In this flattering picture, I am masking off the edges of the veneered end pieces. This way, if there is any glue squeezed out from the next round of veneering, I can simply peel it off, rather than sanding and scraping.
Preparing the box for the vacuum bag. This was a tricky glue-up, since both the top and bottom of the box had to be glued up in one shot, and the entire thing had to somehow fit into the bag. Glue-up is usually a good exercise in emergency preparation and disaster management. Crossed fingers help, too.
Mantel Box, post-glue up.
I cut each piece of veneer about 1/8" oversize in each direction. Too much overhang, and the veneer will snap off inside the vacuum bag; too little, and you run the risk of the veneer stopping short of the end of the piece. This would officially qualify as a "disaster."
Trimming up the edges with a flush-trim bit. The masking tape also prevents the bit from scraping off the delicate layer of veneer.