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Making Purfling from veneer


Dean_Lapinel
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I wet both sides of all the strips, so that when the glue goes on the strip doesn't curl backwards into a tube, and then use extremely strong hide glue, painted onto the middle strip, drop one black on top, quickly wipe it flat, flip, repeat with the other black, and then strongly roll the sandwich out with a wooden wallpaper roller, squeezing the pieces together and squeezing out as much glue as possible, wiping all of it off the outside with hot water.

Then I wrap on one layer of saran wrap, place the strip between formica strips, put those betwen 1x3s, and put on a lot of clamps overnight. The next day the glue will have set and dried enough that you can take it out, let it breathe for 15-30 minutes, and then while it's still a bit soft, cut it into strips with a razorblade and straightedge. At this point it's probably still almost soft enough that you could wrap it on a mold, but I've never done that. Probably what would happen would be that they would delaminate from the differential between the inside and outside when the sandwch is bent.

What I do is wrap all the strips into a bundle with dental floss to keep them straight and untwisted until they dry, then unwrap them and paint them with a solution of glycerine in water, and wrap them up again to dry until I need to use them. The glycerine makes them flexible and much easier to bend later.

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Yes. This is one of those many ideas I believe originally came from me 10 or 15 years ago (kerosene as an oil varnish thinner is another, and how people fought me on that one, since kerosene is, as everyone "knows" an oil), which I now see coming back at me from various directions. My logic then was that I knew as a photographer that glycerine was used to soften and flatten old photographs which had curled up into a tube and hardened because of the contraction and hardening of the gelatine. I knew that purfling is essentially the same as a photograph--a sandwich of wood fibers and gelatine, so I figured that glycerine would soften purfling and make it flexible just as it would with an old photo.

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I make my own purfling because it's fun, and there's a bit of a miracle to it, that you can make such a delicate inlay by fairly gross procedures. It's also easy to do a whole lot at once, so it's a rare bother. In terms of cost, though, it's probably a break even thing. I think most observers of the result wouldn't know the difference beween mine and yours.

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Hi Jacob, in very conservative circles (in Italy, for instance) they will frown upon your violins if you use ready made purfling (I could frown upon the sound of most of their violins but I don't do that...). If you make your own purfling it helps to fix your personal style (wood choice, colour, width, etc), it's a subtletie, but sometimes detail is everything...

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The veneer I have access to in my furniture business is available only in one thickness (a bit more than 0,5 mm). Would you use 3 pieces of equal thickness or would you thin down the outer 2 pieces by scraping? Or, can you obtain veneer in different thicknesses?

Then how do you blacken the outer pieces? I have tried but could not find a black that did not "run".

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AMORI, you wrote:

"Then how do you blacken the outer pieces? I have tried but could not find a black that did not "run". "

Woods with higher level of tannine (plum, for example), can be and where traditionaly chemicaly coloured with ferrous sulfate (more efficient) or vinegar with iron (steel wool) in the proces of ebony faking. The coloring is deep and absoulutely stable, because what happens is, that the tannine in wood reacts with the iron (Fe, ferrum) and turns black.

Maple wood has an extremely low ammount of tannine and must be soaked in tannic acid first, but I never had much luck with that, I never realy managed to persuade the tannic acid to soak inside the wood.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
AMORI

Then how do you blacken the outer pieces? I have tried but could not find a black that did not "run".

I've used Dylon clothes dye---"Ebony Black" was the color I chose.

Hair dye works great on ebony...so I guess it's possible on maple? Not sure if it would interfere with glue adherence though.Wash well and try it.

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  • 15 years later...

I see this is an old thread but will mention that it is easy enough to simply hold the three already dyed strips of veneer in your hand while trimming and then push it into a correctly sized groove. ("trois brins" method). No pregluing, bending or fussing required.

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