So in my last project, I was making a table/desk with a plywood top.
Plywood veneer is extremely thin these days and lucky me managed to sand through the veneer at the corner.
Replacing it was really not an option at this point and so I set about fixing it.
I was also filming this for a youtube video, so I filmed this also. But the video got to be too long so I cut it all out.
Later on I thought I could maybe also put together a short article/video out of that leftover footage on repairing the veneer.
Here is the damage:
You need some sharp chisels, a ruler, a sharp utility knife, and a thin piece of wood. I had some thin oak left over from when I cut out the hardwood edging for this tabletop. It was a bit over 1/16" thick (1.5-2mm).
In order to make the repair as invisible as possible, your wood patch needs to have similar grain and colouration to the plywood.
After laying it out I used the and utility knife to slice off a narrow wedge of oak. I then rubbed the wedge on some sandpaper to make sure the edges were straight and also to slightly bevel them, such that the bottom of the wood wedge was narrower. This would help with fitting it into the cavity I was going to be excavating.
The wedge of wood is then laid into position and I lightly trace around it with the knife, scoring the plywood. I then went over those lines several times, each time pressing carefully, so that I can excavate out a section of the plywood that exactly matches the shape of my wedge of oak.
I then could put some wood glue into the cavity, and also onto the back of the wedge of oak, and fit it into place.
The wedge is pretty narrow and delicate, and I don't want to break it, so I used a scrap of wood to distribute the pressure and tapped it into place with my mallet
It was a good fit, but not totally perfect. So I pulled the dust catcher off of my Random Orbit Sander and dumped out some oak sawdust. This sander had been used on this exact project, so the sawdust should be a good match for this wood. I then mixed the sawdust with some wood glue to form a paste and pressed it into any cracks around the edge of the patch.
And that is about all there is to it. I let it dry and then lightly sanded it to blend in with the wood around it.
Here are some photos of the finished project after the finish was applied. (I used shellac, followed by 3-4 coats of waterbased polyurethane.)
To my eyes, the patch is virtually invisible. If you know it is there, you can look for it and find it. It helps that this is off in the corner of the desk. In normal everyday use, no one will ever see it.
There are a few more photos on my website, if you’re interested: http://wordsnwood.com/2014/veneer/
Or here it is on youtube: