Reply by Bustedknuckle

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Posted on Reproduction guys

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4 posts in 1931 days

#1 posted 01-06-2013 09:33 AM

As someone that makes their living restoring and rebuilding antique furniture I have to disagree with you to some degree on your first point.

It seems far too many woodworkers vilify plywood as a substandard and poor replacement in all circumstances for solid wood. In my experience this is just plain wrong. While plywood does have some shortcomings that must be addressed when working with it, it is vastly superior to solid wood with respect to dimensional stability, weight bearing, and ease of working.

Now that I thing about it, I’d have to debate you on your second point as well. While I’ve probably repaired more veneer than I can even fathom the failure mode is usually the same. (assuming of course it was applied properly to begin with) The biggest culprit is moisture. Once water can get behind a veneer it’s over, the veneer will be coming loose. The second is typically mechanical damage. While the first problem can be avoided by storing the piece properly, the second requires good design and consideration of how the veneer will be subject to its environment during daily use. That said, I’ve only once had to repair a veneer job that I did. The reason? The ultracat I was using was out of expiration and while it held down fine at first it delaminated a few weeks after the piece was delivered.

In short, it’s all about how the material is used and to a greater extent abused. Please don’t be one of those woodworkers that lumps all veneer and plywood into that “it’s garbage” mentality. By being willing to work within the constraints and shortcomings of the material you allow yourself greater freedom of design and are not shackled by what can be done with only solid wood.


-- With the right tools you can break anything!

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