Here's an alternative to veneer tape when laying up veneers.
SHOP OWNER: Keith Newton
LOCATION: Little Rock, AR
This is an armoire that I was working on at the time of this photo. The crown is African mahogany. The upper doors are done in a herringbone pattern, and I don't even know what kind of wood it is. All of the lower part is curly koa veneer.
We are still working on the house lighting. The upper portion is lighted by halogen track lights on top of a truss crossing in front of this armoire, but the lower part is lighted from daylight coming from all the windows across the room.
This fireplace is part mahogany and part bubinga veneers. I've been using drafting dots in place of veneer tape for quite some time now and I'm pleased with the time they save me and the results.
You can see about how close I place the drafting dots (about every three inches), and how clean they come off when I use them in the vacuum bag. When Richard did his test, I am sure that the heat in his veneer press caused the glue to go more liquid and penetrate the wood more causing it to leave the gum on the wood and tear out when he tried to remove it.
This is about normal for what I get when I remove the dots.
Although there is about another two feet of length to the left out of this shot, it only took me three minutes to remove the dots on this panel.
I usually just use a small putty knife to remove them. Dull is fine for this.
I usually take a few quick jabs at the edge to get enough up to get under with the edge of the putty knife...
... capture it with the finger, then continue to push it along the face of the work. I do this rather than lift, because rolling it back is less likely to lift out the grain, and maybe the gum releases better also.
Here is a tighter shot. You can see that some of the epoxy bled through the joint, filling it, but still the dot was easy to remove. Which reminds me, if I had used normal veneer tape, the epoxy will permeate the paper and make it really hard to remove.
I know that not many people use epoxy to veneer with but it has excellent properties for veneering. I don't expect to change the industry or anyone who uses a hot press like what Richard demonstrated a while back. However, I know that there are a lot of contributors to WC who probably tape up faces for individual panels like I do. I used to use masking tape to hold the underside while taping with veneer tape also, but I find this to be quicker and easier for me.
The epoxy is easy to sand when it is in the leather stage of toughness and doesn't load the abrasives like some other glues do, nor show up as a blush under the finish. There is no water in it to change the moisture content of the veneer or substrate, so the finished panel is more stable afterward.
. . . Keith Newton