Nick's Berger Board: Part III

As building the torsion boxes was an enjoyable task I already knew how to do, they provided an easy transition into the Berger Board construction. Cutting the shop sawn veneer was a new challenge.

These boards will be getting much thinner.
Once I had obtained a piece of purple heart which was actually large enough to use, I set about resawing. Thankfully, my bandsaw was already in tune. It has had a Wood Slicer blade on it since I first set the saw up. In order to resaw I simply set the fence with a clearance of 1/8” between it and the blade (accounting for the set to the blade’s teeth) and used a magnetic finger board to hold the board against the fence. Then I slowly guided the wood through.

I was amazed by my results resawing.
This was my first time resawing. I found that with my properly tuned saw I was able to get a fairly smooth and absolutely drift free cut as long as I kept the feed rate down. I was even able to cut a piece of the maple thin enough to be a commercial veneer.

Good dust collection is very important when resawing.
Once the veneer was cut, I noted that the purpleheart had warped a bit. In order to create the perfectly straight edge I needed I laid a few pieces of the veneer out on a scrap of MDF and then used my track saw to true up one edge. I also used the track saw to cut the narrow ¼” wide center strips of veneer.

The veneer layers need straight edges for glue up.
With the veneer cut and 1/8” Baltic Birch plywood trimmed to rough width, it was time to glue up the board. This proved to be a straightforward, yet nerve racking experience.

The purpleheart veneer, ready for glue up.
I used Titebond III glue (for it’s longer open time) and carefully spread glue on the sides of the veneer strips then set them next to each other on the bottom of the torsion box press. Then I applied glue to one side of a piece of plywood and set it in. The second piece of plywood was installed the same way. Finally I applied the top sections of veneer, gluing their underside and one edge of each side to side joint.

The top torsion box was set over the board and against the fence. Then I clamped, and clamped, and clamped.

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