Wood Veneers

For a minute I thought, wow… this guy must be loaded, until I clicked the link… phew

on another note, veneers make those laser cut boxes look so much more attractive now. I was concocting ways to make boxes without them looking like puzzle pieces, but maybe I wont have to worry about that now…


The big thing with veneers is that they can be quite “textured”, you may have to press them to ensure they are flat before cutting. I use a standard iron with a pressing cloth, once I get then flatter, sandwich the veneer between a couple of 1/2" pieces of plywood and clamp it together. It can take a few hours to a day to dry out, but it will cut better and cut flat.


I did once try to cut a “living hinge” on a piece of MDF that had a veneer of quilted maple glued to the top. I was trying to make something like this, but without paying the price of a 1/8 thick piece of solid wood:

Unfortunately, it did not work very well. The cuts in the living hinge were too close together and the glue holding the veneer on those parts did not hold well. So lots of small veneer pieces flaked off in the hinge part. I would not recommend doing living hinges with a veneered piece of wood.

If you want to make living hinges I suggest solid pieces of wood.


Actually, we found the opposite. Solid wood, sliced thin enough to make a living hinge, doesn’t have structural integrity. You need the opposing plys of plywood to give strength to the hinge. What you’re seeing in that picture is exactly what you described: a nice piece of walnut veneer, glued (Titebond III I think?) to normal 1/8" plywood.

My guess as to why it didn’t work with MDF: The fibers in MDF don’t have structural integrity like the plywood does. Plywood keeps the structure of the wood intact since it is sheets of veneer layered with the grain at 90 degrees to each other. MDF is just random fibers held together with resin so the flexing of the joint breaks the MDF and the veneer flakes off. -Used to work at a resin plant making resin for the plywood/particleboard industry. Ya just never know when random bits of info may come in handy.


Interesting. Perhaps it’s the type of glue I used. I think I used contact cement for the veneer. Perhaps the laser is somehow melting it. Once I have my GF, I’ll try it again, but with Titebond ||||.

Perhaps my cuts were also too close to each other. I’m not sure. This is something I have to experiment with.

Just MDF worked very well.