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Milling and drying…for veneer

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 01-20-2022 04:45 PM 351 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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leftcoaster

461 posts in 2334 days


01-20-2022 04:45 PM

I have a small (6” diameter) trunk from an apple tree from which I’d like to cut veneers (final thickness 1/16”) for marquetry. A few questions :

Is 6” too small to get anything usable out of?

If I mill it to 8/4 it will take 2 years to air dry. This seems silly since I know I want veneers. How thin is too thin at this stage?


4 replies so far

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splintergroup

6945 posts in 2680 days


#1 posted 01-20-2022 05:53 PM

I’ve done a fair amount of veneers from apricot of similar size, 1/16 is a nice thickness.

I’ll assume you are going to bandsaw the veneers and that requires that the surfaces are flat. You could cut your wood down into planks and let it dry, but you would lose some thickness to the inevitable cupping when you reflatten for the bandsaw.

I’ve found my best yield with just sawing the veneers after I cut the log down the center and create a flat edge to ride on the table.

Normally it seems best to let the veneer peel away on the outside of the blade, moving the fence for each cut. I have no issues with cutting 1/8” slices between the blade and fence. I’ll cut a few, then usually place the log on the belt sander to reflatten before cutting a few more.

Don’t forget that with a 6” diameter, only a few veneers will be that thick (the pith may ruin the widest) and each successive slice will get narrower.

I’ll stack these “wet” veneers between stacks of paper and weigh them down as they will want to to twist and shrink a bit as they dry.

Before use I’ll run them through the drum sander to get a flat surface for gluing.

I also cut 1” thick slabs for general wood use and let these dry. I’ll usually get 1 or 2 veneers of these when I cut them to final project thickness as a “bonus”

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leftcoaster

461 posts in 2334 days


#2 posted 01-20-2022 07:09 PM



I ve done a fair amount of veneers from apricot of similar size, 1/16 is a nice thickness.

I ll assume you are going to bandsaw the veneers and that requires that the surfaces are flat. You could cut your wood down into planks and let it dry, but you would lose some thickness to the inevitable cupping when you reflatten for the bandsaw.

I ve found my best yield with just sawing the veneers after I cut the log down the center and create a flat edge to ride on the table.

Normally it seems best to let the veneer peel away on the outside of the blade, moving the fence for each cut. I have no issues with cutting 1/8” slices between the blade and fence. I ll cut a few, then usually place the log on the belt sander to reflatten before cutting a few more.

Don t forget that with a 6” diameter, only a few veneers will be that thick (the pith may ruin the widest) and each successive slice will get narrower.

I ll stack these “wet” veneers between stacks of paper and weigh them down as they will want to to twist and shrink a bit as they dry.

Before use I ll run them through the drum sander to get a flat surface for gluing.

I also cut 1” thick slabs for general wood use and let these dry. I ll usually get 1 or 2 veneers of these when I cut them to final project thickness as a “bonus”

- splintergroup

Thank you for this very thoughtful reply! So it sounds like sawing to 1/8” while green and then drying/sanding to 1/16” is a good path to try. If I only had (room for) a drum sander!

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splintergroup

6945 posts in 2680 days


#3 posted 01-20-2022 11:23 PM

Yeah, they can get “lumpy” as they dry as some areas have more moisture than others. I generally figure on a 50% reduction in thickness, though usually it is less.

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shipwright

8816 posts in 4256 days


#4 posted 01-21-2022 02:03 AM

This blog entry details how I cut some pepper wood about that size.
https://www.lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/40311

-- 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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