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Excel 5™
Continuous Run
Vacuum Press System
* Special Savings! *


Additional Pictures: 3

Regular Price:
Your Price:
$443.50   ($126.45 Savings!)
Customer Rating:
Excel Podz™ Kit:
Extended Kit:


Product Description

Simple and Powerful -
The Excel 5™ vacuum press kit is designed for woodworkers looking for a simple and robust way to veneer wood panels and clamp wood projects for routing, sanding, and carving. This system is a powerhouse of vacuum and a testament to simplicity.

Every part of the Excel 5 kit was designed with simplicity in mind. This makes it easy to assemble and incredibly durable. The vacuum level is fully adjustable from 280 to 1,785 lbs of pressure per square foot. Assembly consists of only a few pieces and each uses standard NPT threads.

At the heart of the system is a quiet yet powerful vacuum pump designed for many years of trouble-free operation. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The sound level from this pump is even less than some diaphragm pumps. Additionally, there is no wiring involved in the assembly process and the whole system goes together very quickly.

We now offer a 120v and a 240v version of the Excel kit. Both can handle vacuum bags up to 4' x 15'. This system might not be suitable for use with epoxy and similar adhesive types. See the Questions & Answers tab above for more information.

pg-need-help.gifAssembly Time: 30 to 35 minutes 
Assembly Instructions: Click here

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

Kit Contents

  • Continuous Duty 5 CFM Oil-Less Vacuum Pump
  • High Flow Vacuum Filter
  • Braided Vacuum Tube (3/8" ID x 10 Ft.)
  • Lock-On Vacuum Connector (new version)
  • Exhaust Muffler
  • Thread Sealing Tape
  • Vacuum Valve
  • Stainless Steel Vacuum Gauge
  • Four Rubber Feet for Vacuum Pump
  • Brass Cross Fitting
  • Straight Brass Barbed Fittings
  • Short Brass Pipe Nipple
  • Long Brass Pipe Nipple
  • Brass Barbed Elbow
  • Brass Street Elbow
  • Brass Hex Plug
  • Composite Handle and Manifold


  • Easy and adjustable vacuum level
  • Very quiet - operates as just 55 dB at 10 feet on the A scale
  • Balanced carrying handle with integrated manifold
  • Powerful enough to create 25.5" of Hg at sea level
  • Re-usable vacuum filter element made of stainless steel
  • Fan-cooled and thermally protected (266° F) induction motor
  • Simple design with easy-to-follow assembly instructions included
  • Optional manifold with quick connector kit permits vacuum pressing up to 3 bags at the same time

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

Excel 5™ Options

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.Podz Kit for Excel Vacuum Press System

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


Extended Kit
This optional extended kit with quick connectors allows you to vacuum press up to three vacuum bags at once. This kit also includes two vacuum quick disconnects to allow the extra vacuum lines to be removed from the system when not in use.

Extended Manifold and Quick Connector Kit

This extended kit includes the following items:


Voltage Option - 240v
This kit is now available in a 220/240v AC version. The plug on the power cord is designed for Australia power outlets using the AS3112 standard but we believe the plug end can be cut off and used with US 240v.

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.

Isn't it better for the pump to cycle on and off?
Unless you are concerned about noise (which is minimal) or energy usage, there are no other major performance differences between the Excel 5 kit and a Project: EVS-2 kit with the same 5 CFM vacuum pump. The advantages to auto-cycling are the reduction of noise and the possibility of longer pump life.

Project: EVS-2™ Vacuum Press KitCan I convert this system to the Project: EVS-2 so that it auto-cycles?
Yes - for the 120v version of the Excel 5 kit. We have a discounted EVS-2 upgrade kit that allows you to disassemble your Excel 3/5 system and use many of the parts from it.

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.

Will the 240v version work in the USA?
Yes, but the plug end on the power cord will have to be cut off and replaced with a plug end designed for your 240v receptacle. Here is a picture of the plug end. The system is non-returnable if the plug end is cut off.

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.

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.

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.

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. The standard Podz kit with tube adapter option costs $82.95 and the foot pedal is $28.40. The combined total is $111.35 which is what we charge to include the Podz kit and foot pedal with your Excel 5 order.

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.

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 kind of plug end is on the 240v version of the kit?
The plug on the 240v power cord is designed for Australia power outlets using the AS3112 standard.

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 5 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 to know what size bag you might want with your system so the vacuum bags are offered separate from the rest of the system.

Can this system be used to vacuum clamp projects for CNC routing?
The clamping add-on for this kit is designed for bench-top clamping. It is not designed for large scale CNC work. Most large CNC vacuum clamping systems use a vacuum blower (not a vacuum pump) which can move more than 25 CFM. If the project material being cut is exceptionally porous or will have cut-throughs that will release the vacuum, then this system will not work.

The Podz vacuum clamping jigs will hold mid-sized non-porous panels but you still need a way to support the panel so it does not flex downward between the jigs if using with a CNC machine. Small clamping jigs that leak a little vacuum are also fine in most cases.

Does the Excel 5 system work on porous surfaces?
The overall effectiveness of the clamping apparatus is dependent on the porosity of the work bench surface and the porosity of the material being clamped. If the work bench surface below the clamping jigs is porous - such as unfinished MDF or particle board - then you will have diminished clamping power with this vacuum system. Some woods such as oak and walnut will leak a considerable amount of vacuum and this can reduce the holding ability of the system.

Why can't I order the clamping option with the 240V version of the Excel 5 kit?
The clamping kit requires the electric foot pedal to turn the system on and off. We have not yet obtained foot pedals that will work with the special plug end on the 240v version of the pump.

Can this system for 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.

Can this system be used for vacuum chucking?
There is no safe way to answer this question. More information needs to be provided. You would need to know three things...

  1. What is the surface area where the chuck attaches to the project?
  2. Is the project material porous? (some species of wood are very porous)
  3. How much weight will be held on the chuck at turning speed?

With these bits of information, you can calculate a number that will help you determine if the pump is safe to use for chucking. Continue on to the next question.

How much clamping force will the Excel 5 create for vacuum chucking?
This is based on a calculation using the maximum sustainable vacuum level and the surface area where the project is attached to the chuck. A smaller attachment area means less clamping/chucking force. A large industrial pump capable of pulling a very high vacuum may not be suitable for chucking if the vacuum surface area of the project is small. You have to calculate the vacuum surface area on your project first. Then determine what amount of vacuum you are capable of applying to the project. With this information, you can determine the total clamping force on the project and consider whether or not it is enough to safely hold your project while it is being turned. Here is the method for calculating the clamping force.

  1. Determine the surface area of the vacuum attachment point. In most cases, the vacuum chuck will be circular so use Pi (roughly 3.14) to determine this number. The formula starts by taking the diameter and dividing by two. This gives you the radius. Then multiply the radius by 3.14 and then multiply it again by the radius. Let's use a chuck diameter of 6" and determine the surface area. Divide 6 by 2. That makes 3 so then multiply 3 times 3.14 (Pi), then multiply that again by 3.
    6 ÷ 2 = 3
    3 x 3.14 = 9.42
    3 x 9.42 = 28.26

    So here we have 28.26 square inches in a 6" diameter chucking surface.
  2. Determine the maximum sustainable vacuum level that you can reach with your project piece attached to the vacuum chuck simply by placing it on the chuck and turning on your vacuum pump. A non-porous material that is chucked to your lathe will typically achieve the same level of maximum vacuum that your pump is capable of achieving. In other words, the project material itself allows no loss of vacuum therefor the pump will achieve its best available vacuum.
    In the following example let's assume that the project material is non-porous and that the pump can generate 25" of Hg. For every inch of Hg vacuum, you get .49 lbs per square inch of pressure. Multiply .49 by the vacuum level that the pump can create.

    .49 x 25 = 12.25 (this is how much pressure in pounds that you are getting per square inch)
  3. Multiply 28.26 x 12.25 to get 346.19 lbs of force holding your project to the lathe.
  4. Now only you can decide if that is enough chucking force to safely hold your project.

What if the chucking project is porous? How do I determine if this pump is suitable?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine this without actually placing the project on a vacuum chuck. You would need to determine the actual maximum sustainable vacuum and this will vary across each project you try out depending on the size and porosity of the material.

What pump do you recommend for vacuum chucking?
I can only suggest one thing... the bigger, the better. Several of our customers are using 3 CFM vacuum sources for chucking but most are opting for 5 CFM vacuum sources.

What is the size of the pump?
The approximate measurements are...

  • Length: 9.5"
  • Height: 7.25"
  • Width: 6"
Joe, what are your thoughts on this system?
There is a well-known quote from Warren Buffett that "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." When I think of this quote and the vacuum presses we offer, the Excel 5 kit comes to mind. I don't think there is a better value in vacuum press systems anywhere else and our customers seem to agree. Christine and I ship more of this kit then any other on our site. It's designed it to deliver maximum value and that comes through its price, durability, ease of use, and capability. I think you will be very pleased with it.

Product Reviews

  1. Pleasantly Surprised

    Review by Jim Howell

    This is the first ever product review I have done. I purchased the Excel 5, foot pedal, and the Podz kit thinking I would try on my CNC. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the system worked better than I had hoped. A couple of observations: 1) be sure to use as many Podz that will fit under the work for insurance on holding and for flexing, 2) foot pedal is a must in this set up, 3) would be nice to have a "bleeder"in lieu of releasing vacuum by using the quick connect fitting at connection to the Podz. Also, I have to say that Veneer Supplies is great to work with. Joe was/is knowledgeable and helpful.

    [Note from Joe: I think Jim may have overlooked a part of the kit instructions where it explains how to set the bleeder that comes with the kit so that it releases vacuum quickly when the system is turned off. I have emailed him about this.]

  2. Easy Assembly

    Review by Glenn Bradley

    The Excel 5 arrived as scheduled. Unit was very well packed and all parts arrived in excellent condition. Assembly was just as quick and easy as described.

    Instructions were easy to follow. There was a valve upgrade since the instruction print out and the handle orientation changed. A quick email exchange confirmed the non-issue. Vac gauge would not rest at zero. Although this was not really a problem for my use a replacement was quickly supplied.

    I would recommend Joe's goods to anyone. His experience and free sharing of information is a bonus to the solid products.

  3. A Top Notch Level of Service

    Review by Jeff Childs

    The Excel 5 is a totally awesome product. For my intended use, which is veneering guitar bodies, it is more vacuum pump then I'll ever need. But rather than review the pump itself I would like to brag on the high level of service I have received from the folks at Veneer Supplies. From their willingness to answer any concerns I've had to their never ending quest for excellence in providing not only products but the level of quality in providing top notch service, it is not only refreshing but outright amazing that they care as much as they do. So thank you very much for making my first dive into the world of veneering a pleasant experience.

  4. Love This Pump So Much I Bought a Second!

    Review by Tyler Miller

    Excellent pump, very quiet, solidly built and very adaptable for many applications. I use them for kydex holster making, I have two of them now and they run all day. Fast shipping, excellent customer service!

  5. Solid Value

    Review by Frederick Schmokel

    Highest quality fittings. Outstanding instructions. Very quick assembly with minimal tools required. You'll be up and running in way under an hour. Highly recommend this product for your veneering projects.

  6. Great Product

    Review by Tim Frost

    I am not doing veneering yet. I intend to in the near future. However, I did order with the Podz system. The Podz are working out great for planing. You can plane and not have any clamps in your way. It seems the suction is doing very well holding to my table. I am very pleased with the outcome. Joe was great to work with and he seems to be very conscientious.

  7. Very Happy

    Review by Kevin Cowan

    Item was easy to assemble. Clear instructions with pictures. 10 seconds to evacuate a 4x4 bag on a curved form. Very happy with the performance and quietness to the product.

  8. Outstanding Product and Customer Service!

    Review by Monty Curry

    Assembly was easy and instructions were very understandable. I went with the 220v and it works great with just changing the 3 prong plug. It runs quieter than I thought as well. Overall, the product and customer service has been awesome! I highly recommend this company and this product!

  9. Must Have

    Review by Aaron Saxton

    It has been a year now, numerous jobs and heavy use. The pump is consistent and flawless in operation. It is so easy to use that I just couldn't imagine using any other pump. Staff at the old shop - growing tired of their pump and the nature to sometimes malfunction - now come and use my bag and pump for jobs that need to be perfect. The pressure is amazingly constant and guaranteed to remain where you place it. I haven't had to do any maintenance as yet and wonder when I will.

  10. Great purchase experience and great product. No regrets.

    Review by Jeremy von Oy

    Purchase and delivery experience was great. I'm happy with the quality of the pump and the parts in the kit. Installation instructions were detailed and easy to follow. I've been using the vacuum pump for about 3 months now, primarily for vacuum bagging composites and vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (resin infusion) of composite parts. It works great and I can leave the pump running as long as needed while the resin cures with no worries about oil mist like you can get with HVAC style pumps. There are two extra vacuum ports which came in handy to run an extra vacuum line for evacuating the resin feed line prior to infusion.

  11. Good Vacuum System

    Review by Dave Chamberlain

    I purchased the Excel 5 system to make vacuum hold down jigs for my CNC router. I do batch jobs of two sided projects and was tired of using screws or two sided tape. I purchased the system pre-assembled and also bought the other brass fittings that I needed. They shipped fast and work great.

  12. First project and loving it

    Review by Thomas Zadlo

    I've done several small veneer/marquetry projects in the past but gluing the final result down is always problematic. Because of these projects plus other needs I decided to splurge and get the Excel 5 kit.

    Joe was super helpful with advice on which kit. The kit itself went together exactly as the instructions said, and it works like a champ. It's very quiet, and I have it running in the basement right now and I can't hear it on the main floor of the house. Additionally, you can just tell quality when you see it. The components in this kit are clearly well made and I have no doubt it'll last for years to come.

    I went with the kit for a few reasons including not wanting a long project just to be able to draw a vacuum for the next project, and I don't regret the choice. This thing is great.

  13. Great Pump

    Review by John Jenkins

    Really easy to assemble and very quiet. I'm through three projects and this little guy is performing perfectly. I'd buy it again as well as the poly vacuum bags.

  14. Compact, Powerful, Fun to Use

    Review by Mark Young

    Easy assembly with great directions; delivered promptly, runs quietly. Speedy email replies with answers. I made a wooden box w/ sliding lid to hold the pump, hose, and pod clamping kit.

  15. Great Product

    Review by Adam Lang

    I recently purchased an Excel 5 vacuum press system, a VS Extreme 4' x 12' Poly Bag, and a plethora of other supplies.

    For starters, I can't begin to praise how effective and QUIET your small pump is. I have bagged numerous panels since making my purchase and am happy with every product that comes out of the bag.

    Additionally, the bags are very strong and highly resistant to glue residue. I haven't made any sloppy guile-ups yet, but the few seepage episodes that have happened have not once stuck to the bag.

    Lastly, working with Joe and Christine has been great. Truly a small business operation with excellent customer service.

    I look forward to being a customer for years to come.

  16. Great Product

    Review by Bill Becker

    The pump is very well built, directions Joe provided we're easy to follow and everything actually went together as intended. Overall very pleased and would recommend!

  17. Excellent Vacuum System for Wood Turners

    Review by Jim Kent

    I am a wood turner. I am very happy with the Excel 5 vacuum press. It was easy to assemble it took about 20 min.and had a 18in. platter on my lathe and was working on it. I have used other vacuum systems and this one is the quietest running so far.Thank you Joe for selling quality products and providing a excellent level of customer service.

  18. Great Product

    Review by Stephen L Noe

    I bought the Excel 5 system a couple of weeks ago. Had it up and running an hour later, and keep kicking myself for not making the move sooner. Easy to assemble, quiet, and powerful. I use it for reverse chucking on a wood lathe, and can’t imagine not having it now.

  19. Great Pump

    Review by Jarred Kaiser

    Upgraded from the venturi unit that runs off your compressor. Very fast pull down, and amazingly quite. ordered the Podz with it. Highly recommended.

  20. Excellent Vacuum Press System

    Review by Jamie Harvey

    I am very happy with the Excel 5 vacuum press. It was easy to assemble and is more compact than I expected. I've only tried it on a couple of small marquetry pieces and am happy with the results. I expect it will work perfectly on larger pieces as well. The unit is also much quieter than I expected. Very happy that i bought this unit versus some of the others I looked at. The service and communication as well as the extensive on-line support and "how to" information on the website are unmatched.

  21. Assembly was a Breeze

    Review by Chris Stasny

    I am a veneer vacuum virgin. I ordered a system and it was here so fast that I am pretty sure I had not yet closed my iPad before Fed-Ex was knocking on the door. Assembly was a breeze with detailed instructions. I had my first veneer sandwich built and vac'd in two swishes of a fuzzy lamb's tail. Good product. Good service.

  22. Excel 5 Shipped Promptly

    Review by Philip Laudenklos

    Very good people to deal with. Was shipped promptly. Assembly instructions are excellent and goes together easily. I have only tested at this time but looking forward to my veneer project.

  23. Excel 5 Vacuum Pump Review

    Review by Jeff Price

    I received the Excel 5 very nicely packaged. It took roughly 45 minutes fto put it all together but the instructions were very clear and all the parts and fittings matched up. I had aready built a vacuum frame press using Joe's instructions so I was all set to go.

    The pump is solid, fairly quiet and fruns nice. Great draw-down. It has three ports for vacuum which I am going to use because of the semi-production mode I am in with small panels.

    Awesome pump. Highly recommend.


  24. Faultless Customer Service

    Review by Simon Pocock

    I initially ordered this pump together with a vacuum bag and completed the shipping and payment details. Within less than 12 hours (which is pretty remarkable considering time differences between Australia and USA) I received an email indicating I'd selected the wrong shipping method which Joe adjusted at no additional cost.

    It's my online experience that this doesn't happen very often, if at all! I would definitely recommend purchasing veneering supplies from Joe as prices are extremely competitive, particularly compared to Australia, and the customer service cannot be faulted. I haven't had the opportunity to use the products yet but put the parts of the vacuum pump together in about 20 minutes. It's a very solid unit and the bag is very heavy duty and well constructed. In fact I have ordered 2 additional bags.

  25. The Gold Standard for Vacuum Press Systems and Customer Service

    Review by Jesse Elmore

    This is a great system. I use it for both veneering and with the Excel Podz to do power carving.

    The system is wonderful and at a great price, but the real value over others is Joe. Everything was shipped quickly and securely, Joe's assembly instructions are written very well and easy to understand, and his customer service is top notch.

    I had a question about an issue I was running into (my issue, not the system's) and he responded very quickly with the solution.

    All the above are the reasons you can find people recommending Joe and his kits all over random woodworking forums. That's how I found him!

  26. Quality Pump

    Review by Andy Rawls

    I've used this pump for several months with my 4'x8' bag and have had no issues. It was delivered quickly and was a breeze to put together.

  27. Great, reliable, product

    Review by Ted Waltman

    Very easy to assemble with the supplied pictures/directions as a helpful guide. Quiet, reliable operation. Used this for several carbon fiber vacuum bagging operations with excellent results. HIGHLY recommended!

  28. A Breeze to Assemble

    Review by Dominic Nepa (Beverly Hills Woodworks)

    The Excel 5 was shipped quickly, expertly packaged and a breeze to assemble (great written and visual directions). I am confident I could have built the DIY kit, but building furniture is more fun and I would rather spend my time making sawdust.

    The Excel 5 along with the Veneer Supplies 4' x 9' Elite Poly Bag perfectly pressed my 4' x 8' starburst veneer table top.

    Along with all of the great information at the Joe Woodworker website I successfully completed my first, YES MY FIRST ever veneer project. I don’t know why I waited so long to get into veneer work when everything I needed from tutorials to supplies can be found in a single location.

  29. You've Found It

    Review by Mike Fuchs

    If you are trying to find a vacuum press set-up and are unsure about what you need, stop looking. You've found it.

    Over many years of woodworking I have always shied away from jumping into a vacuum system. It seemed the reasonably priced ones had poor reviews, and the good ones were too expensive. Then there's types - piston, diaphragm, oiled, oil-less. Better to just stay away. Well, I finally found a product that ticked all the boxes and is supported by a dedicated company.

    The Excel 5 is in a price sweet spot, it is oil-less which I decided I wanted, and is rated for continuous running. Upon receipt I was already impressed. The package was really complete, included absolutely professional grade fittings, and was really carefully packed for shipping. It shipped and arrived really quickly. This is a package assembled by people who use it and who care.

    I'm just starting to experiment so not much to report on use other than a) it is amazingly quiet, and b) it is really strong. I will post more once I get more experience with pressing and clamping. This company and package has really filled me with confidence.

  30. A Breeze to Assemble

    Review by Satoshi Yamauchi

    This kit was such a breeze to assemble. Everything I needed was in the pack and. As soon as I received the kit I assembled it and in no time I had a vacuum bag that was fully operational. I used this Excel 5 for a commercial project and worked out nicely for me.

  31. Solid Kit with Exceptional Support

    Review by Stephen H. Phillips

    This is a solid kit and it comes with exceptional support from Joe. We're running it almost every day. I can tell you it's quiet and fast to vacuum down the 4x4 bag we use (also a great product). The parts go together in about 15 minutes. We bought the extra fittings and are planning to run at least two bags at a time. It's good time to offer fine woodworking and cabinetry and it only got better when we introduced a few exotic veneers (thanks to this website).

  32. Couldn't Be Happier!

    Review by Joe Zimmerman

    First class operation. Shipping was prompt. Joe answered a couple of questions within 20 minutes. Couldn't be happier with the continuous run system and the Podz clamping system. I returned a Festool vac system and bought this from Joe.

  33. A Great System

    Review by Greg Yates

    Count me among the others who are very satisfied with their Excel system. The simple and rugged design is great for my business. We have used veneer for a couple of years and this really steps up our game. The vacuum pump looks to be durable and nicely machined. The other parts are top notch too. The instructions are written so that even a child could assemble the kit in less 20 minutes. It's rare to find a set of instruction written so well. The customer service is very good too. The owner replies to email very fast and he took time to answer some newbie questions that now seem kind of dumb. This a great system and I recommend it highly.

  34. Brilliant... Incredible... Genius...

    Review by Brian Cozloff

    This is a very good system and it is priced a lot less than anything I would consider using in my shop. The system arrived two days after I ordered and it was packaged very well. I just like the simplicity of the whole package though. Adjusting the vacuum couldn't be any more easy. The valve idea on the system is total genius. I also bought the podz jigs... these things are brilliant as well. I used the vacuum jigs as soon as I finished assembling the kit which took less than a half hour. The clamping strength is nothing but incredible. This weekend (tomorrow) will be my first attempt at vacuum pressing a veneer. I cant wait to get started. Very happy with this purchase.

  35. Probably the Best Tool in My Shop

    Review by Gary Sharpe

    This is probably the best tool in my shop because of what it allows me to do. I've done small furniture design for 25+ years and I wish I had started veneering much sooner. I can now take a design that was $500 and with an exotic veneer, I can make it a $700 with less work in the total project and no cost increase. The Excel vacuum press works wonders whether it's a small end table or a large dining room table top.

    My order was placed on a Tuesday and the boxes arrived on Friday. I bought it because of the many comments posted here and because the price was right in line with my budget. This is the right tool if you are on the fence about vacuum pressing

  36. Review from Western Springs, IL

    Review by George Rodgers

    Everything arrived just as expected, in a very short period of time and was easy to assemble with the directions provided. I also bought the add on clamp system which also went together easily and works well.

  37. Review from Golden, CO

    Review by Jacob Hall

    I picked up the Excel 5™ Continuous Run Vacuum Press System for a veneering project in my basement. I'm covering over 100' of wall space with cherry wainscoting. I have 4 decorative columns and a 300 gallon aquarium stand that I wanted to add accent panels to (madrone burl). It's a daunting project and I needed a quick and reliable solution to veneer these panels.

    This system was the key to relieving some of the pressure in completing the project. I assembled it one morning before heading to work and ran it almost non-stop that weekend mass-producing veneered panels for my project. It worked flawlessly and was worth every penny. I intend to take on some more challenging veneer projects in the future using this vacuum press.

    On a side note, Joe and Christine are awesome! They will have my business for every future veneer need. It's hard to find reliable and honest partners in business, but that's what you'll find here.

  38. Review froim Victoria, British Columbia

    Review by Geoff St Germaine

    The Excel 5 System came well packaged and with clear and detailed instructions on assembly and use. The setup was straightforward and I had it assembled and working within 45 minutes. I'm using the vacuum system with a bag, the Podz and a vacuum bridge clamp. The system works very well for these and provides more than enough vacuum for these purposes.

  39. Review from Malad, ID

    Review by Ed Dahle

    This product came exceptionally well packaged and on time. I had already read the excellent assembly instructions on Joe's site. I had all the necessary items needed for assembly and it went very well. I tried it out with the Podz jigs and after a little learning curve everything worked well. I am at 5,380 feet in elevation and this press pulled 27" Hg, amazing. If you want an excellent system get this, also the noise level on this press is very low and not obnoxious at all. Thanks Joe and Christine, you folks are the best.

  40. Review from Centralia, WA

    Review by Rick Longabaugh

    I just got the Excel 5 system in about April 2016. Why did I wait so many years to buy a dream setup? Since about 1996 when I started the learning curve to do marquetry and veneering I have used an air compressor setup to run my vacuum bag. It is noisy and bulky and I did not want to work in my shop while using it. I absolutely love this setup. It is small, lightweight, a joy to use and I'm actually amazed at how quick it deflates the bag to start pressing veneer. Rating this system from a 1 to a 5 it is definitely higher than a 5. You will love it. Oh yes, I also started using it to flatten my veneer instead of using a veneer press because it is easy and not a bother to use as it is so quiet.

  41. Review from Austin, TX

    Review by Tom Beach & Amanda Walker

    Everything about getting this vacuum press was awesome. It was packed well and shipped immediately. It's a seriously great professional piece of equipment with really good instructions for assembling and using it- plus the resources Joe has on his website have been very helpful. We didn't need to ask any questions because it's so user-friendly. It is one of the quietest pieces of equipment in our shop and runs a lot cooler than expected. We are constantly discovering new ways in which this press is well-designed and easy to use. We absolutely recommend it.

  42. Review from Stevenson, Washington

    Review by Scott Griffiths

    This has been a great product (Excel 5). Get the Podz because they make a great add-on for adding a vacuum clamping station, I use mine so that I can band circles with the Festool Contura Bander... I love doing business here.

    P.S. If your looking to get into veneering, this is a great place to start. Joe makes it easy.

  43. Review from Clyde, NY

    Review by Christopher Bellizzi

    This kit was so easy to assemble even I did it. Great instructions and everything went together as planned.

  44. Review from Yacolt, Washington

    Review by Nick Lazzaretto

    I recently purchased the Excel 5 Vacuum Press, Build-A-Bag with breather mesh, and the Ultra Cat glue. The assembly of the Excel 5 was very straight forward and went together very well, as did the bag. I have used it several times since I received it about 3 weeks ago and I am very impressed with the whole system. I use it more for a vacuum clamping system than I do for veneer, though I will be doing that as well. If I added up all the clamps I would need to glue the things up I've been gluing, they would far surpass the investment I have with this, there is no way I would be able to get everything clamped up fast enough!

    The system is very compact and quiet too, more so than I anticipated. Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase, I only wish I would have done it sooner. Definitely one of the favorite tools in my shop! Joe has been very helpful answering my questions and guiding me through the process, and this is truly a quality product that I would recommend to anyone in the market for a vacuum press! Thank you very much Joe! Companies like yours selling quality products and providing your level of customer service are harder and harder to find.

  45. Review from Tucson, AZ

    Review by Matt Feeley

    I recently purchased the Excel 5 vacuum press and I could not be more happy with my decision. The instructions included were very clear, comprehensive, and 100% accurate. I didn't time how long it took to set up my vacuum press, but by carefully following Joe's directions i feel it was under 30 minutes to complete.

    Holy smokes is it quiet. Out of habit, i wore my earmuffs when i turned the Excel 5 on, but soon realized that they were not needed. I can talk on the phone or hear the radio with no issues while the vacuum press is running. I have only had my vacuum press for a little more than a month, but I really enjoy using it and find myself looking for excuses to do veneers. I am extremely happy with my purchase.

  46. Review from Denver, CO

    Review by Tom Faber

    I ordered the Excel 5 vacuum press and a Dura-Max Extreme vacuum bag from Joe and I must say that I am completely impressed. Not only was the system easy to put together but also easy to use. My projects have been turning out better than I had expected with this system and for that I am grateful. Also, Joe clearly made himself available for any questions that I might have using the system and answered those questions very quickly. It has been an amazing experience going through this company and I could not be happier. I will definitely use for all my vacuum system needs in the future.

  47. Review from Somerton Park, South Australia

    Review by Andrew Bartlett

    2016 was the time for a new vacuum press. I selected the Excel 5 Continuous Run and have been impressed with it. It was very easy to set up and the manner in which you did - follow the instructions - gave a thorough understanding of how the machine works. I did my first veneer press within 30 minutes of opening the box. I also purchased an Elite polyurethane bag. This bag impresses me and I wonder why I did not purchase one earlier. As an international customer I am happy how easy this purchase was and the speed of delivery - 1 week to Australia. Thank you.

  48. Review from Boulder, CO

    Review by Dan Baldwin

    I am so pleased with my Excel 5 system ! I have done several vacuum bag pressings with it and still marvel at how cool it is to set everything up, then turn on the system and watch it do the work. Joe's stuff is so well made and his instructions for assembly are impeccable. I am looking forward to future projects using the system. It has really helped bump my woodworking up a notch or two.
    Thanks Joe !

  49. Review from Wauwatosa, WI

    Review by Jim Muench

    This is my first time ordering a vacuum press. I am truly thrilled the service, delivery time and price. The kit was unboxed and assembled in no time. Got a sample in the press right away with ease. I am looking forward to using this on my next project. What a great way to enhance my design and building capabilities.

  50. Review Boulder, Colorado

    Review by Dan Baldwin

    I purchased this vacuum press kit and some veneer supplies and have just completed my first vacuum press veneer project which was a maple serving tray with ebony inlay and spline joints and featuring a bottom panel with walnut burl veneer. I am so grateful that Joe has taken the time to put together such a comprehensive system for learning about, purchasing and using veneer supplies and tools. The sites make it very easy for a first timer to learn the ABCs of veneering. Buy the stuff, start the project, if you run into any problems the chances are very high that the solution or workaround is somewhere on Joe's site. The products are great, the support is great, the instructions and knowledge base that Joe provides is the best I have encountered. I'm looking forward to my next veneering project ! Thanks Joe !

  51. Review from Abilene, TX

    Review by Andrew Stewart

    Great vacuum for my purpose. It's quiet, easy to install, pulls great vacuum quickly, and doesn't get hot. I'm using it for fiberglass and carbon fiber products. In addition, I want to say thank-you to Joe, who contacted me about my ordering unnecessary equipment. While this is a continuous run pump, I had initially planned on adding the EVS auto-cycle kit to it since I would have the pump running between 12-24 hrs at a time. He assured me that this kit was rated for it, and after looking at other reviewers who stated years of trouble free use, I decided to go with the pump alone. Most companies wouldn't look at an order for discrepancies like this, so I definitely appreciate that.

  52. Review from Chicago, IL

    Review by Jon Deiter

    Joe was incredibly helpful with my decision to buy this system. I build a lot of curved doors and I wanted a reliable and easy to use vacuum press. I've been using the system every week for almost a year and it performs perfectly. No complaints whatsoever. If you are unsure if this press is right for your project, send an email to the owner of this company and you will have a reply within a couple of hours. Customer service like this is so hard to find these days.

    I went with the Excel 5 instead of the Excel 1 because I wanted to pull down my 4x8 bag as quickly as possible. I have a tendency to be slow getting projects into the bag so the extra power in the pump helps.

  53. Review from Reno, NV

    Review by Beau Harrison III

    I have been buying veneer from this website for years and it has always been a pleasure so when my old 90's vacuum press died a couple of weeks ago I knew exactly where to look for a new one. I ordered it here for three reasons. The first is that I like the customer service here. The owner is the only contact person you have to work with and he is quick with replies and always very helpful with them. I like to support small businesses even if they are not local to me.

    The second reason is that the price is incredible. I don't know any other place to buy an adjustable vacuum press with all of its features (if you can call them that) for under $500. It's still a bargain even when this system is not on sale.

    The third reason I bought it is because I like "simple". Every tool I own that claims to do a dozen different things has been troublesome. My last hyper tool claimed to do too many things and was so complicated that I just sold out after only 5 months of ownership. This vacuum press is the opposite. I plan to keep it for a couple of decades. It is simple and easy to understand.

    I live in Nevada so shipping from this company (which is in Maryland) took 4 days. That is fine and if it seems lengthy, it is only because that is what UPS needs to do their job. I didnt think the shipping charge was outrageous.

    So get one of these systems and a good vacuum bag. Don't forget your glue either!

  54. Review from Roanoke, VA

    Review by John Richard Dochinski

    Ordered on the 11th, arrived on the 12th. That is as good as it folks. This system is flawless and there is not a thing I could suggest to improve it. What the other reviews say is all true. The system is very compact and the parts are all high quality. I'm especially pleased with how quiet the pump runs. My nosey neighbors cant complain because they wont even hear it running.

    I've been buying veneer from this website for 2 years and its always a pleasure to shop here (at Veneer Supplies). I've never any a single problem and I'm happy to support the little guy. You'd never know it judging by this website but its entirely run by a mom-and-pop company. Checkout the 'ABOUT US' page to see what I mean. Its just a husband and wife team running the show. That is awesome and these are good folks.

  55. Review from St. Charles, Ilinois

    Review by Bill Tomchek

    As of this writing, there are 6 reviews prior to my own, all of which give 5-stars. I am number 7 to the 5-star list.

    Being a newbie to woodworking and vacuum pressing, I started my learning process at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking (which is excellent). From there, I reviewed this site among others. It was Joe's easy to understand site pages that encouraged me to try his solution. I'm very glad I did.

    Everything about the Excel 5 kit, from assembly, setup, and use has been top-notch. So far, everything has been limited to veneer glue-ups, of which all 10 have been flawless and simple to do. The Dura-Max poly bag and the breathable mesh pretty much made the entire system a piece-of-cake. Being lazy, I also indulged the use of their foot pedal.

    Hopefully soon, I'll also try the Podz clamping system too.

  56. Review from Hardin, MT

    Review by Bill Maietta

    Being new to vacuum press technology, I leaned heavily on the informative materials from I had done quite a bit of veneering, laminating and even bent lams, but always with forms and clamps. If you're in a similar position, I strongly recommend you read the trainings and explanations there before you get going. They will also help decide on the best system for you. They're very clearly written and comprehensive.

    I went with the Excel 5, and I am very pleased with it. I've had it about a week and used it a couple of times for bent lams (maple drawer fronts). Again, I'd stress to read the information that comes with the system. The assembly instructions are clear and precise, but it does take a little time and focus. The same applies for glue-up, press forms, platens, and press times.

    Once it's put together and you're up and running, it's pretty darn simple. Plug in the machine, set the vacuum pressure and wait for press time (based on type of glue). I used the UltraCat glue, and one more time... read directions, then mixing, application and cleanup were a breeze.

    Service was excellent as well. Joe is very responsive through email. He does a great job explaining the seemingly complex elements of vacuum pressing on his website, making it simple, and follows through with great products and service.

    One more technology, set of tools, in the workshop is a very good thing.


  57. Review from Spring Hill, TN

    Review by J. Kevin Sperry

    My system was ordered on a Thursday night and by Friday I had a tracking number for my box. Everything arrived on Tuesday, no problems at all. I felt the shipping was acceptable considering that this thing probably weighs 15 lbs or more.

    The parts are good quality and I bet most of them are US made which is a nice bonus. It took me about 15 minutes to put the kit together. All parts were present. The pump is less noisy than I expected which means that its fine to let it run while you are doing some thing else in the shop. I like the adjustability too.

    This is a good system and I'd probably buy another one if I had to.

  58. Review from Port Charlotte, FL

    Review by Sean Phillips

    Veneering and vacuum bagging were a big part of my business several years ago. But that changed when my partner and I went our separate ways. I got some tools and he got some tools. What I didnt get was the vacuum system and I've wanted one for a while now. I pulled the trigger on this system about 5 weeks ago and I've really put it through the wringer in my shop. I'm using it with a 4x12 polyurethane bag (also bought here) and a huge piece of vacuum mesh. I have more than 20 panels completed with it so far. The vacuum press is very easy to use. This is basically because it has very few parts. The simple pressure adjustment by turning a handle is nice. I know there are some that want a complicated machine for this type of work so they can impress their friends. I preferred to save several hundred dollars and go with the "keep it simple stupid" (K.I.S.S.) version and I'm glad I did.

    This is a vacuum press that most people could cobble together with hardware store parts and a salvaged vacuum pump but in the end, that wasnt worth it for me. I bought this kit because I wanted to know that everything would work together with my bag. One thing that would be a pain to make on your own is handle. It seems a bit vestigial at first but then you'll realize how often the system gets moved around. That is when the handle is worth having. The parts on this system appear to be high quality.

    My shipping cost was very reasonable and it took 3 days to get to me. They sent me a tracking number on the same day I ordered. Its hard to say what the vacuum press system itself cost to ship because I had a lot of things in my order but overall it was fine. If you order this system, you can get a huge bag like I did. This system will pull down a big bag in just a couple of minutes.

  59. Review from Gainesville, FL

    Review by George W. Turner

    I received my vacuum press two days after ordering. My shipping cost was acceptable, and the items were shipped with a lot of packaging material inside to protect it. This press is exactly as described and it only took me and my son just 15 minutes to assemble.

    We are using a 4x8 vacuum bag. The pump vacuumed out the bag within a couple of minutes. So far I have pressed 3 panels. The first one didnt turn out too well. The owner of this company replied to my email about the problem and we figured out that I used too much glue. After that, the next veneers came out perfectly.

    I think there are too many people out there who are afraid of veneering but this is not something that is very hard to do.

  60. Review from Dalton, PA

    Review by Warren Walters

    Our shop has two excel 5 vacuum systems. One is from 2011 and still going strong and the other is one we just bought two weeks ago. The new version of the system is a nice improvement over the former version. The handle and manifold additions are great. The handle is very well designed making for a balanced feel when carrying it around from job site to job site. We bought the kit with the extra hose kits but havent used it that way yet but I have no worries since this pump is really powerful. Everything else is a sensible improvement as well. The vacuum level adjust is entirely tool-less (unlike the old system).

    If you like the keep-it-simple idea, then this pump is for you. Overall, I'd recommend this pump to anyone looking for a simple, quiet, reasonably-priced vacuum press.

  61. Review from New Albany, NY

    Review by James Thompson Jr.

    I searched the web for a vacuum press for several hours and posted some messages on a couple of woodworking forums. Everyone says that this place is the best for all things vacuum. I have to agree. The products here are sensible and affordable and the company owner (Joe) is very helpful. He must have answered more than 20 questions I had before ordering and after.

    About the system - its is quite good. In fact it is excellent. The pump is not nearly as loud as I thought it would be. The system itself is fairly compact and the parts seem to be very well made. I have no worries about the Excel pump and I'm looking forward to using it.

    The shipping was reasonable. I paid $26 but I also had some glue and other supplies in the order. The order was submitted on a Tuesday and I receieved it Thursday afternoon. I couldn't ask for a better turn around time.

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