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Home Sawn Veneer

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So I'm planning a low dresser build and am looking to make the entire thing out of walnut. This allows me to use some really nice figured stock that i have fro the drawer fronts. Unfortunately i only have 2 pieces and should have bought more but what's done is done. Both pieces are 1" thick and i will need to get 4 drawer fronts out of each piece. Is this something that is possible?

What is the thinnest you would try to saw veneer at home?

Is home sawn veneer easier to glue up with out a vacuum setup or should i just expect that I'll need to get a vacuum bag setup? The biggest drawer front is going to be 7"

If i can get away with out a vacuum bag would it work to veneer the drawer front after i cut the dovetails and use the veneer to hide the ends of the tails?

If i can't do all the drawer fronts from the stock i have would it look weird to have some figured stock for say the top drawers or top 2 drawers and more plain stock for the lower drawers?

I was going to just PM this to @Ronn W because i know he has experimented with home sawn veneer but figured i'd open it up to everyone. Ron if you have any input i'd appreciate it as well as everyone else.

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In the latest version of FWW's shop talk live, Bob Van Dyke talks about some options that don't involve a vacuum bag.  The guy that asked the question was doing something larger then your project but you might be able to get some ideas that will help you.  FWW Shoptalk Live

I think you should have enough to get four fronts.  Allowing for saw kerf and surfacing each piece after it comes of the saw,  I think it should yield you at least four 1/8 inch thick drawer fronts from an inch of thickness.

I think in my planning I would work horizontally in my layout of veneers as opposed to vertically.  I think you would see less change in the grain pattern doing it this way.  But I could be totally wrong and you might find out they look better in a vertical layout.   Make sure that you keep them marked in sequence as you work with them as far as which way they will end up on the drawer fronts.

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I agree with the above - Plan on slicing as thick as you can and comfortably get your 4 pieces.  You will proboably need to run the veneer through the drum sander after slicing.  The final thickness is not critical for using a vaccum bag or for using clamps and cauls so long as the thickness is uniform.  It is possible to use PVA glue (2 to 3 coats on each surface with time to film over in between coats and then position the veneer and use and iron to reactivate the glue.  That's a short description.  I used that method on a curved table apron with 1/8" white oak veneer 3 years ago and it is good.  Yes, the veneer will try to curl on you becuase of the moisture form the glue.  A light mist from a spray bottle on the show side of the veneer will reduce the curling and make it a little easier to postion where you want it.

I have a vacuum bag and you are more than welcome to use use it in my shop - anytime.

Yes, you can use the veneer to cover the dovetail ends.  Should be no problem with 1/8" veneer.  Commercial veneer (1/42") could be problematic. Since the wood in the drawer front may shrink (albeit very little) and may cause the shape of the dovetail ends to be visible through the veneer.  I have seen this on older furniture casework.

It is recommended that you veneer both sides of any veneer piece but, IMO that applies to large surfaces and to thin panels to prevent warping from the moisture in the glue.  I have a roll of non-decript veneer (1/42)" that is larger than I will use.  Let me know.

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I agree with all of the above. I've done lots of drawers using the method described. I have not had any issues with the dovetails telegraphing through 1/8" veneers, but it may depend on the species of wood and type of glue you use. I use TB III for veneering smaller projects. I've never veneered the backs of the drawers I've done this with, but I normally cut the face veneer off the same piece I'm making the drawer front from so don't have to cut half blind dt's. I don't think it should make any difference if it's done this way or not - it's the moisture that causes potential problems.

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I regularly cut to 0.100" on the bandsaw with no issues and use this for inlay, veneering, striping, guitar sides, etc.  Getting 5 pieces, sometimes 6 out of a full 4/4 board isn't an issue.  Cutting to 0.125" you should get 4 with no problem at all.  And like Mick and others have said, joints won't telegraph through if it's still that thick.

David

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I started by flattening both faces on my drum sander then split the blank in half. Sanded the cut faces then resawed the 2 blanks again. I think I got 4 -5/16 thick pieces from a 8/4 blank.

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9 hours ago, difalkner said:

Gorgeous!!  How big can you resaw?

David

12-13" widest drawer front will be in the 7-8" range so i'll square this up before i resaw it.

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I do have 2 of those pieces and was planning on using 1 piece for each drawer front to a total of 8. There is enough slab to cover the entire drawer front. I don't have a membership there so i can't watch that but it sounds like a good idea.

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FYI...FWW has a new membership option for $99/year you get access to everything, yes EVERYTHING they have. you'll get the zine sub, all video workshops, past magazines (every issue published), projects and plans, books (all their illustrated guide books too) etc... it's a bargain if you ask me. They have a 14 day trial option. If you are about to veneer I recommend checking out the video series I just linked. There's plenty more on the subject as well.

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3 hours ago, Shane Jimerfield said:

FYI...FWW has a new membership option for $99/year you get access to everything, yes EVERYTHING they have. you'll get the zine sub, all video workshops, past magazines (every issue published), projects and plans, books (all their illustrated guide books too) etc... it's a bargain if you ask me. They have a 14 day trial option. If you are about to veneer I recommend checking out the video series I just linked. There's plenty more on the subject as well.

I think i remember back in the day some rants about the disconnect of their services. It appears that they have corrected that disconnect that would be a very interesting service.

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Until about a year ago I had the online only subscription that I think was around $35/year. That option is no longer available & I don't want to pay for a paper magazine that I won't use beyond a week or so after getting it. It seems like a backward step to me. Aren't we supposed to be trying to reduce waste?

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