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Forum topic by isotope posted 01-05-2016 09:29 PM 575 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


01-05-2016 09:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer backer adhesive question

I have agreed to help a friend build a media console. It’s a simple cabinet with sliding doors in the front. The plan is to build it out of plywood (glue and screws), veneer the sides and top, and paint the inside and shelves. The inspiration for this comes from a recent YouTube video by Jon Peters.

I’ve never really worked with veneers and I’m a little confused by all the options available from online retailers. Particularly pertaining to different kinds of backers.

I’m planning on using contact cement adhesive. Which type of veneer or backing would be best? Is getting veneer that has pressure sensitive adhesive already applied to the veneer a better option?

Also, I see that some online vendors sell “raw wood” veneer. But, typically they are not wide enough. The cabinet will be ~20” deep. Is it possible to join 2 strips of veneer? Can I use contact cement with raw wood veneers (I suspect the answer is no)?

Can I use veneer for edge banding?

Anyone have a favorite supplier for veneer, online or in the Boston area?

I thank everyone in advance for their thoughts and advice.


15 replies so far

View levan's profile

levan

472 posts in 2439 days


#1 posted 01-05-2016 09:38 PM

Why not just use veneered plywood and use veneer edge banding.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


#2 posted 01-05-2016 09:43 PM

That is definitely an option. But, I do like the look of the veneer wraped cabinet. It hides the joint line between the sides and the top. Also, I think it makes the build a little easier. I’m not sure how I would assemble the cabinet without have the joinery showing if I just used veneered plywood.

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

448 posts in 361 days


#3 posted 01-05-2016 09:45 PM

I agree with levan, use a good veneered plywood and use edge banding for the ugly bits . It will also provide a better final finish on the painted areas. Good luck

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6564 posts in 1609 days


#4 posted 01-05-2016 10:58 PM

Veneered plywood would be a far easier build. Use a mitered joint (preferred a splined miter) on the corners. That will hide the joint while still offering decent strength. Use edge banding or solid banding on the front. You can get iron on edge banding that would hide the joinery/plywood edges.

Trying to veneer 20”x20” panels is not going to be very beginner friendly unless you have something like a vacuum bag setup and veneer the panels before cutting any joints or assembling. You could use a lot of cauls and a ton of clamps, but it’s riskier.

If you still decide against veneered plywood, then the veneer supplier I typically use is certainlywood.com. They are based in NY, and only sell raw wood. You will have to join the veneer together to get the width you want. Perforated veneer tape should hold them together after you joint a straight edge on both pieces. Apply it to the outer side going across the joint every 4-6” or so, and then one piece going lengthwise covering the entire joint. Use something like liquid hide glue or titebond cold press glue to give you a long working time.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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levan

472 posts in 2439 days


#5 posted 01-05-2016 11:59 PM

You could rabbet the sides for the bottom. No tape on side.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


#6 posted 01-06-2016 12:39 AM

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts so far.

Jmartel, would using hide glue or titebond bond cold press require a vacuum bag or clamps. Or, is it more similar to contact cement, where you lay it down and make sure it’s pressed down firmly?

Using veneered plywood and mitered joints would provide the same final look. I could use pocket holes (with plugs) for the center divider, since it’ll be painted. Though, I’ve never built a cabinet using this method. So, there is some uncertainty either way.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6564 posts in 1609 days


#7 posted 01-06-2016 01:02 AM

It would require lots of clamps and cauls. So, clamp up the panel between 2 pieces of plywood on each side of the panel, then maybe some curved 2×2 cauls on top of that. Put as many clamps on it as you can fit. Work your way out from the center. Similar to my photo below, but on a larger scale.

There’s another way of doing it called hammer veneering, using hot hide glue, but that would require a much larger up front investment of time and money

I would absolutely go with veneered plywood on this piece, unless you were after a look you couldn’t get with plywood. Use stopped dado joints for the center divider. A router jig would work well in this case.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2590 days


#8 posted 01-06-2016 01:38 AM



I m planning on using contact cement adhesive. Which type of veneer or backing would be best? Is getting veneer that has pressure sensitive adhesive already applied to the veneer a better option?

No. Not if you want it to last.

Also, I see that some online vendors sell “raw wood” veneer. But, typically they are not wide enough. The cabinet will be ~20” deep. Is it possible to join 2 strips of veneer? Can I use contact cement with raw wood veneers (I suspect the answer is no)?

The answer is no. You don’t use contact cement with raw veneer. (Many people will tell you that you should never use contact cement with any type of veneer).


Can I use veneer for edge banding?

Yes.

If you want to use contact cement, I’d recommend either a “wood on wood” veneer, or something with at least a 20mil paper back.

When veneering with contact cement, there are some important steps to follow. Ideally, you’d want to spray it on, but I’m guessing you don’t have the ability to do that.

Read this:
http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/tips/oakwoodveneer-guide.pdf

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


#9 posted 01-06-2016 03:22 AM

Given that I would be applying veneer to the already assembled cabinet, I can rule out using vacuum bags or clamps. I think that leaves contact cement as the only option. However, it sounds like contact cement isn’t a particularly great way to apply veneer. What are the primary drawbacks? Does the adhesive not last, or does is seep through the veneer and affect the finish?

Just to be sure that I have correctly interpreted the term, is the following picture an accurate representation of a splined miter joint that is being proposed?

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6564 posts in 1609 days


#10 posted 01-06-2016 03:49 AM

Yes that’s correct.

And contact cement allows veneer creep. So, over time, your veneer joints will start to separate and open up.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


#11 posted 01-06-2016 01:56 PM

I’ve been thinking about how I could approach the build using splined miters and I’m not sure I have a good way to achieve this. I have a good table saw (cabinet saw). It’s a left tilt and has a 30” fence. The top panel of the cabinet will be 20” x 40”. To cut the panel with a 45° angle, I would have the 40” long piece on the right hand side of the blade. There would be about 10” of overhand, but I can see figuring out a way. But, to cut the dado for the spline, it seems like I would need the piece on the left hand side of the blade. I can’t think of a good way to make that cut.
Anyone have any thoughts?

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

188 posts in 756 days


#12 posted 01-06-2016 05:01 PM

If you mortise a back into the cabinet and solidly glue it in, splined miters are unnecessary, as the back takes all racking forces that would load the miters, you can just use miters. Plywood miters tend to be pretty strong; half of the plys are not end grain after all.

This is a pretty standard method of modern-style frameless case construction; it is how the grain wrapping effect is typically done, as veneer adhesion is MUCH stronger when done to flat sheets, whether via a vacuum press (at home) or hot press (commercial plywood); nothing renders a piece of furniture near garbage quite like bubbling veneer.

View ous's profile

ous

64 posts in 2114 days


#13 posted 01-06-2016 06:14 PM

I use this method all the time. first don’t use fir or larch plywood as both have a hard winter growth and a soft summer growth that will sand through at the hard winter growth. Most veneer sold now is .042 with is pretty thin compared to the old days of slicing at 020. Aspin, maple or birch. Be careful of dog bone or ship veneer plugs on the surface of the plywood. I used Tidebond 11. I roll it on the plywood and the veneer with a paint roller(which I then wrap up in a grocery plastic bag for future use. I can use this roller for about six months and then I take it off and put it in a gallon jug, let it soak for a week wash and use again.) Let the glue dry. Tidebond 2 melts at 180 degrees. Your veneer will buckle and twist some but will straight up not always perfectly but well enough to use. Some depends on specie and grain of the wood you are using. Use your wife’s household cloth iron on high and iron the two pieces together. You can iron veneer around 45% corners or round edges also, such as 8 sided leg stems for end tables. I run a plywood plant in Panama and sometimes fine Mahogany plywood would have a blister. I have saved hundreds of sheets by cutting the blister with a raiser blade, hold one edge of the blister down and insert glue with a very small stick to one side and replete to the other side, put a piece of newspaper over it and iron it back in place and then sand the newspaper off. some experimenting is always helpful before tackling a fine piece of work. I also have a hydraulic press I used for wet glue but that is another story

-- Roy Montana

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isotope

146 posts in 1084 days


#14 posted 01-07-2016 12:26 AM

Waldo, your point about poorly applied veneer being hugely detrimental to the look of a piece is well taken. I would not have guessed that simply gluing a plywood miter joint is strong enough. But, it’s an interesting option. I’ll have to experiment with cutting and and gluing plywood miter joints. This might be just the reason I needed to build a good crosscut sled.

Ous, thanks for sharing your experience. Your method sounds simple enough and worth some thought. If I can’t get good enough results with mitered joints, I’ll have to explore this further.

View Waldo88's profile

Waldo88

188 posts in 756 days


#15 posted 01-07-2016 05:53 PM


I would not have guessed that simply gluing a plywood miter joint is strong enough. But, it s an interesting option. I ll have to experiment with cutting and and gluing plywood miter joints. This might be just the reason I needed to build a good crosscut sled.

Plywood doesn’t move, so the glue joint isn’t going to weaken over time.

The forces that load a miter hard and cause failure; pulling apart or pushing together the piece on a plane perpendicular to the joint itself (as would occur with racking) CAN’T be applied if there is a solid back. With a solid back the forces in a miter are minimal; the joint doesn’t need to be overly strong.

There is plenty of casework out there from the 1950’s, 60+ years old, built exactly like this; veneer damage is a big issue, the miters opening up is not.

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