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Cab Building Techniques: Veneering Help?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Thor, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Here is a question for you wood working and cab building experts.

    I am looking to apply a Brazilian Rosewood veneer to
    a finished maple ply surface for a small home 1x10
    practice cab, to make look it like furniture quality.

    The sheets look like this the pic below. I have acquired
    enough raw material to cover the project with a couple
    of practice sheets left over/

    Do any of you have any tips on gluing the stuff on?

    I have been told that I should trim it with a panelling
    blade on my table saw, (bookend it), glue it with carpenters
    glue and clamp the stuff every 3 inches, using brown
    kraft paper on the top surfaces to be removed later.

    Any tips or comments for a fellow cab builder?

    Pics of the veneer:
  2. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Another pic of the veneer and the
    cabinet under construction.

    I will post the whole project when it's done, later.

    So, any comments or ideas?
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Rosewood in particular can be a real pain, as oils in the wood can interfere with the glue bond. I'd go to an authority on the subject. Try Constantine's. I wouldn't be surprised if they even have a forum, or at least links to one. If there's anything special required they'll have it.
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Sorry OG, out of my league here. If I want to make something look like furniture, I usually just stain it, or use a nice piece of timber with clear estapol.

    Veneering will certainly look better and knowing you, I'm sure you'll pull it off somehow :)
  5. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Do a search in some HiFi forums. A lot of info about this kind of stuff can be found there. Great looking project so far. Keep us posted! And good luck. :bassist:
  6. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Traditionally this kind of veneering is done with contact cement and pressed in place with rollers. You could go for more of a guitar style wood glue and clamps thing but as Bill said rosewoods can be difficult. I would also make sure to use a thick board between the clamps and veneer and not just paper if you go that way.

    Have you thought about how you'll deal with the edges?
  7. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Oh... it looks sweet, what driver did you pick?
  8. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Contact cement is used for paper-backed veneers.

    It is usually advised to veneer both sides of a panel to equalize any movement/warping. This would be done before cutting parts to final size and assembly (which isn't much help to you now if you've already glued it up). The backing veneer can be something cheap like poplar or maple. A vacuum press with a platen and bag is the best way to achieve even clamping pressure. Vacu-presses are kind of pricey, but they can be found in even small shops quite frequently these days.
    Veneering the panels and then building will necessitate different construction techniques if you want the grain to be continuous around the cabinet. You will have to do mitered corners which are more demanding, instead of butt joints .

    I doubt that you are going to be able to get a sweet veneer joint from a tablesaw blade. You can rig up a jig and do it on a jointer, or if you are skilled with a handplane and have a long flat surface, you can do it by hand. Probably the easiest way is to sandwich the veneer between 2 sheets of 3/4" MDF and use a router with a flush trim bit.

    Joints have to be taped with veneer tape before laying up.

    I've used a Franklin glue call Multibond for veneering, but I haven't tried it on rosewood so I can't make a recommendation on that. It is a water-based type II glue.

    Here is a link to Fine Woodworking Magazine's Index. Search under veneer, veneering, and vacuum pressing. I believe that most articles are available for purchase.


    Or see if there is a local furnituremaker or cabinet shop that could give you a hand.
  9. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I have been known to bite off more than I can chew.

    I often find that the best way to learn is to research and then do. And ask lots of questions. Some dumb, some not so
    dumb. People in this forum can be quite helpful when they
    see you trying to achieve somthing decent with your efforts.
  10. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks, I will!

    I had planned to have 3/4 inch clamping boards available.
    The size of the biggest panel is 18" by 13.5 inches, and
    that would take 3 pieces bookended.

    I didn't pick it, it is actually a published project.
    I have documented the construction so far, and plan to
    do thread start to finish. I don't want to do post it yet
    until the end is in sight, but it should be close in the fall,
    summer has just been too busy to build inside.
    As a hint, I used a Peerless 4 ohm 831759 10"
    with a mid driver and xover.
  11. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks again for your excellent advice, it is well appreciated!
  12. emor


    May 16, 2004
    I actually envision having to move this occasionally, and
    plan to put typical cab corners

    If you are going to use cab corners, you are going to have to rout a roundover on the edges. 3/8" radius IIRC. Another problem for veneering. That is a really tight radius; there may be a way of doing it, but it is beyond my scope of experience.

    Tolex is starting to look better, eh?
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Corners are available for squared edges.
  14. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I have corners in stock that fit already, so it won't be an issue. :)