I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and haven’t had time in the shop — but I have been thinking about what I want to do next. I’m ready (ready-ish) to do a more complex marquetry project that will be an actual finished piece and not just practice (or kindling). To do that I need a better way to to be able to clamp large sheets of veneer when laminating paper onto it, and for clamping larger marquetry panels. Juggling a dozen clamps isn’t my idea of fun, although I guess that begs the question of what is my idea of fun. Let’s let that one go for now.
Making a press should be a simple enough job, although I’m always looking for any opportunity to complicate things. Really any wood is OK, and I was on the verge of buying green construction lumber for it at the home center but just couldn’t reconcile myself to it when I looked at all of the knots, splits and oozing sap. Also not my idea of fun. While I’m trying to decide on stock I ordered the hardware and drew up an idea in CAD. The hardware is Jorgenson 12″ press screws. I’m actually pleased with the quality, I saw some off-brand ones and the threads were really poorly made, these are crisp and smooth.
The design is simple. It’s a series of three square frames, each with two screws. The lower platen will be removable so the press can be packed away and not take up too much room when I don’t need it. I may actually make a bracket so I can hang then on the wall out of the way. The joinery is twin tenons into through mortises. I’ll pin the joints with pegs.
The press will handle up to 24″ x 36″ panels, way more than I can even anticipate doing right now. The arched tops on the upper crossmember add some work, but I think they look nice. Next chance I get I’ll go lumber shopping and see what I can find. In the meantime I drew up some simple plans to get me focused. It might be overbuilt, but I don’t think it’s under-built.