Reply by Mark A. DeCou

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Posted on Sticking it Together; What Glue to Use?

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Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 4369 days

#1 posted 12-15-2006 04:34 PM

Hey Guys: I’ve been busy trying to finish up Christmas orders, and so I haven’t checked on my forum topics lately. I agree with Woodwhisperer, I use the Unibond 800 glue for veneer, because this is what David Marks’ uses in his DIY Woodworks show. I do very little veneering, so I forgot to mention it in my glue listing. It is not the easiest glue to find, and I had to order it over the internet. Mike, if you have a hard time finding it, let me know and I will dig out my receipts from the last time I bought it and let you know where I found it. I just mix it like it says on the side of the container. It has a long “open” time, so it is David Marks’ selection for assembly glue when he has a lot of parts to glue up and doesn’t want any of it to set until the parts are all together. This glue needs to sit overnight to dry.

I also don’t like using veneer edging on something that has a chance of getting bumped by legs, such as your case box lid edge. The veneer joints at the corners are susceptible to being easily damaged by ordinary use in a room, even dragging a throw blanket and pulling it off can rip a corner of veneer edging, and the blanket.

In your case, my recommendation would be to use a strip of wood, the thicker the better, and use regular PVA wood glue to hold it in place. The other suggestions I agree with, as you will need to hold the strip in place while the glue sets. You can do this with multiple strips of masking tape, or you can use a brad nailer (not my choice) or you can use a pin nailer (I don’t have one), or you can use the long “caul” (strip of wood) that you use to apply even force along the strip you are gluing. A friend of mine (lumberjock Duane Kohles) has a pin nailer (no head nails) and says it works great, with no holes to fill with putty. Maybe he can enter a tool review about it sometime in the Forum. This tool is on my wish list for situations like you are encountering.

I have used the iron on veneer edging, but it does not hold well for situations where the veneer could get bumped, such as in the case of your box lid. I would use it for situations where I was covering plywood edges on a shelf board, but not in a structural situation. I am not a heavy veneering guy, as I mentioned, as there are just too many antiques with ruined veneer, so I generally try to stick with solid wood. I noticed that Karson added a new wall cabinet project, where he used veneer on the door panel, and that is the type of application where I think veneer makes a great addition to a project, giving wonderful grain in an expensive wood, yet is not in a situation where it would lift easily. I met some nice folks at the Western Design Conference that cut down a tree and had it’s wood made into veneer. They sent me as a gift about a dozen pieces of the veneer, and I will be using it in a similar project to Karson’s after Christmas is over.

Marc Adams has a great video on Veneering that I bought several years ago, and he says that any wood glue will work great on veneer as long as you have a method to hold it in place with pressure. In cases where that isn’t possible, he said a compromise is to use Contact Cement glue, as is done with Formica style counter tops for kitchen cabinets. Karson has what all of us wish for, and that is a vacuum bag. This is another tool that will eventually be in my shop, as it will open up lots of opportunties to new techniques for woodworking that are too difficult to accomplish with other methods.

Hope this helps, let us know if this is not clear,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

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