What Do I Need to Know About Veneering?

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Forum topic by jmos posted 05-31-2012 04:49 PM 1067 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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843 posts in 2422 days

05-31-2012 04:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneering

I’m about to embark on my first veneer project. It’s a bridal chest with 11 veneered panels (three panels each top, front, and back, one panel for each side.) The largest is about 15” by 15”, and everything is flat, so I’m thinking it should be a good first project.

I bought raw wood birds eye maple veneer for the face sides and paper backed flat sawn maple for the insides. I’m going to use 1/2” MDF for the substrate. All the edges will be covered by the chest side material.

I went ahead and bought cold press veneer glue, even though I did read in a few places that wood glue works fine. I also bought some softener in case I need it (also read I can make it at home, but it wasn’t too expensive, so I bought the pre-made stuff.)

Bought a veneer saw and have seen the proper way to sharpen it.

I’m going to use 3/4” MDF or ply cauls and clamps to press the panels.

Anyone have any tips, thoughts, things they wish they knew before they started veneering? Any assistance would be appreciated.

-- John

5 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8239 posts in 2629 days

#1 posted 05-31-2012 05:07 PM

Vacuum bags (press) come to mind.

Looking forward to your posted projects on veneering panels, should be awesome.

Maybe make some veneer out of scrap and practice first. Or, just go for it. lol

Good luck now.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6860 posts in 4032 days

#2 posted 05-31-2012 08:37 PM

Hi John;

You could visit my website for quite a lot of information about veneering. The bar on the home page is all veneer.

Just scroll down to the veneering index.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 05-31-2012 08:45 PM

I’ve used as veneer press bags, and they work great .. and they’re cheap.

Make sure to cut strips in your mdf cauls to allow for airflow

Here’s a blog post about my experimentation with veneering


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2339 days

#4 posted 05-31-2012 09:14 PM

Here is a video from Charles Neil about it.

I’ve veneered in the past with white glue which works really well too, but it’s messy and requires a lot of work, but the good thing about it is that it is very wet and most veneer is too dry. The white glue method will soften the wood and make it easier to work and it takes a finish better IMO.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View jmos's profile


843 posts in 2422 days

#5 posted 06-02-2012 03:24 PM

Thanks guys. I’m going to pass on the vacuum bag option for now. If I start doing a lot more it definitely sounds like the way to go, but for this first project I’ll stick with clamps and cauls.

Let me ask this, which of these methods works better? One, cut core to exact size required, apply slightly oversize veneer, after glue-up trim veneer with router? Or two, cut core larger than size needed, apply veneer, trim up entire veneered panel on tablesaw? I’m thinking one is safer, but two would allow me to make any final adjustment to grain orientation on trim up, if something shifted during clamping.

Also, is it better to apply the front and back veneers in one glue up operation, or should I do one side and then do the other immediately after the first side sets?

-- John

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