Veneeer question

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Forum topic by LocalMac posted 02-21-2009 03:28 AM 1122 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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281 posts in 3403 days

02-21-2009 03:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question veneering

Aarrrrrggg! Here’s a veneer question for you experts out there. I have been trying to learn veneering in the shop lately. I bought a roll online of red oak 24”x8’ that came with glue on the back. The problem I’m having is it seems very brittle when I cut it and also when I sand it. The edges keep chipping off. I thought maybe it was because the shop is too cold- around high 50s to low 60s. Another thought was maybe it was just bad veneer. Any ideas?

-- Don't tell her I'm in the shop!

6 replies so far

View Randy Moseley's profile

Randy Moseley

113 posts in 3436 days

#1 posted 02-21-2009 03:47 AM

My experience with the glue backed veneer hasn’t been great. I prefer the paper backed veneers and use contact cement to glue it down. I’ve also used two coats of the contact cement on both surfaces to ensure it really holds. Cut it oversized for the piece you’re veneering to, contact cement it, use a roller to press it down (i.e. a wallpaper roller), then use a flush trim bit in your router to cut it to exact size. My guess is the chipping is due to the glue on the veneer not being strong enough to hold around the edges, thus chipping out. That’s the same problem I had until I changed to the paper backed veneers. Good luck!

-- Randy, DeKalb, Illinois

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3977 days

#2 posted 02-21-2009 09:49 AM

Hi LocalMac;

First off, welcome to lumberjocks.

I cant say I have any experience with pre glued veneer but some veneers are more difficult to work with. You didn’t mention how you are cutting it. As far as sanding it, if you are sanding in any direction, other than down towards the substrate, there is a likely hood of it chipping. This is the only direction that the veneer is fully supported.

I almost always use a scalpel for cutting veneer, and I often use blue painters tape on the cut line. It helps eliminate the cutting tools likely hood of following the grain, and wandering off the cut line. It is important to make very light cuts as well. You have to be careful when removing the tape, so it doesn’t chip the veneer. There’s some information and photo’s you may find helpful on my website, and a page specifically about cutting veneer:

I hope this helps;


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3555 days

#3 posted 02-21-2009 02:51 PM

I havent had any luck with preglued veneers either. I always buy the paper back veneers and use a high quality laminate glue when applying veneer. Randal’s tips above apply here as well.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4085 days

#4 posted 02-21-2009 03:20 PM

I’ve never used pre-glued veneers so I’m no help there.

I was taught it takes three cuts to go thru veneer. The first light cut scores the wood. That allows the knife (a scalpel is MUCH preferred over an Xacto knife) to ride in the same groove the second cut. The third cut severs the piece.

I do believe that the temperature has an effect. Put the veneer in a box or bag with a lightbulb to heat it up.

Check out


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View bendisplays's profile


40 posts in 3398 days

#5 posted 02-22-2009 02:24 AM


I really dont like the pre-glued laminates or veneers. I typically use a panel saw with a scoring blade to cut peices. As one person had mentioned a knife works well and I have used utility knifes and a straight edge and works fine. If you are using a table saw, the laminate will be chipping a lot. It needs to be held down near the blade if you are cutting with a saw.

When you are laminating try to leave as little an edge as possible and use a small radius bit. Because the material is thin it has a very light chip load. I also have luck with bits that are typically used for plastic and have a 0 degree hook. I am not sure the mechanics of this but they work well to trim the excess.

Good luck and like others have said I prefer paper back veneer also.



View LocalMac's profile


281 posts in 3403 days

#6 posted 02-22-2009 07:37 PM

Thanks for the replies. They’ve been very helpful. I think I’ll try paperback veneer next time.

-- Don't tell her I'm in the shop!

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