It seems that I have sparked some interest in some of you with the veneering aspect of this job.
I am not an expert at it but I do have a few tips that might be interesting to those who have never done it before.
First is sharpening an Exacto (or whatever brand you are using) blade. I didn’t learn this for a long time. I just bought a bunch of blades and threw them away as they got dull. But they are so easy to sharpen I have been kicking myself in the head for not finding out sooner.
Only the tip gets dull. So you just remove material from the tip to bring the sharp edge to the tip. It’s not really even sharpening. See below what I am talking about. I use a diamond plate that I happen to have but anything will work.
I bet that I can get through this whole job with a single blade!
Next is some things that will help you out. First is a self healing cutting mat. With all the lines and dimensions already marked it is fantastic. This one is about 36” square and I just bought it for this job. I have a smaller one that I have been using, but I needed this for the table sized job. It was less than $30 at Walmart. Fabric and sewing stores also have them.
Then a good straight steel scale. This one is a centering scale. It’s marked with Zero in the middle and goes out from there. This job is basically parquetry and not marquetry since it’s all straight lines. You can see that I taped the scale to the mat with the right edge on a line. (I do this since I’m right handed). When cutting strips I just line up the veneer with the appropriate line and cut away.
There is one thing that I can’t emphasize enough, and that’s that you make you first few cuts VERY light. This will cut a groove for the blade to follow when you start applying more pressure. If you don’t you’ll be sorry, that’s all I have to say about that.
Another thing it some masking tape. I like the blue painters tape since it comes off so easily and leaves no glue behind.
You will also need some veneer tape. They make two types. This kind called “Three Hole Tape” and solid tape with no holes.
The holes make it easier to see your joint, but it’s a lot harder to get off when your done. The opposite with the solid.
Here is the start of my top:
I started in the center and will work my way out.
There are other things that you can get to help you, but I feel that these are the bare minimum to get you going.
Next time I will finish this end of the table.
-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX