Interesting Woodworking Link

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Episode #58 – Cherry Pedestal – Veneer

Cherry Pedestal Photo UPDATE – Veneer Grain Pattern Selection

This episode is a photo update of the door veneer selection process for the cherry display pedestal being built in my shop. During construction of the carcase I took particular care to select and showcase the best grain pattern for the flat cut 2-ply cherry veneer. All the cherry veneer for this project came from a 4x8 sheet of 2-ply cherry veneer that I purchased from Veneer Supplies, a great Internet source of veneer and veneering supplies associated with Joe Woodworker. I purchased my veneer press and the majority of my veneer supplies from this source. I have been highly satisfied with both customer service and quality from Joe. If you were thinking about getting started in veneering, this would be a great place to get your feet wet!

Like many woodworkers I draw inspiration from a number of sources. Someone that has been quite influential for me has been Neil Lamens at Furnitology Productions. Reminiscent of the opening to his Furnitology 101 DVD, I can hear Neil’s voice saying, “what does this panel have to offer” every time I begin a project. So, it was with that thought in mind that I approached this 4x8 sheet of 2-ply flat cut cherry veneer. I realized that the frame and panel construction of the carcase and the doors presented an opportunity to showcase the wonderful cathedral grain pattern of the flat cut cherry.

If you don't already have Neil's DVD in your woodworking library, I highly recommend you consider adding it as soon as possible . . . you won't regret the purchase! The DVD will only whet your appetite so head over to his Furnitology woodworking blog / podcast for a wild ride into furniture history & design, some wonderful projects documented with some outstanding video and most importantly flat out inspiration.

A trick I came up with to optimize the selection and position of the grain pattern was to make a viewing frame. I basically taped scrap 1/4” MDF hardboard around the platen for the door panel. A masking tape tab in the center of the panel made it easy to lift the panel out of the frame. I then just slid the frame around the sheet of veneer until I liked the grain pattern. After that it was a simple matter to trace a line around the frame opening with a pencil. I rough cut the veneer with a pair of shears and the trimmed to the line with a straight edge and a sharp knife. I duplicated the process for the matching door. After that you follow the regular veneering process to make a package ready for the press.

1/4" MDF hardboard viewing frame
with central door panel

1/4" MDF hardboard viewing frame
with central door panel removed

Pencil line tracing selected grain pattern

Laying out the second panel to match the first

Pair of door panels in the vacuum press

The end result with a well
centered cathedral grain pattern


frankie said...

you must go through a lot of veneer this way. I know I've done some grain matching in doors across a kitchen and we went through twice as much ply to accomplish the look. Book matching is tough when your keeping everything on center.

keep up the good work.
Are you a lumber jock? If so PM me my username is "getneds".

David Pruett said...

Frankie -

Many thanks for the comments. You do end up using more veneer this way but the final look was worth it! I did save the side cut for use in a later project.

I am on LJ . . . consider the PM done.