I am new to this group and would like to be pointed in the right
direction to gain information on veneering, especially placing very
small straight line contrast strips. I am working on prototyping a
replica of a mid 1800's accordeon that has a very plain walnut veneer
however has these contrast strips near the borders and along the end of
the fingerboard. Any advise, books, contacts, and personal advise is
greatly appreciated. I believe the basic veneering will be
straightforward, however cutting such small strips consistantly/evenly
so that when the pieces are mitered that all lines up, seems daunting
right now. Thank you in advance.
I watched a guy doing what I think you are basically describing. He
was doing these very narrow inlays (about 1/32 inch wide) in wood. He
used a sheet of veneer approximately 1/32 inch thick and cut strips
along the grain about 1/8 inch wide or so. He used this simple tool he
made from a hacksaw blade which was also about 1/32 of an inch thick)
and scraped the lines along the patterns in the wood at some depth less
than the 1/8 inch width of the strips. Then he laid the strips into
the channels that he cut. The strips could be laid in along staright
lines or curves this way. The strips protruded a bit from the surface.
He then scraped the surface so that everything was flush. He claimed
it was much simper than it looks when finished :-)
Thank you for your reply. If I understand correctly he cut a 1/32"
channel in the piece, and then laid the 1/32" thick strips (~1/8" wide)
in the groove "standing up"? then cut off the excess? I could
possibally even use a 1/32" dremel cutter, and router table to make the
channel. Thank you for the idea, I appreciate it very much.
Look for some article(s) published by Michael Fortune on this specialty.
Michael's one of the Canadians, and did a presentation about this at one of
the wood shows I attended.
It's simple enough that he taught how to do it, and how to make your own
hand tools to do it, in less than an hour.
Here's some specifics on Michael Fortune's tools and method.
Did this after sitting in on one of his demos at a woodworking
show. In addition to being one hell of a great woodworker, and
a very good teacher (see - it's simple - now go do it), he is
a really good, friendly, helpful person. We could use a lot more
If you REALLY want to go the router route - look into
the Micro-Fence "system" - a precision positionable
router fence with a precision plunge router base unit.
Since router bits often are not EXACTLY the diameter
they say they are, and veneer inlays aren't EXACTLY
the width they say they are, this system lets you fine
tune the fit as EXACTLY as you want it to be.
1/8th inch router bit is actually micrometered at 0.121
1/8th inch inlay strip is actually mircormetered at 0.129
The inlay is 0.008" wider than the bit
To set the depth of cut, plunge to get the bit in contact
with the wood's surface. Raise the stop rod, place a piece
of your inlay strip on the stop, lower the stop rod and lock
it in place. Your groove depth will probably be just a tad
shallow - you want it to be shallow rather than too deep.
Make a first pass at the groove. Widen the groove by
dialing in another 0.008" and give yourself another few
thousands for expansion when glue is applied.
Make the second pass with the router.
Snap the inlay in place.
Hope this helps.
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