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need advise on mixing veneer thickness in marquetry

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Forum topic by ronmccormack posted 05-18-2018 06:54 PM 1988 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ronmccormack

8 posts in 827 days


05-18-2018 06:54 PM

Ive been doing marquetry for a bit now and have decided to start cutting my own veneers. I like the thicker veneers
for doing marquetry work. however access to stock is somewhat limited, especially burls and some of the more exotic
species. I was wondering how people have approached this problem when using shop sawn veneers in conjunction with commercially sliced veneer. I general use the French method of gluing face down on paper but then what, scrap it flush? that seems somewhat silly to cut thicker veneer just to scrap all of it away. any tips would be helpful.


8 replies so far

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Loren

10477 posts in 4070 days


#1 posted 05-18-2018 07:20 PM

You can try pressing with a couple of layers of
canvas between the platen and the plastic on
top.

I’ve been doing tests on veneer and found that
the canvas could press modest thickness variations.
I also had an adhesion failure where I did that and an
impression was left on the substrate where the
thicker veneer was. I’ve stopped using that
substrate and had better luck since, but I’m still
figuring things out.

I’m using a mechanical press so I can crank it down
pretty hard. A vacuum press may not perform as
well on such a test. I also have some silicone mats
that seem to have a bit of give to them, in addition
to being glue resistant. They pick up grime in the
shop like crazy but I think a clean one might be worth
testing to see if it could even out pressure when
pressing.

Chances are you’ll have to do some sort of thickness
sanding to get your sawn veneers at least ballpark
close enough to use a canvas pad successfully.
Back in the day sawn veneers were worked with
a toothing plane to remove saw marks and make
the surfaces glue-able and parallel enough for
pressing.

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TheFridge

10858 posts in 1908 days


#2 posted 05-18-2018 10:01 PM

Fellow LJ Shipwright is also a wealth of info on marquetry.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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GR8HUNTER

6231 posts in 1135 days


#3 posted 05-20-2018 02:43 AM



Fellow LJ Shipwright is also a wealth of info on marquetry.

- TheFridge


+1 ^^^^^^^:<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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shipwright

8320 posts in 3220 days


#4 posted 05-21-2018 03:12 PM

I understand your dilemma only too well. There is no really good solution other than finding the exotics in thick sawn veneer somewhere or looking harder to find pieces to saw in the shop. Trying to glue up varied thickness with compressible padding has serious shortcomings if there is much difference in the thicknesses. *
-I bought a large supply of 1/16” sawn veneer in Paris but that is not an inexpensive alternative.
-I have also found some very hard to find pieces to shop saw by searching lots of suppliers online.
-Hide glues can give an almost indiscernable glue line if you double up thinner veneers and happen to sand through.

However you do it it is fairly important to get the marquetry fairly even on the glue side before pressing to the substrate because if you don’t you will be sanding a lot more off some pieces than others on the good side and that will remove or reduce any sand shading you have done.

  • The problem with compressible pads (I like foam insulation board) is that in marquetry there are often thin sharp points or corners where even the best pads won’t press the tiny tip down. The result will be a slightly elevated tip with glue build up under it. When you sand that tip will be sanded off requiring major repair. Please don’t ask me how I know this.
    Sorry I can’t help.

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

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ronmccormack

8 posts in 827 days


#5 posted 06-04-2018 01:16 AM

Thank you for the replies everybody, shipwright. that is the answer I was afraid to hear. I’m increasingly becoming frustrated with the thin veneer, but I don’t want to limit my palette of colors by only using the exotics I can buy locally. I have thought of doubling the veneers up with glue, maybe i’ll try that on a small project.

what do you think about using hide glue mastic to build up the thinner areas? would this shrink to much and pull the marquetry apart?

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shipwright

8320 posts in 3220 days


#6 posted 06-04-2018 01:26 AM

Shrinkage isn’t the issue. Sanding through is the issue. When pieces aren’t thick enough the sharp points tend to cause problems. Better to stick with fairly close thicknesses. That said I have used doubled 1/32” Poplar alongside 1/16” exotics. The Poplar was laminated with hide glue and pressed. It even sand shaded without damage.

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

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ronmccormack

8 posts in 827 days


#7 posted 06-07-2018 01:46 AM

that’s good to know, i’ve been thinking of doubling up but wondered how it would shade, its good to see that’s an option. since if got your attention ive got a couple other questions. I assume you’ve read pierre ramonds books on marquetry. there are sections in there where he describes how flowers were cut in super imposition, and then the the saw kerf’s closed. what does he mean by closing the saw kerf, compressing it? My other question is inregards to a heated marquetry press I would like to build. Ive checked out yours and you use pretty thick cauls. I cant really get ahold of stuff that thick and I have seen videos on flattening veneer using 1/16” plates. I have 1/16” readily available, I was just wondering if you think this would be sufficient if backed by secondary wood plates, or even double or triple the metal. your thoughts?

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shipwright

8320 posts in 3220 days


#8 posted 06-07-2018 05:39 AM

If you are referring to the éclaté flower cuts, yes it means compressed but it is a very tricky and difficult process. It became more or less unnecessary when they began cutting in piece by piece style where you can produce marquetry with no kerfs in the first place.
When I built my press I bought the 1/2” cauls and they are great …... but totally unnecessary. I now use 1/8” all the time and in a pinch I have successfully used flexible sheet metal on curves, backed up by padding and a shaped wooden caul of course. The glue line is so thin it takes very little to reheat it.
Funny, I was just explaining and demonstrating hot cauls in a class today.

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

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