Smoke and Mirrors?

Hello again! It's time for a little smoke and mirrors... well, mirrors anyway. I've started playing around with the bird's eye veneers to see about the best way to match them for the side panels of the Jeffersonian Book Stand. Once they're cut to rough size I can get a little bit more precise with their alignment. The two mirrors shown in the photo above help plan the cuts that will form the final veneer match...

A template of cardboard and strands of thread simplify the job of matching the key features of the grain. I want to do my best to reinforce the visual effect of mirroring. Since the four slices of veneer came from the same part of the plank, they all four share a common center point for the match. In the photo below, you can see how an oval of bird's eye knots is formed around the center.

After joining the four together, I followed that up with a three-sided frame of yellow birch. The fourth side of the frame will be the ledge at the bottom of the panel that supports the book. I'll add that after most of the stand is assembled. For the back of the side panel I'm using a simple pair of yellow birch veneers.

Meanwhile, back at the substrate, the three layers of Baltic birch plywood have been beveled and the edgebands prepared.

After smoothing the edges (yes, even the plywood) with a hand plane to ensure a strong, tight joint, I glued up the edgebands.

It always feels great when a piece is completed, but fortunately there's no need to wait for that. There are many, many points along the way to find a dose of satisfaction, too. Like now, for example. It feels great to trim the edge bands flush and then remove the small irregularities from the substrate surfaces to make them as flat as possible to receive the veneer. First, I'll need a sharp plane iron, honed to a high polish on both sides of its cutting edge. Then, fitted back into the plane body. Adjusted and readjusted as I make a few test cuts on a scrap piece of wood. After I make a few nice thin shavings, I go back to the panel to clean up those edgebands. Ahh, sweet...

Now, at last, it's time to glue on the veneers!

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you're all-to-familiar with the ritual glue-up in the vacuum bag... and here we go again.

Three more side panels will get the same treatment and follow each other one at a time in and out of the vacuum press.

Hej då... and happy shavings!

Craig