Birds' Eye-Maple Mantel Box - Veneering Pt. 3

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With the four other sides of the box veneered and trimmed flush, the top is ready for glue-up. Shown here is the box, prepped for the vacuum bag, with a large panel on top to distribute the clamping pressure evenly.

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Once all five sides are veneered, the box is ready for final sanding. Since the veneer is so thin, I prefer to sand each surface by hand, rather than with a sander. This gives me greater control, and decreases the chance of sanding through the veneer. (Sanding through = start the project over. While you can never really have a truly bad day at the shop, this would be about as close as you could get.)

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Sanding a very small chamfer on the edges of the box. This should give the piece a slightly softer "feel."

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Burnishing the edges. This will further round over the edges, but will do so by compressing the fibers of the wood, rather than actually removing more material. Burnishing will also help prevent the edges of the veneer from catching on something and pulling up.

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The completed box, ready for finishing.