20 Apr. 2009|
How to apply wood veneer to curved surface,furniture plan maker,small workbench diy - .
Veneer pros discuss vacuum bag and other techniques for making veneer conform to a three-dimensional surface like the gauge panel of a Jaguar automobile dashboard.
I seem to remember a Fine Woodworking article about applying veneer on a demilune table and having the veneer wrap around the curved table edge. Contributor J, you have a good memory, as your description of how it was done in that FWW article is pretty close to how I did it. By the way, the veneer I used on that table in the article was birdseye maple, which works fairly well. I would go in a spiral pattern, as you shouldn't be able to bend the veneer, but little by little you can achieve this look. If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. After gluing up the core and veneer with epoxy and bagging the part, the guy sucked out a good volume of air, then stopped the pump. The veneer could be almost flat with a pile of molded resin on top of it to give it that 3D look. I have some fleece backed bamboo veneer, but I'm sure it's not the same thing as this is thick and would break easily.
The thing I would add to what you said is to wipe the veneer with a wet sponge in the area where the veneer has to do the three dimensional bending. I have 10 years experience in automotive wood trim manufacture, both at Bentley and currently at Rolls-Royce. Judicious application of a rubber roller started compressing the tiny creases that resulted. With a little practice and patience I think almost anyone could successfully veneer the dashboard shown in this post. The way we do it, using unbacked 0.5mm thick veneer, is either by a die pressing method which uses a high pressure die press and corresponding male and female tools, or using a membrane pressing method which uses a liquid glue and a lower temperature than the die press, which is around 140°C. This is standard thickness wood veneer which folds down perfectly into the circular gauge bevels with almost no cracking. Lay thin strips of wood across the glued surface of the ply, then position your veneer on top of the wooden lats. The key here is the fleece backing and the flexing, which allows the veneer to conform to these various curves without breaking.
You are also right that burls do this better than regular grained wood, especially walnut burl.
There should be around 15% moisture content in the veneer, and burr veneers work more readily than straight grain veneers, which tend just to split. Sometimes I wonder if that's why almost all dashboards and car components are in this particular veneer. I believe that this is knowledge that only an apprentice or a very determined person should learn. After the epoxy kicked, the bag was removed and the resulting lumps were sanded smooth by hand, yielding an apparently acceptable result (or judicious Photoshopping - one never can tell). The entire part is obviously made of different pieces of veneer (the top for instance), but the gauge aspect are complete, continuous veneer.
Then cut a small enough hole where you want the hole to be (above the hole in the ply) and start to go around the edges with your veneering hammer, pressing the veneer down.
Being that burl is mostly end-grain no matter how you slice it, it's amazing how much it will stretch.