How to build a pneumatic press

Here at Casa de Ollin we are looking to build another press. And it reminded me of this sweet wiki the people at Happy Monkey Snowboards kindly posted.

They use fire hose for the air bladders but I think we might be able to use those big hoses used on fracking rigs. Tough item to find in small quantities. I found a source for them years ago but I might need to do a deep google dive to find them again.



oh Jeremiah, always finding some new innovation to make better stuff!

Only thing is serious presses get expensive, quick.

Can’t wait to see what comes out of here next.


impressive !

1 Like

Tell me about it! Our hydraulic press was several thousand an I had to build it myself. The nice thing about building equipment vs just buying something is you can purchase it over time and it doesn’t hurt the pocket book too much.

@okp That press is not mine :wink: but I agree, it is very impressive!


Yea, that’s how I build boards, haha. $200 from this paycheck, $300 from that one. And few months lately, bam!

I remember looking into it and I found a company that sold skate deck pressing equipment. That wnts 10k for the press, and another 10k for the machine to transfer graphics from the sheet.

I’d love to see graphics on your decks, like this:


or this:

That combination of creative drawing, properly laminated on a hollow core deck, since there’s no enclosure to cover the bottom.

We have one in the works with our alien graphic. I developed a pretty cool way of transferring graphics I would like to share one of these days, probably deserves a youtube video.

I know the guys at Comet use Pneumatic presses. You can see them in some of their videos. Same with Moonshine MFG.

The hardest part is finding large diameter rubber hose. I’m thinking 8 inch diameter?

I’m literally driving one town over this very evening to pay a guy for materials to start building me a custom steel press frame specifically for my set up. I sent him drawings with the critical dimensions a couple weeks ago and i’m hoping to get it before christmas so i can start on the builds i just took orders for. I’m using the same basic design as my wooden one, which basically allows me to stack any sized mold up to 47" wide under a couple of bottle jacks like i’m using now.

My current wooden press is dead.

eventually i’m going to upgrade the hydraulics but for now its just small manual pump jacks.

I like the idea of pneumatic bladders though. It wouldn’t be hard to work something like that into the frame i’m getting.

no shit man just the steel for mine will be $1600. Then labor and plasma time on top of that.


Wait till you see how much fasteners cost. I think I spent over 200 bills on fasteners alone.

Ugh this hurts my head and my heart. I just spent so much time and sweat on a wooden press and haven’t even pressed the first deck!

I guess since I won’t be doing as many as you 2 I should be fine for a while.

I think we all started with a wooden press. They work and they get you going without spending too much time and money!

Luckily I got all the wood for free. Its HDF and I did alternating dovetail joints. Was able to do 15 layers with 12 inch carriage bolts through the joint sections.

This thing is a beast…pretty much doesn’t move, I bent some steel tubing with the bottle jacks distributed throughout the whole press.

It should give me a few good presses!

1 Like

I can’t help but believe that I had some small hand in this thread’s creation.

1 Like

Looks like we can get a custom air bladder made @ :metal:

Probably get much better results from a custom bladder vs the layflat type hose, it will be interesting to see what they charge.


Also found a supplier of Oroflex10 layflat hose that does cut lengths!

are these veneers good?:

do you guys know where to buy some? sry for reviving this but i was told to go here…