Laying out finger jointing

The veneers chosen should be reasonably straight grained and not too pronounced in figure. The butt ends of the matched veneers taken in strict order from the bundle should be overlapped by the amount required for the fingering, always remembering that the longer the fingers the more they will approximate to the direction of the long grain and the less evident they will be when laid. A small allowance, say3/8 in (9.5 mm) over and above the length of the fingers, should be made at each end to support the cuts, and two lines should be squared across the top veneeer 3/8 in (9.5 mm) from the end of the top veneer and 3/8 in (9.5 mm) from the position of the end of the under veneer. Within this box parallel lines should be drawn and the position of the fingers marked in with a hard pencil; the fingers are then cut in with a sharp knife, the waste lifted and the two veneers pushed tightly together and taped in position. Figure 292 illustrates the various stages, and the completed finger joint, which was not 'faked' in any way, shows the joint as a slight deviation only in the grain direction on the right-hand side of the completed panel. The method can also be used in random lengths of veneers, providing the grain is reasonably uniform throughout the several sheets.

Finger jointing is a traditional hand process, but wedge joint veneer shaping machines working on the principle of a small fly-press are now available with up to 12 right-hand and 12 left-hand knives to cut joints up to 14 in (355 mm) in width. The principle is also employed in the scarf jointing of heavy construction timbers, but precision machines are required as the fingering cannot be sawn by hand accurately enough to give the required tightness at the tips.

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