Abalone shell veneers are made from thinly sliced pieces of shell, glued together and sanded flat to form continuous sheets. This material is mainly used for surface overlays and inlays. Abalone lends itself to many applications including architectural surfaces, lighting fixtures, signs, furniture, musical instruments, jewelry and many more decorative projects. Veneer sheets are 240mm X 140mm (9.52" X 5.5") with a standard average thickness of .15mm (0.006").
The sheets are flexible and can be bent to a great degree especially when coated with a flexible resin or aliphatic polyurethane. Since the material is very thin, it has a high level of transparency allowing light to pass through, adding to its decorative effect when used on glass. For surface mounting, it is best to paint the back side of veneers to control their appearance.
Shell veneers can be easily cut with a sharp knife or scissors. It may be helpful to soak in water overnight prior to cutting. When cut with scissors it is advisable to apply adhesive tape to the top side to hold the material together and later remove when the material is fixed to the surface, alternatively it can be coated with resin or spray. Shell veneers can also be cut using various types of cutting machines such as with a laser or water jet.
Abalone Inlay Dots are slightly thicker than the veneer sheets and range in diameter from 4mm to 12mm. and a standard thickness of 1.3mm.