vrijdag 1 juni 2012


I've got a new follower this week, it's Mij. Welcome Mij, hope you will enjoy following my blog!

Promised a new picture and here it is... not much to see yet, but the outer bands are on...
Next week I will work on the flowers and leaves.

How-to's on working with veneer can be found on the internet and people use different methods.
This is the way I like to work with veneer.

The thickness of the veneer I use is 0,6 mm.
Before I do anything to the veneer I cover the top with masking tape to prevent most of the splintering, scratches and to be able to gently draw on it with a pencil without leaving marks on the veneer itself.
Towards the end, when the only thing left to do is sanding and staining/oiling/whatever finish you want, it is easy to remove the tape by gently rolling it up using your thumb or fingers.
Be carefull not to tape the sides, or there will be gaps between parts (if your pattern requires to glue parts together).

A scalpel, sharp pair of scissors, cheap break-off knife and a metal ruler are the only tools I use.
Whenever you cut a line, decide on forehand wether you cut the line at the right or left of your pencil-stripe, or in the middle.
1 mm. can make a big difference in a miniature piece.
Do not work on veneer when you are tired or distracted or in a hurry.
Always remember you work with very sharp knifes.

Because the veneer is so thin straight lines can be cut carefully using a sharp pair of scissors.
Sharp is the keyword when working with veneer; only sharp tools make sharp lines and you want your parts to line up as close as possible.
Other, more intricate lines you can score using the break-off knife or a scalpel.
Make sure you keep the knife at the right angle when you score, I keep mine at a  90 degree angle.
Do not try to cut through the veneer in one stroke.
Your knife has the tendency to follow the grain and there is a pretty big chance your veneer will be ruined.
A far better result is reached when multiple scores are made with a sharp knife,
using not too much pressure.
If there is no pattern used and you want to veneer a table top for instance, cut your veneer slightly bigger than your item is; you can cut the excess off once the glue has dried.

White woodglue is used to glue the veneer to the underlying wood and a toothpick is all it takes to divide the glue evenly; after you have put the glue on, check to see if the glue is divided evenly and carefully check the outer lines and corners.
The glue has a tendency to dry very quick there; if needed apply another thin coat of glue in that places.
It is important to be sparse with the glue: blobs will show when the veneer is dry and can hardly be removed without ruining the piece you have put so much effort in.
Too much glue will also come out sideways when you put pressure on the veneer.
That can leave marks when staining the piece.

Once you are sure you have glued the veneer in place, put some heavy weight, like books on it. Be extremely careful so the veneer does not slide.
But do it fast, or the veneer will start to curl up.
Let dry overnight so you are sure it dried thoroughly.

When you have finished your work of art, gently rub off all of the masking tape.
Sand it ever so slightly using steel wool 00000, following the grain.
I use no steelwool but I use Abranet, sold at Craftsupplies.com.
That stuff is expensive but goes a long way.
Take the dust off using a slightly damp cloth.
Let dry several days before staining, the glue must have lost its moisture or else
it will leave marks underneath the stain.

When you want to finish your work, do not use any water-based product.
Remember: water and veneer don't go together.

Succes in working with veneer!


4 opmerkingen:

  1. Helo Gee!
    This is a very exciting project you are doing. I have never been a furniture maker so I am looking forward to watching the "veneer" come together. More pictures please!
    Warm regards from Ray

  2. You make it sound so easy, Gee! Your directions are very clear and since it doesn't require a lot of fancy tools, maybe I'll give it a try...someday. (I'm not sure I have your patience). Thanks for a great post!

  3. Hi Ray!
    Indeed it is exciting; no idea what it will look like when the tape comes off.
    When it looks bad it goes in the trash and I'll just start a new.
    If you let me know what exactly you want me to take pictures of, I will.
    Did you start working on the cherry floor yet and if so, how is it coming along?

  4. Hi John!
    I am not patient at all, it is more about accuracy. And to be honest, I am not that accurate as well :)
    You guys have set the bar real high, but I kinda see this as a try-out now.
    You should give it a try! The cheapest veneer I have is about 3 euro per sheet.
    No man overboard if you play around with that, it is fun to see what will come out and to develop yet another skill.
    Did the parts you were waiting for arrive yet?