Laminating compound spapes

Thin malleable veneers will sometimes conform to very shallow curves in two directions, as on the surface of a large sphere, and such double curvature can be assisted by pre-moistening and pressing between heated cauls or formers/ forms, but the amount of stretch must be within the elastic limits of the wood plies otherwise the veneers will crease and crumple like a sheet of stiff paper. In traditional compound work soft burr veneers, notably burr walnut, were first soaked in boiling water and laid with the hammer, using very thin hide glue and going over the work repeatedly until complete adhesion was achieved. Stiffer veneers or more acute curves require actual tailoring of the sheets to fit, and in one method the veneers are either cut into strips or 'fashioned' to fit the curve so that the butt edges of the cutout notches fit exactly. The first sheet is then stapled down to a wooden former, the next sheet glued and applied, removing the tacks in the first sheet and restapling through the top sheet. Each tailored sheet is treated similarly, removing the tacks and restapling, and leaving the tacks in the last sheet until the glue has set. In another method each sheet is fashioned as before, and the tailored cuts soldered together with hide glue and formaldehyde, using a heated iron to set the glue. Cold glues are used for assembly and the top sheet is strapped with adhesive tape. Templates can be used for cutting the veneers, but several will be required as each sheet will differ fractionally and the tailored cuts should be staggered wherever possible.

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