Elsewhere on this forum I saw a video of Paul Schurch jointing several leaves of veneer by running a Festool track saw in reverse with a metal blade. I am wondering if anyone has experience doing this and if it will produce an edge good enough off the saw to seam for a face lay up. Currently I use a veneer slitting tool that produces a very fine cut and really tight seams. This works fine for furniture pieces, but we are getting to do more veneering in the cabinet work as well. I don't have the room or the budget for a veneer saw or a guillotine, but am thinking this may be a good solution for higher production than using a slitter one leaf at a time.
i tried his technique earlier this year. same blade, same technique (at least, i believe it was). my results were fairly bad. bad enough that i haven't tried it again, and have somewhat written off the technique.
like you, i'm looking for a better solution to this. i've had good luck doing it on my slider with a crosscut blade, but the challenge of clamping the veneer between two cauls is such that i'd much prefer to use the track saw.
I use my sliding table saw with a plywood sub table keyed into the slot. I set up my veneer over the cut line and press the sheets down with a hardwood caul backed with sandpaper. I am using a combination blade now and the tearout is reasonable but I will run the packet over the jointer to take off 1/64" to perfect the joint. My jointer has an eight foot bed and I press the veneer packet between boards to keep it vertical as I take a pass. Sounds more awkward than it is.
I haven't done this yet but I intend to place ap piece of ply in front of the blade to act as a zero clearance insert. I think it will reduce chatter and splinters.
Figured veneer is always a problem regardless of how you cut it. Try using a scrap piece of veneer to take the ragged cut of the bottom piece.
I use a Magic Veneer Trimmer on my slider for smaller pcs.,since I only have the 4' version.But I recently bought a Festool track saw specifically to join long pcs. of veneer.I am getting excellent results,I use the fine toothed festool blade(made for wood),and just run the saw forward.
Here are some photos of how I cut veneer. The setup is very simple and I always threaten to improve it but...
1. Sub table is keyed into sliding table slot. I press down on the caul near the cut. I tried a I-beam type pressure bar with hold down clamps at either end but it was a hassle. Sandpaper on the underside helps control things.
2. I cut up to 1" of veneers at once. Blade is usually a 12" combination blade. Veneer for standard layups can be taped straight off the saw.
3. For finer joints in figured veneer I pass the bundle over the jointer light pressure by hand to hold veneer upright. Boards are there only to stop veneer from flopping around. Cut is very light with sharp knives.
I use MDF cover sheets and glue the ends to form a sandwich. I use a triple chip blade and walk the sandwich through the saw. The example is pretty flat, some flitches need a lot of downward pressure while walking them through.
Thanks everyone for sharing your methods! It seems that the track saw would be the quickest if it produces a clean edge which there seems to be support for. I need to be able to do 8' plus in length. Max, how long of a bundle are you doing with the track saw and is it clean enough to tape together right off the saw?
Thanks for posting a link to my video Ron. Just skip to the end though, that was my first time on camera and was very awkward in my opinion.
I still use the Festool track saw for cutting bundles of veneer and it works very well. I don't run the saw backwards like Paul does though, forward works fine for me but you'll need a scrap piece of veneer on top of the stack as the top piece in every bundle seems to crack and split from the saw cut. Works on burls and straight grained woods equally well. Sometimes burls will need a strip of blue tape along the joint before cutting to prevent small pieces from chipping out. Good luck
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