Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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horse chestnut nut veneer

  [vote for,

As anyone who has ever collected conkers will know, there's nothing quite like the glossy appearance of a newly released nut.

I propose that horse chestnut shells could make a very attractive surface for wooden furniture.

Many conkers would be collected, perhaps utilising the talents of small boys.
The conkers would be cut to form relatively flat areas containing potentially managable tiles - which would generally be squares, hexagons, and possibly rectangles or equilatral triangles. This could be performed by a machine, which could analyse them to determine the optimal profile.
The produced sections would be steamed and pressed flat or to a particular curvature, then dried and stored.
The dried sections can then be die-cut to the final tile shape and glued mechanically onto sheets of plywood or directly by hand to the workpiece for finicky areas.
After assembly, the furniture would be varnished to restore the lustrous brown marbled texture.

Loris, Sep 09 2011

A use for beautiful but tiny, oddly shaped bits of wood. http://www.hardwood...lions.com/shop.html
Thanks, [po]. Fixed it. [mouseposture, Sep 10 2011]

better link http://www.azwoodman.com/inlays.html
[po, Sep 10 2011]

veneer joke Plywood_20Printer
[not_morrison_rm, Sep 13 2011]


po, Sep 09 2011

       Just a suggestion: dry, then cut. Or cut (oversize), dry, cut. Cutting after the shells are dried will make for much more uniform pieces, which will greatly simplify the assembly.
MechE, Sep 09 2011

       Yes, you're right - that'd also help with distortion during flattening. Tweaking idea.
Loris, Sep 09 2011

       Nice! [+] Can possibly make checker boards from lighter and darker ones.
xandram, Sep 09 2011

       Why regular tiles? Beautiful, but tiny and oddly shaped pieces of wood would be perfect for inlay work <link>   

       It could be made by peeling the horse chestnut like an apple; a skilled artist would then integrate the natural shape of the shaved bits into the design.
mouseposture, Sep 10 2011

       I like this - I love conkers.   

       It might be possible to just take the peelings, overlap them face-up, and then use heat, high pressure and a resin to bond them into a smooth veneer.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 10 2011

       // I love conkers //   

       There speaks someone who has never ridden a motorcycle in the Autumn, and has no idea of the unpleasantness of being struck on the helmet, at speed, by a falling conker.
8th of 7, Sep 10 2011

       // has no idea of the unpleasantness of being struck on the helmet, at speed, by a falling conker.//   

       Serves you right for riding naked.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 11 2011

       They go dull after a while. I think it's the saponins, so i wonder if you could cut them in half and use them to polish tables.
nineteenthly, Sep 12 2011

       If you can cut saponins in half, you go right ahead.
baconbrain, Sep 12 2011

       Do the saponins come from the shell itself, or the meat inside? If the latter, no problem. If the former, it might be possible to remove them with some solvent or other.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 12 2011

       Both, but i'm not sure if it's they that make it glossy. It might just be moisture. You wouldn't need to go as far as that. You could just puree and boil them, then skim them off the top. I've done it, but haven't tried to polish anything therewith.   

       [Baconbrain], i think they'd be sesquiterpenes then, and that can be done too.
nineteenthly, Sep 12 2011

       Steamed? Pressed flat? What about Lumpy Conker Chair? One surface would be flat to glue on the the chair. The top would be left a lovely lump. This might be less than idea in surfaces to be sat upon; maybe better for legs and moulding. Or maybe sitiing on would be good in a shiatsu sort of acupressorial way?
bungston, Sep 12 2011

       // Serves you right for riding naked //   

       Not entirely naked - wearing an approved motorcycle helmet as required by the Road Traffic Act.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2011

       phew! - from the title I thought this would be an idea for a thin, laminate, reddish-brown covering for horses' testicles.
hippo, Sep 12 2011

       // sesquiterpenes //   

       Thanks, [nineteenthly]. After my lame joke I went looking for the correct chemistry, and found I couldn't even start to figure it out. I knew somebody here would know.   

       [hippo], my horses' testicles already have a thin, laminate, reddish-brown covering. (The testicles which belong to my horse, I mean.)
baconbrain, Sep 12 2011

       You let your horse keep his testicles? Insert rant here about your foolishness unless you are a professional breeder.
normzone, Sep 12 2011

       //require some kind of veneereal expert//   

       roughly similar joke...
not_morrison_rm, Sep 13 2011


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