The Society of American Period Furniture Makers

Tools and Techniques => Veneer and veneering techniques => Topic started by: bbrown on March 19, 2016, 06:01:30 PM

Title: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: bbrown on March 19, 2016, 06:01:30 PM

  Hey guys. I've got a bunch of questions.....

1.   What would you use to make black 1/8 or 3/32" cock-beading (for a Federal piece)?   I figured I could use wenge, or "blackwood" (whatever that is).  Do you have a source you'd recommend?

  Might be easier to dye or otherwise colour another species?  I have 'ebonised' Wm. & Mary legs using india ink and I suppose that would do the trick.

2.   For an end table top that will be completely veneered (17" X 18"), do you use MDF?  Or poplar?  If poplar, how do you prepare it?  Do you glue up strips?

3.  For wide (2-3") cross-banding, what wood species do folks like to use?  I'm looking for something dark.  Jeff Headley recommended African ribbon strip mahogany and I'm looking into that (thanks Jeff).
   I like to see heavy grain for cross-banding.  I'm also looking at Bocote, Bloodwood, Granadillo, Padauk, Rosewood, Redheart, Zebrawood.  I know nothing about these woods except for the pictures in the Woodcraft catalogue.


Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: Freddy Roman on March 19, 2016, 10:52:54 PM
Question 3. I love to use quartered Makore.  Great  Birefrigence quarter Makore will give visually.

Question 2. Mdf personally never! I use 12/4 mahogany, poplar, basswood, or pine. I plan to veneer and edge the whole top. I will rip 12/4 into strips. Figure out your final thinness of the top  and adjust for veneer thickness you will using. After the strips are ripped llay them all down and flip ever other strip end for end. We are creating a quartered or rift top. Spring joint and glue together with old brown glue. Than mill to final thickness and hammer veneer.

Question 1. I would use ebony, Blackwood, or glue up black veneer.
Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: bbrown on March 20, 2016, 01:00:12 PM
  Thank you Freddy.  I was hoping you might reply, so very glad you did.

   What is blackwood?  Is it a generic term or an actual species? 

   I'm curious if a black dye or ink on the primary wood (walnut) I'm using would work as well for the cock-bead.

   I'm not clear why you start 3 inch thickness for the top which end up about 5/8" (in my case) final thickness.  Can you explain how you slice the strips and how wide?   Why not use less expensive thinner stock?  Yes, I am of Scottish decent.  Is it necessary to go to that much trouble - ie:  if both sides are veneered is there much worry about warping.  And the top will, of course, be attached rigidly as well.

    Quartered Makore sounds great.  Do you have a prefered source?

  Thanks again,


Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: gmatranga on March 20, 2016, 01:13:23 PM
African Blackwood is actually a rosewood-- dalbergia melanoxylon. I just used some for a handle on a jewelry box. Very dense and hard but polishes beautifully.
Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: Freddy Roman on May 06, 2016, 10:34:38 AM

Some how I missed this. My apologizes.

I would say black ink will work. But be aware of the effects solvents have on the ink.  I would do some testing.  No one says it has to be black.  Never fear to explore. 

To answer the 12/4 question. I am essentially making a quartered substrate, which moves minimal.  If I buy 12/4 stock than I expect to get a thickness of 2 3/4 or 2 7/8. This thickness than ripped acts as my width, since I am laying them down edge grain down.  If you look at the end grain the material is rift grain and more stable.  If you veneer both sides to go through all this trouble? Probably not, but these days how dry material is... I would for table tops and carcase sides. 

Source for Quartered Makore?  No source I just go to local lumber yards in MA/NH. They all seem to have it on hand.  I hope this helps.

Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: bbrown on July 20, 2016, 06:33:50 AM

  I finally doing the black cock bead on a federal piece.  I soaked the walnut in a solution of vinegar and steel wool (it had been sitting on my shelf for many months).  That really did a nice job of darkening the walnut.  Should work well.  I will try india ink and even a black felt tip as well.  I plan to shellac the cock bead prior to glue in, so no worries about ink or magic marker running.  A bit more experimentation, but I suspect all will work fine.

Title: Re: black cock beading & veneering questions
Post by: awleonard on July 20, 2016, 09:04:47 AM
I've had good luck with using poplar and black dye from Lockwood (via Lee Valley).  It went deep enought that I was even able to sand it a bit before applying the finish.