Plane shopsawn veneers perfectly smooth
Bandsawing your own veneers allows you to spread a beautiful board over an entire piece of furniture. You joint one face of the board before each bandsaw cut, but the saw still leaves a rough face on the other side of the veneer, which is tricky to smooth on such a thin piece. A drum sander or wide-belt sander would do the job, but those are pricey machines. This jig lets me run bandsawn veneers through my thickness planer. It also holds veneers for handplaning. It’s a simple sled made from MDF and plywood. You’ll also need an extra sheet of veneer planed to finished thickness. I start by resawing the veneers to 3⁄32 in. thick. Then I glue a square strip of solid wood (I call it a hook) to the leading edge of each piece (jointed face). The hook fits into a gap in my jig (see drawing, right). If the veneer is not sitting perfectly flat, I use small pieces of super-thin, two-sided transfer tape to hold down the corners. I set the planer for a 1⁄32-in. cut, which will leave the veneer 1⁄16 in. thick. To help dampen vibration, I pull the workpiece back and press it down on the jig as it is being fed into the planer. After the veneer has been planed, the “hook” simply snaps off and is often reusable.
—JEFFREY KUSAMA-HINTE, New York, N.Y.