Veneer Question

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Forum topic by mrg posted 08-18-2011 12:29 AM 1975 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mrg's profile


849 posts in 3233 days

08-18-2011 12:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip veneer veneering modern

Hi guys,

I have a question about veneering. I am thinking of building a credenza that I see in the Woodsmith magazine. They are saying to veneer the unit after you build it. They are saying to veneer the outside of the carcass , both sides of the doors and both sides of the draw fronts and edge band.The question is do you veneer the inside of the case?

I was under the impression that you should veneer both sides of your plywood or mdf for stability.

The Wodsmith magazine is Vol. 33/No. 196 just got it in the mail.


-- mrg

4 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1744 posts in 3042 days

#1 posted 08-18-2011 04:07 AM

I wouldnt waste the time on it. Plywood is already veneerd on both sides, but on the mdf I think I would apply at least one coat of initial sealer as you finish the piece.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3978 days

#2 posted 08-18-2011 04:15 AM

See Lee Jesberger’s web page for just about anything you want to know about veneering.

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2785 days

#3 posted 08-18-2011 05:28 AM

Most of the time, yes, you should veneer both sides, and you should cross the grains between layers.

The point is to even out any wood movement on both sides. Plywood is based on this principle by having the layers added on both sides, each successive layer being perpendicular in grain to the previous.

MDF, I’d probably be more sensitive to this because it’s essentially pressed sawdust. It MIGHT be more sensitive to the pulls and pushes of wood grain in the veneer on one side only.

As for veneering after assembly as to before, I prefer to veneer before assembly because it allows me to cover all spaces and gaps prior to the assembly. I’d need to see the plans, but I’d go contrary to what they say there….

As a note though, the thicker the wood, the less of an affect a tiny sheet of veneer is going to have on the wood, and the warpage is going to be more to the thicker substrate. Oddly enough, I’ve done some veneer work to card stock, and the cardstock warpage has been greater than the veneer, and has caused some interesting stress patterns.

(actually, it reminds me I need some brass sheet soon)

Anyhow, the veneer on both sides is more of a recommendation on thicker pieces rather than a “must do” but still, it’s a better practice than not.

View Viktor's profile


466 posts in 3652 days

#4 posted 08-18-2011 07:54 PM

The answer will vary depending on what glue/technique is used for veneering and the thickness of the substrate. I would not bother veneering both sides of ¾ or ½ MDF. In fact I have veneered one side of 5 mm plywood sliding door and I’m yet to see even the slightest warping. If you use contact cement or heat activated glue you should have less of a problem. Warping occurs primarily in the initial stage during wetting and drying of water based glue. The mantra “always veneer both sides of the substrate” comes from the days of hide glue and solid wood core and is not is always applicable today.

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