Veneer Sanding Sled Solutions

How to mount veneer to a sheet of MDF for thicknessing and sanding in a widebelt. July 14, 2010

I had a local mill resaw some 13" x 8' boards into 1/8" thick veneers. The thickness varies enough that I need to thickness them on the drum sander before I can use them. I'm looking for suggestions or recommendations on making a sled to feed into the 24" Woodmaster with the sanding head. Any ideas?

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor J:
Just use a slab of MDF, and double-stick tape the leading edge of the veneer to the front of the sled. You might want to run the MDF through the sander by itself first, to ensure that its top surface is parallel to the drum.

From the original questioner:
I tried the MDF with the double stick tape placed in a 1/32" dado so that the veneer was flat on the sled. It worked fine for a while but since I had about 75 sqft to sand, the tape was a bottleneck, so I just placed the veneer rough face down on the sled and roughed up the sled with a 36 grit belt and the friction alone held the veneer in place.

From contributor D:
I adhere a thin strip of wood (cleat) to the trailing end of the sled to prevent the work piece from sliding back as it feeds through the sander. As the veneers and strip become quite thin, it's imperative to be sure the work piece doesn't ride up and over the strip as you feed it into the sander. I simply put a bit of hand pressure on the board to keep it from popping up and sliding back and over the cleat.

From contributor B:
I've seen a guy adhere an old wide belt to a calibrated piece of MDF and use it as a sled. Never done it myself, but he said it worked fine.