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Discussion Starter #1
I think I lost another table top. Same problems as before. I thought I had solved the problem but no. I guess I have not. Well I have solved part of it. I can't build these tables the way I have been anymore. Using 1/4 inch plywood like a veneer is too risky. I learned today that the plywood thinkness itself is not uniform. I mean for any other project its probably fine. but when I have my router set up in a jig to level my inlays perfectly flat with the veneer and one section is a 1/64th higher the the other section problems arise.(because that is basically the thickness of the damn veneer. The jig is just a wooden base for the router that has two 1/4 strips glued on it running in parallel so I can straddle the straight inlay and drop the bit down the height needed to trim the inlay down. If I would have put the runners closer to the bit I would have had no problem(lesson learned) but I had my runners out to the far edges of the base. As a result I have about an 6 inch run where I went through the veneer or so close to going through that it is transparent(might as well have gone through). I haven't tossed the top yet. The places where I went through are in the straight inlays separating the pie shaped oak. I'm brain storming to make some type of additional inlays to cover the bad spots.

I need to learn how to use real veneer on a large top. Without a vacuum press. The table is in my profile photos. Any advice or a good article on veneering. I'm pretty sure that every other aspect of how I build these tables will work right along side a top with real veneer on it. Any advice from exp. veneerers is HIGHLY WELCOMED. I'm not ready to give up on these tables I think they are nice and I'd like to keep building them. But with 2 total failures and a questionable third, it's starting to sting and hurt my allready thin wallet.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm going back down to the shop soon I'll snap a few pics when I level the next two strips so it makes sense what I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thats what I would like to do in the future. Having a full 16th to play with would make all the difference. I still like doing the inlays with solid wood though.

I recently gave my first table to a close friend and before I did that I took it apart and semi refinished it. After I got the legs and bottom plate off I took a peek at the oak ply veneer. It was twice as think as what I'm dealing with now. I don't know if the supplier changed or in ten years they can just cut it alot thinner now. I don't like it though, grr.

All right, its time to do one in veneer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, I was using 1/4 oak ply sandwiched between two sheets of 3/4 and I wrapped the whole thing clamps. It glued down fine. It was 12 pie shaped sections on a round table. some sections were thicker then others resulting in me going through the veneer on the high side.

I never tried real veneering yet. I want very badly. But I spent all day yesterday trying to get some good info and I have not found what I was hoping to find. So far the only option that looks like it would work for me is to use plain cut veneer on the thicker side (1/16) and use the cold press glue and put it in a home made press. Then go back and put my inlays in the way I usually do.

All the vacuum bag systems don't seem to have a bag big enough for a table top. I plan on doing these in a 63 inch version soon.

Contact cement seems like I'd be asking for trouble on a table top and I will not even think about going that route.

I couldn't even find a good supplier with the sizes and species of wood I want to use.

its turning into a nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey guys. I have been away for awhile. Jason, its about 15 inches at the widest point. Wouldn't 1/4" material shrink and expand though? I picture a table of that type tearing itself apart with wood movement. But being able to work with that thickness would be a dream come true. Maybe I could make my own 1/8" thick material but I was thinking even that might shrink and expand. hmmm.........

I have a person interested in a table like that in Cherry and Hickory. I am trying to see if they would go for Cherry and Maple instead.

I'm half way done the next one now. I'm out of town though. I'll be working on it full time when I get back in a few days.

I realize I've been posting about this table and the last one a lot on here. But bringing up making my own thicker veneer has me thinking. Any input from the other guys...............?

I did do the research on veneering. Not to put veneering down but I would prefer to do it another way. I'm doing all my inlays the conventional way. I'm not doing marquetry. Each inlay is about 1/8 to 1/4 thick. I like it that way. It's fun to build and it just feels better.

What about using 1/4 sawn lumber as a 1/8 to 1/4 inch veneer? Would that not help to limit the expansion and contraction?

Thanks guys, and as always.....take it easy

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
my fix it idea so far....

I originally posted to the wrong thread. I'm moving it now
 

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btyirin,

I've never built anything like that so I cannot help much. Only thing I wanted to throw out there to is maybe next time consider using mesquite for the parts that are giving you the most trouble, and quartersawn Catalpa for your contrast wood.

Mesquite has a tangential and radial shrinkage that are equal, and also the overall shrinkage is the lowest of any wood. In fact it is cited as the most stabke wood on the planet. Most woodworkers are not aware that Catalpa is also a very stable wood.

Just an idea. Maybe not a good one because I don't know how thise two would look together. Maybe flat sawn Mesquite and then for the contrast wood quartersawn Mesquite, that would look awesome I bet and you would have zero movement for all practical purposes.
 

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" What about using 1/4 sawn lumber as a 1/8 to 1/4 inch veneer? Would that not help to limit the expansion and contraction?"

I have used 3/8" oak and still had a contraction problem when it was brought into an air conditioned building. Of course oak is one of the worst for having this problem.

G
 

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What about getting it as close as possible and using a 2 part acrylic pour on finish? That stuff will cover minor surface irregularities.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the compliment. I'm taking a break from the table for a for a little. I've been down in Big Stone Gap, VA. putting hardwood on some pretty high ceilings in a new home. 30 foot vaulted ceilings. Basically I'm doing upside down hardwood floors. I want to say that I'm getting too old for this %$^& but I know I'm still a young one. I'm working on a crew of about 5. A friend of a mine knows the contractor and he wanted some help so .........yay! Its like a little vacation. A little extra money is good too.

I'm a Philly boy who moved to Kentucky last year. I was just getting used to the way people talk here. Now I'm 4 hours farther south. People talk funny down here, lol. But whats really funny is the looks people give me as soon as I open my Philly mouth. I'm in culture shock.

But that table is getting my full attention when I get back.

Take it easy guys.

Brian.
 
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