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Having problems first time veneering


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I've got this unusual project going on where I'm trying to produce what I'll call veneer wafers. I'm getting raw veneer from mbveneer.com and the goal is to back it with something very thin for support and to have it come out of the clamps perfectly flat, and as thin as possible. Instead of using the pricey stuff I'm first practicing with maple veneer from Woodcraft and using backer from Flagg that I've been told is phenolic, if anyone is familiar with that company; Wilsonart just bought them.

So last night I mate up some .025" backer (pictured below, about 1/3 the thickness of the quarter) with some .020" maple veneer using Unibond800 modified urea resin glue in my newly arrived (!) vacuum bag press. The glue was spread with a 1/16th notched glue spreader, so not too thick but it definitely could've been thinner. After pressing overnight it comes out this morning and immediately curls, and gets more curled with time. The obvious first change in this process to see if I can get the veneer flattened would be to veneer both sides of the backer, which I'll be doing tonight. I got 4" glue roller along with the vacuum bag press so I'll try that out tonight instead of the glue spreader and see what happens. I'd say the glue will go on quite a bit thinner using the roller.

So my question is...what other methods and materials should I look into to produce this ever-elusive veneer wafer I'm after? I don't have any experience using rubber cement but if a form of that could be evenly applied with maybe a spray gun or something I think that might be a process to explore.

I'm all ears.

 

 

backer 99.JPG

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What is the project?  Does it have to be that thin or can you use a harder wood in the center and then have the veneer on each side?  If you are just looking for something extremely thin, then I am not sure.  Unless you can use some type of epoxy that becomes hard so when you clamp it and it dries, it will offer rigidity and not flex like glue does.

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Thanks for the questions Eric.  It's basically a marquetry type project where I'll be using veneer pieces to 'paint' a larger picture.  It'd take some time to describe it all but I'll just say it's a unique process that won't be able to take advantage of traditional marquetry techniques.  If I didn't mention before these veneer sheets will be put into a CNC laser cutter, which means the thinner and flatter the better.

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