Veneer & Finish Sample Walnut

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Project by Waldschrat posted 01-19-2011 11:55 AM 1964 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I thought this might interest some of those guys out there who are into doing some veneer work
This one is Walnut with Pear wood. With the High Gloss finish.

This kind of work is special and a bit tricky because the border pieces of veneer and the inside (four rectangles) are bookmatched at 45° and the inside and outside are matched so that they line up at the corners. One wrong cut and its sort of ruined, because all the pieces are behind one another in the stack of veneer and its difficult to get another piece to match just like the original one. Still would look good, but just not 100% perfect.

I have a special tool that I made as an apprentice to cut the strips of pear wood that seperate the walnut… Its basically a block of beech with a “mortised out” square on the side/bottom that had two nails pounded in. The nails line up with razor blades that I can put in with small plexi-glass pieces that fit inside this mortise, and serve as distance holders for the razor blades, I use a guide wood to keep the strips of wood straight when I cut them.

When sanding such pieces of work (with different directions of veneer or solid wood) its important to keep in mind the direction of grain. Such things one can only really sand by hand with patience and practice…. did I mention patience?

The other special thing with this sample work is the finish. Its High Gloss 2 component varnish. After sanding, the wood is then filled in with filling varnish, then sanded then filled again, then sanded, then varnished with the High Gloss, sanded again (always finer as the coats of varnish build up). The last two coats are sprayed “wet in wet”; sprayed, let set for a 15 min then sprayed again, to speed up the processs a bit. The High gloss is then left for a few days 4 -5 to harden out. Then its sanded with 1500 grit wet, then polished with first the mittel fine wet polish paste (grit unknown) then with the fine metal – machine polish paste (from 3M the one with the blue tip)

I have been told that with high gloss finishes, the human eye can identify and pick out small imperfections that are around 1/1000 th of a millimeter (about 1/100th of a piece of paper)! Especially when there is a light source such as daylight.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

7 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4475 days

#1 posted 01-19-2011 12:22 PM

Amazing, Nicholas! Patience being the key word here! It takes patience just to explain all of the steps!
Your journeyman training is truly fantastic. I have no doubt you will be great when you are done and ready to carry on the traditions.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Schwieb's profile


1895 posts in 4023 days

#2 posted 01-19-2011 01:26 PM

Nicholas, Patience is the virtue that sets average apart from excellent. I’m jealous of the journeyman training you have experienced. Phantastisch Arbeit!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3677 days

#3 posted 01-19-2011 02:29 PM

beautyfull veneer samples and amazing finish
you are truly a craftman in your own legue
thank´s for sharing it with us

take care

View shipwright's profile


8412 posts in 3359 days

#4 posted 01-19-2011 08:28 PM

Very nice. I’m into grain matches myself so I understand the degree of difficulty.


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View levan's profile


472 posts in 3541 days

#5 posted 01-19-2011 09:03 PM

Beautiful samples. Patience and perfection do go together. Thanks for sharing.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3391 days

#6 posted 01-20-2011 01:46 AM

Appealing samples. Thanks for posting these. Just happend to think about finishes and acceptable and achievable quality myself again lately. I’ve tried various things and come to accept that certain things just don’t work with certain approaches and for perfect surfaces like the one in your photo you do need a working production setup to have it turn out like that.
Now that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of work involved, but especially when it comes to modern finishes there is a certain way to get the desired results and approaching it differently brings less than satisfying results if you are trying for perfection.

Which is one of the reasons I’m using shellac, but in a modern production with mostly 0.6mm thin veneer on chipboard a hard and durable finish is more important than a repairable one.

Anyway, excuse my rambling. Would you happen to have any photos of the self-made tool you mentioned? Also might I ask if your workplace has a homepage or if there is any more info on it?

Again, thanks for posting these.


View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3997 days

#7 posted 01-20-2011 09:13 PM

Horst Peter, Yeah, I can post a pic of the my veneer strip making tool… As far as a homepage of where I work, yes and no, I am currently in school, AGAIN, so I made these in school. I can send you the link if you are interested for the school webpage…

believe it or not, I am actually going back to work in log building, after my I recieve “Meisterbrief.” Its not exactly what I am trained for by trade but it pays the bills and I thinks its fun! They have a web site (the log building company). We make there Full Scribe Log homes.after my I recieve “Meisterbrief.”

And The shop where I work in to do my cabinetmaking stuff for my self, is well, run by a master who does not have much to do with computers or websites. Old School you know. He is full of wisdom that has been forgotten by many modern masters because of constraints of time and quality.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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