LumberJocks

Veneering #2: Flattening Veneers

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Blog entry by Lee A. Jesberger posted 07-23-2007 04:00 AM 1497 reads 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: A Primer Course Part 2 of Veneering series Part 3: Bath Vanity »

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When using some veneers, they must be flattened prior to use. This is especially true of burls, crotch and stump veneers.

Flattening them really isn’t a big problem, it just takes a little time, and a flattening agent.

The main steps are to spray the front and backs of the veneers. Once the are sprayed, they are placed between plattens and some sort of absorbent paper. Some people use newspaper, but I ‘m always concerned about print showing up on my veneer.

I use brown builders paper. The paper can be reused, if left to dry for a while. (a couple weeks) We store the paper in a box and when we need them again thery’re dry.

The builders paper has to be changed every couple hours, for a day. The next day, we change the paper in the morning, and again around noon. By the end of the day, the pieces are dry.

The glycerin, available in drug stores, is the miracle ingredient in the formula in the flattening agent that makes it a little more pliable, than when you received it.

Some of our clients visit the shop to look at the veneer we are going to use for their project. It is common for them to ask if it is the same veneer we used on the sample we made for them. They also mention if they saw the veneer prior to seeing a sample door or panel, they never would have chosen it. Sometimes it does look bit unusable, but can be.

The recipe for the flattening spray is published on our website, or you can buy a commercialy available agent.

http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com/Flattening_Formula.html

For more information on the technique, go to:

http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com/Veneer_Flattening.html

Don’t let the appearance of some of the most beautiful veneers scare you away from using them. The process is rather simple, now that you know the process.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com



17 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3065 days


#1 posted 07-23-2007 04:23 AM

Great tips Lee.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#2 posted 07-23-2007 04:28 AM

Hello Karson.

Thank you,

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3065 days


#3 posted 07-23-2007 04:34 AM

Sorry I didn’t invite you to our LumberJocks picnic today . We had 5 Lumberjocks present along with the rest of the Mason – Dixon woodworking club.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#4 posted 07-23-2007 04:38 AM

No Problem Karson,

While it would have been nice to meet you guys, I had a fair amount on my plate to get done.

Appreciate the thought though.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 2909 days


#5 posted 07-23-2007 05:32 AM

Thanks for the tips Lee, A friend had given me a small stack of veneers that her grandfather had. I will try the formula to flatten them. I have had them for about a year and half, not sure what to do with them. Getting them flat will get me closer to making project. I have not tried to put veneer on, so when I do I will be back to read your series.

-- Joel Tille

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#6 posted 07-23-2007 10:32 AM

Hi Joel;

No problem. Give veneering a shot. It adds a whole new dimension to your woodworking.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2976 days


#7 posted 07-23-2007 04:59 PM

Thanks, Lee for sharing your formula and experience. I imagine that if the glycerin softens the veneer so it will flatten, that it also may help it to not be as brittle, thus making it cut better, too?

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#8 posted 07-23-2007 10:36 PM

Hi Os,

That’s correct. It makes it more pliable, and more forgiving.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2701 days


#9 posted 07-24-2007 12:04 AM

Thanks, Lee. That answers a question that I had about some of the veneers available at the local store. They are pretty curly and I asked the shop guy how you flatten them. He looked at me like I was speaking in Zulu.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#10 posted 07-24-2007 01:32 AM

Hey Tom;

Were you?

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2701 days


#11 posted 07-24-2007 01:34 AM

Alberta, Canada.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2686 days


#12 posted 07-24-2007 01:43 AM

Lee, I am beholding to you for sharing these trade secrets.
Thanks very much.
I’m ready take on a small job now.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2653 days


#13 posted 07-24-2007 02:41 AM

One thing I didn’t see that should be mentioned is the purpose of the glue in the formula.

The reason for it is to help keep the veneer flat once the flattening process is done.

I also put a non-metal piece of window screen in the stack after the paper. This will help in evaporation.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#14 posted 07-24-2007 03:21 AM

Hi Gary;

Good point about the glue.

We don’t usually add glue, as we only soften what we’re going to use. We find the veneer remains flat, and there’s no chance of the glue interferring with the finish.

The screen is something we used to do, but found it to be an unneccesary step.

Points worthy of pointing out though, and thank you for mentioning it. I skipped right over it!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6650 posts in 2644 days


#15 posted 07-24-2007 03:24 AM

Hi Bob;

Well they’re not really secrets. We just don’t tell anybody. LOL

As for the project, GO FOR IT!!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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