Birds-eye maple cabinet door panels


I'm about to embark on the production of some kitchen cabinets. I plan to use maple plywood for the rail and stile door panels. I'm considering the use of some birds-eye or even fiddleback in at least a couple of doors to provide an accent. I probably need a panel that is about 16" wide. Since I'm not set up to veneer, the easist thing for me would be to find some 1/4" maple plywood with a figured face. Not surprisingly, I've never seen it stocked in my local place. I've Googled for it, and found a few places that I've never heard of that supposedly carry it. The question is, does anyone have personal knowledge of someplace that sells 1/4" birdseye or fiddleback maple ply? My suspicion is that if I really want to do this, I'm going to have to get familiar with veneering. I'm aware of course that people who do lots of veneering generally use a vacuum press, but for someone doing a 2-off project, is there another way of veneering that produces decent results?
todd
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I'm looking to do something for a client. It also involves a couple of birds-eye maple doors. My client has done a lot of legwork as he is an active participant in the design and execution of his bar/entertainment centre. We had come to the conclusion that we were going to have to learn how to do a proper veneer job. All I have ever done is the paper-backed veneers using contact cement and some smaller stuff, more like marquetry.
I almost had him talked into some very credible laminate. Formica's Ligna series is actual wood veneer, but very durable. The stuff is bloody gorgeous even though it will likely raise whatever remaining scary-sharp-shaven hair on the arm of the basic Neanderthal. But I'm sure that a panel of that laminate, set in a solid wood rail and stile frame will be awesome. Set up a deliberate contrast.
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Todd, You can try the iron trick. Appy yellow glue to both the plywood and the veneer. The veneer is probaly going to curl at first but after the glue dries it will mostly flatten out again. After the glue has dried position the veneer on the plywood and place a piece of craft paper over the veneer to keep your iron clean. Then simply use a household iron on the cotton setting and iron from the center out. DO NOT STEAM!!! I have use this technique several times and it works like a charm!! Gene

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Hi Gene,
This is how I've done it too. Just one small addition: if you dampen the frontside of the veneer with water just before you apply the yellow glue to the back, the veneer will curl much less.
Nate
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Todd Fatheree wrote:

1. Sandwich strate and veneer twixt 3/4" plywood. Apply pressure with 2x4 cauls - 2x4s that have a slight convex curve - top and bottom by clamping the ends of each top/bottom pair so they bend flat and apply pressure over the whole surface.
2. Sandwich strate and veneer between 3/4" ply but... (a) after gluing/positioning veneer on strate cover it with a piece of brown wrapping paper (b) put a piece of 4" foam on top of the wrapping paper. Dense foam is best but any will work. Then put the second piece of 3/4" ply on the foam and clamp to bottom ply along all edges so foam is squished down.
The advantage of #2 is that it applies a quite consistent and strong pressure over the entire surface. No cauls to make either. The wrapping paper is to act as a cover sheet...if some glue squeezes out the sheet is easy to get off.
Or you could just use contact cement :)
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Contact Cement

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Todd,
I'm not sure why you wouldn't edge join solid birdseye boards for the panel, but you may try Owl Hardwood Lumber Co for the veneered ply.
Des Plaines, IL - (847) 824-5025
I'm also not sure where you're located, so maybe this isn't convenient..
Cheers.. -Bill
George M. Kazaka wrote:

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Well, that's an option, of course. However, I find it easier to cut a piece of plywood the right size vs. planing, jointing, and gluing up a panel. The Lombard Owl Hardwood is about 5 minutes away and I've never seen what I'm looking for there, though to be honest, I've never really looked specifically for it before. I'm going to head to the woodworking show this weekend, and as I recall, there's always at least one guy there selling all kinds of veneer. This might be the time to check it out.
todd

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