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  • Veneering tips please.

    I am going to be trying veneering for the first time for some cabinet doors. The frames are cherry and I want to use walnut burl veneer for the panels. They will be about 14" by 26" and I planned on 1/4" MDF for the substrate. I plan on a 4 way bookmatch for each panel, with both sides of the panel being done. I will use Titebond 3 and apply it to the substrate with a roller, then stick on the veneer, cover it with wax paper and clamp it between pieces of 3/4" ply or MDF with tight clamoing pressure and leave it over night.

    I hope my plan sounds O.K. I have not done any veneering before but from all the reading I've done this seems to me it'll work.

    Any tips or suggestions for me?

    Thanks.

    Ryan

    GALLERY OF PROJECTS: http://lumberjocks.com/galleries/Boomr99#
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  • #2

    Re: Veneering tips please.

    Re: Veneering tips please.

    That's basically what I just did for some panels for a box I just made. It seemed to work fine. I coated both the veneer and the mdf with glue using a small foam roller and I got thin even coats. I used the LV wood glue, it has a pretty good open time.
    Last edited by OttawaP; 11-03-2008, 06:36 AM.
    Paul

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    • #3

      Re: Veneering tips please.

      Re: Veneering tips please.

      Thanks Paul. I was actually wondering if I should put the glue on both the veneer back and the substrate. Thin coats I imagine? Do I have to worry about glue squeezing thru the veneers to the good face?

      GALLERY OF PROJECTS: http://lumberjocks.com/galleries/Boomr99#

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      • #4

        Re: Veneering tips please.

        Re: Veneering tips please.

        Well I'm about as experienced as you at veneering. My veneer was pretty solid but a burl might have some holes it it that would ooze glue. Maybe they have to be covered with veneer tape?? Some more experienced hands should be along soon enough.
        Paul

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        • #5

          Re: Veneering tips please.

          Re: Veneering tips please.

          I tried this on some larger panels and the results were great at first but over time the moisture migrated between the pieces and then buckles arose in a day or so. Had to remove the veneer and start over. ... I might add, that I used a Vaccuum bag and pressed an excellant looking surface and was able to aide the vaccuum by rolling down the face, It looked so nice for a day)

          A friend clued me into a product (3M) that they use to veneer on the inside of Airplanes. Subject to extreem climate changes and often sit for long periods in the Sahara desert area so extreem hot and they also go to the Artic area and sit exposing to extreem cold. I went looking and found 3M Scotch-Weld #10 (#10 is the clue to strength) Not cheap at $18 quart but great in the application and holding. Made a great bond.

          Problem with WB glues like Titebond and MDF is the moisture migrates into the MDF and then returns and swells the cells of the wood.

          Having said this, I just reciently veneered some Cherry Veneer to Cherry wood rails and stiles of some antique car door window sashes. (a long saga of restoration on a 1912 Model T Towncar, wood body car) I use Titebond III and clamped it in place using a stiff caul and handscrews but the rails and stiles were just under 2" wide and were similar woods (both cherry) with the veneer, so it was more like Laminating wood than veneering.

          If it is to be a large panel (such as a door panel) I would opt for a good contact cement. IMHO. Moisure can play the same games with Veneer as it does solid wood and MDF will not "Move" the same as veneer. Introducing the moisture of the glue into the fold is just asking for trouble.... On large panels of dissimilar materials...
          Last edited by Bill Simpson; 11-03-2008, 12:42 PM.
          Bill "Hickory" Simpson

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          • #6

            Re: Veneering tips please.

            Re: Veneering tips please.

            I replied on the creek site, but I would add that I would never use contact cement with a Burl. Burls are very fragile need a rigid glue line. Contact cement would be similar to using a fish glue such as they did in fine marquetry hundreds of years ago. Those are now kept in envioronmentally controlled rooms so they maintain their beauty.

            Darryl Kiel of Vacupress has some excellent DVD's (and the years experience) that will be tremendously helpful to you. Obviously, he is a vac press guy but he also briefly touches on clamping methods. More importantly, he discusses at length the best adhesives to use for various projects. You can find copies at Veneer Systems or order direct from Vacupress. I have dealt with both and they are good to deal with.

            Darryl recommends against using Contact cement with all natural wood veneers.

            Brad

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            • #7

              Re: Veneering tips please.

              Re: Veneering tips please.

              Just some alternatives and some observations.
              Water based glue and MDF = disaster because of moisture migration. Use a Baltic birch or a solid wood panel instead.
              Do some test runs first. Try coating both surfaces with PVA glue and allow it to dry. Put the veneer on and use a warm iron to activate the glue and get a bond. Use hide glue. Regular contact glue will work but direct sun could be a problem. Water based contact doesn't seem to be affected as much.
              Maybe one of the new water resistant MDF might make a better substrate but I have not used it so can't recommend.

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              • #8

                Re: Veneering tips please.

                Re: Veneering tips please.

                Hi Ryan - I can't really comment on the glue issue, but I'm glad you asked it because there are some interesting responses here. I've only used TB III when I've veneered but that was to plywood, so as Bill said that may be different than to MDF.

                The only thing I was going to add was that you should maybe consider making up some clamping cauls so that you can get decent clamping pressure in the middle of the panel as well as the ends. Basically just some scrap board that can extend from one side to the other, one on top, one on the bottom. Plane the ends 1/16" or so thinner than the middle so that when you clamp the ends it really squeezes the middle as well. I made up a few and space them along the length of the panel.

                Good luck,
                Kerry

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                • #9

                  Re: Veneering tips please.

                  Re: Veneering tips please.

                  Originally posted by Brad805 View Post
                  I replied on the creek site, but I would add that I would never use contact cement with a Burl. Burls are very fragile need a rigid glue line. Contact cement would be similar to using a fish glue such as they did in fine marquetry hundreds of years ago. Those are now kept in envioronmentally controlled rooms so they maintain their beauty.

                  Darryl Kiel of Vacupress has some excellent DVD's (and the years experience) that will be tremendously helpful to you. Obviously, he is a vac press guy but he also briefly touches on clamping methods. More importantly, he discusses at length the best adhesives to use for various projects. You can find copies at Veneer Systems or order direct from Vacupress. I have dealt with both and they are good to deal with.

                  Darryl recommends against using Contact cement with all natural wood veneers.

                  Brad
                  Brad, NEVER is a very finite statement.... I agree with the fragility of the burl veneer but often they come paper backed and this would release this fear. also I was not talking of Weldwood or one of the more common Contact Cements, this one is superior and industrial use only. (but available with aircraft, marine, and auto restoration suppliers) It is much easier to work with than traditional Contact Cements and does make a superior bond.

                  As for the not recommending for natural woods and burl veneers, I have seen the insides of some of these corporate jets my friend services and was quite impressed with the wood interiors and believe me, with the price they command they are natural woods and burls.

                  As someone else suggested, Try a few practice panels and see what works...
                  Bill "Hickory" Simpson

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                  • #10

                    Re: Veneering tips please.

                    Re: Veneering tips please.

                    I've never done Veneering.

                    Would like to one day, maybe sooner than later.

                    This book I bought at LV a few years ago seems to have all your answers. (The picture below is linked to the Index pages of the book and the first few text pages of the book, click on it and it will open in a new window.)



                    Unfortunately, I don't think LV carries it any longer.

                    Here it is at Amazon Canada, nicely priced to boot:

                    http://www.amazon.ca/Veneering-Found...5735681&sr=8-1

                    I tried to find a quick answer, but it would take too long to piece the proper info together for you and I have a bad cold/headache right now.

                    Best of luck, and let us know how you made/make out
                    Kevin

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                    • #11

                      Re: Veneering tips please.

                      Re: Veneering tips please.

                      Hi Ryan---I once did a job with a fellow that did a lot of commercial veneer work for the government. He never used anything but animal hide glue and used a heat press. The finished products were shipped all over the world to the various embassys with no problems. He used high densty particle board for the substrate----not MDF. When I did museum work I used ply---good quality--no problems except for cost
                      "Born 50 years too late"

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                      • #12

                        Re: Veneering tips please.

                        Re: Veneering tips please.

                        My advice is to practice first with some cheap veneer...

                        I've never liked using PVA glue for veneering. Since the glue is water based, the veneer wants to curl up as soon as it touches the glue. Then it is a race to hold all the wet cats down while you get your cauls in place before the glue skins over. The PVA wicks through the veneer pores, you will get a bunch on your fingers and smear the glue all over the veneer, and it's a pain to sand all that glue off before finishing.

                        Give it a try - your method sounds correct :-) but a bit of practice helps alot.

                        Personally I like hammer veneering with hot hide glue. You smear glue on both sides of the veneer so you don't have the curling problem that you get with PVA glue.

                        I would use Baltic birch plywood as the substrate instead of MDF, but I've never used MDF so can't comment with any authority on that.

                        ps. I second the recommendation for the Burton book. I have it and it is quite good.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Veneering tips please.

                          Re: Veneering tips please.

                          Bill, ok, never was a bit over the top. I would agree with a paper back veneer and CC would be fine. I am sure in climate controlled environments we can all get away with less, but if one does not follow what the professionals use, sometimes we do not find out until later that something was not the best idea.

                          I was not suggesting against wood burls. I love the real pieces. Not a fan of paper back, but thats just me. Veneer suppliers get the premium wood stock and cut it up so those of us can afford it. I have three binders from Certainly Wood full of the veneers of the world that I search through constantly for ideas. I made all of my interior doors of my house with Makore crotch veneers. MDF is a very common substrate and makes good sense in many cases. I know Pete is not a fan, but you sure can make flat panels for spots where stability is a concern.

                          Brad

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                          • #14

                            Re: Veneering tips please.

                            Re: Veneering tips please.

                            Hi Ryan,

                            I wouldn't recommend contact cement for veneering.

                            Two quick reasons, think of this. Veneer is ~1/32" thick, can you spread two layers of glue that evenly ? Especially on uneven bur....

                            Contact dries soft or rubbery if you will. Veneer is still wood and it will expand and contract enough over time to break down the glue bond.

                            Nuff said on that

                            My glue of choice for walnut burl is hot hide glue. Mostly because of it's color, bleed through is a good thing. It will fill most of the voids in burl and it's color is so close you won't even notice it. And if you have any bubbles from not enough clamping pressure you can just reactivate the glue with an iron...

                            Even if the bleed through is bad enough that there are "patches" of it on the surface, a little sanding and you are good to go.

                            Baltic birch ply is also my choice for core, I have used MDF quite a bit but finally decided the baltic is just a better material.

                            Remember to put a piece of plastic between your veneer surface and your caul. It makes it easier to seperate the caul from the work piece after the glue has dried

                            I also second doing a test run, you have chosen one of the more challenging woods to start with.

                            Smaller voids in the veneer can be filled with black tinted epoxy, larger ones should have a wood patch.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Cheers, Don
                            Last edited by Don Kondra; 11-03-2008, 03:38 PM.
                            Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
                            Product Photography
                            My Acreage Bird Photographs

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                            • #15

                              Re: Veneering tips please.

                              Re: Veneering tips please.

                              FWIW the little box panels I veneered were pretty small and easy to get clamping pressure all around. The panel sat for a week before it was finished and installed, it seemes fine. On something bigger maybe it's better as everyone says to use hide glue (never tried it myself).
                              Paul

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