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I often make my boxes incorporating attractive veneers. Sometimes they are burr veneers which are particularly challenging to work with but are really beautiful, or interesting veneers which I mix with solid wood of a different species. This page gives you an insight into how I work with veneer. The example jewellery box shown is being made in elm and the whole box is being veneered with burr elm.

Click on images to enlarge.

Firstly I lay out the veneer leaves on the bench. Here I decide which pieces are going to go where on the box.
veneer leaves
veneer cut oversize

I cut all the dovetail joints before I start the veneering process.

This is the box front with a piece of veneer cut oversize ready for glue up.

A liberal amount of glue is brushed onto the face of the front.
box front with glue ready for veneer
veneer in cramps
The veneer and front is then cramped up and left until the glue is fully cured.
This image is one of the box sides (which has the pins). Here I am beginning the painstaking process of trimming the veneer to exactly the same profile as the dovetail joints. I square the ends off first with my widest chisel.
trimming veneer with chisel
trimming veneer with chisel
Here I am beginning to trim between the tails on the box front.
I use the same marking gauge that I used to mark out the dovetails joints to trim the veneer at the base of the tails.
trimming veneer with marking gauge
paring veneer flush on pins
Here I am paring the veneer flush with the pins. The chisel has to be very sharp!
On completion the front should look like this.
veneer neatly trimmed around tails
box side with veneer neatly trimmed around the pins
And the sides like this.
You will have noticed that the example box is going to have a curved top. I am making the top panel for this box using bendy-ply ( plywood specially designed to bend in a certain direction). Shown here is a former which I have made to shape the top panel.
former used to make curved lid panel
veneer in vacuum press
I cut a piece of bendy-ply oversize. I then glue burr veneer to the top and normal elm veneer to the bottom (to match the inside of the box). The panel is held on the former with masking tape and then placed in a vacuum press bag. The air is pumped out of the bag and atmospheric pressure presses the panel against the former. In the image you can see a piece of lino on top of the panel.
Here the panel is shown after glue-up with the shape formed ready to be cut to size .
lid after glue-up
Boxes for sale up to £250
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Boxes for sale over £1000
Personal boxes
Workshop news
The work bench
Jewellery trays
To make a box (1)
To make a box (2)
To make a box (3)

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