Craig's Veneered Disk

AN EXERCISE IN LAMINATING VENEER
What does one do with a round disk?

SHOP OWNER: Craig Daymon
LOCATION: Lakemoor, IL

    Here is a picture of the disk lamination I mentioned about a month ago on the message board. About 25 years ago, my father and I went to a wood store looking for chunks of wood to carve. We brought home what I think was a cross section of Walnut. I never did carve it, but when my father came out for a visit a while back he brought the chunk with him and said, "Do something with this".
    Well, I looked at the chunk and it has a sort of spiral to it, being a cross section and a sort of teardrop shaping. The wood was very dry and a bit brittle. I sliced it up into about seven slices about 1/16" thick. I decided to use six of these to create a disk. I didn't want to just make straight lined pie shapes, so I went to the computer and fired up the drawing program. I drew an arch. Then I made a copy of the arch and rotated the copy 60 degrees. Finally, I connected the two arches at one endpoint. This gave me a pie wedge with arched sides. I printed out a copy, stuck it to some hardboard with spray on adhesive, cut it out on the scroll saw, and used carpet tape and a flush trim bit in the router table to shape each of the six slices, VERY CAREFULLY.
    I then took a square of 3/4" MDF, marked the center on both sides, and glued down the slices with epoxy, fitting the points of the arched slices at the center point. You can see where the epoxy seeped up between the slices (and some cracks in the slices). I drilled a 1/4" hole in the backside and used a router trammel to cut the disk. The edge banding is 1/16" Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) glued on with epoxy since I didn't have any hide glue. I sanded opposing 45-degree edges on the strip where they met and used a band clamp. This was not an easy glue-up. You can see the seam in the photo. The back, not shown, is also Jatoba.
    For anyone trying this, I would suggest 1/8" or better veneer slices, as it should help with shaping the fine points that meet at the center. If you have access to a laser cutting service, I'm guessing they should be able to cut your computer drawing creating a very precise template. My program can generate PDF or DXF files, formats such a service should be able to use. Any curve should work using this idea of rotating a copy and connecting endpoints. I plugged the center with Bocote because my glue-up was less than precise. Card Scrapers came in very handy for cleaning up the banding and the veneer.

    Now, I just need to figure out what to do with the disk!

. . . Craig Daymon


 
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