The Veneer iPhone Dock





Getting to grips with the CNC machine

My first experience with the CNC machine. It is certainly a heavy duty piece of equipment I found it to be a lot more in depth than the laser cutter. I had to work on setting up the tool paths and setting the direction and depth of the machines drilling. I found it to produce very solid results. Except for the fact that my veneer block wasn’t secured down properly initially, causing the block to ride up the drill bit.

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The pieces I ended up producing were simple shapes to test the versatility of the equipment as well as the strength of my material. both held up well. I turned the circular piece into a working iPhone dock.

Refining The veneers

Once the veneers had been clamped an dried, I started to cut away on the ban saw. My focus was to now make them all the same thickness and get them ready for machining.

And once everything was the same size I clamped the most similar looking pieces together to create bigger pieces for machining on the CNC machine.

Starting to Play with Veneers

I have purchased various veneers, lots of different species and colours. i do admit I wasnt that pleased to have gotten so many burrs’ but i will make do.

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After discussing what i wanted to do with these veneers i realised that i just simply didnt have enough. Not only that, they wernt thick enough. They were not industrial but more the commerical varity, and the problem with that was that they were thin. so i had to cut them into strips. secondly i sliced a piece of timber on its side to produce some long flat pieces that i could use to thicken out the veneers. I was concerned they may detract from the overall aesthetic of the results.

When i started i felt myself getting very particular over how i wanted the veneers to be placed, what order, what position. and it held me up for a day or two, trying to figure out this arrangment. in the end I decided to follow a principal of colours that compliment each other on the colour wheel, and then use colours that feel like they can be used less but give more. like sticking red line in between a bunch of darker walnut veneers.

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The problem with making these thin strips was when i clamped them, they would occasionally topple. resolving that was just a case of persistance and placing a support block either side to keep the blocks position (this worked most of the time).

I had alot left over so i started to see how i could manipulate the shapes abit more, I read if you boiled or steamed wood, the natural sap which acts as a type of glue, is weakened, and will allow you to bend and shape the wood. so i found a paintbrush and started to boil the strips and wrap them around. I needed to keep the pressure tight so i used multiple elastic bands to keep a good high level of compression.

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I loved how the bamboo took on this beautiful patter-nation across the end grain.

I loved how the bamboo took on this beautiful patter-nation across the end grain.

Boiling did however fade the colours a bit on some.

After sufficient drying its very solid, I feel i could make it as big as i wanted and then maybe cut into it any shape.