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Thread: Veneer application & CNC laser advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Lexington, KY
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    Veneer application & CNC laser advice?

    I'm gonna apply a sheet of 1/42" Maple veneer to a 1/8" sheet of Basswood and see if I can cut it with a CNC laser.

    How do I go about applying the veneer without the sheet curling after the glue cures? Is there any adhesive I can use that won't make the piece curve? I could apply veneers to both sides but I'm trying to avoid doing that.

    My local public library's maker's space has a CO2 Epilog Laser Cutter and I've just taken a class on operating the thing I'll be giving that a go soon...cutting shapes out of the veneer on basswood combo. The goal is to cut fast enough that the veneer doesn't have any burn residue on the top. The side edge doesn't matter much.

    Actually, what kind of spray finish can I give my veneered sheets before putting them under the laser so that sooty debris will just wipe off? No gloss or color change is wanted at all. Just a good protective finish.
    If the end of the world ever comes move to Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years later. ~ Mark Twain
    History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake. ~ Ron Swanson
    The economy of what you say lends more to it's meaning than the depth of it's exclamation.
    If you need a tool and don't get it, you paid for not having it and you still don't have it.

  2. #2
    About the only thing that will not add moisture would be (WEST) epoxy.
    But regardless the glue, you are going to have to press it flat, so if left in the press long enough, there may be a chance to get it cut before it warps?

    My library can cut up to 1/4" birch plywood.

    A few years back, my wife went to an auction and bought a 1927 Brunswick Royal pool table that needed restored.
    To replace/replicate missing veneers, i initially went to the library to ask about cutting out patterns. My friend talked me into just cutting out the parts, and since the program was saved, it could make replacements at any time.
    I make all my own veneers from solid lumber, so made some in 1/16" thick & just took in the glued parts to cut directly.
    Also took him some sample pieces, so he could set the laser strength.
    For instance, IIRC the ebony was a different power setting than the satin wood or mahogany, but they were close enough that he only used 2 settings for the package.

    You can see i got one set of satinwood veneers oriented upside down when set up on the laser. But it just adds to the story of the table - if anyone actually picks it out on their own.

    Brunswick inlay taped up.jpgBrunswick inlay sanded compare with old.jpgBrunswick legs restored paint feet.jpgBrunswick inlay laser parts.jpg

    I donate them 1/8" & 1/4" thick baltic birch ply cut-offs, and ditto for Acrylic plastic.
    They seem to prefer 1/8" thickness, whatever the material
    Last edited by stephen thomas; 06-01-2024 at 12:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Thanks for the advice Stephen. I don't know why but I can't see any pictures in anyone's posts, including my own. All I see is the picture title and when I click on it it says 'You do not have permission to access this page. This could be for a number of different reasons...'blah blah
    If the end of the world ever comes move to Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years later. ~ Mark Twain
    History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake. ~ Ron Swanson
    The economy of what you say lends more to it's meaning than the depth of it's exclamation.
    If you need a tool and don't get it, you paid for not having it and you still don't have it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
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    IMG_1427 v2 5 x7 300 dpi.jpg


    I would be interested in knowing the outcome, staying flat...
    I have vector cut many items doing exactly what you plan. Different veneers on .125 plywood.
    The ply with veneer on both sides worked every time. Veneer on one side, did not stay flat.
    Epilog Mini 24-45W, Corel Draw X6, Photoshop CS5, Multi Cam CNC

  5. #5
    when I click on it it says 'You do not have permission to access this page.


    Brad - you have to kick in a nominal $6/year & become a "contributor" to see pix on the site.
    It's up in the control panel at the top of the page under donate.
    You get a lot more access for a mere $6 including the option to turn off banner ads.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    121
    Thanks Stephen. I paid in my six bucks and now I can all see the pics.
    If the end of the world ever comes move to Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years later. ~ Mark Twain
    History began on July 4, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake. ~ Ron Swanson
    The economy of what you say lends more to it's meaning than the depth of it's exclamation.
    If you need a tool and don't get it, you paid for not having it and you still don't have it.

  7. #7
    Brad

    Be sure to use air assist and consider using two passes to cut through the material. You can also use transfer tape on the top surface to minimize burn residue. The residue can also be washed (blotted) off with soap and water.

    Plan to do a couple of test runs in order to fine tune your speed and power settings.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Dye Sublimation
    CorelDraw X5, X7

  8. #8
    You might try polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue) as (I believe) that has no water content. Some people here have used it for veneer successfully. Epoxy will bleed through thin veneer- it can be mitigated by sealing the top surface with more epoxy but you will get a color change.https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....neering-update

    How are you going to use these pieces once cut? If you are going to inlay them or glue them to a thicker assembly they may stay flat enough for the fabrication period, but if you want them to stay flat on their own best practice is to make a balanced panel with an uneven number of layers. If using plywood for a core lay up the face and back veneers with the grain perpendicular to the face grain of the substrate. You can use a lower grade veneer for the backer but it should be the same thickness and have similar movement with humidity changes as the face veneer.
    Last edited by Kevin Jenness; 06-13-2024 at 7:54 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    4,738
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    You might try polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue) as (I believe) that has no water content. Some people here have used it for veneer successfully. Epoxy will bleed through thin veneer- it can be mitigated by sealing the top surface with more epoxy but you will get a color change.https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....neering-update

    How are you going to use these pieces once cut? If you are going to inlay them or glue them to a thicker assembly they may stay flat enough for the fabrication period, but if you want them to stay flat on their own best practice is to make a balanced panel with an uneven number of layers. If using plywood for a core lay up the face and back veneers with the grain perpendicular to the face grain of the substrate. You can use a lower grade veneer for the backer but it should be the same thickness and have similar movement with humidity changes as the face veneer.
    Gorilla glue must have moisture to activate it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    Gorilla glue must have moisture to activate it.
    If you look at the thread linked in my last post, David Zaret used Gorilla Glue on veneer with no added moisture so there must have been enough in the substrate to activate the glue. Jeff Roltgen reported using a "Super light mist of water". In either case there would be much less water in the layup than with either pva or powdered plastic resin adhesives.

  11. #11
    In Missouri there is always enough humidity in the air and substrate for gorilla glue to achieve its moisture cure. You have to leave it clamped longer and it does not foam as much if you don't dampen the wood. I like clear Gorilla Glue when I do not want any foam at all. I use it without dampening and allow extra time in the clamps or press.

  12. #12
    Maurice

    My results have been different to the extent that I have sworn off Gorilla glue altogether.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Dye Sublimation
    CorelDraw X5, X7

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Null View Post
    Maurice

    My results have been different to the extent that I have sworn off Gorilla glue altogether.
    Would you be willing to share your disappointing results?

  14. #14
    I did not pre-wet the joints and after I removed the clamps and began moving the table top upstairs it gave way at the joint. That was probably all my fault but I scraped it off and planed the joint then re-glued with Titebond and it has been holding strong for more than 25 years.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Dye Sublimation
    CorelDraw X5, X7

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