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Thread: Looking for advice: simple veneer repair

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Looking for advice: simple veneer repair

    Hello Everyone
    We picked up a solid old government desk (mostly maple) for our son's place at college.
    The drawer fronts are veneer and the center one (about 24" wide, maybe 3" high) is pretty beat up. This is new territory for me, so I'm looking for a few pointers on:
    1) best way to strip off the old busted veneer
    2) simplest way to prepare a new piece (bandsaw, thickness planer?)
    3) is regular cabinetmakers glue fine for this?

    This has already turned from "just a decent old desk for college" to a project. I'm not really looking to work on it until Christmas either! Got enough to do already
    Any advice much appreciated, as always.
    Thanks and best regards
    Peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Assuming it's standard 1/42" veneer, the best way to get it off is to sand it off with coarse sandpaper (in a powered sander, belt or ROS).

    The best way to get new veneer is to buy commercial veneer. Woodworking stores, such as Woodcraft and Rockler, used to sell small bundles of veneer. Only problem is that you may only find fancy maple, not plain maple.

    Regular PVA glue will work fine for this but think about how you're going to press it. If the drawer is flat, you can use waxed paper and a caul, clamped with standard clamps.

    Good luck!

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Depending on the type of adhesive used, you might be able to remove the old veneer using a heat gun or a regular clothing iron. If that doesn't work, sanding may be the only option.

    Applying new veneer to an item the size of a drawer front can be done by ironing it on. I have a tutorial page on the process here.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    So. Florida
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    If it's just a drawer blank, why not just use solid stock for a new drawer front.





    .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike marvel View Post
    If it's just a drawer blank, why not just use solid stock for a new drawer front.
    Good suggestion.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    .......................
    Last edited by John Bartley; 09-22-2011 at 12:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Nova Scotia, 45N 64W
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    Thank you for those suggestions guys.
    I'll look at the new drawer front option, but that will involve dis-assembling the half-blind dovetails. Leaning toward Mike's "grind off the old veneer and re-apply" approach. Don't have a lot of time to spend on this.
    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Have a great weekend.
    Peter

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