Treasure Box - Series #2 - Post #6: Sawing and Dying Veneer

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Blog entry by Patricelejeune posted 08-21-2013 06:33 PM 3183 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Incrustation of marquetry on the assembly board Part 6 of Treasure Box - Series #2 - Post series Part 7: Building the boxes and cutting marquetry »

For our best pieces, we use sawn veneer. It is usually 10 time as expensive as sliced, but it is a better quality product.

When the veneer is sliced, it is often steamed or heated and the shearing of the knife damage the structure of the wood.

When the veneer is sawn, it is just like solid wood, just thinner.

Patrick Edwards did a good blog entry on sawn veneer with a video of one of the last veneer sawing comapny, near Paris, Georges et Fils.

To read the article it is here.

And for the video I will put a direct link

So we still have a bit of stock from when we had money, or when we have commission that require sawn veneer, we buy more than we need to provide for our specs.

the veneer is kept in a “cave à placage” a veneer cellar, Patrick likes to call it the veneer cave, it must sooth his primal instincts. The temperature has its importance but mainly we watch the moisture, that we keep around 60%.
The table is in a terrible mess as we dug into the veneer for the boxes and for a clock Patrick is making.

We have veneer but we are low in dyed veneer, especially the greens. So, we have decided to cut some veneer.

We have only a old small delta, but with a resaw king blade and an improvied fence, it does work.

I tried couple spiecies to see how the blade react, and it is not always the haredst wood that are hard to cut. But in the hard wood selection, the maple is really a mean one.

when tuned up, even with an average quality bandsaw, but with patience, you can do wonders (not sure about the spelling of that one).
The veneer is 1/16”, like the one we buy in France.
We can not do yard wide veneers like in Paris but for marquetry packs, and not background this is perfect.

We have been experimenting with a pressure cooker to dye the veneers. It does work pretty well. I put it on twice a day until pressure has build up, and this for three days and it seems to be sufficient.

We use ALJO MFG. CO. and Lockwood’s water stain that Patrick had bought years ago.
When sanded a bit and cut into you can see that the color has penetrated to the heart of the veneer.

We will carry on on the dying wood. The next step, is to dust my German to try to read AND understand that book about staining veneer.

For the green bone it is another story, and not a success yet. We tried to use the same technique and it appears the pigment size are to big to penetrate the cell of the bone. I will try transtint as it is a dye not a stain, and also the chemical approch with copper sulfate that I found in an old book

You can see that the stains grab very well on the outside, even a little to much, but inside….

I will let you know what happens!


-- Patrice lejeune

4 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2819 days

#1 posted 08-21-2013 11:44 PM

This really gets me excited about my upcoming trip. I have an appointment to spend a few hours at les fils de George on Sept. 11th. I hope to see la scie de la bois montant in action and I hope to meet Patrick George but I will come home with a substantial palette of sawn veneers. I have been in touch with Frederic and he has agreed to help me with my purchasing decisions but any tips you or Patrick would like to share ( like make sure you get some …...) would be appreciated.
Also the dyeing of veneers is something I’ve been playing with in the last couple of weeks so this is a very topical post for me.

Thanks Patrice …... for everything.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 08-22-2013 01:26 AM

I have been toying with cutting my own as well I have a17” band saw with the 1” King blade as well. I would like to know more about the dyeing process as well let us know how that works out over time? March on.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 08-22-2013 03:09 AM

Patrice this is very interesting to me as well…I have a resaw king blade and a bandsaw too and I have been thinking about trying to create my own sawn veneer as well. Looks like you are able to resaw about 4” wide pieces there Patrice? Did you have to pass them through a planer or sander afterwards to get them flat or do they look that good coming right off the saw?

Please share some more details about your pressure cooker technique for dyeing the veneer. Sounds like you need to make the acquaintance of some German folks to help with that translation.

I still think your veneer cave is amazing. Paul, I can’t wait to see what you bring back from Georges!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3734 days

#4 posted 08-22-2013 06:46 AM


This sounds incredibly interesting, but my dial-up is so slow tonight that I can’t even get the photos to load. I will take the laptop with me to a hot spot tomorrow. I just have to see what you have done!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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