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Woodworker's Guide to Veneering & Inlay: Techniques, Projects and Expert Advice for Fine Furniture Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565233468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565233461
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1 x 27.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Jonathan Benson of West Des Moines, IA (formerly Santa Fe, NM) has written the new book, Woodworker's Guide to Veneering & Inlay. This book covers all aspects of veneering and marquetry techniques, from purchasing materials to step-by-step furniture construction projects. This essay is adapted from Woodworker's Guide to Veneering & Inlay by Jonathan Benson, copyright 2008, with permission of the publisher Fox Chapel Publishing. The book (159 pages, paperback, $24.95) is available at your local woodworking bookseller or directly from Fox Chapel Publishing at (800) 457-9112 or visit the web site: www. Jonathan Benson is a professional furnituremaker, whose work was been exhibited in over 40 galleries nationwide. He has taught woodworking at the college level for over 10 years, as well as conducted seminars throughout the country. He has written for Woodshop News and Woodwork Magazine and authored a chapter in Furniture Markers Exploring Digital Technologies. For more info on Jonathan, visit his web site: Wood veneer is an attractive, thin slice of wood that can be glued onto a furniture surface or wall panel, creating a rich look for very little expenditure of expensive stock. Historically, veneer was used to decorate the very fi nest furniture, though in recent times, it has also been used to disguise some of the worst. Today, however, increasing numbers of makers are embracing these materials to produce very fi ne veneered furniture, as has often been illustrated in this publication. Though veneers are available from many commercial sources, producing your own veneers can give you greater control-and satisfaction- over the available materials to be utilized in your project. Some applications might require a thicker veneer of a certain species not available commercially, or if available, may not contain the unusual fi gures or in the size that you desire. It may also be easier for you to produce book-matched pieces. SAWING BASICS Veneer should be sawn and planed to end up with pieces no thicker than 1/8" (1/16" is better). Otherwise, it may continue to move due to seasonal changes. If veneer is cut too thick, the bottom surface attached to the substrate will stay in place, while the top surface of the veneer will still be able to move. This will cause cracks to appear on the surface of the veneer. Wood movement also can cause the veneer to separate from the substrate. I have heard of a case where the veneer, that was not cut thinly enough, popped off the surface of a table during a gallery opening. That makes a strong case for getting the veneer thin enough and gluing it down properly. Making sure machinery is properly tuned and has sharp blades and knives will get maximum yield from the log or board. In addition, the sawn veneer needs to be properly handled and stored to prevent loss. The material to be cut must be dry and ready to use. You can saw green lumber and logs into veneers, but the drying process becomes much more complicated. With this in mind, the procedure for sawing your own veneer is simple. by Jonathan Benson JOINTER TIPS The jointer needs to be properly tuned and have sharp knives. The outfeed table and the knives need to be properly aligned, so that a uniform amount of material is removed from the wood. A cutter head with 4 knives makes a smoother cut than one with 2 knives. A higher rpm setting will creat a smoother cut. Feed the material at a rate before burn marks begin to appear, creating a surface as smooth as glass. The fence needs to be sturdy and set at exactly 90 to the cutter to maximize yield. Check the fence for square occasionally to be certain it remains square. PREPARING THE WOOD Before sawing veneers from a thick piece of wood, it is necessary to create two smooth perpendicular surfaces. Start by smoothing one surface of the board on the jointer (Figure 1). The fi gure pattern of this face will become the fi gure pattern for all the subsequent sheets of veneer cut from the board. If working from a log or an irregular shaped piece of wood, you may have to balance the desirability of the fi gure pattern with the yield that results from that particular shape. After the face has been smoothed, joint the edge with the smoothed face against the fence to create two perpendicular surfaces. You may also need to rip the opposite side or edge on the bandsaw or tablesaw, creating a fl at surface for the marking procedure that follows. Keep veneers in sequential order throughout this process, so that they can be matched later. To accomplish this, mark the bottom edge of the board with some type of triangle or angled line pattern that can be recreated by stacking the leaves in their original order. The pattern can also be drawn on one end of the board. Another way to keep the veneers in consecutive order is to number each leaf on its face immediately after cutting it. The fi rst method is quicker and easier, because you do not have to think about numbering while cutting and planning. To be totally safe, use both methods together. Note that numbering the edges of the veneer does not work, as the number will disappear when you plane the leaves to their fi nal thickness. Before ripping the fi rst sheet of veneer from the board on the bandsaw, you will need to make a line 1/8" in from the face along the top edge of the board, to use as a reference when cutting. It is easiest to use a marking gauge (Figure 2), because the operation will be repeated for each cut. A leaf that is 1/8" thick, or just a bit thinner, after one face has been smoothed on the jointer and ripped on the bandsaw, will leave just enough material to yield a fi nished thickness of about 1/16" after planing, with some margin for error. THE RIP FENCE There are two types of rip fences to help guide the wood through the bandsaw accurately. The most common type, included with most bandsaws, resembles a tablesaw rip fence. It is essentially a straightedge secured parallel to the blade. The wood stays pressed against the fence as it is being cut. If you do not have the standard fence, you can clamp a board or straightedge to the saw table as a rip fence. The fence must be properly aligned with the blade, and the blade must be sharp to get an accurate cut; otherwise, the cut can wander away from the line. If the blade does wander off the line, it will burn the wood and dull the blade, as you attempt to get back in line. A dull blade can also bend or belly inside the cut, causing cupped and bowed surfaces on the wood. The guide blocks and rollers on the bandsaw must also be properly aligned. The straightedge style of rip fence works well in most cases, if these guidelines are addressed. The point style of fence allows for the wood to be steered as it is being cut, as shown in (Figure 3). The point of the fence must be aligned with the teeth of the bandsaw blade. It also helps to have the fence be as tall as the wood. This type of fence allows the wood to be steered back in line if the cut starts to wander. SAWING THE VENEERS When using either type of fence, it is crucial to keep the wood fi rmly pressed against the fence from top to bottom, to prevent producing veneers thicker or thinner along one edge or the other. It is also important to feed the wood steadily and evenly. If everything is set up properly and the blade begins to burn or the cut starts to bow or cup in anyway, it is time for a new blade. When beginning the cut, be careful to guide the blade right down the center of the scribed line (Figure 4). As with any type of cut on a power machine, when the materials get too thin to hold or when nearing the end of a cut, use a push stick to protect your fi ngers. A board can split like a piece of fi rewood, while being cut on a bandsaw, sending your fi ngers right into the blade. A push stick can prevent this. After sawing the fi rst sheet of veneer, set it aside and run the just-sawn face of the board over the jointer to smooth one face of the next leaf of veneer before you saw it. Repeat this jointer-saw sequence for each veneer slice. For best results, do all of the cutting, jointing, and plan- BANDSAW TIPS Must have sufficient throat height between the table and upper guide. This dimension will limit the width of the veneer. Must have enough power to avoid slowing down or stopping when making a deep cut. Slowing down during the cutting process will dull the blade, cause burns on the surface of the wood, and make it difficult to maintain a straight cut. A resawing type of bandsaw works well for this operation, as does a good 20" or larger bandsaw. It is possible to get good results from the common 14" bandsaw, with a riser block added to give the machine a 12" throat height. I like to use a new blade when beginning any bandsaw veneer project. A 3/4"-1" wide blade with 4-6 teeth per inch (TPI) will work quickly and help keep a straight line easily. The saw should have a good set of roller bearings and guide blocks properly installed. The table needs to be exactly 90 to the blade. Any variance in the angle will decrease the yield by removing more material than necessary. Check the fence occasionally to be certain it remains square. GRAIN ORIENTATION The orientation of the grain relative to the cutters has a large impact on the quality of the surface that emerges from the planer or jointer, which is particularly important when making veneer. For best results, the long grain of the wood should feed squarely into the planer knives. As the knives cut through the wood, they should shear off the wood fibers cleanly, not pull and rip the fibers out. When you plane veneer cross grain or diagonally to the grain, the fibers can easily be pulled completely out to the other side, leaving holes through the veneers. The smoothest possible veneer with the largest yield per board can be achieved if the grain direction is properly considered, the knives are sharp, and both the cutter head and feed rate are adjusted properly. FIGURE 4. Start the cut with the wood pressed tightly against the band saw fence. Steer the cut by pivoting the wood on the fence. ning to thickness in one work session. There are several reasons for this. The ...

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By SPIDERWEBB on 23 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having decided to broaden my woodworking horizons, I chose to try my hand at veneering. This book - judging by the title - seemed the obvious choice. However, it wasn't as comprehensive as I expected it to be and assumed too much of the reader's experience. I would have liked to have seen more pictorial 'how to's and tips. That said, it is an introduction to veneering for me and will be helpful as a reference as I gain more confidence. I am a self taught woodworker/hobbyist and I am sure I will learn the hard way with veneering but I will refer to the book when I need to.
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By saw cut on 5 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A great all around reference 13 Aug. 2008
By P. Mann - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have done a great deal of veneer work over the course of my woodworking career and I found this book to be a good all around guide to veneering. If you are new to veneering and looking for a thorough how-to or are experienced with veneer and looking for a couple new tricks I think you will find something worthwhile in this book.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Wish I would have read this sooner 5 Nov. 2008
By D. Marti - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm fairly new to veneering. The pictures are interesting and clearly illustrate what is being talked about. This covers about ever aspect of veneering. The book's tone is informative and interesting. And I finally got a good idea of what hammer veneering is. I didn't realize that PVA glues could be hammered/heated like hide glue. Also, spritzing water on veneer is something I ever thought of to prevent curling, but its so obvious to me now that I've read the book. Pictures showing types of veneer available is a feast for the eyes.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive source for understanding veneering 4 Sept. 2008
By Dave Boykin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Benson has compiled an impressive guide to veneering, useful to both novices and the seasoned woodworker. The generous use of photographs make each chapter easy to understand, especially in the more complex areas of veneer matching and problem solving. An important addition to any woodworker's library.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great book! 21 Jun. 2011
By Ginger Roberts - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great for beginners or more advanced woodworkers. It is very complete from wood properties, through different species of wood and why a particular wood works best, to very clear step-by-step instructions. I have already learned things I did not know, and I haven't even started a project yet. I recommend this book for anyone that wants to try inlay or veneering, or someone who would like to push themselves.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Love this book! 9 Mar. 2011
By I Like Noise - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspiring. Simply inspiring. The pictures at the beginning of the book of the furniture built by Mr. Benson are wonderful. Is it art? Is it furniture? In fact, this book is so well written, clear, informative... and did I say inspiring? that I am ordering his Woodworker's Guide to Bending Wood: Techniques, Projects and Expert Advice for Fine Woodworking as well!

If you want to learn about veneering, do yourself a favor and get this book!
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