Producing Wide, Thick Veneer

Pros share ideas for making maple and birch veneer at 2-foot width and 1/8-inch thickness. April 14, 2005

Does anyone know if the Japanese super surfacers are capable of slicing a usable veneer up to 1/8" thick by 2" wide? I need to produce that size in maple and birch and can't afford a new Marunaka slicer.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From John Van Brussel, technical advisor, Veneer Forum:
The super surfacer will not be able to produce this veneer. It is designed to take very thin shavings (onion skin thickness) off the surface of a board.

You need a very heavy, rigid machine to produce this thickness. It is difficult to produce this veneer even with a lumber slicer. You may want to consider ordering this material from someone who is equipped to manufacture this material.

From contributor A:
You are going to have to resaw the lumber as close to 1/8 as you can and then plane it to 1/8. Use two sided tape to stick the strips onto an already planed plank so they will remain stable while in the planer. I have had to do this to teak in the past and it worked fine. It was also the best way I could think of getting 1/8 strips without losing too much lumber in the process.

From contributor B:
Contributor A has a good concept with his idea. One thing I found that saves on the extra expense of the two sided tape is to laminate a 3/4" thick piece of MDF, on one side, with a 100 grit 9" x 11" sheets or roll stock sanding paper. This really has amazing holding power. I also laminate the other side of the MDF to balance the panel, with a piece of vertical or standard plastic laminate. It makes for a smoother ride thru a planer. If it was me, and I couldn't find this size veneer through a wholesaler or retail supplier of veneer products, I'd use a technique I've employed more than few times successfully.

If quarter sawn grain would be acceptable, I'd start with 10/4 stock, face, joint and plane it to my finished desired width. Thickness sanding to final thickness would be even better as the face would become the edges of the finished pieces, which, if the veneer strips were being glued up to form a panel face, gluing the edges together at tape up time would be very advantageous. I'd then use a ripping blade in a table saw and assuming that the blade was 1/8" thick, I'd trim the board or boards to the widest possible widths and then once two parallel edges are obtained, I'd move the saw fencer closer to blade in 1/4" increments closer to the blade with each pass. The offcut piece then becomes the finished piece. The sawn faces will be as uniform as ones ability to hold a board to a fence and push it past the blade without wiggling or tracking off. The faces and edges should be of a quality at this point to be tapeable and glueable with out having any burn marks to contend with and saving the extra time and labor at the planer. Either way will get it done for you.