Monday, February 1, 2016

Day 117: Veneering the Nameboard

The last couple of days have been centered on veneering the nameboard; it's a small part of the instrument that I could easily replicate if I screwed things up. I'm not saying I ever screw things up, but the unlimited potential is always there. The first thing I did was throw the 4' x 8' sheet of quarter sawn red oak paper-backed veneer on the assembly table for inspection.

I picked this one out at Crosscut Hardwoods after looking at a couple of others. It has very few flaws and will look great on the instrument. Before starting the glue-up, I ran to a hobby store and purchased a brayer, which is really just a hard-rubber roller, for rolling any bubbles out of the veneer. It also came with a small, credit card-sized "squeegee" I'm sure will come in handy at some point.

Then, taking a lesson from Owen Daly, I gathered up my supplies and implements before embarking on what I thought might be a harrowing experience.

Fortunately, the 3M 90 Contact Adhesive sprayed smoothly and accurately. I covered both the veneer and the nameboard with a pretty good coat and let it set up for two minutes. The total open time on the stuff is 10 minutes, but I just needed it tacky, so I proceeded after a couple of minutes with some success.

I didn't take photos during the glue-up for pretty obvious reasons, but I do enjoy wearing the blue rubber gloves whenever possible. Once it had dried overnight, I cut out the slots and started preparing the tiny frames of African blackwood that will go around each. This is in keeping with my Arts & Crafts/Craftsman/Mission design theme (I know, it's not traditional, but neither am I).

The little frames will take a while because they're minuscule and I want to take my time to make sure they're as perfect as I can get them. I'll detail the process here over the next couple of days.

On a somewhat related note, I decided to try some of the Tru-Oil out on the piece of veneer I used for the glue-up test. As you may recall, I used Tru-Oil on the keys - it's more commonly used on gun stocks, which makes it a perfect finish for the instrument.

You can see in the photo above that it does make a bit of a difference. I may regret the choice later on, but it looks good to me at this time. I'm going to apply another swipe tonight and see what it looks like tomorrow.

Until next time...

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