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Fine furniture making and veneering

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flanajb

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Hi,

I have designed a contemporary piece of furniture constructed from Maple, poplar burr veneer and walnut.

My plan is to use the veneer for the door and draw fronts. Given I wanted to avoid using MDF in this fine piece, I am unsure whether I should make the doors out of maple and veneer them or use poplar ?

Thanks
 

Paul Chapman

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Why are you against using MDF? Many of the top makers seem to use it as a ground work for veneer. I would have thought MDF would provide a far more stable base for the veneer than solid wood.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

jasonB

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I agree with Paul its about the most stable core material, if you are against MDF then 18mm Birch ply would be second option.

J
 

flanajb

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Paul Chapman":2zz3icmb said:
I would have thought MDF would provide a far more stable base for the veneer than solid wood.
Agreed it does, but my motivations are two fold.

1. I am planning on doing half blind dovetails for the drawer fronts and didn't want to use a false front.

2. MDF is so soft that fixing hinges to it never works well. I could always joint a 2" strip of poplar to the hinge edge for the hinge surface.

Thanks
 

mtr1

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Use solid for the drawer front, and lip(30mm) all round for the door fronts. I have done it like that before, and as far as I know its all still OK.
 

woodbloke

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If you'd care to take a swift perusal at the Linley site, you'll find that most of the carcase furniture is made out of mdf with some very expensive veneer slapped over the top. Drawer fronts though, if traditionally constructed with lapped d/t's etc ought to be made from the solid. Planted drawer fronts can be used under specific circumstances - Rob
 

andersonec

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woodbloke":2258jfv4 said:
If you'd care to take a swift perusal at the Linley site, you'll find that most of the carcase furniture is made out of mdf with some very expensive veneer slapped over the top. Rob
At those sort of prices I would expect solid wood...

Andy
 

flanajb

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Given the responses to date, I will lip the mdf for the doors and then veneer.

The only issue I see with this approach is that if I veneer solid maple for the drawer fronts. When you open the drawer you will send maple end grain on the edge of the drawer but you won't on the doors, as these will have been lipped all round with maple.

I suppose this is a very minor anomaly?
 

flanajb

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Having looked at the web site it has given me an idea. Whilst looking at this piece

http://www.davidlinley.com/furniture-an ... estal-desk

I was rather intrigued as to how they made the doors and drawer fronts.

Is this a simple case of veneering the mdf and then just lipping with a maple / walnut edge mitred at the corners?
 

woodbloke

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flanajb":3l8kijnd said:
Having looked at the web site it has given me an idea. Whilst looking at this piece

http://www.davidlinley.com/furniture-an ... estal-desk

I was rather intrigued as to how they made the doors and drawer fronts.

Is this a simple case of veneering the mdf and then just lipping with a maple / walnut edge mitred at the corners?
As I used to do stuff like that for Linley, the smaller drawers would have probably been solid with the burr oak veneer laid over the top. The larger doors on the bottom may have been veneered mdf with a substantial lipping on the sides. Even though that desk is £13.5K+ :shock: most of it will be mdf
Edit - it looks like the larger doors are in fact drawers (with the knob central at the top) so I guess they'd be mdf, lipped and veneered with the sides biscuited or Domino'd in place and as they're fairly wide, they'll be lipped and veneered birch ply. That lock on the central small drawer will be a Bramah and will cost well over £100 :shock: - Rob
 

jumbono

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flanajb":3en0hcoa said:
Given the responses to date, I will lip the mdf for the doors and then veneer.

The only issue I see with this approach is that if I veneer solid maple for the drawer fronts. When you open the drawer you will send maple end grain on the edge of the drawer but you won't on the doors, as these will have been lipped all round with maple.

I suppose this is a very minor anomaly?
I think it depends on the customer. Many people wouldn't notice or care about the grain detail on the edge of the drawer. But if you have a meticulous customer, then, of course, all of the details must be perfect. Veneer can hold up nicely and look beautiful if done properly. I'm sure you'll decide on the right method for this particular wood creation.
 

bugbear

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I recall with amusement a local news program showing a competition winning piece of furniture.

A few years later it reappeared - and an antique dealer compared it favourably with the finest 100-200 year old work.

He also commented favourably on how the carcass DT's were starting to project (show) through the veneer - "as they should". :?

Bizarre!

So (unless you want to impress antique dealers) blockboard, multi-ply or MDF for your ground.

BugBear
 
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