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Beginning Veneering

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fezman

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Hi,

I've recently started to use veneered plywood for a couple of forthcoming projects. I'm a complete newbie when it comes to veneering so any advice would be welcome, including books videos articles etc.

The first project required 4 panels to be veneered with maple. I've done a bit of research and had a few practice runs. What I have an issue with is about 1 in 4 times I veneer to plywood (not always maple!) I seem to get some "bubbling" in the resulting veneered board. I am also getting a little amount of glue bleed.

To explain my process, I cut the substrate to size (about 2 mm extra in WxH than the final dimensions), then I apply titebond cold press for veneer glue, with a roller until I have a very thin film evenly coated. I then apply the veneer to the plywood and flip it over. I repeat the process for the other side of the plywood exactly the same.

The plywood and veneers are then transferred to a shop made veneer press, built on the same principles as the one here . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuv3Bx93ZCQ&t=1s . The press is screwed down and two further cauls and clamps are applied to give some pressure in the middle of the press.

At this stage I'm not planning to go down the vacuum press route (not ruling it out in the future though), but would like to achieve the best results I can using my existing press.

I've also had a small amount of bother when cutting veneers (mainly my knife following the grain), will a veneer saw be much help? What saws do people recommend?

Thanks
Ian
 

Blackswanwood

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I make jewellery boxes and tend to veneer the panels for the lids using the same method. I tend to use MDF as opposed to plywood and am still learning!

My guess is that the bubbling is because either at that point enough glue has not been applied or it has been absorbed into the substrate. It may be worth sealing the surface first with a coat of watered down glue and allowing it to dry before veneering.

I use a scalpel to cut my veneers and change the blade regularly which works well for me.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
 

jeremyduncombe

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I wonder whether it would be better to veneer only one side at a time ? That will reduce any chance of the veneer on the first side moving or lifting while you are gluing and attaching the second side. You may not be using enough glue, there is a fine line between not enough and too much - or your press may not be applying even pressure or sufficient pressure.
A sharp scalpel blade will do most of the time, but it will tend to follow the grain on oak and other heavily grained woods. Scalpel blades are cheap, throw them away as soon as they are blunt. I use a short length of plastic tube as a blade cover when the scalpel is not in use, to protect it.
Veneering is an addictive pastime, well worth persevering with.
 

jeremyduncombe

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I should have said - when you apply the veneer to the substrate, are you firmly pressing it down with a roller before it goes in the press ? If you simply place the veneer onto the glued substrate, there is a good chance of trapping air in one or two places. A good going over with a roller should eliminate this.
 

Geoff_S

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I got a lot of good advice on this forum about veneering. My veneering project was 40+ veneered panels for a kitchen I built.

I used a vacuum press and it's just fascinating how a really wrinkly sheet of veneer (ash burr in my case) became super smooth and flat. However, I used veneer softener first to make the veneer more pliable. Link here:

https://www.thewoodveneerhub.co.uk/prod ... gKPT_D_BwE

I am not sure whether this is absolutely necessary for a flat veneer, but it was astonishing how it worked for me. Oh, and as Jeremy says I also used a good quality roller to make sure it was all stuck down.
 

woodbloke66

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jeremyduncombe":3bzyev17 said:
I wonder whether it would be better to veneer only one side at a time ? That will reduce any chance of the veneer on the first side moving or lifting while you are gluing and attaching the second side. You may not be using enough glue, there is a fine line between not enough and too much - or your press may not be applying even pressure or sufficient pressure.
A sharp scalpel blade will do most of the time, but it will tend to follow the grain on oak and other heavily grained woods. Scalpel blades are cheap, throw them away as soon as they are blunt. I use a short length of plastic tube as a blade cover when the scalpel is not in use, to protect it.
Veneering is an addictive pastime, well worth persevering with.
If possible (and it's not always) veneer both sides at the same time. Veneering just one side will introduce a lot of moisture from the glue (unless a resin glue of some sort is used) and will almost certainly cause the job to bow when it comes out of the press. If you're lucky, veneering the other side may....say again may, straighten it out, but not always.
One off the golden rules in woodmangling is to always try and do the same thing to both sides, so if a bit of wood for example, is going through the p/t you always skim both sides - Rob
 
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