What I Don’t Know About Veneering

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I’ve been woodworking for a little over thirty-five years (I was barely out of diapers…I swear!), and in all that time I’ve done just enough veneering to know that there is a lot more about veneering that I don’t know. It’s one of those specialty woodworking areas that has it’s own set of tools, expectations and base of knowledge. While I know how to rip and crosscut a board to size on a table saw, doing the same to a piece of veneer adds numerous variables to make it a more complicated process. What if the veneer is curly and won’t lay flat? What the heck is a veneer saw and why wouldn’t I just use a razor knife? And how do you match two veneer edges to form a perfect seam? I can make some educated guesses, but folks who have been working in the specialty have already figured it out. That’s why it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with one of those experienced folk. In my case it was shooting video of Jonathan Benson a few months back. He does know the tricks and is able to share them in a way that makes it all seem so very reasonable and doable! Jonathan is the author of Woodworker’s Guide to Veneering & Inlay, and the host of a new video from Popular Woodworking, “Veneering – Start to Finish.” Looking at some of his completed veneer work will make you swallow hard and think about “someday” being that good. But once you watch him work through the steps, you realize it can be learned and that with some practice and an open mind, you can do some pretty cool veneer work yourself!

Yes, there are some tricks (one of which I’ve posted as a video below), that will make things simpler. And that’s why it’s great to learn from someone else’s experience. It builds confidence and an interest in trying new things. And maybe I can reduce the amount of stuff I DON’T know about veneering!

– David Thiel