing about it I would change.

  2. Thrilled with the Purchase

    Review by Jonathan Danforth

    I bit the bullet and ordered this even though I could probably have gotten away with using other clamping methods for my project. I am *thrilled* with the purchase. Excellent quality product, excellent shipping and packaging, and best of all I was able to take this kit out of the box and use it (thanks to the pre-assembly!) immediately. That's so worth the money to me.

    This pump doesn't seem to have a power switch which I found a little annoying but it's not a big deal. Maybe there is a switch and I'm just too dumb to find it.

    The noise from this unit is bearable. For purposes of comparison, this is approximately the same amount of noise as my ultra-quiet California Air Tools air compressor, about half as loud as a leaf blower? I hope that helps.

    [Note from Joe: It is correct that the Excel kit vacuum pumps do not have a power cord. The manufacturer offers one, but the cost is ridiculous and I wanted to keep this kit as affordable as possible. The sound level from the pump is 53 dB at 10 feet on the A scale, which is slightly higher than what the Hearing Health Foundation describes as "average room noise", and slightly lower than a household refrigerator as described by a Yale University study. ]

  3. Worked Excellently

    Review by Patrick Remfrey

    I only recently got this item and have used it on one project, but it worked excellently. Everything arrived quickly and worked perfectly out of the box. I made cauls as suggested in the instructions and used it to veneer thin slices of shop sawn koa to some Baltic birch plywood and it came out great. I'm looking forward to using it in more projects soon.

  4. Great Entry Level Vacuum Pump!

    Review by Brett Whited

    Excellent little vacuum pump! I knew nothing about veneering and had never even tried it or seen it done and I learned a ton on this site and how to successfully apply shop sawn veneer onto a substrate. Joe is very helpful and responds quickly to questions too! If you're on the fence about getting into veneering, read through this whole site and you'll be set! Thanks Joe!

  5. Excel 1 Vacuum Press Review

    Review by Bryan Witt

    So far have used it twice and will say that I’m highly impressed. I have never veneered before and both times went flawlessly due to the extremely detailed instructions and the fast replies I got on a few questions I had. Out of a 5 star review I give it a 10! Thank you!

  6. Impossible to be More Satisfied!

    Review by Peter O'Connor

    I researched vacuum pumps for 2 years before taking the plunge. Hands down, Veneer Supplies seemed to be the best. I emailed a few questions to the owner and the impression I had from the website was confirmed - a very quick and helpful reply. In every possible way, my experience with Veneer Supplies has been superb (I have now made two large orders) - in fact I can think of no single way it could be better. Customer service and communication, the wealth of helpful info on the website, the complete and clear product instructions, the quality of the products and on and on - as you can see, I'm a huge fan but only because it is fully warranted. As for this pump itself, it appears to be a fine unit, putting it together is relatively simple and aided by very good instructions, and all the ancillary components are first rate. There are a lot of options when considering a vacuum pump and I sincerely believe this is the best of the lot, by a very long way.

  7. Great Quality Vacuum System

    Review by William Butcher

    I am very pleased and impressed with the quality and performance of this vacuum press system. It is well engineered and is made with quality hardware and fittings. It was simple to assemble and should perform well over years of use.

  8. It is a Mighty Little Thing

    Review by Barry Miller

    I spent alot of time on this website researching vacuum press options and that time spent was worth it. I finished a half-dozen panels over the weekend and each came out perfect. These panels are going in a credenza for a high-end hotel in New York city so I needed perfection. Thanks to this press and a 4x4 vac bag, that is exactly what I got. The pump is small but it makes vacuum very quickly. I used the X-Press glue recommended on this site as well. Very satisfied overall with this purchase. This website is a great resource for vacuum press information and they shipped my order very quickly.

  9. Powerful Vacuum System with Great Design

    Review by Steve Green

    It took a few back and forth messages with Joe (the owner of this company) for me to figure out what kit was best for my needs. His replies were quick and helpful so I went ahead with the Excel 1 press, breather mesh, and a 4x4 polyurethane bag. I also bought glue and a glue roller. The kit arrived a few days after I ordered and the assembly took me about 25 to 30 minutes because I misplaced the vacuum gauge and spent 10 minutes looking for it. Assembly is very very easy and the instructions are completely fool-proof. There is so much I like about vacuum pressing with my new system. I should have bought this a long time ago but I kept wanting to save up more money and get the grand daddy Excel 5 kit instead. Since my projects will never need a large bag, Joe helped me understand why this smaller kit was a much better option and he was right on track with that so I saved a bundle.

    This vacuum press is small but it pulls full vacuum very quickly. I close the vacuum valve during the starting vacuum of the bag and then dial it back to 21" of HG once the bag is fully vacuumed down. It is very quiet too. My wife works in her crafts in the room right above my shop and she doesn't even hear when the vacuum press is turned on. Overall, I am happy I ordered this kit. It is perfect for my projects.

  10. Great Vacuum Press Kit for the Money

    Review by Marc Harris

    I bought this kit because I dont need a super-mega vacuum bag. My projects will all fit in a 2x4 (which I also bought here). The pump in this system is great. I did not know vacuum pumps could be this quiet. There was one small question I had about the vacuum filter so I sent an email and it was answered very quickly. I bought this kit, a polyurethane vacuum bag, and some vacuum mesh for under $400. You can't beat that. This is a good deal.

  11. Powerful and Exceptionally Quiet

    Review by Alan Viverette

    I've paired this pump with a 2'x2' bag for handling small (~20" square) glue-ups, and it has been great.

    The pump and accessories were packed very carefully in paper, which was a nice (and recyclable!) touch. Assembly was straightforward, the pump has plenty of power for a 2x2' bag, and it is QUIET! I had initially been concerned about volume since I'm running the pump in an attached garage, but it's quiet enough that I can watch TV in the adjoining room and forget that it's on.

    Overall, this kit has been perfect for my beginner marquetry and veneering work.

    [Note from Joe: Though this review was for the regular Excel 1 kit that I offer, there is also another kit on our site called the "Excel 1 Quiet" which is even more quiet than the regular kit. Also, I do not recommend leaving any vacuum press system in unattended operation.]

  12. Very Good Vacuum Pump Kit

    Review by Steve Treat

    This kit came with well documented instructions and was easy to assemble. I've used the pump several times and I'm happy with it's performance. The kit provides really good value for the money and shipped in 1 business day as indicated on website.

  13. Doing It's Job Well

    Review by Bill Boyle

    Easy to set up with clear and concise directions, it’s in use in my shop and I have absolutely no problems with it. It’s doing it’s job well!I love the foot pedal switch and the add-on vacuum clamp.

How would you rate this product?

Share your comments in the space below.
Minimum review length is 150 characters. Your total is 0.

Enter a short title for your review. (optional)

What is your first and last name? (both are required)
Enter the code below.

Security Check:

                   Reviews are subject to our terms and conditions.

Review Suggestions:
Was your order shipped timely and affordably?
Did the item arrive safely?
Did this item exceed your expectations?
Is website description accurate and fair?
Would you recommend this product to a friend?
Did Joe answer any questions about this product for you?

Shipping Discounts

    Reduced Shipping Rates In Effect

Your Wish List

Want to save this item for later? Click the button below to add this item to your wish list.