Laser cut inlay

Graeme at Cole Tool Centre has created a video showing how one can do veneer inlay into a solid piece if wood using a laser cutter. By modulating the power of the laser one can control how deep it burns and that way cut out a recess in the wood. Then one cuts out pieces in the veneer using the same dimensions to get a good fit, apply glue and assemble. 
Have a close look at the images below (I know they are small) and see the thin lines left between inlays especially on the emblem to the right, this would be very hard to do by hand.

Click this link to see the video

A few other examples done the same way.
Laser inlay Celtic knot   Laser cut dragon   Laser cut emblem

Visit Cole Tool Centre here.

We'll continue to show some photos of our customers projects. 
This month we are showing a Box made by David.
It's made from Tasmanian oak with the lid veneered in figured Eucalyptus and Ipe. Not bad for a first attempt at veneering.

If you have pictures of your own projects and would like to show them off to others then just email them to with a little bit of text explaining what it is and how it was made. 

Trolley cart by AViArt Australia

A great example on how an old worn item can be brought back to a stunning look by using some great looking veneer and a fair bit of polishing.
AViArt restores aircraft items into stunning furniture, have a look at their web site

AViArt Australia
AViArt Australia

AViArt Australia

Another customer project

Recieved these images from Josh who stripped off the whole top part, had Bunnings trying to convince him epoxy was the way to go he eventually went with hide glue and a second hand veneer hammer (good choice) and completed the project. 
Well done Josh!

Before repair

Half way through


Customer project

The following images have been sent in by Paul who has improved the look of his speakers with some real Queensland Walnut veneer.

I bought these speakers on ebay for about $100. They came with the typically ugly imitation wood vinyl, so as they're quality European speakers, it was worth the efffort to veneer them. I used a Queensland Walnut veneer as it came in a width that would cover the enclosures without a join. I've used different methods for fixing veneer on other projects, but on this one I used a high strength contact and it worked very well.

The quality of the veneer from Top Veneer was excellent : perfectly even thickness, matched grain on the two pieces and a nice figure as a bonus. Very happy with the end result.
Paul Brice 
Quensland Walnut veneer speakers
Queensland Walnut veneer on speakers
Different use of veneer

I get amazed by all the different uses the veneer can have, I will post photos from a few different uses that I've received back from our customers.
First out is Rob who creates stunningly looking sunglasses, here using Zebrano/Zebra wood veneer.

 Sunglasses made of Zebra wood veneer

Sunglasses made of Zebra wood veneer

Gluing options

There are several ways of gluing the veneer to a substrate, there are pro’s and con’s with each of them as with anything else. A common misconception is that veneering is complicated and requires expensive tools such as hydraulic press or vacuum bag system.

Both these systems have their place but it would be very hard to come up with any type of veneering that could not be done with either veneer hammering or iron on pva glue.

We will have a closer look at both of these techniques and while this won’t be an instruction for how to the veneering it will give a good idea of what’s involved, what equipment is needed and most of all make it obvious how easy it is to do veneering.

Veneer hammering is the first technique we’ll look at as it is the oldest, and in most cases of antique furniture restoration it’s the preferred technique as it’s most likely what was used in the first place. The required equipment is a veneer hammer (that isn’t a hammer at all), hide glue and a means of heating up the hide glue.

  • The first step is to heat the hide glue to melt it and give it the correct consistency. Hide glue is sold as small pearls or pellets. They need to be heated to the manufacturer's recommended temperature which normally is around 80o C. A double boiler is great for this and there are of course special hide glue heaters that can be purchased but something like the wax heaters sold on eBay at pretty good prices can also be used, just make sure you can reach the temperature required for the glue.
  • Second step is to apply glue to the substrate, give it a pretty thick layer with a brush.
  • Third step is to put the veneer onto the substrate with the top side down, yes put the top side down in the glue while applying glue to the glue side.
  • Fourth turn the veneer around and make sure there is a bit of glue on the top side, this will work as lubrication for the hammering.
  • Fifth step is the hammering of the veneer that doesn’t involve any kind of hammering at all. The veneer hammer looks more like a squeegee with a handle and is used to apply pressure to the veneer so that excess glue between veneer and substrate is pushed out to the sides.

Below are a couple of YouTube videos that shows this technique, take special note to how multiple sheets can be joined on the fly with this technique. This can be very useful in some cases.

The second technique we’ll look at is the heated dried pva glue technique for lack of a better name. This requires only normal pva glue and an iron and hence it must be regarded as the cheapest possible method of gluing veneer to a substrate.

  • The first step is to apply glue to the substrate, be quite liberal and as always make sure to not miss any spot out at the edges.
  • Second step is to apply glue to the veneer, it might help if you slightly dampen the top side of the veneer first as the veneer will tend to curl if glue (or any liquid) is applied to only one side.
  • Third step is by far the easiest as it only involves waiting for the glue to dry, you want the glue to be beyond dry to the touch, I would recommend at least an hour but different pva glues, different substrate and veneers and perhaps most of all different temperature and humidity level will make the required time to wait to differ.
  • Fourth step is to position the veneer on the substrate, the glue should be completely dry so you will have no problems to slide it around and position it exactly where it should be.
  • Fifth step is to apply heat with the iron to re-activate the glue, make sure to continuously move the iron to avoid burning the veneer. The iron should be set at a relatively high setting.

Have a look at the video below that shows this technique quite well.

Either of these techniques is great and can be done with an absolutely minimum of equipment.

July newsletter

New veneers added and more coming.
After a couple of months delay we are finally expanding our stock. We are receiving a large amount of veneers both from overseas and from Australian suppliers.
We have already started to add a few of the early arrivers to the store and there will be new ones added every week for a while.
The first added veneers are Macassar Ebony, East Indian Rosewood, English Oak and curly Maple, they all look great and I can't wait to see some it used.
We will also have a large selection of Australian veneers that will be added the coming weeks.
We don't have much burr in stock and we wonder what kind of burr you would like to see in the store. Send us an email with your suggestion to so we get an idea what is in demand.

Macassar Ebony
This veneer has a very distinctive striped appearance of dark brown or near black stripes. Macassar Ebony grows in south east Asia with Indonesia as a major source. The veneer is commonly used on guitars and smaller specialty items where the dramatic dark stripes makes for a fantastic look.

East Indian Rosewood
Another very dark timber veneer. Unsurprisingly it grows in eastern India as well as Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Commonly used in musical instrument and smaller specialty items.

English Oak
Falls into the white Oak group despite its apparent brown colour with a slight hint of orange. White oak is harder and more durable than the Red Oak which should only be used for interior applications. English oak grows in most of Europe and into Asia.

Curly Maple
A nicely bright curly veneer that will look great on most projects. The curls tend to be more apparent on quartersawn veneer and can almost completely disappear on a flat cut. It is therefore common that the curliness is stronger on the side that were closest to the centre of the log.

April Newsletter


Better and cheaper shipping.
After a bit of work and several trials we have come up with some better shipping. It didn't help that Austrlian Post discontinued the satchel that was best suited for shipping rolled sheets at the beginning of April. But we have still managed to bring shipping cost of long veneers down from $33 to todays $15.
We will continue to fine tune the shipping options to make it as affordable as possible. We have as well included an option to have your order shipped express.

Volume rebate.
We've added a rebate system for when you purchase multiple sheets of the same veneer. You'll find that some veneers are up to 35% cheaper if purchasing 10 sheets or more of the same veneer.

March offer 10% off on $100 purchases.

This months offer is 10% off on all purchases of $100 or more. The discount will be automatically calculated at checkout.
This offer will only be available for the month of March and expires at midnight March 31st 2013.

March Newsletter


We are very happy and a bit excited to announce 14 new veneers for this month. All of these veneers are from local Australian or PNG logs.
We will offer these veneers in slightly longer measurements than most of our current veneers. This is a result of coming up with new more affordable shipping alternative for longer veneers.
We hope you enjoy the native timber and why not mix it with some more excotic from overseas to create something unique.
March new veneers

As mentioned above we have worked on our shipping for longer veneers to make it more affordable. Unfortunately all couriers and the post calculates the rate from the size of the box and hence we are charged for sending closer to 20kg even though the box only contains a single veneer sheet and wight less than 2kg.
With the new packaging we've been able to lower the shipping cost for long veneers from $32.50 to $19.