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Thread: Wood veneered material

  1. #1
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    Default Wood veneered material

    Working on custom cherry light switch covers. I cannot get the wood to stay flat at the required thickness. Wondering about a material with a rigid foam or plastic core that has a thin wood veneer on it. Tried mdf but if was a bust.
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  2. #2
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    For wooden electrical plates, I strongly suggest placing a thin layer of steel behind the switch. It might even be code to do so. I've made dozens of switch and outlet covers out of oak. They turned out great. For the metal backing, I bought a bunch of cheap metal covers and trimmed them down with tin snips. I had no problem holding down the 3/8" material I used to make them. The wood was old recycled stair treads so very dry and stable. If you're using fresh cherry, I suggest getting it close to dimension and letting it air dry for at least a week, then finalizing the dimensions before using in the CNC.

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  3. #3
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    These arent typical switchplates. They look similar to a decora switch but are actually little control panels. There are completely encased in plastic so the metal istn nesasary. Problem is they need to be no more than 1/16" thick. The cherry i have is very dry has been iny shop for months
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  4. #4
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    At 1/16" finished, almost any wood is going to be tough to keep flat, especially if you are removing parts of it (cutting holes, etc.) You can keep it held down using a pressure foot, but once cut and carved, having it stay flat is going to be hit or miss. Sorry I couldn't offer more positive response.
    Don
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  5. #5
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    Ya, good luck on 1/16" with any natural material other than stone.
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  6. #6
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    You try soaking the cherry in epoxy (before or after machining. You could soak them for a moment and then maybe put them in a baggie and weight them down or better, put them in a vacuum bag. The baggie will just control the mess and the epoxy should not stick to it. I don't know how many you need but Certainly Wood, certainlywood.com, sells 1/6" veneer.

    Prefinished engineered wood flooring may work. Yow would have to plane or machine the back to get 1/16" but you may can get a sample from Home Depot to try.

  7. #7
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    Lamination. Use raw veneer, which is typically .020" thick. 3 layers x .020 = .060. 1/16= .0625, so you're going to be almost spot-on, give or take a few thousandths. Further, you're properly balanced, considering center piece as the substrate, with equal thickness veneer on each side.
    Cross band the center core, just like plywood, which is really all we're doing here on a micro-scale.
    Use plastic resin glue or epoxy as adhesive in order to develop a rigid bond, preserving flatness.
    This way, you can stain if needed, as you're not saturated with epoxy soaking, which will block any stain (if that's part of the finishing schedule on these).
    Should be fairly routine to lay up an oversize blank, then head to CNC for milling.
    I would think at 1/16" thick, the cross-banding visible on the edges would be forgivable, but that's dependent on you're standard of aesthetics here.
    This is truly the most reliable method of stabilizing thin wood.
    Avoid water based finishing products, or at very least, treat all sides with any such products equally and simultaneously to avoid encouraging warpage.

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Seeing the edge is not am issue as these plates sit inside of a recess. Overall thickness is actually .24". There are four magnets pressfit into .2" diameter "studs" that hold the plate in place as well 4 alignment rails .06"x.08". The remainder of the plate is .06" thick. It occured to me that using veneer is pretty much my only option but was hoping that a product existed with the core being something in the plastic or foam family to save me a step. I need about 40 or them in total and since round one already failed it is critical to save as much time ass possible at this point.
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  9. #9
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    Check Rowmark. They have woodgrain material.
    Tah-Dah

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