Veneer Daze

For the past couple of months I’ve been spending the occasional minutes sawing veneer for my tool cabinet.

When calculating the amount of veneer I need for a particular parquetry project, I generally take the object’s gross area plus an additional 1/3rd, parquetry being at times a very wasteful undertaking.  This is all the more true when deriving the raw veneer stock from irregular sources.  In the case of my under-construction tool cabinet the gross area is roughly 4′ x 1-1/2′ plus 4′ x 3′ plus 4′ x 1-1/2′, or put more simply, 4′ x 6′, or 24 square feet.  Adding another 8 square feet for waste I need to come up with 32 square feet of veneer stock.

For the most part my starting point for creating the sawn oak veneers requisite for the tool cabinet parquetry was this pile of roughly 6x6x6 chunks salvaged from the FORP trash pile.  I did have some larger pieces left over from my bench but I was saving them for something else.

My initial thought was to resaw the blocks into <1/8″ slices on my newly tuned up bandsaw.  Alas, that bandsaw’s motor was just not up to the task even with a brand new variable pitch blade.  Sawing 6-inches of dense, vintage white oak was just too much.

I found it was actually faster to cut the slices by hand, first scoring the edge all around the block with a kerfing plane, then moving on to the actual re-sawing with a hand saw.  Normally this would be where I grab for one of my Roubo-esque frame saws, but the spatial logistics precluded that.  Instead I used my 3-1/2 t.p.i. rip saw.

I found that this routine yielded around 2 square feet for an hour’s work.  I was satisfied with that.