1) A soft glue roller really works well.
All I can say is I am impressed. This seemingly cheap roller spreads glue like paint. Just squirt glue out as normal and roll, up/down and left/right. The result is smooth and consistent throughout. Clean up is with soap and water.
2) A veneer saw is great but needs a tune up.
I tried both cutting with a knife and a veneer saw. For now, the saw wins. I guess that’s why they still sell them every place veneer is sold. But mine needed a tune up. This saw is meant to cut on the pull stroke only. The teeth all point towards the handle, and actually this is the most obvious way to use it. The blade is removable and double sided, both sides are the same. Rotate when one side gets dull.
The blade needs to have its ‘set’ modified to work effectively. First remove the blade. Flatten the side that will ride against the straight edge on a water stone. Then flip the blade over. Now the top must be honed at an angle using a curved sweeping action. Using both hands to hold the blade worked the best for me. Keep honing until the saw points become more like little knifes than like a regular saw. It is now the best combination of a knife and a saw. It will cut a V into the veneer with the side next to the straight edge being vertical.
To use it, hold a fat straight edge board tightly down on the veneer, with a scrap board underneath to catch the cut. Pull the saw in long strokes from the top towards you, using a slightly rocking motion. It usually takes more than one stroke. Several veneers can be cut at one time.
3) Paper veneer tape is pretty good stuff.
The standard paper veneer tape with holes works great. (This is the only tape that I know of that has the glue on the top side of the roll; Strange.) Tear off strips; do not cut, as the ragged edge becomes more hidden. The tape goes on the top, or non-glue side of the veneer. Activate the glue by wiping it across a wet sponge. Place several strips tightly across the joint, followed by one long piece running the entire length. Some people use temporary blue masking tape on the back side to pull the sheets together before veneer taping, but I found that an unnecessary step. But maybe this is needed for more unruly veneers.
This tape has a few nice features. It shrinks when it dries so the joint pulls together even tighter. It is thin so it does not leave any outline dents after coming out of the press. And it removes quite easily by wetting and scraping when all the glue has dried.
4) Don’t try to bookmatch quarter sawn stock.
This was a new one to me, and I guess it is the same with standard lumber. Quarter sawn lumber has really impressive rays that run perpendicular to the grain. This is one of the reasons it is sought after (it is also very dimensionally stable). But these rays really play with the light and will shift as you view the boards from different angles. If you bookmatch, the effect will be that one piece will look good from the left, and one piece will look better when viewed from the right. The result is kind of goofy. And anyway, the grain is so vertical that bookmatching really does not bring out the standard mirrored patterns.
5) Don’t get cocky about using a shower curtain liner.
I was gluing up some double stacked 3/4” MDF and veneering the sides to see how some table legs might look. (I plan to complete the other sides too.) This was a bit much for the vinyl and I ended up puncturing my vinyl on two sharp corners. Wooden cauls with rounded corners would have saved me. So would have some stronger vinyl. From now on I will probably use both.
-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon