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Reparing a vernier finish

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Forum topic by pauls posted 04-04-2010 08:29 PM 1589 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pauls

30 posts in 2936 days


04-04-2010 08:29 PM

Does anyone know how to repair a vernier finish? It is an oak vernier table top that is starting to get micro-cracks and slight lifting from exposure to the sun. I am afraid if I sand it I might break through the vernier and ruin the top. I thought about using an iron on top of a damp cloth to get it to level out and then seal it with a sealcoat and then apply a top coat but I need some advice before I end up making a mess.

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach


7 replies so far

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2591 days


#1 posted 04-04-2010 08:41 PM

First, it’s veneer. :-)

Is this an old piece? Don’t try the iron and damp cloth, it might take the veneer right off. Depending on how it was applied, the repair method may be very different.

It’s very unlikely you’ll get rid of the cracks. Best bet may be to glue it back down firmly and use a filler.

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

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pauls

30 posts in 2936 days


#2 posted 04-04-2010 09:39 PM

Ger21. Sorry, my neighbor’s last name is Vernier and it is a bad habit of mine!

The piece is only about 12 years old. It is veneer over MDF and “looks” good but is of marginal quality (not junk, but since I started woodworking I now recognize the difference). I’ll try your suggestion and, if all else fails, I will just make a new one out of solid oak…oh boy another project!

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

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Hacksaw007

609 posts in 2649 days


#3 posted 04-04-2010 10:14 PM

Any water will result is a worst ruining of your top. MDF does not respond well to H2O. If the veneer is only 12 years old, it most likely is very, very thin. The newest veneers are around 1/50 of an inch, some so thin that they have to have a colored cross ply under the veneer so that you cannot see through the veneer. If your top is covered with “checks” then I believe it is what it is. If it is only a few that are raised. I use an Xacto knife with the “check” lined with masking tape and lift the veneer up enough so that I can put some 2 part 5 minute clear expoxy in the void, smearing it around inside. Clean off the excess, Take off the tape. I weight down the lifted part with a wight that fits over the whole area enough to use the ok areas of the veneer to stop the weight from making a divit in the top. Something very flat covering the area (small as you can and as heavy. Let the expxy dry and carefully remove it striaght up. You might want to lightly grease the weight so that is doesn’t want to stick the drying glue. Carefully clean off the repaired area and t-up as needed, then move on to the next. Did this a lot (and I mean a lot) on imported Chinese furniture, that ruined Pennsylvania House Furniture and my 25 year job. If you want to ask questions please feel free to. I can be more detailed and show you some pictures of what we had to fix.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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SKFrog16

661 posts in 2661 days


#4 posted 04-05-2010 12:22 AM

pauls, Here’s a simple 4-step process for re-gluing peeled-up veneer.

STEP 1: Examine your damaged veneer area carefully, Look for places where you can insert an Exacto knife or an artists Palette knife under the veneer. If you’re unable to get a knife or similar object under the bad spot, split the veneer with a chisel or knife so you can lift it up to insert the glue you’ll need to hold it down.

STEP 2: Use an artist’s palette knife or similar flexible, thin-bladed knife to slowly and carefully apply a generous amount of glue under the entire surface of your damaged veneer. Take your time and be sure ALL areas are sufficiently coated with glue. You may want to resort to a glue syringe.

STEP 3: Using your thumbs and even pressure, carefully squeeze out any excess glue. Using a rag dampened with water, wipe off any excess glue that escapes…quickly.

STEP 4: Lay a piece of waxed paper down over your veneered area…then a wooden “caul” over that and clamp your veneer down solidly with a C Clamp, hold-down clamp or hand-screw clamp. Allow to dry thoroughly.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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pauls

30 posts in 2936 days


#5 posted 04-05-2010 01:46 AM

The support and resources available at Lumberjocks are amazing! Thanks for the great suggestions and advice. Hacksaw007 is correct that the veneer is super thin and there are at least 30 micro sized “checks.” They are so small it is almost impossible to get glue under them without them peeling off. I am going to try to make a glue slurry and coat the surface then do the step 4 suggested by UnionLabel. It is worth a try and if does not work I will just build a new oak top

-- PS. "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." R. Bach

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2591 days


#6 posted 04-05-2010 02:29 AM

My guess would be that it’s held on with contact cement, and repair will be very difficult. Properly applied veneer with modern glues should not be coming up.

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

View SKFrog16's profile

SKFrog16

661 posts in 2661 days


#7 posted 04-05-2010 03:18 AM

There is one other alternative. You could sand down the veneer to the base material and lay down your own new veneer. Since the table is only 12 yrs. old, it is a viable option. Just another step in furniture restoration.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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