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Efficient Storage of Marquetry Veneers

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Blog entry by stefang posted 07-24-2014 01:10 PM 799 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What I need
After my first small marquetry project and the ensuing smaller parts of leftover veneer sheets I can see a storage problem on it’s way already, much like the classic cutoffs we all struggle with in our shops. I’m therefore looking for efficient ways to store my veneers while taking into consideration preventing damage, maintaining proper moisture levels, flatness, identification and easy access.

Looking for ideas
If anyone has what they consider a good storage solution for veneers and you wish to share it I would be very interested in hearing from you.

My thoughts so far
I am very inexperienced with this, so please feel free to correct me if any of my ideas here are wrong.

  1. Some of the first packets I bought came packed in plastic as shown and others without. It seems to me that keeping the veneers packed in plastic will keep them from drying out.
  2. I have a small shop with limited drawer space. I have been thinking that perhaps file cabinet type storage might work well. The veneers could be kept in plastic envelopes (if that is a good idea) and stored vertically on edge. They could be kept flat (in theory) by being sandwiched between plywood platters with a locking device to keep the veneers under a little pressure.
  3. This type of system would allow indexing dividers with tabs showing the different species, etc. Access would be better than flat storage because a sheet or plastic envelope could be pulled out without disturbing the other veneers.
  4. The file system solution described above does not address the added problem of storing partially used packets which need to be stored for use at a later date and which I can see piling up pretty fast.

Thanks for any help you can give me on this.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



19 comments so far

View sras's profile

sras

3852 posts in 1794 days


#1 posted 07-24-2014 01:14 PM

I don’t know if this is acceptable, but plastic sleeves in a 3 ring binder?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#2 posted 07-24-2014 01:23 PM

A great idea for smaller sheets. I think most of mine will probably be smaller anyway. The 3 ringer binder might not give me the sandwich pressure, but it’s certainly worth thinking about how this might be done with such a system. Then I would just need a bookshelf, not a filing cabinet. Thanks much for your input Steve!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1152 posts in 1619 days


#3 posted 07-24-2014 01:34 PM

I lucked into finding an old five drawer blueprint cabinet last year. Works very well for keeping veneers accessible, and safe. It’s amazing how much of what used to be money can be stored in only these five drawers. I cut long veneer sheets to about 42” and store them in sequence. Pieces smaller than 8 or 10 inches I keep in a 2 gal plastic zip lock bag with the parent veneer.
Roger

My little garage shop is air conditioned, heated, and reasonable humidity control. But if veneer gets a bit dry, I use a bit of veneer softener and press flat again between clean paper. This has worked well for me. Prior I merely kept the veneer stacks in the cardboard they were shipped in (flat) and stored on a shelf. This actually worked OK as well, but not as convenient for finding things. I’ve experienced no loss or damage at all. Hope this helps.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#4 posted 07-24-2014 01:54 PM

Thanks Roger, sounds good and the confirmation that plastic works well really helps. Is your storage horizontal or vertical?

After giving a little more thought to this I realized that I don’t necessarily have to store my veneers in the shop. I won’t be going into that storage so frequently, and I have a large loft with access by stairway from my shop where I could easily accommodate any size storage cabinet, but I still like the filing cabinet/ring binder ideas though for easy access..

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1152 posts in 1619 days


#5 posted 07-24-2014 02:01 PM

I store everything horizontal. Vertical sounds like an invitation to curling and warping (unless the pieces are very small). A little weight never hurts to keep them flat, but even then some movement and warpage should be expected.

Some of my veneer stacks that are 2’ long or under arrive from the supplier wrapped in plastic like HD Saran wrap. I usually leave this on to prevent additional moisture loss. Perhaps if I lived in a really humid area, this would be undesirable, but here in Michigan it seems to work fine.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#6 posted 07-24-2014 02:07 PM

Thanks Roger, I will keep that in mind.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PASs's profile

PASs

564 posts in 1764 days


#7 posted 07-24-2014 02:10 PM

Mike, I use filing cabinets for a LOT of stuff in my shop.
If hanging vertically isn’t advisable you might consider a side-pull filing cabinet. I have several 2 and 4 drawer of this type with drawers that are 36” wide.
Just a suggestion.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#8 posted 07-24-2014 02:42 PM

Sounds interesting Pete, but I don’t what a side pull filing cabinet looks like. Can you describe it more detailed for me? Is it horizontal storage?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PASs's profile

PASs

564 posts in 1764 days


#9 posted 07-24-2014 03:18 PM

Mike,
Also known as a lateral drawer filing cabinet.
I get mine at garage sales, thrift stores, and sometimes off the side of the road.
For a 4 drawer I usually pay $10-15 dollars.
You can also check craigslist or equivalent in your area.
If you get a quality brand they are sturdy, and cheaper to buy than the materials to build an equivalent in wood.
I have about 20 assorted filing cabinets in my shop.
Some of my blogs show how I use them.
Examples: I have two 2-drawer laterals under my lathe for tools and supply storage, And one of my radial arm saws is mounted on two 2-drawer standard filing cabinets instead of legs.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#10 posted 07-24-2014 03:24 PM

Thanks Pete. I’ll have a look around. Those big drawers could accommodate both vertical and horizontal storage, and I have room for one or more in my shop loft. Probably not so easy to find here, but I will sure try.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1524 posts in 2126 days


#11 posted 07-24-2014 06:44 PM

Mike, you’ve had some good suggestions already, but I’ll put in my two cents worth. I’ve seen the blueprint file cabinets used very nicely for veneers, but they are hard to find. I built some shallow drawers with slides under a cabinet in my shop and that works out nice except that a lot of the veneer pieces I have are a fair amount longer that the drawer as you can see in the second picture and I hate like anything to cut them down so I am looking at other methods of storage too. That is a piece of Brazilian Lacewood on top and it is 45” long. I made a removable and slideable tray to set on top of one of these drawers for smaller pieces, but it doesn’t solve the real small waste pieces that are just to precious to throw away storage problem. For the time being I store them in a plastic shoe box. Lateral file cabinets are pretty easy to find and relatively cheap around here. I also would hate to give up anymore precious floor space.


-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#12 posted 07-24-2014 07:07 PM

That looks really good, probably a lot like a blueprint filing system like Roger has. I might be buying larger pieces but I think my projects will be so small in size that I could cut them to fit my storage, so that might not be a problem for me. Thanks for your contribution Ken. See? We never get too old to learn something new. It just takes longer.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim's profile

Tim

1273 posts in 627 days


#13 posted 07-24-2014 07:10 PM

Mike did you see this one from jmartel? http://lumberjocks.com/projects/103387
I’m thinking it won’t meet your needs as is, since he built it for longer pieces, but maybe something there will be helpful.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 1999 days


#14 posted 07-24-2014 08:58 PM

That looks pretty good for real long pieces. Thanks for the reference Tim.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

636 posts in 294 days


#15 posted 07-24-2014 10:21 PM

Dried flower/leaf press?

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

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