01-19-2009, 10:08 PM
Tried my first abalone veneer this evening following Kevin's Rod Maker article. Not sure if I ran into a problem or not though. I don't think I soaked the veneer long enough, but it was in for 3 hours. The vinegar was very cold though since it has been in my unheated garage, and I have a feeling that contributed to the "crispiness" of the veneer while I was applying it. It cracked in several places, but I managed to apply it straight and got it to wrap around the blank OK. It wasn't as pliable as I thought it would be though. I was expecting the consistency of a wet piece of very thin cardboard. This was more crackly. Either way, it's on with the thread wrap on it waiting until tomorrow evening when I can peel it off and go at it with a dental tool. I'll post pics tomorrow once the thread comes off.
Anyway, Kevin how crackly should this stuff be?:confused: I'm leaning towards the idea that I didn't soak it enough.
01-20-2009, 06:24 AM
The soak time and ambient temp play a key roll. I found out early in the process that this was key. It should soak in the same teps that you would apply finish. Ih the heat of summer, the soak time for raw veneer is an hour. When you are applying it in winter, the time will be longer. It can get to wet cardboard consistency but the more you soak it, the more calcium you will remove from the shell and therefor, the more you irridesence and color you will remove from the shell. When it is soaked correctly, there will still be some minor cracking, but that will blend in once 2 coats of finish are applied to the blank.
Remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Keep at it!
01-20-2009, 09:38 AM
That's what I figured. The cracking isn't bad, and it's not noticeable unless you look close up. I'm hoping the finish will help smooth it over. I'll find out tonight. Thanks!
01-20-2009, 11:06 PM
Well, I peeled the thread away this evening and went at it with a fish hook. :rolleyes::D Didn't have a dental pick, but the hook worked just fine. Got everything cleaned up, wiped down with alcohol, went after some problem spots, and got the pre crack done. Applied the first coat of finish that's drying as I'm typing this. I'll do the trim bands and some simple chevrons over it tomorrow, and another coat of finish. She's coming along quite nicely. :clap: Many of the cracks are noticeable up close, but they can't be seen from a foot or so away. The finish really brings out the sparkle. Can't wait to get some pics up. :thumbup:
01-20-2009, 11:07 PM
The 2 coats of finish will make any imperfections disappear.
Post um up.