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Forum topic by Wade Campbell posted 11-04-2014 01:02 AM 817 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wade Campbell

6 posts in 767 days


11-04-2014 01:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bookmatching veneering question

I need help with a veneer project. I’m making a box and want to have the top be quad bookmatched (if that’s the right term – i.e., each 90 degree quadrant is a pattern-matched piece of veneer). I’m using chestnut burl, and the problem is that it is very wavy/curly. I’ve done the veneer flattening routine (twice?), and it still curls too much while I am trying to cut it and sand the edges in preparation to do the bookmarking (i.e., the critical steps whereby the tight joints are created).

My question is this: is there a reason that I should not first glue the veneer sheets to 1/4” plywood BEFORE I do the bookmarking? That is, I would simply glue veneered 1/4” plywood to some MDF to create the bookmarked effect.

-- Wade V Campbell


5 replies so far

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1602 posts in 2420 days


#1 posted 11-04-2014 01:09 AM

Wade,
I’m not sure how you flattened the veneer, but if you use veneer softener, and press the veneer between sheets of clean Xerox paper, it should come out of the press the next morning perfectly flat. I would definitely not glue it to ply before doing the match. I just use my little veneer press and flatten any contrary pieces of veneer this way all the time. It’s not possible to do a good four way match with curly, wavy veneer.

Hope this helps.

Roger

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

View Wade Campbell's profile

Wade Campbell

6 posts in 767 days


#2 posted 11-04-2014 01:12 AM

Thanks for your response Roger. So I should not attempt the bookmatch with this veneer. Can you give me your rationale for saying I should not glue to plywood first? Is it simply to difficult to get the joints of the bookmatching tight enough?

-- Wade V Campbell

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RogerBean

1602 posts in 2420 days


#3 posted 11-04-2014 01:47 AM

Sorry, perhaps I’m missing something here. What I’m suggesting is that you need to get the veneer flat before cleaning up the matching edges. I’ve had some pretty gnarly veneer before, and never yet had a piece that I could not flatten using veneer softener, paper, and my veneer press with a pad. What process did you use to flatten it? Again, perhaps there’s something here I just don’t understand correctly.

Again, my process is to saturate both sides of the veneer with veneer softener, let it soak in, place between Xerox paper and clamp it down tight in my veneer press overnight. If the veneer is still wet or damp, I change to clean dry paper, and tighten it down in the press again. And repeat until the veneer is flat and dry. I use a 3/8” thick jute pad for pressing and crank it down tight in the press.

If, when all is said and done, you cannot get the veneer flat and glued up or taped up prior to applying to the box, I doubt you will be able to get a satisfactory veneer job.

If, after all this, it’s still not flat, I would not use it. If the edges won’t come up perfectly tight it will look terrible.

Roger

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

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7174 posts in 2264 days


#4 posted 11-04-2014 03:05 AM

My routine is much like Roger’s and I completely agree with his advice. I don’t use veneer softener, just water and hot cauls but the advice is the same: flatten, match and mount. Getting a good match after mounting on a substrate would be unlikely and is certainly unnecessary.

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

View Wade Campbell's profile

Wade Campbell

6 posts in 767 days


#5 posted 11-06-2014 02:47 PM

ISSUE RESOLVED: As I described, after the first flattening the veneer curled upon drying while I was trimming it. After your responses, I went through the flattening process again (i.e., another application of softening solution, etc.). This solved the problem nicely. Thanks.

-- Wade V Campbell

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