Box making Curved Front Box #6: Veneer work stalled SOS need help

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 11-14-2013 06:01 AM 1594 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Cutting the box open Part 6 of Box making Curved Front Box series Part 7: Veneer work recommences »

I have two pieces of Tasmanian Blackwood veneer available to use on the Curved front Box

The problem is guess I do not know how to go about it,

I don’t want to waste the veneer by cutting it up incorrectly but in the same I don’t fully understand how to select a suitable piece.

Does it start from the front wrap around the left and right sides and meet at the back as a join?
Next what determines the aspect for the top of the Lid?

You obviously don’t “just slap it on!” without some consideration to grain flow.

I can only assume it commences at the most attractive face and flows away?
Meaning you would select a balanced front image and then have it disappearing or vanishing to the back.

I mulled over whether or not you use both pieces, but again it all became too hard and I decided to have a beer and think about it.

Wishing I would hopefully get an inspiration so I had a beer but no inspiration appeared, I did however feel a bit more relaxed.

But still no magical answer.

To hell with it I thought and will wait for another day, then I had a sudden thought maybe, just maybe there is a LJ with the answer to it or a possible solution that they may like to provide me with?

Any thoughts?

Meanwhile I thought that I would commence flattening the veneer ready for use, but even that is on hold due to not knowing which sections to use

I don’t often get stuck but it looks like history has been made and I need to ask for help.

Facts: The veneer I have available is Tasmanian Blackwood, its in 2 x sheets/strips 2.4m x 200mm x (I assume 0.6mm) so there is plenty of it but there are the typical splits extending up to 200mm from each end.

-- Regards Rob

6 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile


2972 posts in 3011 days

#1 posted 11-14-2013 06:51 AM

Rob, I have never done veneer work but for my 2 bobs worth I would start with the wavy section, just up from the bottom of the photos and use that for the front. IMHO. that is best part. Then I would use the lowest piece for the left side of the box and continue wrapping around the right side and rear I would make the join on the L/H rear corner.
Like I said, IMHO.

Best of luck,
Bob. PS, I would have had a couple of beers.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View shipwright's profile


8717 posts in 3883 days

#2 posted 11-14-2013 02:43 PM

If the two pieces are in sequence you can get matches at all four corners by using both pieces. The choice of layout is an artistic one however and will ultimately be up to you.

How are you planning to apply the veneer to the curve (or the flats for that matter)? If you are using PVA glue you will need a matching caul and some rubbery pad material to clamp with. You don’t need cauls or clamps at all of course with hot hide glue as you can hammer curved surfaces but I wouldn’t recommend a curve as a place to start learning about HHG. ..... :-)

I’m sure you have it all planned out. I’ll be watching for your results.

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

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4419 days

#3 posted 11-14-2013 03:58 PM

This will be a great learning experience for you Robert and well as for those of us who also haven’t got a clue. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how you handle it. I feel confident judging by your other work that you will find a good solution.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View robscastle's profile


7880 posts in 3289 days

#4 posted 11-14-2013 08:08 PM

OK I have spent hours trolling information on the net and slept on it all restlessly I might add.

This is what I intend to do.

1 Apply a featureless finishing veneer to the front faces and top of the lid. This is to ensure that the profile of the laminations do not transmit through.

2. Make come card template profiles of the front sides and back ant then shuffle them around the two pieces of veneer sheets in an attempt to produce a “perfect” match.

3. Make a mirror image profile caul of the front curved surface and then use some anti vibration material from an air conditioning company I used to work next to as a mediun in between then clamp evert thing together, sound a bit crude but I hope it works.

4. The base veneer will serve two purposes a, it will prove my method and b, remove the possibility regarding profile marks transmitting through.

If it dosn’t work I have not cionsumed any featured veneer.

The glue I will use will be Titebond III as from reading last night it will provide a suitable result.

I have hide glue and will do a test run on a small sample which I want to use to perfect the final trim, that in itself is also creating concerns as Tasmanian Blackwood is recommended for bending but the preliminary results yesterday were very disappointing to me.

I will have to message rogerbean again and ask some more detailed information as to how to go about it.
If that is unclear have a look at Rogers Shaped front walnut Burl Man Box as a guide as to what I have possibly foolishly taken on.

Comfort Zone: I feel like I have positioned myself over a cliff held by my big toe!

However I will get there though even if I have to stop and go do something else meanwhile to rebuild my confidence.

Thanks for the support and guidance.

-- Regards Rob

View shipwright's profile


8717 posts in 3883 days

#5 posted 11-14-2013 09:06 PM

Do you know this trick? It will give you, as Gene says, a “no end in sight” match on all four corners. Of course it works just as well on sequenced veneer as on the resawn solid wood in Gene’s blog.

Sounds like you are off on n adventure.

A couple of references.

Hammer veneering

An example of a hammered curved surface

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

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3915 days

#6 posted 11-14-2013 10:28 PM

Good luck! We’re all cheering for you. Can’t wait for the next installment. . .

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

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