Book Matching

The most common phrase in matching of veneering is "hook matching." This means that you lay down two pieces of veneer so that the pattern of the grain matches to create a pleasing pattern. Then you turn one piece, as you would the page of a book, over onto the other. The edge you turn is the edge that must be trimmed so that the two pieces fit together exactly.

Next, book match the sheets. Turn one sheet over on the other, like the page In a book The edges closest to me will butt each oiher when the veneer is laid down
The first task is to match the grain paiterns in the veneer We are using rosewood, which has a pronounced black grain design and we searched through our sheets to find those that looked pleasing when placed side by side

To trim the edges which are to butt together, you can make a veneer jig out of two long, perfectly straight hardwood boards. Place the veneer sheets between the boards with just a fraction of an inch protruding beyond the edge of the board. Clamp the boards solidly to hold the veneer in place.

Trim the protruding edges of the veneer pieces to the hardwood boards This makes the edges straight and identical. Cut away the excess with a craft knife. Cut only against the grain of the veneer Make small shaving cuts Then sand smooth

Lay the straightedge across the overlap and use it to guide the veneer saw. Hold the saw tight against the straightedge during cutting If you are afraid the straightedge will slip, clamp it down before starting to cut.

When you remove the jig and turn the veneer pieces back to their original position, the edges match perfectly. The grain pattern of the wood is good and when you glue the pieces they will butt perfectly and look like one piece of veneer

Another way to match the edges is to use a metal straightedge and a veneer saw. The veneer in this picture is walnut burl. One piece is laid so it overlaps the other by a fraction of an inch.

Many people prefer to use a coarse sandpaper instead of a knife to cut the veneer down The very best way is to use a small plane, if you have one. Plane only against the grain

To trim the edges which are to butt together, you can make a veneer jig out of two long, perfectly straight hardwood boards. Place the veneer sheets between the boards with just a fraction of an inch protruding beyond the edge of the board. Clamp the boards solidly to hold the veneer in place.

Trim the protruding edges of the veneer pieces to the hardwood boards This makes the edges straight and identical. Cut away the excess with a craft knife. Cut only against the grain of the veneer Make small shaving cuts Then sand smooth

For example, if you turned the left-hand page over on top of the right-hand page, the edge on the left side after you finish turning is the edge that must be trimmed for matching. These edges, when glued down, should fit together so well that the seam or joint is practically invisible. There are two ways to trim these matching edges to achieve this perfect fit.

Using the Joining Jig One way to trim the veneer is to use a joining jig. This is a simple, homemade tool consisting of two perfectly straight hardwood boards. You fit the veneer between these boards, with the matching edge extending out slightly, as shown. Then trim the protruding edge until it is flush with the hardwood boards. To trim, use a small plane or a craft knife, or sand them until they are level with the hardwood face of the jig. When taken out of the jig, the two pieces should fit together perfectly.

Veneer Saw Method The second method, using a veneer saw, is the one we prefer, chiefly because over the years we have had consistently good results with it. In this method, you lay the matched pieces of veneer on a cutting board, just as they will appear on the finished pieces. Overlap the matching edge only as much as necessary for complete coverage. Place a hardwood or metal straightedge where the two pieces overlap. The straightedge is lined up along the edge to be trimmed, just far enough in from the edge so both pieces of veneer are cut. Using the veneer saw, cut the full length of the veneer, trimming away the edges of both pieces simultaneously. This results in perfectly matching edges that lay down beautifully.

Lay the straightedge across the overlap and use it to guide the veneer saw. Hold the saw tight against the straightedge during cutting If you are afraid the straightedge will slip, clamp it down before starting to cut.

Many people prefer to use a coarse sandpaper instead of a knife to cut the veneer down The very best way is to use a small plane, if you have one. Plane only against the grain

When you remove the jig and turn the veneer pieces back to their original position, the edges match perfectly. The grain pattern of the wood is good and when you glue the pieces they will butt perfectly and look like one piece of veneer

Another way to match the edges is to use a metal straightedge and a veneer saw. The veneer in this picture is walnut burl. One piece is laid so it overlaps the other by a fraction of an inch.

Remove the old dried and cracked veneer before applying new. The best tool for the job is a sharp, wide wood chisel handled carefully Get under the old veneer, but do not damage the surface of the drawer. II you do, the new veneer will not lay flat.

In some areas the old glue still held. To break through, hold (he chisel verticallyand tap to make cuts through the veneer When you make several cuts near each other, the old glue will loosen and release the veneer. Again, try not to cut into thé base wood

To cover a few chise marks and some old indentations on the surface, use a spatula to wipe a wood filler across the surface. Don't build up the old surface, just fill the dents.

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