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Veneer and Inlay on Curved Apron

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Forum topic by jonsprague0000 posted 10-24-2014 04:48 PM 1751 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1050 days


10-24-2014 04:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: venner federal inlay hammer veneer hammer hide glue hot hide glue glue mahogany federal period

I’m making a federal period card table based on the plan by Steve Latta. I don’t have much experience with veneering and inlay so I have a few questions. The veneer is mahogany and the apron is poplar.

1. Can I use 2 ply veneer with the hammer veneer method? Can I use 1/8 thick veneer with the hammer veneer method or is it too thick? I’m planning on hammer veneering the curved apron using liquid hide glue (maybe hot hide glue if I get adventurous. The apron is made of poplar.
2. I’m going to do string inlay in the veneer after its attached. If I use thin veneer (1/32 or so) can you do string inlay or would it possibly rip the veneer?
3. Is it better to do the inlay before attaching the veneer to the apron?


12 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8299 posts in 3109 days


#1 posted 10-24-2014 05:52 PM

Shipwright would be the one to know here. If he
doesn’t notice this thread and reply, you might drop
him a note.

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#2 posted 10-24-2014 06:55 PM

I don’t believe you can hammer veneer with liquid hide glue, first off. You have to use hot hide glue.

Secondly, I believe 1/8” may be too thick for hammer veneering. Someone else could correct me if I’m wrong, though.

If I was in your situation, I would use some cold press veneer glue, and make matching curved cauls if you don’t have hide glue already. Then clamp the hell out of it. Also, 1/8” might not want to bend too easily, depending on the sharpness of the curve. If it’s a relatively gentle curve, you will be fine. But if it’s a tighter curve, of say under 6” radius, I would go with 2 layers of 1/16”.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#3 posted 10-24-2014 07:54 PM

Thanks Loren. Actually Jeff has it pretty much right. You can’t hammer veneer with liquid hide glue …. period. You must use HHG as hammer veneering depends on the initial cooling tack.
There may be cases where it might be possible to hammer 1/8 veneer over a slight curve but clamping with cauls would be better. I would still recommend hide glue and this is a case where LHG like Old Brown Glue would shine.
If it’s an even bend a piece of 1/4” plywood sprung over the veneer and clamped would work for a caul. Just put a few little solid wood cross bars under the clamps to make sure the middle gets down. I don’t expect this is a wide piece anyway.

Good luck

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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Loren

8299 posts in 3109 days


#4 posted 10-24-2014 08:40 PM

You might consider bending the 1/8” board. That’s like
a guitar side and can be bent of a hot pipe using a
little moisture or if the bend is quite mild you could
soak the part in water with fabric softener in it and
clamp it to shape after soaking. Your substrate
may work. It will spring back some but it will be
sufficiently bent to make gluing it easier.

Of course bending is not necessary. You can just
force it into a mild bend with glue, but bending
wood is interesting and once you start it’s hard to
resist having ideas for more bent things.

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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1050 days


#5 posted 10-24-2014 09:43 PM

Thanks for all the quick replies.

Shipwright, on the Old Brown Glue website they say that they don’t recommend using their Liquid Old Brown to hammer with and to use their Granulated Old Brown HHG. What do you think about this? Could I not just warm up the LHG and have it be almost the same as the HHG?

If I use 1/16 mahogany veneer, can I inlay in it just fine? Is there any concern that when I cut my grooves for the inlay that I will be going through the veneer a bit into the poplar? or is that fine? My goal is to do some fancy marquetry as this will be a federal piece.

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shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#6 posted 10-25-2014 12:26 AM

First question: No, LHG is as the name says, liquid at room temperature. It cures only by drying and that takes time. HHG on the other hand is a reasonably strong gel at room temperature and it is this gelling as it cools that seals the edges of the veneer and creates the “vacuum” under it. HHG is the only glue that you can hammer veneer with.

Second one: Yes, you can inlay a thicker piece through the veneer and into the substrate but “marquetry” is done in the veneer before applying it to the surface. To get a better handle on marquetry, have a look at this blog series.
PM me if you have marquetry questions. I’m happy to help.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#7 posted 10-25-2014 12:43 AM

If you are looking to do marquetry, do you own a scroll saw?

If not, then pretty much the only method that would work would be to use an exacto knife. It is far from ideal, and can be very frustrating. Plus, you won’t be able to do the 1/16” thicknesses. This is the method that I use until I build a Chevalet. You should go with the standard 1/32”-1/40” veneer rather than the thick stuff. With this you will have to be very careful that you don’t get any sandthrough.

Additionally, you could do a router inlay for thicker stuff, but it won’t work very well on a curved surface, and it has to be done after applying the main backing veneer to the substrate.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1050 days


#8 posted 10-25-2014 03:15 AM

Wow shipwright, reading through that blog there are some amazing pieces of marquetry. I don’t own a scroll saw but might have to pick up one after seeing some of those examples. I’ve tried bell flowers with an exacto knife and it is pretty rough.

Here’s an example of a piece I really like and would like to get some of your expert opinions on how it may have been done for the apron or how you would do it. http://www.finewoodworking.com/assets/uploads/posts/4010/Federal_Card_Table_Front_View.jpg.

I want to veneer across the apron with ribbon or crotch mahogany (not changing direction like the example). Then put a rectangle piece of satinwood in the middle with inlay surrounding it. The fans in the corners of the satinwood might be too advanced for me now so I’ll probably skip them. I do however want to do the fans on the legs and bellflowers.

So a couple questions based on this:
1. What thickness veneers would you go with and how would you attach it? If I go a thinner thickness I’m worried about sanding through, but it may be a chance I have to take.
2. Would you recommend putting the satinwood and inlay in the mahogany veneer before or after putting the mahogany down?
3. What thickness would you cut the leg fans and bell flowers? Everything except the apron will be done in solid mahogany.

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shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#9 posted 10-25-2014 04:27 AM

1) I would use 1/16” veneer if I could get it. If I couldn’t get it I would go with thinner. Shouldn’t be a problem for sand through as long as the two veneers are the same thickness. Most veneer these days is 1/42” so you will have to be careful. I would assemble the whole works, stringing and all, on a mounting board with French butchers paper. And then glue it onto the substrate with OBG and a flexible caul. You won’t have the butchers paper but this is a simple assembly and you could reinforce it with veneer tape on the good side before glue up.
2) At least the two main elements should be applied together. You can add the stringing after the others but on a curved surface I would be inclined to do it all at once.
3) Since you’re asking what I would do, I would veneer the legs and do at least the fans and flowers in veneer assembled as marquetry. But if you want to inlay into solid legs, 1/16 would be a good thickness. It’s thick enough that you can leave it a bit proud and sand it off safely.

Here’s an example done with veneer.

I

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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jonsprague0000

94 posts in 1050 days


#10 posted 10-26-2014 05:30 AM

That’s incredible. Guess I better start practicing. Would you have any concerns with using 2 ply crotch mahogany and attaching it with OBG using caul/clamps?

View Loren's profile

Loren

8299 posts in 3109 days


#11 posted 10-26-2014 05:59 AM

The image above demonstrates why no Sheridan tables
survive intact, if at all.

Correct me Paul, if needed. I’ll admit it is lovely to go
to an hourglass shape like that. The form lacks endurance
however, especially if not exquisitely cared for and we
have to admit to ourselves that other qualities
are worth pursuing as well.

Nice leg, btw.

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shipwright

7165 posts in 2259 days


#12 posted 10-26-2014 03:23 PM

I don’t have any experience with two ply veneer but I expect the “show” veneer is very thin. Other than that it should work. OBG is water based and shouldn’t mess with whatever they stick the two ply together with.

Loren, the leg is from my imagination, no style known to me and yes it is likely a little fragile although the ball is Queen Ebony turned with a spindle on each end and imbedded about two inches each way into the other leg elements. It’s in this project.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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