Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table #4: Veneer Thickness

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Blog entry by TungOil posted 02-25-2017 01:25 AM 1509 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: A Visit to the Hardwood Dealer Part 4 of Dining table inspired by the Greene & Greene Thorsen table series Part 5: Veneer Resawing- Bottoms »

With my materials procured, it’s time to start planning the cuts to make the veneers for the table top. If I’m careful, I can plan the cuts to yield all of the veneer used for the top from a single board. This will give me the best grain and color match across the table, especially important when using figured materials.

My table top is designed around 5” wide boards- the veneered cores for each half of the ellipse are made up of seven 5” wide boards totaling 35” and the leaves are each made up of four 5” wide boards totaling 20” wide. The figured material I will be using for the top is 9/4, a little over 6-1/2” wide and 16’ long. This leaves me with two options:

1) Stay with my current design utilizing 5” wide boards. No design changes, but I will have quite a bit of unused material and to get the needed 26 pieces of veneer I will need to resaw a little thinner than I would like.
2) Adjust my design to utilize wider 6” boards. This will require a redesign, but would make better use of the board by utilizing more of the available material. In addition, I would need less veneer pieces to cover the top allowing me to resaw a bit thicker.

My bandsaw has sufficient capacity to resaw either width, but option 1 is more appealing to me since I already placed the order for the CNC templates. Before I can finalize my decision, I need to test out resawing thinner veneers. My 16’ board can be cut into 3 lengths, so I will need to get 9 pieces of veneer from each length. Assuming I have 2” of usable thickness, each veneer will need to be cut to 7/32” thick (veneer + saw kerf).

I ran a quick resaw test on the bandsaw with some scraps of ash I had handy to check the width of the kerf with my resaw blade.

The kerf is a little under 1/16”, not too bad.

I cut two test strips to get a feel for how much material I would need to remove with the drum sander to clean up the bandsaw marks.

My test strips cleaned up just slightly over 1/8”. I was hoping for a little more thickness in the veneers before glue up to give me a bit more meat for final cleanup, but I think I can make this work. The key will be getting very even thickness when I resaw so I don’t have a lot of unevenness to clean up. This will be easier with a 5” finished veneer width than with a 6” width. I will probably incorporate biscuits in the glue up to help with alignment as well.

Next step is to start resawing to produce the veneers. I will start with the veneers for the bottom, which will be cut from some non-figured (and far less expensive) 8/4 sapele. If all goes well with the bottom veneers I will move on to the tops.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

2 comments so far

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1779 days

#1 posted 02-25-2017 02:25 PM

Thanks for the update. This is a fascinating and very detailed process for sure.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4386 days

#2 posted 02-25-2017 11:30 PM

Looks like you’re making progress!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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