Cutting And Joining Commercial Veneers
This is a simple technique provided some care is taken in matching and cutting the veneers. The easiest way to obtain a perfect fit is to use a veneer shooting board and a long No.7 plane or equivalent.
Veneering is the process of glueing a thin layer of timber to a thicker backing (substrate). Veneers are sold as a bundle of consecutive leaves where the width is dependent on the log (or flitch) from which they were sliced, but generally no wider than 300mm. In order to make up a larger surface, the veneers must be joined by either a ‘slip’ match (sliding one leaf sideways) or ‘book’ match (turning one leaf over as in turning the page of a book).
Before any work is done, number each of the consecutive leaves in order.
Consecutive leaves of veneer are laid side by side and joined. Both sides of the joint are planed together to ensure a perfect fit.
On leaves 1 & 2, mark the join.
Turn leaf 2 clockwise through 180° and slide underneath leaf 1.
Prepare the veneer shooting board and clamp it to the bench. The veneer shoot is simply two long pieces of melamine faced chipboard screwed together.
Place leaves 1 & 2 onto the veneer shoot with the joint line overhanging slightly (approx 2mm)
Clamp a board on top of the veneers.
Use a long plane to remove several shavings from the pair of veneers.
Remove the pair of veneers from the shooting board, open them out to see the joint. Use strips of gummed veneer tape to pull the two jointed edges together.
Completed slip matched veneer pair.
One leaf is turned over (as in turning the pages of a book) through 180°. The grain on the reverse side now matches the other leaf in the pair.
Leaves 3 & 4 side by side (slip match configuration). Leaf 4 is turned over through 180° and the joint is marked.
Important - leaf 4 is turned a second time through 180° and slides underneath leaf 3.
Completed book match veneer pair.
Completed sip and book match veneer pairs; note the grain in the book match pair.