I recently completed a bookcase made out of birch and stained with cherry to
match some existing furniture in one of my daughter's rooms at her house. I
got a lot of help from this group on how to make the laminated curved top.
The top is three sheets of 1/4" birch, two of which are bending birch. The
top layer is regular birch. The book case came out sort of OK (I give myself
a "B-") but I am not happy with the front edge. I have a couple of pictures
here so you can see what I am talking about:
I used 1.5" birch facing tape that I ironed on. That allowed me to use just
three pieces to span the curve. However, as you can see from the closeup
picture, you can still see the seam. How could I have done this better?
Should I have tried a birch veneer which I cut out into the shape of the
curve? How could I have applied that to get a good edge (I don't have any
vacuum press stuff). Are there other methods I could have used to do a
better job? I am going to post this same posting in
alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking where I can include the two pictures that
are on the website referenced above in case that is easier for people to
TIA as usual. This group has been so helpful to me and I am hoping for yet
again some great advice.
Sometimes when you can't hide something, you may want to "celebrate" it
by making it a desgn element. In this case you could have use two
pieces of solid edging (1/8" thick) that meet at the top center. Where
they meet you could put a place of contrasting wood. The edging would
have to be cut from a piece of wide birch that can cover the entire
arc. If you don't have a piece that is wide enough, you could do the
edging in three segments and two seams. If you don't like contrasting
wood for the accent, the use the same wood, and rotate the direction of
the grain. Still interesting, but more subtle.
That type of joint with tape is a hard because if you cut it from the
face side you will compress the wood fibers on each side. You might not
see it but the finish will find it. If you over lap the tape on a bench
and cut it from the glue side you might have better luck getting a crisp
cut but then you run the risk of not getting it lined up when you flip
it over to iron it on. Like I said. your finger or eye might not see it
but the finish will. I think you got the best joint with veneer tape you
I like the design... it's shows some nice out of the box thinking.
some thoughts on your edge:
1. You could try staining the veneer before trimming it to size. The end
grain is soaking up the stain and highlite the seam. If you stain then trim,
you will be cutting off the extra-dark end grain.
2. If I were to redesign the piece, I would add more weight to the
"cornice", something like a 2" arched face frame. You could probably do it
with 2 solid pieces, and then cover the centered seam with a keystone-shaped
block which sits a bit proud of the face frame. The the seams become a
"corner" and therefore a design element.
3. Option 2 might not work so well because of the asymetric verticals. how
about cut out a 3/4 square over the seam an insert contrasting, like walnut,
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