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Old 27th September 2012, 12:47 AM   #1
toobhed is offline toobhed  United States
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Default veneer noob question

Hi Folks,

I recently veneered my third set of speakers and am frankly disappointed in the results. I'm glad that cheaper Band-It veneer from the hardware store was used on my first two sets, but was expecting much better this time with a more expensive and nicer looking Paudak veneer.

While I've learned to build amps and speakers fairly quickly over the years, it seems finishing/veneering is a much flatter and slower learning curve.

I decided not to use the Band-It veneer trimmer this time around (horrific results on a pair of sub woofs), but instead used an exacto blade/knife. Contact cement, a scraper and iron completed this project's construction ensemble.

I'm still having problems with cross-grain cuts despite changing the blade frequently, though it looks worse in these photos than "in person." I need to improve my technique as I have 3 other sheets of nice African Bubinga, SouthAmerican Rosewood and some burl whose name I forget...yes, I went nuts at the veneer store!

I'm scoring several passes before the final cut and the only thing I can think of is that my #2 exacto blades are too pointy for cross grain cuts....should I try a rounded edge blade? ....it did feel like my blade was going over speed bumps on the paduak.

Pictured below is the easiest and best looking finish I've ever used: a jelly form of polyurethane/tong oil/mineral spirit blend which I applied once with a rag.

Despite the untidy edges, I'm glad I used nicer veneer this time as I've concluded that a mediocre/poor job with nicer veneer still looks better that that with cheaper veneer.

Any tips for better cross grain trims or anything else? I appreciate all of you whose posts I read before this most recent attempt and I hope my fourth, fifth and sixth attempts improve. Thanks!

Regards,
Mario
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Old 27th September 2012, 02:07 AM   #2
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Its quite a skill getting veneer right, the edges can be a nightmare.
This is why I use thin carpet to cover my enclosures. All the carpet edges can be turned over and neatly stapled down. So long as I get the edges straight it usually works out OK.
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Old 27th September 2012, 05:42 AM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobhed View Post
Hi Folks,

I recently veneered my third set of speakers and am frankly disappointed in the results. I'm glad that cheaper Band-It veneer from the hardware store was used on my first two sets, but was expecting much better this time with a more expensive and nicer looking Paudak veneer.

While I've learned to build amps and speakers fairly quickly over the years, it seems finishing/veneering is a much flatter and slower learning curve.

I decided not to use the Band-It veneer trimmer this time around (horrific results on a pair of sub woofs), but instead used an exacto blade/knife. Contact cement, a scraper and iron completed this project's construction ensemble.

I'm still having problems with cross-grain cuts despite changing the blade frequently, though it looks worse in these photos than "in person." I need to improve my technique as I have 3 other sheets of nice African Bubinga, SouthAmerican Rosewood and some burl whose name I forget...yes, I went nuts at the veneer store!

I'm scoring several passes before the final cut and the only thing I can think of is that my #2 exacto blades are too pointy for cross grain cuts....should I try a rounded edge blade? ....it did feel like my blade was going over speed bumps on the paduak.

Pictured below is the easiest and best looking finish I've ever used: a jelly form of polyurethane/tong oil/mineral spirit blend which I applied once with a rag.

Despite the untidy edges, I'm glad I used nicer veneer this time as I've concluded that a mediocre/poor job with nicer veneer still looks better that that with cheaper veneer.

Any tips for better cross grain trims or anything else? I appreciate all of you whose posts I read before this most recent attempt and I hope my fourth, fifth and sixth attempts improve. Thanks!

Regards,
Mario
perhaps it's considered cheating, but part of my "success" is probably due to using flexible paper backed veneers, and the iron-on yellow wood glue method (yellow glue cross links and hardens stiffer than white glue, and I find makes for better work of the trimming)

for cross grain cuts I leave about 1/4" overhang, slightly crease along the edges with a hard sanding block and 150G paper to break the top surface of veneer grain, and trim off with a 2" wood chisel, slicing "down" in short semi-circular strokes - then follow up with an overall sanding and the finishing
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Old 27th September 2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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Default Edges

I always try to avoid the edges and use my router to cut out 19 mm ( or 12 mm ) square for 1/4 rounded edges . In the pictures of my latest Tannoys ( 3808 Puma's converted to 3839's , Sounds fantastic ! ) I used Tasmanian oak edges with the American Cherry Veneer . High gloss finish ( thanks to the wife , 6 layers and greatly improved the WAF !) They look and sound great !
Make sure your router bit is very sharp !

Cheers Rens
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Old 27th September 2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobhed View Post
Any tips for better cross grain trims or anything else?
Cut from the reverse side with the veneer resting on a firm support. Don't cut flush, but allow a mm or so extra that you can then gently sand back.
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Old 27th September 2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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You might try a veneer saw like this Veneer Saw - Rockler Woodworking Tools

as you can see it is a very affordable tool that lets you crosscut very close to the mating edge and sand back to finish.
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Old 27th September 2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinahcc20 View Post
You might try a veneer saw like this Veneer Saw - Rockler Woodworking Tools

as you can see it is a very affordable tool that lets you crosscut very close to the mating edge and sand back to finish.
He's right, use a veneer saw. Rockler is not the only source, BTW. They're relatively cheap, don't have a set on the teeth, and will let you cut close.
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Old 27th September 2012, 08:56 PM   #8
toobhed is offline toobhed  United States
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Thank you Gents! will take these recommendations and report back when I finish veneering TABAQ folded TL. I'll try a veneer saw and even if I end up using an exacto blade, it will be rounded. I won't trim flush but will sand off the last millimeter or two.
Mario
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Old 28th September 2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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Veneer saw all the way - forget the exacto knife if you want proper cuts.

And don't forget to sand the veneer before applying the finish. I'd start with 120 grit, then move up the grits finishing with 180. You could go to 220 grit, but I don't bother as the surface is smooth enough with 180 grit. And use a sanding block.

Then brush the dust off, tack cloth to get the rest of the tiny stuff off, then apply the finish.
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Old 28th September 2012, 07:06 PM   #10
Einric is offline Einric  United States
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I used a lock back razor knife.
I just allowed my contact cement to set and then flipped the speaker over on a large piece of MDF.
Then I made 3-4 passes cutting flush and lightly sanded once the final cut was made.
I used raw 1/42" veneer of multiple types and it worked well.
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