At the recent Ballarat Wood Show, I had a chance to catch up briefly with “The Timber Benders” from Daylesford. At some stage I will have to have a good look at their primary business, but in the meantime you may be interested that they have veneer packs for sale ($20 for an assorted pack)
This is one such assortment:
Timber Benders Veneer Pack
I’m no expert on veneering, so cannot lend any expert tips, however on the other hand that I can get a result means at least the basics are very straight forward!
I’ve taken one of the veneers, and applied yellow PVA glue to one side (yellow is about 30% stronger than white, and more water resistant, fwiw). I’ve brushed the glue on using one of the disposable glue brushes from Professional Woodworkers Supplies. Next, I’ve applied the veneer to an oversized sheet of MDF, and using the rubber roller to carefully push the sheet down, remove any air bubbles etc.
Roarockit non-stick pad
I’m using one of the Roarockit kits as a vacuum press, and it comes with this piece of plastic mat. Laying this over the surface means any glue is not as likely to stick to the actual vacuum bag, and assists the air to escape when creating the vacuum.
This is all slipped into the vacuum bag itself, which is a very heavy duty plastic with a valve on top and a seal at one end.
Roarockit came about from skateboard makers wanting to veneer the ply to make their boards. Basically the same as what we need for other veneering processes. Also useful for creating curved timber (for those times you actually want the timber warped in a controlled manner!)
The seal is this super sticky/super gummy black substance – it tries to stick to anything, but is really good at holding onto the plastic of the bag. I keep it clean by reapplying the protective plasticised paper strip when I have finished use.
Once the bag is sealed, the small handpump is used to evacuate the bag.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum
With the air pumped out (no, not to 100%, but as best as I could achieve), the immense weight of the kms of air above the bag push down (total force theoretically is 1 atm, which is roughly (and someone can correct me if I am wrong), around 1kg of force per cm2.)
That is a pretty good amount of force quite frankly – that veneer is getting quite flat from that!
Once the glue is dry, the veneered board is removed from the press, the press is carefully stored away again in its box.
The veneered board is then sanded (not a lot, given the veneer is <1mm thick!), and your choice of finish applied.
Final product, ready for a project
Here is the result, and I haven’t decided what to do with it – make a box lid, or base, or something. The process seemed to go well, seeing as I am a beginner!
If you want your own pack of veneers to play with, have a chat with The Timber Benders
Filed under: Manufactures and Suppliers, Techniques | Tagged: Materials and Supplies, Vacuum, Veneers and Fine Hardwoods, Wood Products, Wood veneer | Leave a Comment »