Dowel

Make wooden runner to fit miter groove in tablesaw.

Ripping it straight. The author's jig rips straight edges on stacked sheets of veneer. A wood runner on the bottom of the jig rides in the tablesaw's miter groove.

Clue-up. The author uses a foam roller substrate. In the background, Chaffari's awaits the veneered panel.

plate) is drawn across the veneer.

Spread a thin, even layer of glue on the substrate only. (If you apply glue on the veneer, it will immediately curl up into a roll.) A notched piece of plastic laminate or a foam paint roller makes a great applicator. I pour glue directly onto the substrate, then spread it with one of the tools mentioned. Be careful to avoid leaving any puddles of glue, or you'll get hard pockets under the veneer. However, don't starve the joint: Too little glue will result in loose spots of veneer. On porous woods, glue can sometimes get pressed up through the veneer and glaze the surface. To overcome this, apply a thin coat of shellac on the glue side of the vcnccr, before gluing. Wipe oily woods such as teak and rosewood with alcohol or lacqucr thinner prior to gluing.

to coat the press

The Veneer Press

In industry, veneer panels are glued up in big hydraulic, multi-platen hot presses that apply heat and pressure together to curc the glue in a few minutes. Until recently, the standard press for the small to medium-sized shop has been the hand-operated scrcw press. The veneered panel is sandwiched between two platens. Rows of scrcw clamps, held in bars across the top of the press, arc screwed down evenly across battens and cauls to exert clamping pressure.

While not at all a new invention, the vacuum press has only recently been adapted and marketed for the small shop. With this type of press, the work is placed inside a bag, then the air in the bag is pumped out. Atmospheric pressure forces the veneer onto the substrate. (Sec AW #38, page 32.) A vacuum setup is generally less expensive than a screw press and easier to use (especially for curved parts) and stores easily when not in use.

The caul-and-platen press is a simple, low-cost way to get started for the beginner or for a shop that doesn't cxpcct to do a large amount of veneering. (Sec photo below.) All you need arc two platens, several cauls and some bar or pipe clamps. I use mclaminc-coatcd

Pressing with cauls and platens. Wood cauls bear upon two 1-in.-thick melamine-coated platens to press a veneered panel flat.

particleboard for my platens because the plastic surface is smooth and resists glue. Plywood will also work if you lay plas-tic-coatcd freezer wrap between the platens and the veneer. Make your platens at least 1 in. thick, and dimension them to the size of work you expect to handle.

T he cauls arc stout oak or maple boards, about 1^/4 in. by 2l/2 in. and as long as the width of your platens. Plane a slight, even curvc along the edge of cach caul that will bear against the platen. "Crowned" cauls will flatten out when clamped, providing even pressure across the entire width of the platen. (For more on a caul-and-platen press, see AW #40, page 37.)

Gluing Up with Cauls and Platens

Have everything close at hand before starting the gluc-up. The panel faces and corresponding vcnccr sheets should be clearly marked to avoid confusion at zero hour. Place a pair of long 2x4s across two sawhorses and lay out the bottom cauls, curved edge up, about 6

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