Learning veneer #5: Better Miters

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I feel I am getting a little better at it.

I noticed my miter were problematic because of the way I was using the veneer saw /scalpel to do the cut. I was holding it at an angle to the right. I was effectively putting a bevel to the piece.

Also with the knife, as I was cutting and getting closer to my body, I would actually cut away from the ruler towards the right.
The other thing I noticed is my ruler moved during the cut. it happens when the knife get closer to the finger holding the ruler. Instinctively I moved my hand and the ruler shifts a little.

I am also wasting a ton of glue as I am putting to much on. From the original 5 pounds I bought I am doing to about 3… I need to feel the glue.

I will get the hang of it with practice.

The gap in the center middle square is due to a bad estimation of the veneer overlap.

I cut the outer gray band across the grain to save veneer.
2 problems happened with that.
-The veneer expanded and started to have small bumps/ripples.
In the middle where the 2 pieces joined they actually pushed on each over like a reverse v

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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Thanks Paul! I have 2 bars like that sitting in the corner. I was going to use them for a home made CNC 5 years ago but I fried my electronic (controller) on first start up; that took the power supply with it too (:-
It turned out I had shorted the pin on the driver during soldering.

Thanks L/W. Steel ruler with cork on the bottom are available at Michaels a block away from work. I bought one sometimes ago for drafting. I also saw they had shorter ones while I was looking for the big fat ruler.
I have experienced the knife jump few times but luckily no harm.

This is a new field for me and I am pretty excited.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

You’re making very quick progress. You’re a fast learner with good skills.

Steel rulers with cork on the bottom will keep your rulers from slipping. I’ve had mine for about 40 years but would expect that they are still available at art supply stores. They give exceptional accuracy and are easy to keep from slipping with only gentle touch. Just as Paul said, lighter strokes is the answer for accuracy and not having the blade slip and jump the metal straightedge. I learned that from seeing some pretty nasty cuts on others who attempted to place too much pressure in just one or two passes. My cutting using this method in the past has been mostly on mat board, but I use the same technique now when cutting thin pieces of wood.

Another thought: you might also just glue a thin strip of cork on the bottom of your ruler.

Keep up your good work and blog. We’re learning from you.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Check this out. As close as HD and cheap. I’m betting that if you cut it in half and fastened the pieces back to back it would be really straight. If it wasn’t …. It’s aluminium. You can joint it.

-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I saw one in this marquetry video but have not found it at my local craft store. I can’t say I looked very hard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jof5gsgTDZQ

Wow Bently! The seams are all tight alright. Great work.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Your getting there lanwater.
I’m not very traditional in my methods. I made a jig and used the router to cut my pcs.

Pretty busy bar, but the seams are all tight. (At least they were, Haven’t seen the bar for 15 years or so.)

……….You do know that there are metal straight edges made for knife work that have a spine to protect your fingers……..
Here’s one http://www.keencut.com/uk/products/accessories/straight-edges.aspx
You could also just super glue a bit of cheap aluminium angle (Home Depot) to the top of your metal rule.

-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Thanks Paul!

I have been scared to thin it too much. I do add a tiny amount when I feel the viscosity changed.

I am going just to spend more time on “feeling” the glue. I think it’s important I get more comfortable with it.

I did start with 3 to 4 strokes but I must confessed I switched to 1 light then 1 hard :)

Thanks Mike.

I started with wood but with water and glue contact I noticed it bowed a little. That’s why I went to the steel one.
You are absolutely right: Thicker and wider will help alleviate my “fear”.
When the knife jump on the steel (it happened to this guy here) it travels much more. Whereas on the wood ruler it sinks in the wood which acts like a break.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

It looks to me that you are picking up on this very fast Abbas. I had problems with the wandering ruler too, although I used a straight edged piece of wood to guide my veneer saw. I found that It helps a lot if you can clamp down one end of the ruler/guide when possible and use your free hand to hold down the other end while you cut. I think a piece of wood is better than a ruler for 3 reasons: (1) the wood can be a lot thicker than a ruler and therefore easier to keep your saw tight to the edge of the guide at 90 deg. (2) A wooden guide can be much wider and therefore make it easier to keep your fingers further away from the cutting edge for safety. (3) Wood clamps better than thin steel.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

You are learning fast. This looks much better. I think your glue may be too thick. Just a guess but it is the most common “rookie” mistake and you speak of using too much and having bubbles and ripples, both indications that you may have it too thick. Try to iron out the bubbles and ripples after the glue has cooled. If they are just air you may be OK but if they are full of glue that comes out of the cracks when you iron, then you likely have too much glue in there and that is likely because it is too thick.
If your knife is wandering, try more strokes with less pressure. Patience is a virtue here. Don’t be too hard on yourself either. This is not simple hammer veneering you are doing. It takes time to get all the nuances right.
You’re doing great!

-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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