bookmatch veneering

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Forum topic by Chiefk posted 04-14-2008 03:27 PM 1358 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 3971 days

04-14-2008 03:27 PM

I am buillding an entertainment center with several doors. I would like to bookmatch the panels in the doors. As I understand it I want the veneer to be between 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. I also need to veneer both sides of the substrate. What do I use as a substrate that when the veneer is applied to both sides will then fit into the grooves in the rail and stiles? Also can I just resaw the wood to form the bookmatch panels so that after planing and sanding it will be 1/4” thick? My concern would be about the stability of 1/4” panel. Thanks, pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

4 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4188 days

#1 posted 04-14-2008 03:58 PM

There’s no reason that you can’t bookmatch thick panels. Just start with stock more than
twice as think as you want your panels.

With solid wood panels you just let the panels float. Any substrate would work.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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John Fry

74 posts in 3900 days

#2 posted 04-15-2008 02:24 AM

You don’t really say how large your EC doors will be. Obviously the larger the door, the more flimsy the 1/4” panel will seem and this could have a bearing on your decision.

You have a couple of options. As Gary said, you could use solid wood, resaw, and bookmatch the panels without veneering. If you have some special material that you wish to saw into veneers, slice them to sand out at 1/16” thick and veneer both sides of 1/8” plywood, or hardboard, and you will have a 1/4” thick, veneered flat panel.

There is no “need” to go 1/8” thick for veneering, in fact I usually saw at 3/32” and sand to 1/16” for my shop sawn veneers. That still gives you plenty of meat and you can cut, joint, edge glue, and handle it, just like solid wood

If you are making any very large doors and you feel the 1/4” panel does not have enough “substance” to it, you could go back to the bookmatched, solid wood approach. You would make the finished thickness 1/2” thick and use a panel raiser, or back cutter router bit to undercut the backside of the panel to leave a 1/4” edge that fits into your 1/4” rail and stile grooves. This results in a more substantial panel that maintains the “flat panel” look from the front and yet is still very attractive from the inside while maintaining the bookmatched appearance from both inside and out.

-- John, Chisel and Bit Custom Crafted Furniture,

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3971 days

#3 posted 04-15-2008 04:35 PM

Thanks for you help. I believe I will go with the solid wood approach and use the back cutter as suggested. Thanks again, pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4008 days

#4 posted 04-17-2008 03:23 AM

To add to what GaryK mentioned about solid wood panels and “floating”. Take a look at Rockler’s website (or Woodcraft’s) for Space Balls.
These are soft rubber balls 1/4” in diameter that are used in the grooves that the door panels fit into. They hold the panel firmly, so it doesn’t rattle when the door is opened, but compress when the wood in the panel swells so you avoid cracking the panel.
Handy little “gizmos” that cabinet makers use all the time.

-- Gerry

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