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Thread: Anyone here ever buy wood veneers online and have them shipped?

  1. #1
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    Question Anyone here ever buy wood veneers online and have them shipped?

    Hi folks!
    I've got a project that I'd like to get started on some time soon but I'm having a hard time locating some of the material. The material list calls for using some extra thick 1/16" Red Oak veneer. I need to laminate it and make some 1-1/4" thick bent wood legs. I've got a number of places locally that sell veneer, but they're mostly 10 mil paper backed stuff. Some is 20 mil but even that is very thin. I'm thinking about using Birch instead of Red Oak for the project. The 3/4" ply I need for the bulk of the job is virtually the same price and I like the look of the Birch. I have a local source that says he can get me 4x8 sheets of 1/8" Birch "bending plywood" for about $30. I'm thinking about trying that. I do have some 1/8" Baltic Birch ply that I cut some 1-1/2" strips and clamped them into my bending jig. It works, but they're pretty stiff and I only bent three of them and I'll need 10 for the 1-1/4" thickness I need. I'm concerned that they will want to spring back after taking it out of the form, even after the glue has set up.

    There is an online source (where the resource guide listed the material used for the original) which is certainlywood.com. I'm wondering how they ship larger/longer quantities of veneer. Can they roll it and put it in a large tube? It certainly can't be sent flat if the lengths are around 8' or so. If you've ordered heavier veneer like this in a larger size piece, how did they ship it?

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    John
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2
    We used to get the paper backed veneer delivered in 12" square boxes that were about 50" long.

    The 10 mil and 20 mil refers to the thickness of the paper backing and not the actual wood thickness.

    To give you and idea how tightly veneer can be rolled her is some 2 ply wood on wood veneer I rolled up to bring home in my escort. They are about 25" wide by 8 foot long pieces.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    I'd contact Joe Woodworker/Veneer Supplies and ask him about what you want.

    Actually, for 1/16" thick veneer, you ought to be able to cut it on a bandsaw fairly easily. I cut maple and cherry like that fairly often. I do have a drum sander to help clean/true it up, though. YMMV.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
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    Cool!
    Thanks guys. I'm not used to dealing with veneer. If the 10 or 20 mil thickness is referring to the PAPER thickness, that makes more sense. 10 mil would be a pretty thin slice of wood!
    I've got a pretty good size veneer supplier not far from home. Maybe I'll stop by and take a look at what they have. They probably have something that will work. If it's paper backed, I'd just have to stack the last layer of the veneer so that the backings are together. This sounds like a fun project, I've never gotten into bending wood, but the piece I want to make looks pretty nice. Here's a shot of it from the magazine...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Pollman View Post
    Cool!
    Thanks guys. I'm not used to dealing with veneer. If the 10 or 20 mil thickness is referring to the PAPER thickness, that makes more sense. 10 mil would be a pretty thin slice of wood! ...This sounds like a fun project, I've never gotten into bending wood, but the piece I want to make looks pretty nice. Here's a shot of it from the magazine...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, it ought to be fun to do - especially since you've never done it before..

    Were it me, I'd resaw my strips about 3/32" (finished dimension) for a bend like that, and use a plastic resin glue - like Unibond or Weldwood - for the laminating. Make a form from MDF, with edges protected by clear packing tape, and have at it. Lotsa clamps will be needed... About fourteen strips for each leg. There'll also be a lot of scraping and sanding to be done along the edges.

    You're right about 10 mil being very thin. Even very thin veneer - at 1/42" thick - is 23 mils. OTOH, 10 mils seems pretty thick for a paper layer. I would NOT USE paper backed veneer for this project. The paper will show on the edges, no matter what finish (except maybe paint) you use. It'll spoil the appearance. WOOD is what you need!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
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    I agree with Jim D. Bandsawing that would be real easy and if you keep the stack in order the grain would blend in a look almost seamless. I would recommend dry bending on the form as a test before actual glue up. And get every clamp you can beg, borrow or steal.

  7. #7
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    Ya know, I didn't even think about that. Thanks! I'm pretty sure that paper backed veneer is out. I did have an idea the other day though. While searching online for veneers, I found an outfit that sells 12x48" 1/16" thick sheets of dyed maple veneer for skateboards. They're died all the way through with some pretty nice vibrant colors. I think it would be pretty cool to use maybe a layer or two in the lamination process to give the edges some pretty interesting patterns.

    The plans in the magazine show that the designer made a jig to attach to his jointer to clean up and true one edge. Then most of the other edge is cut to the finished size on the table saw. The portion on the curve that's not cut on the saw is cleaned up with a sander or hand plane.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  8. #8
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    You are right to exclude paper back veneer... for all the reasons mentioned and more.

    Certainly Wood is a major vendor, huge inventory, knowledgeable sales folks. They work best by phone. Describe what you are trying to do to your salesman (who will get to know you), and they will make you successful. I use them for larger projects.

    Joe Woodworker - VeneerSupplies.com is great for smaller projects... they show you the specific veneer sheets you are buying, so you can plot what your waste will be and exactly what you will need. I use them for most of my projects, which tend to be smaller. They work best from their web site, and will answer email if necessary, but do NOT work by phone.

    Both vendors will roll the veneer so it can be shipped normally.

    If you are building to 1 1/4" thickness, with a modest curve, I bet you can cut your layers far thicker than 1/16". I make curved table aprons from two layers of 3/8" thick bending ply, with one layer of show veneer on the outside. Of course, the edge isn't pretty when using bending ply, leaving you with a separate job of veneering the edge.

    Consider using a vacuum bag for clamping against your forms. That can give you 1,700 pounds of force per square foot, which gives a pretty firm clamp around a form. The aprons were 3/4 thick, the decorative part of the base was a little over 1/4" thick.
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    Your glue is critical. Plastic resin is my first choice, or most any veneer glue (which doesn't creep after it is cured). Don't even consider regular wood glue (PVA glue).

    For the full story on that table see www.plesums.com/wood/livingroom/diningtable.html
    Last edited by Charlie Plesums; 12-30-2012 at 05:49 PM.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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