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First time Veneering, need advice

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Forum topic by Walker posted 10-10-2017 01:56 AM 330 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


10-10-2017 01:56 AM

This will be my first time attempting veneer, I have zero experience with it. So of course I’m doing some research on technique and would like some advice.

What I have is a kitchen cart. The bottom section is a cabinet, with four posts sticking up creating an open shelf, then a butcher block top. The sides of the cabinet are maple, but the top of the cabinet is birch ply. I’d like to cover the top of the cabinet with veneer. It’s approximately 20” x 33”. I purchased a 2×8’ roll of 10mil maple veneer, so I have enough to screw up once.

I’d like it to be more or less one piece, or as few pieces as possible. I gather seams are the harder part, and I figure with my lack of experience in this area the less seams the better. The complication is how to cut out for the four posts. The posts are 2.5” square and positioned 3/4” from the edges. This is where I’m seeking advice, where to cut?

I’ve attached some crude drawings to illustrate. I’m thinking the options are 1) cut the squares out for the posts, and one small cut to fit it around each post. 2) make three pieces, one large rectangle for the middle section, and a piece for each side which has the cut outs for the posts. Hopefully this would join up nicely to make two seams, on the inside of the posts. 3) open to suggestions.

Sorry if that was confusing, hopefully pics help. Dotted lines are where the cuts would be.

-- ~Walker


10 replies so far

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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


#1 posted 10-10-2017 01:59 AM

also, what’s the best tool to make the cuts? exacto knife? router?

-- ~Walker

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Loren

9433 posts in 3432 days


#2 posted 10-10-2017 02:04 AM

You could cut a panel, notch out corners on
the table saw with the panel held vertical,
then apply a 3/4” solid wood banding around
the edges, mitered at the corners. This would
get you out of edgebanding the MDF and the
geometry of the squares would be pretty
accurate without hand work. Flush trim
the banding with a router.

Apply the veneer after and drill, flush trim
with a router, and pare the corners square
with a chisel, working from each side.

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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


#3 posted 10-10-2017 02:27 AM

a picture is worth a thousand words right? I should have started with this. The birch ply top is flush with the solid maple sides. The gap between them is significant, too wide for wood filler, and really what I’m trying to cover up (along with the splines that are showing).

-- ~Walker

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jmartel

7407 posts in 1934 days


#4 posted 10-10-2017 02:52 AM

Would have been easier had you not installed the legs already.

#1 changed slightly so you also cut the inside face of each leg outward. You make a really fat cross and then have 4 L-segments to glue on around the legs. If you do it as you show in #1, you run a good chance of breaking the veneer off when you flex it around the leg.

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

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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


#5 posted 10-10-2017 03:19 AM

That’s a concern I had. I haven’t actually unrolled the veneer yet, so I wasn’t sure how flexible it would be.

Certainly would have been easier before installing the legs, but I constructed this from the inside out. The entire frame was assembled, with the top and bottom of the cabinet are actually notched in the corners and set into dadoes in the posts. The cabinet sides added after that. I know, not the best methods but what’s done is done. : )

-- ~Walker

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Loren

9433 posts in 3432 days


#6 posted 10-10-2017 03:28 AM

In this situation I would consider veneering
the area inside the legs in 3 sections, then
apply a veneer border around.

Another approach would be to veneer it
in 3 sections and apply a thicker profiled
solid wood mitered molding as a border
to conceal the joint. The molding can be
relived on the inside by the thickness of
the veneer on the router table. That way
the veneer can cover the joint thoroughly.

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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


#7 posted 10-10-2017 03:31 AM



Are you veneering the sides as well?

No, just the top. The sides are solid hardwood. I’m hoping the veneer matches the sides better than the birch ply, and also hides the gaps and such.

-- ~Walker

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shipwright

7718 posts in 2582 days


#8 posted 10-10-2017 05:07 AM

You are dealing with incredibly thin veneer here. It must be paper backed. Modern commercial solid wood veneer is more than twice that thick and is still very fragile and thin. If it is 10 mil (1/100”) including the paper, you only have ~1/200” of wood. It will show every imperfection in the substrate so there is pretty much no way that the veneer itself will hide the joint. Even much thicker veneer would telegraph that joint.
I think your best bet would be to apply the veneer to a thicker, perfectly smooth substrate like 1/4” MDF and then apply that to the area now covered but the plywood and trim it with 1/4” solid wood around the edge.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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Walker

35 posts in 256 days


#9 posted 10-10-2017 03:12 PM

I believe the 10 mil may have referred to the paper itself? It’s from a local hardwood store with no packaging, but its similar to the roll you’d find at woodcraft. I read someone else measured the paper at 10 mil and the total of 25mil. I don’t have the tool to accurately measure that, and this is foreign territory to me so I’m not sure. I suppose I could call the place and ask.

That’s good advice shipwright, and Loren I think has the same idea. I’ll do some test pieces to get a visual on what your saying.

-- ~Walker

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

1741 posts in 683 days


#10 posted 10-10-2017 05:19 PM

Bondo and paint. 2 tone finishes are becoming popular right now.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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