Cross Veneering

All veneers laid at right angles to the grain direction of the groundwork/substrate are classed as cross veneers, but more specifically the term cross veneering is applied to narrow widths laid across door-frames, mirror surrounds, etc.; border crossbanding to narrow edge borders on panel- and table-tops; crossbanding {counter veneering) to an under veneer laid on groundworks and then covered with a face veneer, and balance veneering to compensating veneers laid on the underside of groundworks.

Cross veneering of door stiles and rails can be done with hide glue using either hammer or caul techniques, or with cramping/clamping pieces or veneer-press using cold-setting resin glues. Assuming that the door-frame shown in 293:2 has to be veneered on the face and back only, there is no problem and the operation is straightforward; but if the door edges are veneered also then the framed-up door must first be planed to the opening with due allowance for the veneer thickness plus the necessary clearance all round, for there can be no adjusting to fit afterwards. Probably the surest method is to trial fit the door, tape small pieces of the actual veneer either side of each corner, hinge with one steel screw in the centre of each plate and then adjust as necessary. If the door is slack in the opening then one stile and one rail can be double veneered on the edges, for the veneer edges will be covered by the face veneers. The edge veneers can run with the grain but the face veneers are cut across the veneer sheet (or from running sheets if matching veneers are required), keeping the same faces uppermost throughout to prevent some strips appearing darker as the light catches them, and cutting the strips rather full in width. If the corners are butted together as in Elizabethan walnut-work the edge to each corner must be planed on a shooting-board and lined up on the inner edge of the frame (293:2x), but for mitred work (293:2A) it is only necessary to pencil in the mitre-line and fit the corners accordingly. It hardly matters if all four corners are done first, working in to the centre in each case, or the strips laid in sequence round the frame, but in practice it is easier to fit two straight ends at the centre rather than one straight end and one mitre simultaneously. With hide glue narrow strips hardly need wetting before laying, and this should be avoided wherever possible as it only swells up the strips, nor need the strips be laid with an overlap for it is simple enough to cut each strip exactly square, glue, hammer in position and tape the joint with a temporary weight placed over it to keep it from curling. If cramping techniques are employed it is better to use resin glue, fitting, gluing and cramping each section in sequence, for there will be ample time to fit the joints; while for press-work with either hide glue and cauls or resin glue and veneer-press the strips can be assembled, taped and laid as a whole, driving in fine veneer pins and pinching off the tops to prevent the veneers floating in the press. The glue should be thoroughly hard before the surplus edges are trimmed back, and care should be taken not to hit or round over the faces when cleaning up. In fact, it will always pay to tack waste pieces of the same thickness as the frame to the bench to act as an overhang for the plane, scraper or sanding block.

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