Help: Cut 1/32" veneer on CNC (Marquetry) - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Default Help: Cut 1/32" veneer on CNC (Marquetry)

Hi,
I'm trying to cut really thin wood veneer on my CNC router for a guy who is making a skateboard deck with a logo made of different woods (this is called maquetry, I believe). I am able to cut it, but the veneer is so thin I had to use double-stick tape to keep it flat and in place. The problem comes when I try to remove the veneer from my table. The tape is stronger than the veneer, and won't release, and the veneer ends up splitting into multiple pieces before I can get it off the table.

Any recommendations for how to deal with this? I'm accustomed to cutting plastics with the CNC, so this thin flimsy stuff is new to me. I thought perhaps putting something more rigid on top which I could clamp down and would also cut through, but that wastes extra material. I also thought of taping everything down from the top, so I only have to worry about taking the tape off the veneer, and don't have to worry about the table. Anyone have any suggestions or experience here?

Thanks!

Lauren
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 07:06 PM
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Lauren,

This is NOT a field of expertise for me, but if I'm making an accurate mental image of your situation; could you possibly use a heat-sensitive glue to hold-down the positive to the waste - then later remove the veneer with heat? I am NOT saying this would work, but rather "thinking out loud". I'll be curious what you find that works.

On somewhat similar situations with hand-held routers, I have been guilty of running screws thru "soon to be voids" in things like that and after the perimeter has been machined, create the (very simple) void with a scroll saw or something delicate. What I am uncertain of is if the screw's head would impair your X-Y travel path? You wouldn't want to hit a bit atop of a screw head. Good luck!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 07:08 PM
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Oh yeah! First before my reply I should have welcomed you into this group. It is a lot of fun! There are thousands of us here willing to help and/or share experiences.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 09:53 PM
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Welcome to the forum Lauren. First thing I would try is a heat gun to soften the glue on the tape. This would be the fastest and easiest if it works. I would try to slide a putty knife between the tape and the veneer and gently lift as the putty knife separates the bond. Second, I would try gluing the veneer to paper, and then gluing the paper down using Lee Valley's fish glue. It stays 100% water soluble forever and you would only need to dampen the paper layer to get the glue to release.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 10:28 PM
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Hi Lauren, welcome to the forum.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 10:28 PM
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Actually, I think Chuck's idea is better than mine. I've been hearing some good things about that fish glue, but having never personally used it - didn't even think about it!

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 11:08 PM
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I know from experience that 3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive will release with water. I tried it with the wet/dry sandpaper I use to sharpen chisels. As soon as it got wet the paper was sliding around. You can get it at Amazon although I got mine from HD.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 08:25 AM
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Try using veneer tape. It's water soluble adhesive will release easier. Local Woodcraft or Rockler sell it
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses! I'm a lot less worried about the project with so many good ideas. I did a test yesterday with some 12"-wide low-adhesive masking tape used for making vinyl signs, which just held my whole piece of veneer down on the table. I had to catch the pieces I cut out before they strayed into the bit, but otherwise it seemed to work well. But I think some of these suggestions will work better on a large scale.
Thanks for the warm welcome!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 10:41 AM
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Hi Lauren,
Welcome to the router forums.

I use double sided tape to bond the veneer to a spoil board. After the parts are cut I use mineral spirits to release the adhesive from the parts, alcohol also works.

Mike
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