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Veneered Complex Curve box Build Thread

Discussion in 'Veneering' started by cabomhn, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well, this is going to be very long very infrequent build thread since this is occurring during the semester as I return to school. I plan on working at last half a day once a week while at school but the school work will still be the main priority.

    So the first part of this is the fact that I needed a vacuum press to really get the results that I wanted. I did a lot of reading on the joewoodworker site and decided on the excel1 continuous run system. It came in the mail yesterday and get everything set up and sealed off.

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    The next step for me is working on making the vacuum bag. I bought 30mil vinyl from the veneer suppliers website. I have the glue for the vinyl and the roller and the valve stem now I just need to get things assembled.

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    Making this bag or at least getting started will be a portion of my work this afternoon, this will make a decent sized bag once it's all done. Figured I'd make it a little bigger so I have room for some bigger projects later on and won't have to make a bigger bag right away.

    So for the box itself, this is the basic sketchup model for what I'm going for. I am trying to model this after one of the users over at Lumberjock's site named "RogerBean" and his maple burl box. However I am adding a drawer into it so it will differentiate a little bit from his process. The hardest part will be the two meet ups of two curves that occurs on the front of the box.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 11.46.36 AM.png
    This is just the baseline design and I'll be working a little to update it for the drawer addition. Some of this work will be done with a CNC router that the woodshop at my school just bought. Normally I would want to do it all by hand, but if I have limited time to work, I can get a lot more of the veneer work which was the focus of this project for me and less time working on box shaping. Looking forward to keep working!
     
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  2. Mike1950

    Mike1950 Founding Member Founding Member Full Member

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    :popcorn:
     
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  3. barry richardson

    barry richardson Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    Subscribed! Will all the surfaces be wrapped with veneer?
     
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  4. Schroedc

    Schroedc Trying to kick a nasy sawdust habbit.... Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    :popcorn: I'll be watching this too, I've already got a pump so I'll be interested to see if this is something I might want to do myself later....
     
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  5. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Yes it will be! The top will be a 4 way matched book matched veneer and hopefully the rest will be two way book matched vertically along the remaining faces. There will be edge banding added after all faces have been veneered done by hand but that part is going to be fairly complicated.
     
  6. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Ok so did the first glue up on the vacuum bag. First thing was cutting off some of the vinyl in order to have a piece to "edge-band" the second glue up for later on. I didn't have any rulers or long straight edges on hand so I just used a roll of painters tape and a marker as I slid my finger down the bag to get a (somewhat) straight line for cutting.

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    Next is preparing the glueing area for glueing. This is done using acetone and a greenie scrubbing pad. The acetone helps remove all the manufacturing oils and the scrubby helps add perforations to the vinyl to promote a good bond strength of the glue.

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    So after lining up the ends and marking things off, I got the glue up done. The glue up was done by overlaying the ends and not sandwiching them on top of each other like you would simply folding the vinyl in half. The seem was sealed using a wooden roller and then after it was rolled tight, I went along the top border and added glue to where the edge met up with the face of the other side of the vinyl. This will be done to the inside seam as well once the glue dries and I can turn the bag inside out. More to be done later!

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  7. frankp

    frankp Founding Member Founding Member Full Member

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    Are you using HH-66 vinyl cement or something else? I've had much success using it on my PVC kayaks though preventing bubbles on complex curves is sometimes difficult. Looking forward to seeing how this whole thread progresses.
     
  8. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Sorry I am just seeing this now. Yep! It is HH-66 vinyl cement this stuff has worked great so far.
     
  9. Kevin

    Kevin Wood is good. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member

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    Glad I finally saw this. I am considering making a vacuum bag as well so this will help me out if I do. Thanks for letting us in on it Matt.

    :yess:
     
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  10. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well, just going to give an update here. I've been working hard on this over the past week or so and I've made a lot of progress. The first thing I didn't mention in the original post is that I'm kind of cheating on this project for the curves. I came home from the summer and the shop got a shopbot cnc machine just weeks before. I wasn't planning on something like that when I first started but wow this thing seriously reduces the amount of hours needed in "traditional" woodworking and will allow me to have more time working on the veneer side of things during the course of the semester. Not only that, but that accuracy is unreal and once you learn the software, the results are very nice. Now, one thing is that the software is NOT intuitive at all. I know how to use various CAD programs but this is very different. The problem with Vcarvepro is that you have to generate 3D designs using only 2D vectors which makes you have to completely change how you think about constructing your project.

    So, after many many hours of fumbling with the software and learning how to screw things up, I came up with this prototype using some cheapo plywood in preparation for a final design for some good quality baltic birch ply. The results are really good and once I increase the pass overstep on the machine the lines will be extremely smooth for the lid top.

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    Now, you can see there are few things wrong with the model, the top curve doesn't go all the way to the ends and it's pretty rough but I've made some changes to the vcarvepro file and this next cut should really fix things up on the baltic birch plywood. Here is how I had to jerry-rig a set up to hold down the piece during cutting.
    IMG_1028.jpg

    Next I've finished work for the most part on this vacuum bag and my bag closure that I'll be using. It took a little bit of work on and off but so far so good. The valve stem is in place and it'll be ready for when I start pressing my veneer.
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    This is my bag closure that I'll be using. It's just a piece of oak that has a ½" dowel ran through it and glued into place on one side. Then it has dowels at the end that allow the two halves to be aligned while closing the bag and then it will be squeezed together with clamps to seal off the bag during pressing.
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    Thanks for looking! Tuesday the woodshop will re-open from labor day weekend so I'll be able to take my birth ply and start cutting my lid again.
     
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  11. Kevin

    Kevin Wood is good. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member

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    Matt, it is a myth that the traditional masters of woodworking would frown on modern tools if they were alive. They always employed whatever tools & methods & materials that were state of the art in their day, and it is silly to think they would not employ them today. Maybe they would choose a card scraper over a ROS for most of their work, but surely they wouldn't avoid all power tools.

    That's not to say that hand tools aren't more rewarding to use because often they are. But sometimes a project is not best suited to using only hand tools and this is one.

    You are definitely not "cheating". You're using the best tools for the job available.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  12. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    I didn't necessarily mean cheating in a bad way, but this method is definitely less challenging on the woodworking side of things but does add a level of design technical complexity on the computer design side of things. I original had made a design by hand using traditional joints and using a table saw to create the shaped top but this method will allow to spend much less time box making and much more time practicing my veneering skills. In the end, going along with what you're saying, I'm really only doing these projects for my own personal enjoyment so as long as I don't mind it myself that's what matters.
     
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  13. Kevin

    Kevin Wood is good. Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Founding Member Full Member

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    You haven't told us what species the veneer will be. One? More than one? Can you tell us?

    Inquiring addicts want to know.

    :nodice:
     
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  14. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well good benchmark just a few minutes ago. I drew down the bag for the first time and to my surprise no leaks at all! I was going to go around with another later of glue on the edges but I couldn't find any leaks to draw the glue into. Pretty proud of the bag! Way better than spending a ton of money on buying one from an online supplier and much more rewarding that I made it myself. I can't see this bag not lasting me a very long time.

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    I have my veneer from Roy coming today and I can't wait to start matching the edges and seeing how I'm going to book match the sheets.
     
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  15. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Oh yeah! Well originally I bought some carpathian elm burl off of ebay, very nice veneer but I decided to save it for another project later on. However I got some really nice redwood burl sheets from Roy that should be here today that will be the main pieces for this project. I'll post a couple pictures later tonight once they are here.
     
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  16. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Here ya go Kevin, here's the veneer! It came today and this stuff looks awesome.

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  17. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well another little update today. I got some baltic birch plywood and remade sections for the box top and for the box front from some quality plywood. The CNC cut really well on this ply and I upped the overlap in the cutting patterns so the cuts are pretty smooth on the inside. I screwed in a ¾" piece of plywood to the table top and then had the CNC route out a pocket the same size as my piece, and then cut again around the corners so that I didn't have to clean them out and make them square by hand; and then using a wedge to keep it tight to the corner I designated as my zero point.

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    Here is the result of the cutting for this section. It came out super smooth and really barely needs any sanding before it's ready to be veneered.
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    The next step is to make the shaped front for the box in order to be able to put this shape and transfer it to the box top. This cut out of the lid has to be done by hand because the CNC can't cut corners from the cross sectional view of the lid and it is just more reliable to do this portion by hand.

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    The CNC started acting funny towards to end of flattening out the wings here, so I cut it off just to make sure it didn't cut too far down. I'll clean up the rest of these by hand with a plane hopefully tomorrow. Then, transfer the shape of the front onto the lid and cut out the design. Then finally, I will be able to make the arched top for the box. Hopefully tomorrow night I'll have a (positive) update on the project.
     
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  18. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well things worked out pretty nicely today. The first thing I did was mark up the lid top from yesterday with the box front design that was cut out. Then I cut the shaped front out and got things sanded pretty close for the box design. After that, I got it rigged up in the CNC and oriented properly for the cut.

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    I had to use two wedges here since the box front lost some stability in the form and it was necessary in order to keep the lid situated hugging the x-y axis. After the cut was completely done I took it off of the CNC and started some light sanding. It still needs some work, but this box lid is very close to the original design and dimensions and I"m pretty pleased with how it is looking. For the next few hours I'm going to start picking my veneer sheets and getting the pieces taped with veneer tape ready for the press when the time comes.

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  19. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well finished up a little more tonight. Firstly got the 4 pieces I will be using for the lid and partly the sides lined up and ordered such that all 4 match really well. Got the first two edges taped up properly and ready to go. You can see a nice and tight seem and pattern matching.

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    After that got the other two pieces sectioned up and taped together. The edge where these two pieces will meet is not perfectly straight and will need to be cut and trimmed with a veneer saw and then taped together. Looking good so far!
    IMG_1080.JPG
     
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  20. cabomhn

    cabomhn Member Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well finished cutting and joining the edges of the two sections I had last night today. For the life of me, I couldn't find a single good straight edge in the apartment. I had a couple pieces of wood I had jointed recently but they really just weren't working out, had some minor warping. So, being a college kid I did what any good college kid would do and came up with an improvisation that worked with about the same results. I went to our coffee table and took off the glass top and laid it over the veneer. It actually worked perfectly since the glass was so heavy the veneer didn't budge. I just added two clamps on one edge to prevent the glass from rotating and set up the cut.

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    I'm using a two cherries veneer saw pre-sharpened and purchased from the veneer suppliers site. I didn't mention this yesterday but I'm following the same general process as he outlines. On the bottom face that will be adhered to the panel, I am using a stretchable painters blue tape to initially hold the veneer tight. Then the piece gets flipped over and a regular veneer tape is used. This one is not the type that needs to be wet prior to adhering to the veneer, but the own of the Joe woodworker site highly recommends it for it's strength and for it's lack of leaving glue marks after pressing.

    So I was pretty fortunate that I was able to cut the exact same amount off of both sides, it made the cutting to line up the veneer much much easier than trying to match the pattern. I'm sure there is a better way to get things lined up properly but hopefully I'll learn as I go.

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