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Basic Veneering.

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mhannah

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Just received a strip of veneer from Vale Veneers this morning.

I'd like to use it to veneer a small mdf cabinet that I made.
Trouble is...I haven't a clue where to start!

Can anyone answer a few basic questions for me?

1) What's the best way to trim the veneer to size?
Use the cabinet sides as a template and trim around them with a scalpel?

2) What kind of glue do I use to stick the veneer?
Can I use my plain old evo-stick that I use for joints etc?

3) How do I let the glue set?
I was planning to clamp the veneered sides between 2 scrap pieces of mdf to allow the glue to dry. Will this produce a smooth finish?

Thanks,
Mark.
 

Gill

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Big subject, Mark! You might find a look through Ian Hosker’s “Veneering Handbook” could prove useful :idea: .

I wouldn’t do any veneer trimming until after it’s been applied to the base. Firstly, roughen the MDF base slightly with some glass paper to provide a key for the adhesive. Cut the veneer slightly larger than the area it’s to cover, using a scalpel and steel rule. Don’t work the scalpel – it’ll do the job very accurately and cleanly but several cutting passes may be needed before the veneer is cut all the way through. I always rest my veneer on the base surface – the cutting helps to provide additional keying for the adhesive.

Get lots of cramps ready :shock: ! Cut yourself sufficient cauls ( thick timber battens, at least 25mm x 44 mm, very marginally crowned. MDF is too fragile.) to cover your work. The more cauls you use, the lower the risk of a poor finish. You’ll also need two stout pieces of timber (eg 18 mm ply) to protect both the veneer and the carcass.

Working quickly, spread a thin, even coat of PVA adhesive over the MDF base. Position the veneer on the base and, working from the centre outwards, use a veneer hammer or J-roller to press the veneer flat, working out any air bubbles towards the edge. This is important because you won’t get a decent finish if any air bubbles remain. Make sure the veneer doesn’t slide out of position on the glue! Then, sandwich the carcass between the two ply sheets, position the cauls on top (with the crown facing towards the veneer and cramp into position. Don’t apply excessive pressure. You might want to apply a sheet of plastic between the veneer and the top piece of ply in case any adhesive squeezes through the veneer fibres.

I usually leave my work to cure for 24 hours.

After this time, remove the work from the press and trim the excess veneer using a veneer saw.

Apparently, there is a much more modern and less stressful way to do the job that involves placing a sheet of glue film between the veneer and the carcass. You simply run a moderately hot iron over the veneer, which melts the glue. I’ve never tried this myself but it sounds like a good idea!

Hope this helps

Gill
 

mhannah

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Thanks for the info Gill.

One question...why the timber cauls..why can't I just clamp my veneerd board between an MDF sandwich?

Mark.
 
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