© 2011 syd

Excersize in veneer work.




I love to work in veneers. There are more selections of beautiful and exotic woods that are available to use, and if used correctly, it’s possible to use woods in ways impossible for solid woods. For this project, I explored the sunburst effect. Think of it as a piece of pie divided into equal parts. The little wedges all have grain running from the outside of the circle to the inside, causing a radial pattern. This technique would be unwise to attempt in solid wood because of seasonal movements in the wood. After a while, the wedges will force themselves apart or force themselves into each other- causing cracks. The real test of achieving a perfect sunburst is how all the delicate point meet in the center. Because its very difficult to achieve a crisp point on all wedges meeting at one point, craftsmen have the tendency to inlay a motif in the center to cover it up.


The legs are tapered and made of solid Walnut. Towards the feet, they turn into the pie shape wedge except with rounded edges. Although you can’t see it, the aprons also taper and meet in the center to compliment the top. The whole table is finished using a traditional technique called French Polishing. This is a series of steps on applying shellac on furniture by using what they call “the rubber”. The rubber is pretty much a wad of cotton batting or cheesecloth wrapped around a fine threaded cloth to evenly and lightly disperse the shellac onto the surface.




This next project was a test in bending wood to achieve a curve. To create a curve similar to this one out of solid, we would have to cooper the joints or carve it out of one solid chunk of wood. Coopering would have been an option, but I wanted the grain to be consistent and flowing, as though it was one piece of wood that was bent. Carving it would have just been silly. It takes too long to achieve a consistent curve as well as a big waste of lumber. So again, I turned to veneering. This time I laminated bendy plywood around a form, and veneered the face sides. I also applied a solid wood nosing on the edge before I veneered the outside so the joint line is only the thickness of the veneer.

Other interesting parts of this project is that the only straight line is on the ends of the table top. The apron is curved on all three sides to meet the curve of the whole piece(the edge that touches to top has to he straight.) For the finish I decided to bleach maple and then finish off with white wax. I wanted the whiteness of the maple to remain as much as possible. Almost all finishes add an amber or yellow tone which is nice sometimes, but I prefer maple to look white and light.


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