Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Veneering questions

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

StevieB

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2003
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
32
Location
Chatteris, Cambridgeshire
I have been thinking about having a go at veneering for a while now so have finally taken the plunge and bought some veneer to have a go. I do have a couple of noddy questions however (surprise surprise) since I have never done it before.

If I wanted to veneer a curved panel, should I veneer it flat and then form the curved panel, or form the panel first then veneer it? The panel will be 2 or 3 layers of 1.5mm birch ply, with a bulge of 1" over a span of 6" so not a huge curve.

Second question is, when you veneer a box do you make the box then veneer, or veneer flat panels then assemble the box. I am having difficulty in deciding how to join two sides together if I veneer first. Mitred corners are not going to be strong enough on 6mm birch ply I dont think and if I put one side into a rebate or dado cut into the other I still have the end of the rebated panel showing. I could cut back the corner and add stringing but again I think this would weaken the corner joint.

I am coming to the counclusion that floating panels may be a better solution with solid timber frames but it wouldnt fit my design idea so well. Any other veneering tips or good websites anyone can recomment would be gratefully received!

Cheers,

Steve.
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,799
Reaction score
138
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Hi Steve,
You are entering a brave new world! :)

There are others on here with more experience than I have, but FWIW I would suggest for the curved panel you describe you could laminate and veneer in one go. It's only small and there aren't many layers. How are you pressing it all? In a 2-part former or do you have a vac bag?

Having made many, many mistakes myself (see the coming issue of GW for the latest horror story) the best advice I can give you is start with something simple and friendly. My first venering was with figured maple - not a good idea. A couple of hundred quids worth went to the tip.

For the box, it all depends on the desigh, as you say. Stringing is traditionally put at the edges precisely to deal with the problems you have identified. It's usually very small, however, so doesn't have a great effect on the strength of the joint. And you do put splines in your mitres, don't you?

Best of luck, and don't forget to take piccies for us.
Cheers
Steve
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
Hi Steve

There are others here better qualified than me to answer your questions about veneering large panels. However, I've veneered and applied marquetry to a number of boxes and you should certainly construct the box before applying veneer. I would advise you to make the basic box out of a stable, non-oily wood which has a tight grain and use plywood for the top and bottom panels. The 'end grain' of plywood is very open and I've found it can cause problems if veneer is glued directly to it. For this reason, I always recess my plywood panels into rabbets cut on the top and base of the box. Recessing the plywood in this way adds enormous structural strength to the box and means that mitre joints are sufficient to hold the side pieces together.

Gill
 

StevieB

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2003
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
32
Location
Chatteris, Cambridgeshire
Thanks for the prompt replies!

Steve - no vac bag, it will be a curved former if as you suggest I curve then veneer or curve and veneer at the same time. I am not as brave as you, I went for some lacewood as my first attempt. I also ordered some vavona burr but was planning to try that on a flat panel. With regards to stringing, I have doubts about my ability to cut a perfectly straight rebate that small but looking at Andrew Crawfords book on box making I see now how its done (I think). As for pictures, depends on how good it looks at the end but its something I have been wanting to do for a while.

Waterhead - thanks for the link, looks promising. The amazon book is approx three times the price of the veneer I bought though!

Gill - Thanks for the tip, I hadn't really considered veneer not taking to the edge of ply, I think this is going to be a suck it and see first attempt!

Pictures may be shown, but it will not be for a couple of weeks yet at least due to work commitments. The veneer arrived yesterday in the post though so I am itching to get going.

Cheers,

Steve.
 

Scrit

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2002
Messages
3,872
Reaction score
1
Steve

I'd recommend that you get hold of W.A.Lincoln's excellent book "The Complete Manual of Wood Veneering" (publ. Stobart-Davies ISBN 0-85442-040-1). At around £16 this is the book used to teach students on HNC and degree courses in furniture making - best of all it's British so no need to translate stuff from American or funny spellings. It is an excellent reference, I'd say the best book of it's type available (and I have read at Bob Hosker, Taunton, etc), the only thing it doesn't cover in detail is vacuum bag veneering. For that go and take a look at Joe Woodworker in the USA. Any problems about sourcing stuff on there or in Lincoln's book, come back as I know where to get it.

As to your curved piece if the curve is relatively shallow I'd use a sandbag rather than a former - much less work than making a former for a one off piece. Just make sure that you warm the sand to help the glue set quickly (or prevent it from chilling if you are using hide glue) - not too much as you'll end up sand shading or worse scorching your veneers. Also remember to lay up your work so that the face veneer is applied at right angles to the layer beneath, if needs be by adding an extra layer of backing veneer between the ground and the show veneer (or orientating the birch ply accordingly)

6mm ply doesn't seem very strong, but correctly cramped and with the right glue (I'd suggest something like Cascophen or another UF glue) you should achieve a decent result. It really depends on the size, I'd say. A mitre joint will give you a greater glue surface area and you don't run the risk of the joint telegraphimng through to the suyrface which you do with a butt or rebated butt (dado) joint. If you wer at 3/8in (9.5mm) thickness I'd suggest looking at using a loose tongue in a groove in the mitre but as you say 6mm is probably too thin.

Hope that helps. BTW how are you laminating up your birch ply?

Scrit
 

jasonB

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2004
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey
Curves and boxes - sounds like a competition entry :D

I tend to veneer the sides of my boxes before assembly for three reasons.
1) It makes it easier to apply pressure to the whole surface
2) It is easier to apply a finish to the insides before assembly, this also helps prevent glue staining.
3) If I am using band sawn veneers I can glue the surface planed side of the veneer to the core and then thickness the glue up as one board, this helps prevent the veneer being eaten by the thicknesser.

Stringing will hide and exposed ends, the groove is easily cut with a router in the table. This oak boxwas made with a 6mm MDF core, commercial 0.5mm maple veneer inside and 3.0mm bandsawn oak outside(all cut from one block 150x50x175lg) and simple rebated joints.

For curves I tend to laminate the core first then do the veneering on a separate sitting, for the size you are talking of I would make the core approx 25mm bigger all round then trim to size once set, you can then lay the veneer with a small overhang and trim . This method also allows for edging the ply so the layers don't show and the joint can be covered with the veneer.

I use at least a one sided former, this can also be used to support the core when trimming on the tablesaw. I have pressed with weights, Clamps & Cauls but now use a vacuum press.

Remember to cover your former with something non-stick, brown vinyl tape works well on small areas and allow for some springback, at your size I would expect the ends to lift about 5mm each depending on which way you orientate the plywood as it bends easier in one direction than the other, at least the 1.5mm 3-ply that I use does.

If you get it right you will end up with a nice tight lamination with no voids between layers like this one, note the use of bandsawn tapered veneers to give a taper over the whole curve

Jason
 

StevieB

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2003
Messages
1,708
Reaction score
32
Location
Chatteris, Cambridgeshire
Many thanks for the useful info - I never would have thought of using a sandbag :oops: I do actually have a copy of William Lincolns book but I found the poor quality pictures put me off somewhat. I have cherry picked some useful chapters from it so perhaps its time I tried reading it properly. As for laminating the birch ply, I was going to use PVA diluted with 10% water as recommended in Andrew Crawfords book on box making and go on to try extramite (cascamite) if this was not successful.

Jason - I doubt my first attempt is going to be competition entry standard :shock: Nice looking Oak box though, I remember admiring that when you posted before. What size is the stringing on it?

Cheers again,

Steve.
 

jasonB

Established Member
Joined
26 Nov 2004
Messages
5,044
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey
I think it worked out about 2.5-3mm by the time it was scraped flush with the surface, It was cut from a 25x25 stick rather than ready cut.

I prefer Titebond to PVA for curved work, it dries harder so you get less springback and creap. Extramite also works well and gives you a longer working time, downside is that it can be a bit abrasive on cutting tools.

Jason
 

Latest posts

Top