Cutting brittle veneer

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Project by daveintexas posted 10-18-2007 08:16 PM 3222 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the short time I have been on this forum, I have gleaned alot of interesting ideas, so I thought I would share one with y’all.
I have been working with veneer for the past two years and am constantly looking for ways to improve effecientcy and quality. I have tried lots of different tools for cutting veneer, such as the veneer saw, exacto knives, hand chisels (ala Paul Schurch), utility knives, etc.
I came across a paper cutter at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and thought I would give it a try. It works great !! I think it has to do with the cutting action going more downward, similar to a guilitene.

( Pic #1) I had some left over backer veneer, that was very brittle, it would split if the wind blew.

(pic #2) I taped the ends, put it into the cutter and sliced it.

(pic #3) And as you can see, very clean edge.

Took all of 30 seconds to tape it up and cut it. Best of all clean edges with no spits.
I think where this thing will really excell is in cutting small pieces for inlay work.
Thanks for letting me share.

14 comments so far

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5150 days

#1 posted 10-18-2007 08:40 PM

Great tip. Thanks!

I’ve also eyed the hand held cutters with a sharp circular cutter head (like a small pizza cutter) and the cutting mats in the fabric/craft section at Wal-mart. Has anyone tried one of those on long straight veneer cuts?

-- Paul, Kentucky

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5093 days

#2 posted 10-18-2007 09:35 PM

Have you tried cutting with the grain? How does it work then? I have a papercutter that is doing nothing in our house but gathering dust….I could re-task it down in the shop.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5275 days

#3 posted 10-18-2007 10:09 PM

Thanks, Dave! If you’ve been following the projects, you might have noticed I was just looking for some tips on this.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 5125 days

#4 posted 10-18-2007 11:33 PM

Don’t want to speak for Dave, but I’ve tried the paper cutter with the grain and it was much less reliable than cross cuts. Across the grain was great. Maybe a very sharp blade could rip better. Might try again sometime.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5123 days

#5 posted 10-18-2007 11:50 PM

Thanks Dave for sharing the cutting tip. I’ve not tired veneer yet, but it’s on my to do list.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 4933 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 02:00 AM

Paul- I use that tool you are talking about. I purchased one at a fabric store , and it is one of my favorite cutters. I bought one made by Fiskers (sp).

Tom- as previously stated the paper cutter works super on cross cuts, but is just fair on rip cuts. I prefer a straight edge and either the wheel cutter or linoleum knife that has been scary sharpend.

Thanks all

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6874 posts in 5037 days

#7 posted 04-30-2008 02:33 PM

Dave this is quite funny.

I have a project in the works, using veneer, and have pictures that look like yours.

I went to an office supply store about a month ago, and purchased a paper cutter for the same purpose.

I found if you tape both sides of the veneer and use a board to hold the veneer tight to the cutter, it splits the veneer much less.

I concluded it was easier and faster for me to do it using a scalpel. (it’s what I’m used to, and since I’m an old dog…)


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View romansfivefive's profile


302 posts in 4830 days

#8 posted 05-27-2008 10:12 PM

great ideas, thanks for sharing everyone.

-- The CNC machine can either produce the work of art you imagined, or very decorative firewood.

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4771 days

#9 posted 05-27-2008 10:16 PM

Nice tip! thanks for posting your ideas!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4943 days

#10 posted 05-28-2008 12:24 AM

Thanks for the tip!!!! Great post!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5383 days

#11 posted 05-28-2008 01:40 AM

great tip, thanks for taking the time to share it.

View FRITZ's profile


81 posts in 4656 days

#12 posted 08-18-2008 03:04 PM

The paper cutter works great ,if ever in need of veneer fell free to look me up
Thanks Fritz

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5371 days

#13 posted 08-18-2008 03:11 PM

...wonder if it will work with 4X8 sheets of plywood….

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4794 days

#14 posted 02-08-2009 08:02 AM

You might try softening the veneer first so that it will be more pliable. You can also flatten the veneer at the same time.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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