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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've made veneer more than a few times and I'm curious if anyone else here has. Basically I use a Hitachi CB75F bandsaw to resaw the wood to roughly 3/16" slices, then run it thru my drum sander until it's about 3/64" thick (a light 1/16"). I've had good results with this, except for gluing.

I've tried multiple different ways, but the best results I've gotten so far are using the "heat-lock" method. Basically brush Titebond original over both surfaces (the veneer and the surface the veneer will get glued to), let the glue dry and use an iron and press the veneer onto the surface. The heat from the iron reactivates the wood glue. I had good luck with this method using regular paper backed veneer, but it took a LONG time of heating to get the thicker veneer I made to stick. And while I didn't have issues, I was nervous about the integrity of the bond using the thicker veneer.

I've always wanted a vacuum press, but never went down that road because I don't know anything about it. I make a lot of curved cabinets and some oddly shaped cabinets, so I can't use a flat press. Just curious if anyone here has any amount of experience with this that would be willing to share. Thanks!!
 

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Veneers are tough if they're thicker. I've pretty much decided, to stay away from buying super expensive presses and hot plates, to make any veneer I do much thicker then normal and stitch them and use regular old steel plates with clamps. It ain't perfect, but I don't do much with veneers either.

I think part of the problem with a 3/64th veneer is it is still thick enough to hold some moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Veneers are tough if they're thicker. I've pretty much decided, to stay away from buying super expensive presses and hot plates, to make any veneer I do much thicker then normal and stitch them and use regular old steel plates with clamps. It ain't perfect, but I don't do much with veneers either.

I think part of the problem with a 3/64th veneer is it is still thick enough to hold some moisture.
Thanks for the response! I agree my issue was that I made that last batch too thick. Not only was it tough to iron on, but when I tried to seam it to bookmatch it, the heat caused it to shrink (probably because it still held moisture and the iron evaporated it causing the veneer to shrink) and keeping the seams tight was a serious challenge. I got it to work but it the future I think I'll go for more like 1/32" or even thinner.

Would you mind sharing how you "stitch" them? Do you use a veneer knife or a razor knife?
 

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I don't do much veneering anymore but have always used an Xacto knife and veneer tape. I don't know if that's called stitching as I always thought that was done by machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I assume thats what stitching is too. My issue when I use a utility knife is that it tends to follow the grain, and one wayward cut when I'm trying bookmatch is very bad. I've never used a veneer saw, kind of weird looking tool that looks like it would butcher the edge of the veneer. Curious how those work and if anyone has used one, also if there's a style or brand they recommend.
 

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Lots of videos on it...with a saw.

I personally don't think you can go wrong with anything from Lee valley.
 

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I had a whole thing typed out and the site crashed. I'll try to get time to explain it later. It won't be real useful if you're in the middle of a project though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of videos on it...with a saw.

I personally don't think you can go wrong with anything from Lee valley.
I completely forgot about Lee Valley! Ordered a veneer saw and a inlay saw from them. Thanks!!
 

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Have you considered applying the glue, then ironing while the glue is wet? Seems like if the glue has set up, you need to apply heat for a (relatively) long time to reheat and soften it, whereas if the glue is still wet all you are doing is accelerating the setting. And have you thought about using a hide glue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have not used hide glue but I have thought about it. Using the iron after the glue dries works really well on thinner veneer, but I had issues with the thicker veneer. I overcame those issues by moving a lot slower and pressing harder but it was a PIA. I have never tried the iron over wet glue, not sure if that would actually work??
 

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About a hunnert years ago i built a roll top desk. For the rolling tambour, i cut & milled all the slats, clamped them in a jig on the work bench to keep them flat and tight. Smeared on a nice coat of titebond, layed heavy canvas over that, and ironed. Instant bonding.
 
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