Fun With Wood Veneer! - 4 Way Book Match




Introduction: Fun With Wood Veneer! - 4 Way Book Match

About: I am a woodworker, blogger and YouTube content creator. I love woodworking, problem solving and designing new things.

The fun really kicks in when you start book matching veneer! Make your own 4-Way Book Matched panel with Walnut Burl veneer, or ANY kind of veneer for that matter. This technique is much easier than you think and you don't need a lot of fancy tools either!

Materials needed:

  • 4 consecutive sheets of veneer
  • Substrate (MDF, Plywood, or Solid Wood)
  • Glue I usually use regular white glue, but there are many other options.(white glue, yellow glue, cold press veneer glue or urea glue)

Tools Required:

  • 2 Mirrors
  • Utility knife
  • Carpenter's square
  • Cutting mat (optional)
  • Square stick with sandpaper along one side (very simple DIY veneer tool)
  • Scraps of wood
  • Glue roller or paint brush
  • Straight edge

This is part of an ongoing of a series of videos on veneering.

Check out the other Instructables on Veneering:...

Basic Veneering Techniques Instructable ...

Repair Holes in Figured Veneer Instructable ...

Basic Veneering Techniques YouTube Video

Step 1: Determine and Mark the Match Line

A 2-way book match is when two consecutive sheets of veneer are laid next to each other and each sheet is a mirror image of the other.

A 4-way book match is when a pair of identical 2-way book matches are matched end to end with each other. (see photo with description)

The first step is to determine the visual pattern and to mark exactly where you want the veneers to match. You do this with mirrors.

  • Prepare the mirrors by holding two mirrors together facing each other, then tape them together along one edge so that the two mirrors are hinged together with the tape.
  • Hold the mirrors together at a 90 degree angle and set them down on one sheet of veneer.
  • The focal point of a 4-way match is where the four sheets come together. The point where the two mirrors meet will show you what that focal point will look like if the veneer is cut along the direction that the mirrors are facing. Move the mirrors around until you find visual pattern that you like.
  • Use a pencil to mark the where the mirrors are touching the veneer.
  • If you set a single mirror on the veneer you can see what a 2-way match will look like. At this time you can hold one end of the mirror on your focal point and move the other end to adjust the pattern while maintaining approximately the same focal point.
  • Once you are satisfied with the pattern use a pencil and mark where to cut for the 2-way part of the pattern

Step 2: Mark, Cut and Tape the 2-Way Match

  • Cut the first sheet of veneer along the line you just marked
  • Then flip that sheet over and set in on to the next sheet of veneer
  • Align the two sheets of veneer together so that there is a perfect match at or near the focal point that you selected in the previous step
  • Hold the two sheets together at the focal point and then find a prominent feature at the opposite end of the veneer.
  • Find that same prominent feature on the second sheet of veneer and align the two sheets so that that feature matches perfectly on the two sheets
  • Once you've located a perfect match at both ends of the veneer then you should have a perfect (or very near perfect) match along the entire length of the sheet.
  • While the two sheets are still in position mark the cut line on the second sheet with a pencil.
  • Cut along that line using a straight edge and a utility knife
  • Use one of these sheets to locate and mark the corresponding point on the remaining two sheets of veneer.
  • Tape the two pairs of together.

Step 3: Mark, Cut, and Tape the 4-way Match

You're almost there! At this point you will have two identical 2-way book matched sets of veneer. Next is to locate, mark, cut, and tape the 4-way match.

  • Hold a carpenter's square along the seam on one of the book matched pieces and align the other side of the square with the focal point that you marked in step one. Now the carpenter's square shows the perpendicular cut line where the 4-way match will occur.
  • Mark this line all the way across the piece. Then cut and joint it as you did earlier.
  • Align this line with the corresponding points on the other piece just as you did with the 2-way match earlier.
  • Again, cut and joint along the line.
  • Finally, tape the two halves together and you are ready to trim the edges and you are done!

I sincerely hope you liked this Instructable and that you got some useful information out of it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I am continuously learning and improving and I would also like to hear from you if you know of any ways I might improve my veneering techniques.

This is part of a continuing series on veneering techniques so please keep your eyes out for the next ones in the series. You can see the first two in the series here: ..Basic Veneering Techniques Instructable ... Repair Holes in Figured Veneer Instructable

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is really neat. I haven't ever done anything with veneers, but this has really piqued my interest. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge here.

    Great work, keep it up!! :)