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Looking to Start Veneering

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mn pete

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Hey guys,

I'm going to take my first crack at veneering some small panels for box lids in the near future. I've got a few pieces of veneer picked out and I'll be ordering some veneer softener today.

http://secondwindworkshop.blogspot.com/ ... esign.html

Any good tips for a first timer experimenting with some small panels? I won't be taping any pieces this time around. For such small parts, is Titebond or Titebond III OK? I see myself doing more veneering in the future, so I'm not opposed to buying a better glue choice now.

Pete
 

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AndyT

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custard

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Pete, veneering isn't difficult, and you've made the right decision to start small and keep things as simple as possible for the first few attempts by not joining veneers. You should also avoid burrs and complex grain at the beginning, stick to a nice flat straight grained mahogany or cherry or something similar, until you've got the techniques sorted out.

Assuming you've worked out how you're going to press the veneer then the main advice I'd give is thin the glue down (Titebond is just fine) with about 10% water. That doesn't sound much but it makes a big difference in turns of open time and spreadability.

If you haven't got a solution to pressing, then go for the "iron on" route. You'll find lots of on-line references to the technique and it really does work.

Good luck!
 

mn pete

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Thanks guys. I've got a piece of that Sycamore veneer with several cracks and splits, so I thought I would sacrafice that one for a couple of test runs this weekend.

I was thinking about putting the panel between two pieces of wax paper and then placing that between two pieces of MDF and aplying some weight on top, or maybe even clamping it all down to the bench with an additional board or piece of MDF. I hadn't heard about ironing the veneer on though. I'll do some digging on that.

Thanks for the link Andy. I'll check those videos out tonight after work!
 

woodbloke

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AndyT":4hq6vuoc said:
Pete

I don't have any direct experience, but when I do get around to giving it a go, I will be following the methods shown on YouTube by this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inyVp5r73_Y&list=UUL0zd3eH-OPBb24QX0-5VLA&index=3&feature=plcp

I like his no-nonsense approach, concentrating on getting the job done without lots of fancy equipment. Others on here have also recommended his videos.
This is the traditional hot animal glue veneering which is a lot more difficult than it appears in the clip. Don't use the original yellow Titebond 'cos it's not waterproof as if you need to clean off tape (which you won't) with a nylon scourer and hot water...the veneer will bubble and lift :oops: :evil: TBII or III is fine, or any PVA or even Cascamite will be good as long as it's waterproof. Use a pair of cauls, such as a couple of pieces of 18mm mdf with paper 'twixt job and caul (glue squeeze out can occur) and get as many G or F cramps onto it as possible...simply putting some weight on the top won't give you nearly enough pressure for a decent bond. Veneering isn't difficult, but my advice would be to steer away from the hot glue approach - Rob
 

mn pete

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Thanks Rob. I do have some TB and TB III. I'll give it a go with the TB III. I haven't watched that clip yet, but I'll admit that the hot hide glue method does seem a little intimidating for a first timer (like a lot of things, I guess.)
 

AndyT

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I'm interested in your comments Rob, and I know that they are based on much greater experience than I have - as I hope I made clear. The clips were using easy veneer on a plain panel - as he says himself - but I thought that the case in favour of hot glue is that (a) you can see what you are doing (no clamps and wood in the way) and (b) it's reversible if need be. IIRC there used to be someone posting on here quite often (Colin?) who put up some similar clips trying to demystify hot glue techniques. I guess I must get round to trying some, but it's too hot to do anything just now!
 

Paul Chapman

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AndyT":2h8e3mr8 said:
IIRC there used to be someone posting on here quite often (Colin?) who put up some similar clips trying to demystify hot glue techniques.
Yes, that was Colin, the furniture restorer. Don't think he's posted for a long time.

He gave a great demonstration of hammer veneering at a bash at DaveL's place



Made it look quite easy. Mind you, anyone who can find space to work on Dave's bench must be good :lol:

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

woodbloke

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I have had a go at the traditional method using the hot glue, but it's messy and you need to be really quick with the application and getting the stuff laid. The iron will prolong the process and give you a little more time to sort out any problems by applying local heat. Using a waterproof PVA of some description is just as effective, but in this hot weather, you'll still need to be fairly smart about getting the glue on and the veneer laid and pressed, though if it's only a small bit that's being done, it won't take too long. The best way I've found to apply the glue is with a piece of plastic about the size and thickness of a credit card (probably the best use for one :mrgreen: ) with a series of slots filed out of one edge (so it looks a bit like a row of battlements on a castle) and apply enough glue to adequately cover the complete surface. It's not an exact science but a little bit of practice will soon tell you what looks about right. Too thin and it won't stick and you'll end up with air pockets under the veneer. Too thick and the glue will force it's way through the veneer under the cramping pressure - Rob
 

Teckel

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There is nothing hard about using pot glue. The biggest problem is that the novice person doesent set thenself up correctly.
Make sure the glue is fresh and runs off the brush nicely. Drag your saw at 90 degrees to yourself across the workpiece. Or get yourself a toothing plane. Clean off the surface of dust. Damp your veneer with warm water both sides.
Heat your worksurface well with a heatgun or iron. Spread your glue evenly and watch for hair from brush (it will create an air pocket) and press down veneer,push out glue with veneer hammer or piece of timber with rounded edge. Don't lean to hard or you could tear veneer. Leave to dry. If you get an bubbles or areas that didn't stick just iron the area and press with hammer.
 

deserter

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Agree with above, animal glue is possibly the easiest and best way to go in my opinion.

I use animal glue at home and either PVA, cascamite or resin glue at work with a press, a little practice and animal glue is very controlled and quick, with no need for expensive presses etc.

As for iron on film, I tried it once and everything went perfect when applying but within a month it had let go in several places on the backing veneer. I will never use it again or advise it.
 

custard

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Deserter, when you say the ironed on backing veneer had let go, did you try ironing it back? It's not my main method for veneering (I mainly vac press), but I have done a fair bit of it, and I've never really had problems providing it was given sufficient time during application to ensure the glue melted.
 

deserter

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That was the strange thing, when I tried to iron it back the places where it lifted formed into large 50-75mm blisters, so I thought I must have got air bubbles which were previously to small to see, do I slit the blisters and tried to iron them flat, which didn't want to stick. I tried putting more film into the holes but this also didn't stick, so I resorted to stripping the veneer off and redoing it with pearl glue. I was using tulip veneer onto a 6mm MDF base so maybe the veneer was too strong for the glue film I'm not sure.
 

Mr T

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Hi

I have experience of both methods and would agree with Rob that clamping between boards would be easier for the novice than hemmer veneering. Some veneers, such as Mahogany go down easily under the hammer but others, such as cherry and maple can be tempramental. Jointing can also be an issue when you start doing larger areas, some veneers scalpel more easily than others. If you use cauls you do the jointing prior to laying rather than during the process. So you know you have a good joint before you start.

Chris
 

mn pete

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Thanks for all the great feedback guys. I picked up some Titebond Cold Press glue to try on my first go. There is a veneering class coming up in a couple months at one of our local Woodcraft stores where they'll show how to use hide glue and a press and cold press glue in a vaccum press.
 

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A number of years ago I started veneering on a very small commercial scale. Being fairly new to the technique I contacted several very experienced veneer craftsmen to gather their thoughts on which method was the best/most reliable. There was a very good reason why I went to these people: I could ill afford returns with veneer bubbles and the associated expense!
Caul veneering was considered reliable providing one could apply even and sufficient pressure on the work piece. On large areas that's much harder said than done. Vacuum veneering was considered reliable, as was the traditional hammer Veneering using hot Hide/scotch glue.
I was warned against using PVA and the iron on method. Long term it can give problems. Impact adhesive was a definite no.
In the end I used the Hide/Scotch glue method - reliable and minimal outlay. A bit of learning curve but with practice it becomes much easier.
 
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