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Antique Radio Cabinet Retrofit #7: New Veneer for the Top

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Blog entry by Pags posted 02-10-2015 03:44 PM 1684 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Mount Sub-Woofer Part 7 of Antique Radio Cabinet Retrofit series Part 8: Pilot Light »

Next-up was reveneering the top. I have some 1/16” thick mahogany veneer left over from a previous project that was perfect for this project. In order to do this precisely as the veneer can’t be trimmed after it has been glued down, I needed to make a pattern. With a pattern I could precisely shape the veneer before glueing it down.

Also, I prefer to use wood glue for veneer, but in this case the veneer has to be precisely set in place, so contact cement was a better option.

First I began by laying a piece of drafting mylar over the top and sketched out the perimeter of the new veneer.

Next I transferred the lines from the mylar to a piece of thin scrap plywood to be used as the pattern. I cut the pattern to size and fussed with it until it was the exact shape required. Finally I traced the pattern shape onto the veneer.

I cut the veneer to size using a veneer saw on the straight edges and carefully used a sharp utility knife on the curves.

Then I cut out the lift-up top from the pattern so I could use a grain matching piece of veneer for the lift-up top, that attaches with hinges.

With that I done I carefully cutaway the veneer for the lift-up top.

Finally, I carefully glued down the new veneer using contact cement.



3 comments so far

View AtlanticBryan's profile

AtlanticBryan

26 posts in 1311 days


#1 posted 04-24-2015 12:54 PM

Pags, I’m about to do a similar veneering job, but am approaching it with some trepidation. My project is refinishing an antique table top, about 24 inches in diameter. The old veneer was water stained and cracked, so I peeled it off. It came off with hot water, so I’m assuming it was put down with hide glue. The substrate is solid wood, maple or birch from appearance. My concern is how to get the edges of the veneer registered against the edge of the table – even a 1/32nd error would show up. How did you achieve it on your antique radio top?

Thanks very much.

Bryan

-- I'm not talking to myself ... I'm consulting an expert!

View Pags's profile

Pags

34 posts in 687 days


#2 posted 04-24-2015 04:50 PM


My concern is how to get the edges of the veneer registered against the edge of the table – even a 1/32nd error would show up. How did you achieve it on your antique radio top?

Well, the trick was making a pattern. And then cutting the veneer exactly to the patterns shape. One the veneer was cut to the exact shape, the next challenge was adhering in the exact spot. The was to do that was using contact cement as the adhesive (I usually don’t use contact cement for veneer, but in this case I did so that the veneer would stay exactly in place… it would slide around slightly if I used hide or wood glue). With contact cement you apply a coat or two (depending on how porous the substrate is) to both the substrate and veneer and let them. When applying together they stick instantly.. theres no room for error, so you gotta get it right the first time in placing the veneer in place. To help that lay down wax paper on the substrate, then put the veneer on top of wax paper ,and maneuver the veneer into place. Once you have it the exact position, slowly, and carefully slide out the wax paper, allowing the veneer to come in contact and stick to the veneer. You really have to be patient and do it slowly and carefully, to keep the veneer in the exact position with out creating air pockets.

You might want to give your self a little margin of error and allow for 1/32” overhang over the edge(s) which you can lightly sand down…. I’m not sure if that is an option for you though

View AtlanticBryan's profile

AtlanticBryan

26 posts in 1311 days


#3 posted 04-25-2015 05:46 PM

Thanks Pags. I’ll follow through and let you know how it turns out.

Bryan

-- I'm not talking to myself ... I'm consulting an expert!

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