This isn't exactly a veneer question but an inlay question. I'm building my first acoustic guitar, and my first attempt at inlaying abalone initials in the headstock didn't go to well. The method I used was to cut the letters out of the abalam, spot glue it in place on the surface, scribe around it with a razor knife, remove and then excavate between the lines. The cavity was too large to fill with epoxy and sawdust. Anybody got a better way?
From contributor J:
I've done some mother of pearl by cutting the wood cavity first. I lay a sheet of heavy tracing paper over the hole, tape it in place, trim to the edge of the cavity with a sharp Xacto, then spray-tack the outer piece with the hole (not the small cut-out) on the shell and cut around the outside of the hole with a jeweler's saw. Trim the shell to fit with locksmith's files.