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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to build this gaming table for a friend:

http://www.billiard-s.lviv.ua/~images/latvija_novus_1.jpg

The veneer/inlay is what I need advice on. Essentially, it is a board made up of light and dark areas, with even lighter wood for the lines/borders. I am thinking of using 1/4 inch ply, probably birch or maple, and removing the top layer of veneer in the areas that need to be a darker wood (with a router and straight bit), then veneering the darker wood onto the areas I removed. Does this sound like the right approach? Or should I be veneering the whole thing piece by piece? Thoughts? Thanks.
 

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If I were doing this, I'd be veneering the thing piece by piece. If you get your veneers cut correctly, and then taped together it should be quite a bit easier than the approach you described. I'd probably use a thicker plywood as well....1/2" may be enough, but that looks like it may be a s big as 4' by 4'. I doubt 1/4" would be stiff enough for a table that size, even with some underframing.
 

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I agree with Fred, I would cut out the veneer and piece it together like a jig saw puzzle and tape it together so it is one sheet to laminate to a sheet of plywood. Make the sheet slightly larger than the plywood you are covering so you can trim it off after it dries. That way you wouldn't have to stick the veneer perfect on the plywood when you are gluing it. The picture looks like the dark wood is cherry and the narrow stripes are maybe maple. I can't make out the wood on the light fields. It looks a little more yellow than maple. Anyway you could use any wood, Just wet some scrap pieces to be sure you like the wood slection. The biggest problem is gluing it down. The easiest way would be to use contact cement however it doesn't work very well. If the plywood you veneer shrinks any the contact cement isn't strong enough to resist it and will bubble and wrinkle. A resin glue would be much better however you really need a proper press to glue it. A lot of folks use a vacuum press that works the best. You could jury rig a cold press by laying a sheet of plywood over the sheet you are gluing and put heavy timbers over it to clamp it down to your bench. You might put some kind of plastic between the top and the plywood in case some glue ozzes out. It would also be a good idea if you put a plain sheet of veneer on the bottom side. By doing both sides you would run less risk of the top warping. When you finish the table be sure to use a finish that is non-yellowing because of the light colored wood. You could use most water base finishes or any acrylic finish such as a cab-acrylic lacquer. You could also use a pre-catalyzed lacquer or a fully catalyzed lacquer. Oil based finishes tend to yellow as they age as well as nitrocellulose lacquers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to clarify, would you tape all pieces together and lay as one? I've never taped up veneers, but it seems like it would be difficult with the thin white lines. I imagine laying the larger areas as one, then routing for the lines after that's laid, but if you tell me different, I'll give it a shot.

Another question: Apparently there are different types of veneer tape. What would be appropriate for this job, with a resin glue?

I'm sure I'll be back once I get started with more questions! Thanks.
 
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