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View Kiersten's profile

Advice Needed :)

by Kiersten
posted 1338 days ago


26 replies so far

View chewbuddy13's profile

chewbuddy13

150 posts in 1883 days


#1 posted 1338 days ago

You could make templates of the branch profile using plywood. Then use a flush trim router bit to copy the profile onto the veneers. Using just regular veneer you could stack 20 or 30 pieces at a time and rout them all at once. I’m not sure how many you could do at a time with a die cutter.Just and idea off the top of my head.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5391 posts in 2026 days


#2 posted 1338 days ago

Alternatives to die cutting may include laser cut or CNC. Have no idea of relative costs however, but two more avenues to explore.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View BreakingBoardom's profile

BreakingBoardom

615 posts in 1679 days


#3 posted 1338 days ago

I’m with Chewbuddy13. Since a router can now be part of the manufacturing process, using a template and a flush trim router bit seems the easiest and most cost effective way. As far as labor process for applying the veneer, if a vacuum press is used, it wouldn’t be too bad. Put it in the vacuum press and let it sit. It would just involve a little up front cost for the vacuum press if his shop doesn’t have one. I just did some small veneer panels and I don’t have a vacuum press so I just stacked some weights on them which may be an option too since the veneered parts aren’t large parts. If your demand is high or gets high, I would suggest looking into a vacuum press in the future. Hope that helps.

-- Matt - http://breakingboardom.wordpress.com/

View Kiersten's profile

Kiersten

69 posts in 2250 days


#4 posted 1338 days ago

Thanks so much for responding so quickly!! All great ideas. I think one of the quotes I received was for laser cut and one uses some sort of cutter that includes water and it didn’t damage the adhesive but was still kinda expensive.

-- Kiersten, Los Angeles, http://www.modmomfurniture.com

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4085 posts in 1454 days


#5 posted 1338 days ago

I’m with Chewbuddy.
Alternately.
Have you considered using a V bit on a Router?
In the box above it would still give the same effect, then you could apply stain by hand.
It would solve a lot of production headaches.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Arnold's profile

Arnold

215 posts in 2160 days


#6 posted 1338 days ago

Although a v bit would change how your original was made, In order to keep cost down this is a great alternative without sacrificing quality on a larger scale process. Sometimes taking a different approach works. When I tell people how much the hinges I use for boxes are, they run away. Just have to figure out what works for you and what you are willing to accept. Hopefull people post more idea that may may be even better.

View CampD's profile

CampD

1194 posts in 2084 days


#7 posted 1338 days ago

Have you tried negotiating with them? Im sure you have, but just checking.
You buying material or are they? they will mark it up.
Tried a smaller shop? they be more hungry for your buisness and more willing to be flexable on price.
There’s a few on here who have lazer cutters, maybe they’ll be more flexable.
But, it still may be easier and cost effective for you to make a jig and templete and cut them yourself.

-- Doug...

View savannah505's profile

savannah505

1691 posts in 2184 days


#8 posted 1338 days ago

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

View Arnold's profile

Arnold

215 posts in 2160 days


#9 posted 1338 days ago

Doesn’t laser burn the edge anyway, and water give inconsistent veneer?

View Arnold's profile

Arnold

215 posts in 2160 days


#10 posted 1338 days ago

Hey! How did that more informative post sneak in there. ;)

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2924 days


#11 posted 1338 days ago

Have you asked the Amish shop what their thoughts are? I wonder if they would have any ideas/suggestions.

and congratulations!

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1276 posts in 2335 days


#12 posted 1338 days ago

I would look at using a CNC machine. Stacks of veneer can be cut at one time. Cuts the cutting time down. It is forever repeatable once the drawings and configuratinos are done.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#13 posted 1338 days ago

You mght put a invitatin to quote thread on here. Lots of LJs are probably short on work in this economy.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kiersten's profile

Kiersten

69 posts in 2250 days


#14 posted 1338 days ago

Great idea about the quote thread! Lord knows we know about work shortage as my husband is out of work. I’ll figure out how to do that ASAP.

-- Kiersten, Los Angeles, http://www.modmomfurniture.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#15 posted 1338 days ago

Put him to work cutting them out on the couch!! :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kiersten's profile

Kiersten

69 posts in 2250 days


#16 posted 1338 days ago

That’s just what he was doing today!! He’s a damn good polyurethane-er and veneer cutter. :)

-- Kiersten, Los Angeles, http://www.modmomfurniture.com

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1436 days


#17 posted 1337 days ago

If you are both home just now- I would hold off on subbing out your work. Might be better to bring someone in to help occassionally. I have looked at your stuff online- and it seems that you don’t have a ton of different patterns so maybe you can find another out of work buddy who could learn how to cut the veneers? Also, I find that once a product line goes commercial, the quality often declines. So maybe just hang on and do it in house and find a helper buddy who might like to work with wood and make a few bucks? Just a thought.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Kiersten's profile

Kiersten

69 posts in 2250 days


#18 posted 1337 days ago

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! And I have to add that I’m incredibly lucky to be in the position where the quality of work overall is actually better than what I’ve been doing the past 3 years by partnering with the Amish manufacturer. I can only build three or so per week so people (including celebs) have been waiting 3+ months for their items. Ray and his team can build 50+per week and still do it here in the US! The veneer is not a huge issue right now—I’m happy to cut away at home—but as soon as things ramp up and I go back to all the stores I’ve turned away, it will be. I’m in talks with a major furniture company about designing a specific piece and if it all works out, they’ll end up ordering huge volume at once so again, the veneer advice is very much appreciated and needed.

I’ll keep everyone posted for sure!! Thanks again for taking the time to respond. And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

-- Kiersten, Los Angeles, http://www.modmomfurniture.com

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1786 days


#19 posted 1337 days ago

Kiersten, I haven’t seen you on here in a while. Congrats to you and your husband on expanding. I’m glad to see a local Southern California Girl doing well. You might want to e mail Socalwood he has some amazing ideas and process’es as well. I havent seen him on line as he must be busy as well but the thing that just roll of his tounge are amazing.

Good luck and keep us informed.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1436 days


#20 posted 1337 days ago

Socal isn’t on L/J anymore. You will have to contact him via his personal email address or visit his website. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Kjuly's profile

Kjuly

302 posts in 1883 days


#21 posted 1336 days ago

Hello Kiersten,
Give the laser option a through consideration because it offers many advantages over die cutting. The biggest is design changes. Once a die is made you can’t make design changes without reworking the die which can be expensive. A laser design can be changed via a software change. Also, it would be much cheaper to have prototypes made with a laser. Sometimes you just have to see it to know that it will work. Because you own the design it is easy to shop around for the best laser price and not leave the comfort of your computer.
Look for someone that understands your needs and is willing to work with you (as you did with L & J Woodworking) to accomplish your goals. Price alone should not be the soul deciding factor.
Congratulation on your expansion and the best of luck.
Keith
BTW…I don’t own a laser or a laser business or a stake in a laser business but I have used some laser cut inlays in my work.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI www.julyswoodworks.com

View aurora's profile

aurora

204 posts in 1850 days


#22 posted 1335 days ago

K,
- try looking at “steel rule dies” for lower volumes as they tend to be quite inexpensive to make,
- conventional solid body iron dies are much more expensive but handle higher volumes before wearing.

your stamper should really provide you with alternatives and costs based upon your volumes and his tool and die shop. adhesive backing is routinely stamped or die cut and should not be terribly problematic.

good luck

View TheWoodsman's profile

TheWoodsman

65 posts in 1494 days


#23 posted 1335 days ago

First, I used to deal with laser cut and assembled veneer inlays quite often in my previous job. While the laser does darken the edges of the veneers, this wouldn’t really matter. It may also leave some dark residue on the surface but this sands off easily. We would also often have graphics and lettering engraved on hard white maple when we were doing store fixture rollouts for Dockers. Again, it would leave some dark residue around the lettering but sanding the parts after engraving removed it easily.

Here are a couple more options for you:
1) Route very small v-grooves on the baltic birch panels for your branch detail. This is easily and quickly done on a CNC or pin router. Completely finish the boxes with clear, I assume. Last, carefully hand paint the area within the grooves. This is a little extra labor but after doing a few boxes it would only take a few minutes and won’t stick out or project from the surface like the veneer would. You could also use stain for the branches if you want to see wood grain.
2) You can also use a laser engraving machine to completely laser the area where the branches are. This would slightly recess the branch area and making it pretty easy to either stain or paint the branch area. You would want the laser to be set on a lower wattage to prevent going all the way through the face veneer. This would also not darken the lasered are quite as much.

-- I'm the Woodsman . . . the four-wheelin', tree-farmin', custom-furniture-makin' descendant of Olaf "The Woodcutter" Ingjaldsson.

View Kiersten's profile

Kiersten

69 posts in 2250 days


#24 posted 1329 days ago

Hi everyone!! I can’t thank you enough for your advice. I’m considering all of it but I wanted to put the offer out to give me a quote based on the idea of making a jig and routing out 30 sheets at a time (one of the suggestions above). For anyone who’s interested, I can a paper design template for the Owyn Toy Box branches in the mail.

If you’re interested, please contact me through LJ or at kiersten@modmomfurniture.com. And I’ll get the paper template to you asap.

Thanks again!!

Kiersten

-- Kiersten, Los Angeles, http://www.modmomfurniture.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14589 posts in 2274 days


#25 posted 1329 days ago

Kiersten, It might be a good idea to make it a separate post requesting quote in Swap & Trade (I guess that would be appropriate place) I doubt if very many will see it here unless they have been following.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Blake's profile

Blake

3434 posts in 2472 days


#26 posted 1323 days ago

Wow Kiersten, glad to see this is going so well for you. I’m not at all surprised though, It is a great idea and they are really well done. Good luck moving forward.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

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