Veneer Woodworking

Professional Woodworker, Artist, and All Round Good Guy

Each year the MN Woodworkers’ Guild sponsors a 2-1/2 day seminar when they bring in a nationally recognized woodworker to present. This year’s presenter was Scott Grove. Scott is truly a world class woodworker and his list of accomplishments are longer than both of my arms!

  • Friday started with a slideshow of Scott’s work.
  • Saturday Scott demonstrated a couple of mind blowing veneering techniques. First was how to seam veneer together into any shape or  pattern you want. Second was how to condition and wrap veneer around a three dimensional surface.
  • Sunday morning he demonstrated a variety of mold making techniques which included how to cold cast bronze. Finally, that afternoon he showed how to edge band solid wood onto a substrate of ANY shape.

Scott Grove Part 1, 2Above is a photo of Scott presenting his veneering techniques to the Minnesota Woodworkers’ Guild in November of 2015. Notice the great letter carving on that work bench! Notice too, that the Guild’s work bench is assembled with dovetailed knock down joinery.

Amazing Veneer Woodwork!

Here are a few photos from the Friday slide show of Scott’s work:
Scott Grove Part 1, 3The television in this entertainment center is concealed under the top and rises up with a motorized mechanism.

Scott Grove Part 1, 4Curved veneered panels wrap around the nightstands on this bedroom set. You can’t tell by looking at it, but the nightstands have drawers that are hidden behind the curved panel. In fact, the drawer front is incorporated into the curved panel.

Scott Grove Part 1, 5Scott used a Trompe-l’œil technique (optical illusion) on this outrageous veneered dining room table to make it appear like the veneer is peeled back.

Mind Blowing Veneer Matching Tips

Scott’s preference with veneer is to give the illusion that the veneer is actually one solid piece. Because of this he prefers to obscure the joint lines in his veneer work. The traditional method of book matching wood veneer is to cut the veneer in straight lines and match the grain pattern on the adjoining pieces. With burls and other figured veneers this creates a fascinating kaleidoscope effect.

Scott prefers to cut his veneer with wavy irregular lines that are much less noticeable to the eye. His signature veneering style is to manipulate the heart wood and the sap wood together into whatever shape he is striving for.
Scott Grove Part 1, 6And he literally “wrote the book” on Advanced Veneering Techniques.

In the photo below, Scott is examining a piece of redwood burl veneer. His techniques work best when the veneer has a strong contrast between the heart wood and the sap wood.
Scott Grove Part 1, 7

Using his signature wood veneering technique, Scott created a nautilus spiral that looks like it actually grew that way! Notice how the solid wood edging perfectly matches this irregular shape.
Scott Grove Part 1, 8

Below Scott is with one very beautiful piece of burled veneer!
Scott Grove Part 1, 9

Compound Curves with Wood Veneer!

Wood veneer bends like a piece of paper in that it will only bend in one direction at a time. It will buckle and possibly break if you try to bend it in a second direction. Scott has developed a variety of different methods that allow him to do what typically can’t be done and he successfully glues wood veneer on to complex surfaces.

Scott won the Veneer Tech Challenge one year by gluing veneer over a casting of a female form. Scott cast the form himself using a live model. (Somebody had to do it!)

Can you believe the piece below is wood veneer?!!
Scott Grove Part 1, 10