LumberJocks

Cabinet door panels - veneer?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by bringitonhome posted 05-17-2011 09:15 PM 2123 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bringitonhome's profile

bringitonhome

28 posts in 1821 days


05-17-2011 09:15 PM

Hi-
I’m designing some built-ins in a craftsman/shaker style. For the doors, I’d like the panels to be a different wood from the frame. I’m thinking of using a veneer for something exotic; curly/burled maple or something.
I have absolutely no experience with veneer, so i’m looking for advice on substrate and application. Planning on cutting 1/4” wide, 1/2” deep grooves in the rails & stiles (they’re 2” wide). I know they sell project-size 1/4” thick panels of poplar at the big box – is it as simple as planing them down a bit, applying regular wood glue to the veneer and clamping pressure?

Also – any advice on how much room to give the panel to expand in the groove?

Thanks!


7 replies so far

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2413 days


#1 posted 05-17-2011 09:43 PM

Mdf is the best substrate for veneer but ply will do fine for door panels. You will not need to plane it down as it isn’t actually 1/4” thick. With the veneer it will most likely fit nice and snug in a 1/4” groove. Use the smoothest ply you can find as any irregularities may telegraph through to the surface. I prefer to leave 1/8” of play in the groove along with a 1/4” spaceballs.

-- It's only wood.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1814 days


#2 posted 05-17-2011 11:44 PM

If you have a real lumberyard nearby that sells to cabinetmakers, you will probably be able to find 1/4” MDF core ply in many species.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 1400 days


#3 posted 05-18-2011 07:02 AM

MDF or baltic birch for the substrate.

Don’t cut the dado’s in the rails and stiles until your panels are complete. This way, you can size the dado to fit the panel perfectly. Also make you panel about 1/4” narrower and shorter then your dados in the rails and stiles. Like rhett says, you will want to put space balls in the dados to keep the panels from rattling around in the door frame (very annoying).

YOu will want to make sure that you glue veneer to each side of the substrate to stabilize it. As far as glueups go, you can either use a vacuum bag to clamp the panel between the two pieces of veneer or you can build some 1 3/8” thick clamping boards from 3/4” laminated MDF. You will want to put 2 or 3 coats of paste wax on the side of the clamping boards that will touch the veneer so you don’t accidentally glue the veneered panel to the clamping boards. Another option is to put wax paper between the clamping boards and the veneer.

I use plastic resin glue (DAP Wood Weld) because of its long open working time. You can also use white glue as it dries clear. I don’t use yellow glue because if there is any glue squeeze through the veneer (happens all the time) it will look really bad. White glue will be clear.

I would highly suggest practicing on some scrap before you work with expensive veneer. MDF is cheap and any mistakes can be learned from before you tackle the real thing.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View bringitonhome's profile

bringitonhome

28 posts in 1821 days


#4 posted 05-18-2011 05:09 PM

Many thanks all for the help.

I guess because the veneer will expand/contract at a different rate than ply is the reason you have to veneer both sides? Kind of a drag – twice the product for a side of the panel that will only be seen when the door is open. I was originally planning on veneering only the outside.

FYI – I’m planning on using a veneer product that is an ultra-thin (1/42”) ‘slice’ of hardwood, not the type that is paper-backed and comes rolled-up, if that makes any difference in technique…

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 1400 days


#5 posted 05-18-2011 06:37 PM

You will need to veneer both sides. Otherwise the panel will change shape and cause you problems. The way to do it is to put your nice veneer on the outside3 face and a less costly veneer (soft maple or something like that) on the inside. This way you achieve the goal of stabilization at a reduced price.

You other option is to do what I did for some of my shop cabinets. I found some 1/2” plywood at the local big box store that had some incredible curly maple patterns to it. Out of 20 sheets I had 6 sheets that are absolutely amazing. I applied Arm-R-Seal finish and the grain really popped out. Also in the Cherry credenza and A/V cabinet I posted here I found some highly figured 1/4” cherry plywood that I used for panels. Theses sheets of plywood had incredible rope pattern figure. When finished the figure and color really popped out.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View rhett's profile

rhett

699 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 05-18-2011 07:40 PM

I don’t bother to veneer both sides of a panel if it will be captured inside a door frame. Between the rail and stile holding the panel flat and how thin veneer is, I don’t see how it could distort enough to be of concern. I have never had an issue or a callback.

I should make note that on wide doors I always add a center mullion and do veneer both sides of flat panel doors or any piece that is not contained within a frame.

-- It's only wood.

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 1400 days


#7 posted 05-18-2011 07:51 PM

You are right. For MDF it would be overkill to veneer both sides if going in to a frame. You just have to be willing to see the MDF on the inside of the door.

Personally, if I you use a plywood substrate (baltic birch or appleply) I would veneer both sides. But that’s just me. :-)

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase