JoeWoodworker Veneer
The Official Website of this Non-Professional Woodworker ™

Part 1

Veneering Basics

14 Good Reasons
Vacuum Press Uses
Vacuum Press Options

Questions & Answers
Part 2a (Option 1 of 2)
Project: V2 Venturi Press

About Project: V2
Parts List
Build the Manifold
Build the Reservoirs
Assemble the Venturi
Make the Carrier
Wire the Press
Testing and Adjusting
Mods and Options
Part 2b (Option 2 of 2)
Project: EVS Pump Press

About Project: EVS
Parts List
Pump Selection
Build the Manifold
Build the Sub-Manifold
Build the Reservoirs
Make the Carrier
Final Assembly
Wire the Press
Testing and Adjusting
Mods and Options
Part 3
Vacuum Bagging

Vacuum Bag Basics
Polyurethane vs. Vinyl
DIY Vacuum Bags (A)
DIY Vacuum Bags (B)
DIY Vacuum Bags (C)
Connect the Bag
Bag Closures
Breather Mesh
DIY Frame Press

Part 4
Veneer Information

About Veneer
Veneering Myths
Backer Veneer

Veneer Glues
Veneering Tips
Substrate Materials
Flattening Veneers
A Sharp Veneer Saw
Jointing Veneers
Taping Veneers
Dealing with Defects
Curing Glued Panels
Veneering w/o Vacuum
Hammer Veneering
Iron-On Veneering
Veneer Storage
Amazing Bookmatches
Copper Veneer Guide
Paperbacked Veneer

Edgebanding Guide

Part 5
Miscellaneous Info

Vacuum Forming
Vacuum Chucking
Vacuum Clamping
Vacuum Clamp Matrix
Vacuum Infusing
DIY Vacuum Manifold
JWW Visitors' Vacs
Veneer Quality
Veneering FAQ
Veneer Glue FAQ
The Vac FAQ
Copper Veneer FAQ
Downloads (PDF's)

Vacuum Veneering - Tips, Tricks, and More

Veneer Seams: Making Large Panels from Small Veneers

It's becoming hard to find highly figured veneers in large sizes. You'll often find it necessary to join two or more pieces of veneer together to make up a large panel. The good news is that this method can reveal some amazing results that can only be achieved with veneer. Using the right tools, the process is simple and nearly fool-proof. In the picture below, four sheets of a lesser grade walnut burl veneer are quad matched to achieve a visually appealing effect. Even the most mundane veneers offer stunning character potential.

Walnut Burl Veneer Image

Part 1: Edge Trimming

You can use any number of methods to prepare the veneers for edge to edge joining. The method you choose may depend upon factors such as the thickness/quality of the veneer and the size of the seam. For some joints, you can clamp the veneer(s) between two boards and trim the edges with a flush trimming router bit, low angle block plane, or even a stationary jointer.

However, for most veneer seams the best method requires a decent veneer saw. You'll find these saws exceptionally easy to use. They are made for right handed users and though I am a lefty, I've found little difficulty in using my right hand for the work. It's a good idea to verify that you have the correct grind on the veneer saw before you begin. Click here for more information regarding blade grinds.

Start with two flat pieces of veneer. For more information on flattening veneers, click here. Ideally, these veneers should be taken in the order in which they were sliced from the log. This is often referred to as sequential order which is what most veneer suppliers offer.

For the most pleasing effect, the veneers should be laid side by side with one veneer face up and the other face down (with the same edges touching each other). This is called book matching. This way, one veneer is mirroring the other. For straight grained veneers, this minimizes the visual effect of using multiple veneers to lay up a single panel. If you are using a figured veneer (especially a burl veneer), book matching can yield some intriguing and hidden patterns.

The Veneer Sawing Technique

Place a ¾" straight-edged piece of MDF, plywood, or hardwood over the "keeper" side (in other words, you are sawing off the waste side of the veneer). For a clean joint line, it is imperative that the straight-edge be absolutely true.

The saw is designed to cut on the pull stroke only. Start in front of the veneer so the blade is already in motion when it comes in contact with the veneer. Place adequate pressure downward on saw and be certain to keep it pressed against the straight-edge. It typically takes 4 to 7 passes with most species to cut through a veneer. Keep the saw moving past the veneer so the ends are cut cleanly. This method has always given me perfect results. I've tried razor knives and never got the same clean cut as the saw.

Using A Veneer Saw

The straight edge I am using in this example is piece of walnut that has been passed across my jointer. It has a nice, clean edge. I placed some 100 grit self adhesive sandpaper on the bottom side of the board to help keep the veneers from shifting while being cut.

If you are not sure about your straightedge or the veneer pieces are very large, you can place the two veneers with one slightly overlapping the other (both facing up) and saw a straight line down the middle. Your straightedge will not have to be perfect because you will be sawing reciprocal parts at the same time. Just saw lightly so the keeper piece on the opposite side of the straightedge doesn't tear up. Click here for a drawing of this technique.

Helpful Ideas
I use a very high quality veneer saw made by Two Cherries in Germany. I sharpen my veneer saw with an oil stone as described here. These saws are available (pre-sharpened) at Click here for more information.

  Two Cherries Veneer Saw

Frequently Use Veneering Words or Phrases

Book Matching - Laying up two or more veneers side by side with opposite faces showing. This method can yield some amazing results with figured and burl veneers.

Book Matched Veneer

Slip Matching - Laying up two of more veneers side by side with the same face showing on each. This is often done on quartersawn veneers to eliminate the barber pole effect in which light reflects differently from every other piece of veneer in the lay up.

Slip Matched Veneer

Butt Matching - Laying up two or more veneers end to end with opposite faces showing.

Butt Matched Veneer

Quad Matching - A combination of book matching and butt matching in which four or more veneers are laid up side by side and end to end. As with book matching, this can create the most interesting patterns.

Quad Matched Veneer

Sunburst Layup - A process of cutting veneers into pie slice pieces and laying them side by side with alternating face direction. This type of arrangement can create a stunning effect on even the most ordinary veneers. They are time consuming to make but the results can be outstanding.

Sunburst Veneer

Part 2: Seam Taping

Yes, Joe is a practicing Catholic
The Vac FAQ
Heat Lock Veneer Glue