You can make an edge jointer for veneer. You can clamp up several thicknesses between a couple of battens held together by clamps - or bolt and wingnuts if you wanna get fancy.
If you cut the battens to the width of the chessboard squares, making sure the sides are dead parallel - you put slightly oversized lengths of veneer into the 'jointer' and hand plane the overhang off on each size. You need to get good clamping pressure so they don't shift on you.
The result of this is parallel sided strips which you need to cut to length. I don't know any shortcut for this other than to make a jig with a stop and cut each one to length with a very sharp utility knike and a good straight edge.
Make lots of spares !!
BTW thicker veneer isn't always better. 1/4" thick will be more suceptable to moisture change. I thinner veneer will lay flatter and the adhesive will be better able to keep it from lifting/curling.
Last edited by Ian Gillis; 01-11-2007 at 05:15 PM.
Reason: for the heck of it !
All the best,
**Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**