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Thread: Steaming out a dent in veneer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Steaming out a dent in veneer?

    I am going to refinish a grand piano I purchased. It has a few dents in the curly/ribbon mahogany veneer and I am a little worried about attempting to steam out these dents because the veneer is rather thin. Anyone done this before?
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Paul,
    Ken Werner just did a thread on this subject. Well not vaneer but same process.
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    heres a link
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I did look at your tutorial Don, but I am concerned about the dents being in veneer. I think most veneers were applied using hide glue back when this piano was made. (1930's) The wood is gorgeous, and I sure hate the idea of having the veneer bubble up or some other nightmare. I can leave the dents in, and the piano is certainly an antique so a little use marks aren't out of order.

    It was finished in a dark stain and lacquer. I knew it was ribbon mahogany, but was surprised to find a curl pattern in the wood that runs 90 degrees to the ribbons in the wood. I plan on using a minimalist stain to maybe 'pop' the grain and then many coats of hand rubbed lacquer. There is a few small pieces of veneer missing but I happen to have some real nice ribbon mahogany on hand to make some repair veneers.

    I will post a picture or two when I get going and after I replace my camera which is missing in action and presumably stolen.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  5. #5
    Maams don't iron any more so yard sales often have cheap steam irons, I bought one for a buck several years ago. take it home and fill it full of white vinegar, to clean the system of buildup.

    I use my steam iron often, to re attach veneer, raise dents, and adhere new veneer.

    If you are careful, you can get by with borrowing HER steam iron.

  6. #6
    Paul,
    while it's true that a lot of steam and heat can soften hide glue, that glue will re-adhere very quickly. That's the really great thing about hide glue. I wouldn't worry about it coming loose, but even if it does, it can be pressed back into position very easily by using the same process that you do to steam out the dent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Thanks for the help. I do have an old steam iron I used to use to wax x-country skis. I suppose if the wax is thoroughly removed it just might become another shop tool.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

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