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The magazine’s August 2014 article by Mario Rodriguez on building a mid-century coffee table features a terrific section about working with veneer for a patterned top. You can read Mario’s technique description below.

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Dan Farnbach

Working with veneer is not as hard as you think.The veneered top for this coffee table is arranged in a pattern of squares, with each square’s grain running perpendicular to those surrounding it. This easy arrangement achieves an attractive design that resembles a basket-weave pattern that’s made even more striking by the strong linear grain pattern of the teak veneer I used.

The thought of working with veneer usually strikes terror in the hearts of most woodworkers. Veneering can be messy, difficult and unpredictable – but on this project, it’s a piece of cake. Many of the problems commonly associated with veneering are easily avoided.

I chose reconstituted teak veneer for its straight grain and strong contrast. Unlike conventional veneer, reconstituted veneer is made up of sliced veneer that is re-glued into a distinctive yet uniform color and pattern, then sliced into sheets.


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