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Slicing veneer-thick strips - tools or jigs?


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I don't have a lot of experience handling veneer so this may be an easy equation to have answered.

 

 

I decided to "plank" the cabin on my current build rather than used the printed walls kit provided.  I not going to 2nd plank the hull of my Bluenose II so I have a stock of 5mm x .5mm strips of manzonia(?). The 5mm wide strip was too wide so I thought I'd cut it down to 2 - 3 mm. (Ideally cut it in half to get most strips out of the stock).

 

Try #1:  I had acquired a small proxxon saw and outfitted it with a fine blade. Set the fence up for a 3mm cut and voila some decent 3mm strips which I've used for the intense purpose:

 

IMG_0878.jpg.83bf3c8d50a5c67af2d5938e31f14e96.jpg

 

Try #2: So far so good - but I needed more for the other was so I ran some more through the saw. No success again - wood splintered and broke as I ran it through.  I tried several times with no good success - beginners luck 1st time? 

 

Try #3:  Fine - the saw isn't going to work so I'll just slice the strips with an x-acto blade.  I've tried various ways of putting a metal ruler along the stock and trying to slice along grain but the stock always moves out of line with the intended cut.  I've tried clamping the ruler but it is quite hard to set it up for the correct cut keep it there while fiddling with clamps - at least the one's I've got.

 

I tried to imagine a jig that might work for this task.  I looked at rotary-blade paper cutters as a possibility but of course the clamping is still the problem - that and measuring the width of the cut accurately.

 

The current "solution" is to cut the length of strip I want, and try to hold the steel rule tight enough to prevent stock slipping .  Workable but pretty slow.

 

Are there any other approaches or jigs out there that I should consider?  

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When I was cutting veneer I found that using a ruler, a very sharp Exacto blade and several passes with light pressure on each pass was what worked for me.  The strips I was cutting was 400 mm long.  I found that if I applied too much pressure or tried to rush then the veneer would move under the ruler and the cut would be off line or the blade would follow the natural grain of the wood and wander away from the ruler edge.  This worked fine when I was cutting strips from a sheet of veneer.  There was lots of material under the ruler for the ruler to 'clamp' down on.  However, it was impossible when I tried to make strips narrower.  There wasn't enough material for the ruler to hold steady.  The strip would always wander.  I will also be curious to see what suggestions come in.

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For the narrow:  ( I would/do use a piece of thick safety glass as a working surface- dead flat and easy to clean.)

Double stick tape will hold the wood to the surface - Scotch yellow releases with isopropyl OH if pealing damages

the wood.  A piece of scrap outboard will keep the ruler level. Tape under the ruler may keep it from moving and

finger print oil may make it just sticky enough to not move shearwise yet easily release ortho.

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Adding 91% Iso rubbing alcohol from a pipette kills the adhesive on the tape

and does not raise the grain.

 

Doug,   while it may seem cost effective to use the leftover wood, a visit

to a local woodworker supply store may supply you with veneer from a

 species of wood with finer grain.  The strength of Hard Maple allows it

to survive manipulation that weaker species do not.  With the use of a wood

dye, a light species can be made darker.

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My excuse - such as it is - is that I'm out in the sticks and have no ready access to a woodworker supply store.  When I tried to order a bit online they wanted to hit me with a small order handling fee that was more than the material cost! I demurred :)

 

However I may have to make a pilgrimage to build up a supply of material for future projects!

 

 

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Doug,

I model SIBs, for the deck planking, I cut strips 1 mm wide from some light coloured veneer using a strip cutter I made a few years ago from a piece of aluminium right angle, nuts and bolts, and a single sided razor blade. Thickness of cut is set by using a drill bit as a gauge and a bit of trial and error. The only downside is that you need a straight edge on the veneer to start with and the cut strip is what the cutter is pressed against, but a bit of care and two or three light passes works OK. The square section on top of the blade is to allow a bit of pressure without getting a grove in a finger.

 

Cheers

Alan

 

58b73f39d8a19_stripcutter.jpg.1a368157b60b10513494e7b439feceb5.jpg

 

58b741de39d9b_decklayout.jpg.513a028ac68dd3358d75e300c419bd19.jpg

 

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4 minutes ago, exwafoo said:

Doug,

I model SIBs, for the deck planking, I cut strips 1 mm wide from some light coloured veneer using a strip cutter I made a few years ago from a piece of aluminium right angle, nuts and bolts, and a single sided razor blade. Thickness of cut is set by using a drill bit as a gauge and a bit of trial and error. The only downside is that you need a straight edge on the veneer to start with and the cut strip is what the cutter is pressed against, but a bit of care and two or three light passes works OK. The square section on top of the blade is to allow a bit of pressure without getting a grove in a finger.

 

Cheers

Alan

Simple but elegant!  I don't know if I have the the whole story - Do you have to adjust depth of the blade for each pass?  

 

Of course the other problem is that I've never built anything even as straightforward as your cutter - I'll have to acquire the angle iron, etc

 

By the way, what are SIB's (I imagine I'll feel foolish when I find out!)

 

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Sorry Doug,

Ships in Bottles. Keeps the dust off of the finished model.

 

Adjustment is by slackening the nuts and bolt and moving the blade away/closer to the edge of the right angle strip, using a drill bit of, say, 1 mm as a gauge to set the gap so a 1 mm strip will be cut. Then tighten. May have to do this a couple of times to 'fine tune'. The blade rotates around the bolt so that depth of cut of a pass is adjusted by finger pressure. A couple of attempts will let you know how the wood cuts and how many passes are required to cut through. I've found 3 or 4 light cuts produces nice even strips.

 

The SIB shown has 1 mm decking of a light coloured veneer stained with oak stain. Sorry its a bit blurred.

 

Hope this helps

 

Alan

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rather than buying veneer doug see if you can get stock machined to say 5mm by any width lets say 50mm and whatever length

if you then want 5mm by 0.5mm your proxxon saw will easily rip these with no splitting or if you want 3mm by 0.5 simply rip 3mm off your 5mm by 50mm strip then rip it down to .5

if you didn't live on the other side of the pond id gladly machine you some stock

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Make sure you look at existing tools - remember people have been making strips for inlay work for a few hundred years. Lie-Nielsen has a traditional inlay strip cutter and a thicknesser.

 

Lie-Nielsen inlay tools

 

thumbnail,w_500,h_500,m_a.jpg

thumbnail,w_500,h_500,m_a.jpg

 

Japan Woodworker has a traditional Japanese inlay strip cutter as well:

 

detail.jpg?c=1487820601

 

 

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25 minutes ago, exwafoo said:

Sorry Doug,

Ships in Bottles. Keeps the dust off of the finished model.

 

Adjustment is by slackening the nuts and bolt and moving the blade away/closer to the edge of the right angle strip, using a drill bit of, say, 1 mm as a gauge to set the gap so a 1 mm strip will be cut. Then tighten. May have to do this a couple of times to 'fine tune'. The blade rotates around the bolt so that depth of cut of a pass is adjusted by finger pressure. A couple of attempts will let you know how the wood cuts and how many passes are required to cut through. I've found 3 or 4 light cuts produces nice even strips.

 

The SIB shown has 1 mm decking of a light coloured veneer stained with oak stain. Sorry its a bit blurred.

 

Hope this helps

 

Alan

Brilliant!  Thanks for the explanations!

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21 minutes ago, Steve 12345 said:

rather than buying veneer doug see if you can get stock machined to say 5mm by any width lets say 50mm and whatever length

if you then want 5mm by 0.5mm your proxxon saw will easily rip these with no splitting or if you want 3mm by 0.5 simply rip 3mm off your 5mm by 50mm strip then rip it down to .5

if you didn't live on the other side of the pond id gladly machine you some stock

So the trick is make the thinnest cut last?

 

I'm a bit slow today (always???) but I don't get the 3mm fix.  If I have a 5mmx 50mm I can't cut it to 3mm x 50mm because the blade only cuts 12mm deep so I have to cut to 3mm x 5mm and then cut to the thickness I want (say .05mm)  I won't be able to make too many strips off that block before it is too thin to handle - did I get that right?

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21 minutes ago, vossiewulf said:

Make sure you look at existing tools - remember people have been making strips for inlay work for a few hundred years. Lie-Nielsen has a traditional inlay strip cutter and a thicknesser.

 

Lie-Nielsen inlay tools

 

thumbnail,w_500,h_500,m_a.jpg

thumbnail,w_500,h_500,m_a.jpg

 

Japan Woodworker has a traditional Japanese inlay strip cutter as well:

 

detail.jpg?c=1487820601

 

 

Thanks for the info.  I may not know how to use them but I do admire the beauty of these tools.  I'll investigate further.

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There are many ways of solving the problem, and many have already been given. However, another method is by adhering the veneer (or other thin stock) to a backing piece of sacrificial wood. I use rubber cement and basswood for the purpose. I use a slitting blade on the saw, so no clean-up of the strips is necessary.

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Doug something else I may suggest this evening I needed some material about 1.3x.7 this eliminates the thinist cut last theory there both thin,so what I did do was create zero clearance on the saw this is where you set rip fench to desired then run a larger sacrificial piece into the blade and clamp it down then when you run your veneer it will not get pulled down into the gap around the saw blade

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45 minutes ago, Steve 12345 said:

Doug something else I may suggest this evening I needed some material about 1.3x.7 this eliminates the thinist cut last theory there both thin,so what I did do was create zero clearance on the saw this is where you set rip fench to desired then run a larger sacrificial piece into the blade and clamp it down then when you run your veneer it will not get pulled down into the gap around the saw blade

Steve, go the easy way... find a piece of wood or plastic (I have heard of someone using aluminum but not seen it) and make a zero-clearance insert.  Cut to fit the blade opening and then just run the blade up through the wood.    See picture.

 

I've modified mine and currently it has numerous holes drilled in it.  The new shop vac was sucking the insert into the saw and holes relieve the air pressure as well as providing additional dust removal.

 

58b9efc3e11b0_longboat9.JPG.9277b382383b5e5902434865a0b361df.JPG

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2 hours ago, mtaylor said:

Steve, go the easy way... find a piece of wood or plastic (I have heard of someone using aluminum but not seen it) and make a zero-clearance insert.  Cut to fit the blade opening and then just run the blade up through the wood.    See picture.

 

The Byrnes table saw zero-clearance insert blanks are aluminum.

 

If the Proxxon doesn't have an insert I'd seriously consider doing what I had to to give it one, cutting away the surface around the blade and creating a mounting for a drop-in insert. Zero-clearance inserts are just plain required for precision work and his saw is of limited usefulness if it doesn't have one.

 

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You don't necessarily need an insert: simply make a ply over-table clamped or screwed to the existing table and raise the saw blade through it. Voila! Zero-clearance. All you need do is to re-arrange the fence to slide over this, or glue a wood fence on a the required spacing from the blade.

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 11:26 AM, Heronguy said:

The current "solution" is to cut the length of strip I want, and try to hold the steel rule tight enough to prevent stock slipping .  Workable but pretty slow.

 

Are there any other approaches or jigs out there that I should consider?

 
Years ago I had the same problem to make accurate cuts, use different methods without good results... the solution was a Guillotine Paper Cutter

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818JYOGREbL__SL1500_.jpg

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