A little veneer work

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by MrBoat, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    A friend of mine bought the veneer to cover some drums he had built and changed his mind to curly maple. I had some rawhide that he needed for another project so we traded. I had just enough to do both speakers but wasn't enough to do the backs with the grain running the right way but certainly good enough for the backs. It's not as noticeable being it's a burl. Wasn't my first choice but I kind of like it now and it should be good under clear finish.

    I also have cherry, walnut, white oak and ribbon mahogany, all of which would certainly have been easier.
  2. Bucknekked Audioholic General

    Bucknekked
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    MrBoat
    I hope to see some finished photos of the work. The burl looks like a complex visual experience.
    You have some of the most interesting discussions on your DIY threads. This one is rich with adhesive porn.

    I have limited experience with many of the adhesives you talk about. The last time I did veneer work it was with walnut and it too was raw: unbacked. My grandfather and I had done several pieces during that year and he favored contact cement. I decided I would do some of the work by myself while he wasn't in the shop and I nearly passed out ! I didn't open any windows (it was freakin winter time) nor crank up any of the fans. Contact cement is pretty gnarly if not ventilated. I was sick the whole day after that.

    You aren't kidding about some of these adhesives having powerful smells. I certainly enjoy your posts.
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  3. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    If you do any work with paints, epoxies, adhesives, etc, then I consider a chem/particle filter as mandatory gear! Well worth the small investment!

    https://www.amazon.com/3M-Comfort-F...rd_wg=0msee&psc=1&refRID=F8JRQ9W36MQR9EJHFY0B

    https://www.amazon.com/3M-Cartridge...d=1502210496&sr=8-5&keywords=3m+chemical+mask
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  4. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Nothing worse than looking for information on google with the only relevant information being a dead ended forum thread where nobody discusses details. There's very little about using epoxy with raw veneer except as a suggestion for exterior use. I understand the reason is because it's just not done very often and I understand why. I did come across a few mentions of some that only use epoxy for raw veneer but that was it. No how's or why's. Plenty of information about vacuum bagging with more traditional type adhesives.

    In DIY, epoxy can be a pretty valuable solution for a lot of things. I've always kept some 5 minute epoxy in my kit at work. It's saved my butt often enough. I use epoxy to adhere the wood scales on my knives along with rivets. I use it to seal the thread wraps on fishing rods I build. I've used it to form a composite part I needed that did not exist otherwise and without having to hire an engineer or a computer programmer plugged into a CNC operation as the only viable alternative. Which seems to be the only easy answer to just about everything these days.

    There may only be one person in the universe that cares to know about these things. Maybe a thread like this will help. I have found a few threads like that myself with the one missing piece I was looking for and sometimes, not even related to the general topic being discussed.

    Still, I would not suggest this method for everyone. But for that one person that insists because they need it, whether they like it or not, it may help.

    At any rate, the hard part of this little project is over. I got all of the main cabinets covered and saved the easier, flat panels for last. I didn't need any special tooling other than throw away chip brushes and plastic cups to mix the gooey stuff in. Everything else was my clamps and wood scraps to make a crude press board out of.
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  5. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Definitely agree. I am shocked at the amount of threads I read where people have used automotive urethane clear with no mention of the special filter/environment it takes to safely work with isocyanates. Not just for the applicator, but then visualizing the clouds of uncured LPU drifting over into the neighbors yard.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    @MrBoat
    Have you had the opportunity to work with a 3D printer yet?

    I bought one almost 1 year ago. At this point, I'm saying "how did I ever get by without this thing. I wish I had 2 or more!".

    Rapid prototyping. Printing up an oddball part, or saving myself a trip to the store. Printing neat little trinkets, etc. And, I can use CAD so I can do my own custom designs too.
  7. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Can't say that I have. I have seen things made with them though and it's a pretty impressive technology. I am wondering where it's going to go from there.
  8. slipperybidness Audioholic Spartan

    slipperybidness
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    3D printing with metals, and possible 3D printing of food (Star Trek replicator), 3D printing of living tissue for transplants, etc!

    That is the future!

    In fact, these things can already be done to some extent. The next steps (as always) are improvements, then doing it cheaper, so that the common person can finally afford it at home!

    I'm typically just using PLA (poly-lactic acid) for my prints. It works great for most of what I would want to do. I can also do ABS, but I tend to stick with PLA unless the specific qualities of PLA are not good for my application for some reason.

    For the longest time, I thought that a 3D printer seemed like a neat toy, but couldn't really understand what I would use it for other than a random trinket. It did not take long before I found plenty of uses. My printer runs pretty much non-stop when I am at home!
  9. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    That's where I was at with it was as a toy or scientific novelty or being limited to plastics that didn't really have much in the way of structural integrity.

    What would be really cool is if they get it with a system that is able to recycle materials on the spot like plastic and aluminum.
  10. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Whenever working with epoxy, there is always some waste because you have to be sure to mix enough. The current formula is a fast, 4:1 ratio mix with about a 15 minute pot life before it goes to smoking. The measuring containers I have only break down to .5 oz. increments so in order to keep the ratios close, the furthest I will break it down is in .25 oz. that I can easily eyeball between the lines. This means often rounding off to the nearest even number. Still, I can guestimate about how much I will have leftover.

    A way to keep from throwing so much away is, I will keep other projects at the ready that could use a fast setting adhesive. I am a stickler for accurate sanding tools. It's a 'must have' for fine finish work and there is no way around it. Sure, you can use a RO sander and get away with it but, the difference between a good finish and an absolutely fine finish is an hour. Meaning, an extra hour spent fine tuning your prep work. They make these commercially but they are not often perfectly flat or, will have foam rubber or rubber faces on the business side.

    This long board (14" in this case) sander is designed around 2.75" wide stick-it rolls of sandpaper. Specifically, 3M Gold. On any surface I want flat, I will sand it with this initially, and then put a colored primer mist over the whole works and go at it again which will show any low spots or orange peel where the primer does not sand away. I will coat this entire tool with epoxy and the stick-it paper will still adhere to it very well yet still be easy to peel off and the tool will be unaffected by swings in humidity.

    [​IMG]

    This is made from a scrap of 9mm, 7ply Meranti marine plywood which is very stable and flat to begin with. The handle, which is also the tools strong-back, is 18mm birch plywood, which will also help keep this tool flat by how it is arranged. I have a few different sizes of these from 4"- 24", with the 14" being the best all around. The other most important part of this procedure is not being stingy with the paper and changing it as soon as it stops being effective.

    It takes a certain Zen to really sand well (okay, it sux!) but is so much nicer with the right tools.
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  11. Pogre Audioholic Ninja

    Pogre
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    Sanding is what prevents me from really diving into a speaker project. It's sooooo tedious!
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  12. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Just about everything I like to do involves sanding, somehow. For 20 years, I hung and finished drywall. Anything outside of that seems so minimal. I used to get asked to do a lot of custom finish work on high end homes and commercial projects. By the end of my tour in that trade, I was having to sand very little. Kind of fitting now that the things I get involved in manages to make sure I still do my share of it. Custom auto body was another trade that had me without fingerprints much of the time. It's inescapable!
  13. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    Getting the build/blocking coats on finally. It will only take two, since I block sanded them pretty darn flat to start with and all of the other minor imperfections were filled during the gluing process.

    This is the best part and ends up telling what they will look like under the final gloss coat. I could actually leave them at this because this will level even more other than for dust particles. The final coat is just for gloss and will be a hot coat that can be cut and polished. If I wanted a satin, hand rubbed look, I could burnish these with fine steel wool and nobody would really know the difference.

    I am happy with the way they are coming out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  14. killdozzer Full Audioholic

    killdozzer
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    It looks beautiful. Not my kind of veneer, My GF would probably say; if you bring that home, I'm starting pulling tricks! :D

    But it doesn't change the fact. This is masters level.
  15. MrBoat Audioholic General

    MrBoat
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    It's a difficult pattern to like and I was unsure of it and almost changed my mind and then forced myself to do something different for a change. Already done mahogany, mahogany crotch, ribbon mahogany, cherry, curly cherry, maple (plain,birdseye, curly/fiddleback), walnut/burl. . .etc. It also helps that nothing about my home is a fashion statement and I'd be miserable if I ever had to adhere to some man forsaken, WAF. I have to say, I have been fortunate in that regard, as every woman I have ever paired with has been accommodating to pretty much whatever I wanted. I had two largemouth bass over 10# on my living room wall for years, a fishing rod rack in the corner, multiple installations of audio systems, some of which were quite large and in your face, kind of like now. :D

    Heck, most of them have enabled my hobbies and crude ways and I'm still close with all but one of them and even she tolerates me and chooses to stay here when she's in town. Gotta love these southern girls. :D
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