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Thread: Veneering question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Decatur, Alabama
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    Veneering question

    I'm working on some plans for a new entertainment center, built like a built in bookshelf for my house. I plan on making it out of walnut, but I can't find any local supply for walnut plywood. The whole thing will be base cabinets with bookshelves on top. I'm looking to veneer the top for the base cabinets, everything else with be rail/style paneled inside and out, probalby ship lap backs. I had a few questions about skill level/tools needed, I've never done any veneer.

    Do you have to have a vacuum press to do something like this? The biggest piece will be about 2' x 6'. It seems like the methods I've read about so far are either the older hammer veneering or vaccuum bag, not sure which route to take.

    What's the thickest veneer I can use? I've read 1/8" but no experience. Also is it acceptable to apply it thicker then plane the veneered piece down to under max veneer thickness?

    Is this a project that a beginner can have a good shot at good results? It's for me, but this will be a big investment in time and not easily repaired.

    Do I need to glue the edge of veneer strips together to keep them from splitting? I've read some articles that say yes, some that don't mention it. I'm not sure how to edge glue really thin veneer either.

    Do I have to go cross grain of the top of the plywood? Due to the 6' length, I don't want to have to do two layers if I don't have to. Also would MDF be a better choice?
    Last edited by Jeb Taylor; 08-08-2011 at 07:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Jeb this was my first veneering job I posted in this thread.http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ad.php?t=13315 My largest piece just fit into a 9' long vacuum bag. You don't need a vacuum bag but it does make it easier. I'm not sure what what your talking about edge gluing sheet veneer ir veneer you re saw yourself. If its sheet veneer you can use blue painters tape or you can buy the tape made specifically for seaming sheet veneer together. If your re sawing your own then you edge glue them and I just use normal masking tape for that. When I did my kitchen I cut all my own veneer for the finished ends and laid it up on plywood with the grain running the same direction. I also made sure I re sawed some veneer for the back side either from the same material if it was going to be seen or from some junk wood if not. My veneer was 3/32" at it's thickest and haven't had a problem with it yet. I also used tight bond cold press glue for the veneering since when it dries it has no flex to it like regular yellow glue. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
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    Yeah, everything helps. I don't want to buy tools that I don't need for the job, or spend a lot of time on something that's going to split when the humidity changes.

    So edge glue shop sawn veneers, but you don't have to glue the really thin stuff you buy? That makes sense. I just noticed some articles I read on the web didn't even mention it, while some talked about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    Jeb, If you have a business you should be able to go right through these folks.

    http://unitedplywoods.com/contact_us.html

    If not, go down to staples or somewhere and have some business cards printed up. You already have a shop.
    Then you can get yourself set up with a wholesaler for your plywoods as well as solid woods.

    I have my carpentry business up here in the northeast and my shop for doing all my millwork and cabintry. I'm a one man show. All I did was talk to the reps up here, told them who I was and what I did. I get everything wholesale instead of having to go to the lumberyard and pay retail.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
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    I'm familiar with them, they're about 10 miles from here. Unfortunately they wanted a tax Id which I don't have, and I ran into a good bit of problems getting one locally. That would be ideal, but I just couldn't come up with a legitimate reason to have a home business that didn't violate zoning or contractor license requirements.

    I just priced vacuum pump systems though

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
    1,553
    your tax id is your soc if your a sole proprietor.
    that's all they care about usually. You can usually even go pick it up yourself if your neigbors dont want a lumber truck coming down the road.
    My shop is in my basement, I wasnt required to have a store front or any signage, nothing like that. Told them I make the product in my home and deliver to my customers in their homes.

    Anyway just a suggestion, you dont need to go through all the zoning rigamarole just to get set up with them. You shouldnt anyway...

    unfortunately my supplier's closest branch to you is Virginia.... Otherwise I'd say you could use my account to get it.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Villa Park, CA
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    There's no reason to saw your own walnut veneer. Walnut veneer is pretty cheap and you can get it in face sawn, quarter sawn, and even some with figure (at a higher price).

    Here's a web page on veneering a panel.

    The easiest way to glue it is a vacuum bag, and I recognize the expense of getting set up to do that. Have you thought about what glue you'd use?

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    So. Florida
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    Your easiest way would be to use a paper backed veneer, and use a solvent base contact cement. You can apply it over any substrate, without a movement problem. It's available in 4'x8' sheets.

    It's not a difficult application process, but if you decide to use that method, you can be talked through it easily.





    .

  9. #9
    You need to be careful during the finishing process if you use contact cement and solvent based finishes. I've seen to many veneers get bubbles from the stain/ finish reactivating the contact cement because the finish was put on too heavy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
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    I haven't gotten to glue, not even sure on sawing my own veneer. I have this nice sketch of a 9' x 14' entertainment center that I want to build, and I'm trying to figure out how to build it atm.

    Since I haven't found a good source of walnut plywood to date, I've been looking into veneering for a few days. I've looked around on your website before mike, and really like it btw. I hadn't seen the panel glue up though, just the tutorials section.

    I like the idea of learning something new, but I am hesitant to drop $400 or so on a vacuum system. Still with a 2'x6' center section, that's an awful big/elaborate caul to clamp it down.

    Is there any good veneer source online other than rockler/woodcraft/leevalley? I mighit just buy a little and experiment.

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