veneer over solid wood - need advise

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Forum topic by martin007 posted 11-18-2008 04:03 AM 4996 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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142 posts in 3802 days

11-18-2008 04:03 AM

Hi All

I have a few boards of tiger maple and would like it to use it as veneer. I plan on building a chest of drawer in maple. I want to use solid wood for my veneer substrate for the top and drawer front. I am planning on cutting my veneer 1/8 thick to make it easier to work with.

Here is a few question marks:

If I use maple veneer over maple core, do I need to veneer both side to prevent cupping?

If I use maple veneer over pine core or other wood, do I need to veneer both side to prevent cupping?

If I use a different wood for the core, do I need to consider the difference in wood movement?

I need to orient the veneer grain with the core grain, right?

My veneers will be from 4 to 8 inch wide. In the building of the top and drawer front, I plan on veneering each veneer board to a equal width core. Afterwards I will do the lamination. Does this sounds like a good plan?


-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

8 replies so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3795 days

#1 posted 11-18-2008 04:22 AM

now matter what substrate you use you must laminate both sides or the wood will not be equal especially if you are using an 1/8” thick veneer. and like up the grain too. you shouldn’t have that much problem either using a different wood as the substrate.

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2104 posts in 3755 days

#2 posted 11-18-2008 05:17 AM

I think you can also use a cheaper material as a veneer for the second side (assuming you aren’t concerned with the appearance). For example, birdseye maple one side, regular maple on the other. Not sure if this helps.

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John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3764 days

#3 posted 11-18-2008 05:19 AM

I would recommend you think about using mdf for the substrate. You can glue a band of the wood of your choice around the perimeter and veneer both sides with veneers of equal thickness and wood density and hardness. I use a special matching router bit set that cuts a male/female edge that aligns the edging perfectly.The top, doors, and/or drawer faces will be much more stable. Many high end furniture makers use mdf because it is stable and will remain flat.
Also, any type of flat veneering must be done on a perfectly flat surface so the finished product will come out flat.
I also recommend you use a urea resin glue (such as unibond 800) as the veneer will not expand and contract after drying. Yello glue and contact cement will always move somewhat through time.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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142 posts in 3802 days

#4 posted 11-18-2008 05:57 AM

Thanks for the answers.

I understand why you need to veneer both side on plywood or on a core of adifferent wood. That is because the rate of exchange of humidity is different betwween the top and bottom. But why is it needed
when using the same wood for the core. To me it is like lamination.

John, If veneering over solid wood, My guess is that we want the wood to expand along with the core, so urea resin glue would mot be recommended over solid wood, right?

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

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John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3764 days

#5 posted 11-18-2008 08:24 AM

Martin, I suppose you could use hide glue if you really want to go over a solid wood core. It has been used successfully for many hundreds of years.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View CharlesNeil's profile (online now)


2410 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 11-18-2008 09:36 PM

martin…veneering IS lamination..the thickness of the veneer is almost irrelevent…its the glue line , grain must be orentiented in the same direction on solid wood, and you must do both sides…a plastic resin glue..(weldbond) works well as hide glue (bottled kind)..or the cold press glues from titebond..unibond 800 is excellent but expensive..the plastic resin and cold press as well as the hide dry slower, a good thing
if your drawer fronts are going to be glued to an inner drawer face then you can get by just veneering one side, but quickly get them glued to the inner drawer (the third layer)
or they will cup…the glue makes a ridged line that initally swells the wood (moisture), then pulls the wood as it dries, thus the cup…wood must be balanced every piece of plywood will have an odd number of layers, for this very reason…even mdf will cup unless you balance it…you can glue a heavy paper to the back if you want(not reccomended), again its the glue line ….I have done a fair amount of solid wood veneers…i often do a solid raised panel and will ad a crotch or something for the raised portion of the panel, even then unless i veneer the back of the panel they will cup….there is simply no way around it…it must be balanced

View map's profile


98 posts in 3540 days

#7 posted 11-21-2008 05:17 AM

For the experts here, I have a related (I think) question. I was going to use 1/8” thick white oak veneer on the top side of a 3/4” MDF base for a desk top. Do I need to veneer the bottim side as well?


-- measure once, cut once, swear, start over

View definn's profile


30 posts in 3543 days

#8 posted 11-21-2008 05:27 AM

In my experience, I have only seen Veneer on solid core in lumbercore ply. Still at least 5 layers. Core, crossgrain substrata and outer veneer.

-- Karl, Wyoming

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