Reply by savannah505

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Posted on Advice Needed :)

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1813 posts in 3611 days

#1 posted 11-24-2010 08:48 PM

Hi Kiersten – I have been involved in quite a bit of cutting with laser, and water jet cutting, I can tell you that there would be drawbacks to both. You don’t want water to be anywhere around your veneer, it doesn’t take much to damage it or make it hard to use from all the buckling and warping that would go on. When using a water jet, the water must cut the material and then dissapate immediately into a body of water in the holding tank under the material. It has a lot of back splash to it, which would get on your veneer from at least underneath, not even talking of the cutting action itself on the edge of the veneer. I have watched the cutting of 1/8th in. plywood and cardboard on a laser, and always there is a scorching on the very edge, and that would be visible in a dark line,albeit not that wide (about 1/16th in. ) when the veneer is put together. Die cutting is very hard on brittle veneer, no matter how sharp the blade is, the sudden force and pressure used in die cutting, can and on certain woods, will damage the edges, especially at the end of the grain, or the cross grain cut. Routing on a template is probably the best way to go, but to stack multiples and get that to work for you, will probably require a template that is being pushed down on the stack either pneumatically or hydraulically to compress the stack, and make it as one solid piece. When gaps are present, the wood can then vibrate as the cutter is coming to it, and this can cause a higher probability of splintering. Much like when people cut or route veneer, and it’s brittle, an old trick is to cover that part that gets cut or routed with masking tape, which kind of locks the grain together not allowing it to shift and split so much. Back cutting the veneer with the router should help make a better, less cracking or splitting affect to your veneer. If anyone can dispel or give better advice, I’d love to hear it and learn more, I’m always up for that, but I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best of luck.

-- Dan Wiggins

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