For those that took my class - If you are interested in building a simple veneer press here is a video link: veneer press.
Personally, I set my veneer work under a 1’x2’ granite slab.
2nd - as far as a finish I use Watco Oil in natural. I also like using Watco’s Satin wax. I found both at wood world. The best oil I have used in the past was Dura Seal Quick Coat Finish which is a bit hard to find other than at flooring companies. For a soft finish some sort of tung oil works well.
3rd - the veneer sheets at wood world are 2’ x 8’ and are 10 mil thick. Cost varies by square foot and species. I picked up a nice Ash sheet which I can dye into most colors I’ll need. Cheers!