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Old 16th April 2006, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Veneering the Ariel

I want to veneer my Ariel cabinets but the front two corners have tight radii roundovers (1" and 1.25"). Therefore, one soild peice of veneer must cover the sides and the front. Just wondering if anyone has successfuly acomplished this?

The vacuum press looks like a useful tool, but I still can't figure out how to press the piece onto the cabinet. You would have to press it in one shot (all 3 sides pressed at once). You'd need to use a caul so that the inch (or so) of over hang doesn't get ripped off. Ive read that 1/8" italian poplar bending ply might work, but i'd need several sheets to get to a thickness that wouldn't bend at the overhanging edges. Anyway, that method seems too expensive and I dont even know if it would work.

Another way would be with lots of clamps and glue one side at a time. However, I wouldn't be able to get any clamping pressure on the roundover corners and I would have trouble getting clamps with a deep enough throat to span 14".

And of course there's contact cement, which I have had problems with in the past.

Sorry for the length. If anyone has experience with this I would REALLY appreciate any input.
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Old 16th April 2006, 08:11 PM   #2
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Check out this thread

You can put your veneer on with wood glue and an iron.

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Old 17th April 2006, 02:18 AM   #3
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Believe it depends on the type and thickness of the veneer. I had great luck with 1/2" radius corners with 10 mil ash applied with Titebond II rolled on both surfaces and allowed to dry then laying the veneer on and "fixing" the glue with a clothes iron set to cotton.

http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php4?t=19614
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Old 17th April 2006, 02:48 AM   #4
cfbuck is offline cfbuck  Canada
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Hi Rob,

Glad to see that you are still working on the Ariels.

Although I don't yet have a veneer press, I believe that the speaker is placed on its back, baffle side up with adhesive applied to baffle and both sides so that all 3 are glued at once. The speaker is suspended above the platen by a board which allows the overhang of the veneer to extend beyond the back edge but not as far as the platen. Then the bag is vacuumed and all three surfaces are glued at once. The overhang is trimmed after.

Mwmkratchenko, a member is very good with his press and he is located in Ottawa. Try contacting him for advice and perhaps more. I would try to locate someone with a press in the TO area by speaking with local cabinetmakers or woodworking suppliers.

Also, although I use PVA applied by caul pressure with my speakers, I think that Unibond 800 is a superior adhesive, an expensive epoxy. Good luck with your project. Fred
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Old 17th April 2006, 03:18 AM   #5
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Hey Fred nice to hear from you. Thanks for the idea with the platen. Don't you still need a caul that wraps around the 3 faces? If not, then I would think that the overhung veneer would break under the pressure.
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Old 17th April 2006, 10:54 AM   #6
cfbuck is offline cfbuck  Canada
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I had the name of the Ottawa cabinetmaker spelled incorrectly in the previous post. His posting name is mwmkravchenko. He knows his stuff. Send him an email about the use of the press.

Any pictures that I have seen of the bag in action show the bag directly on the veneer. The overhang should be as little as possible, probably 1/8 to 1/4 inch to prevent it breaking. As I see it the bag will fold over the overhang as it is under vacuum but as I said, I don't have any direct experience. With the veneer taped in position at the top and bottom of the baffle, the grain running the same way as the roundovers, the veneer will have no problem conforming to the form of the enclosure.
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Old 18th April 2006, 03:14 PM   #7
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As part of this link:

Salk signature build process

there are some interesting pictures of a vacuum press in operation.
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Old 19th April 2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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Hmmm, sealer for the edges of the MDF?? Im guessing a shellac will work.
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Old 19th April 2006, 11:07 PM   #9
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Becuase you are veneering, you don't really need to worry abut seems telegraphing. I don't know what they used for a sealer, but, they basically comprimised the strength of the their veneer bond where they applied sealer.

Vacuum bagging a project such as yours is not nuts; but it is problematic. It could be done if you used water & heat to preform your veneer. The vacuum bags "draws up" at all point at once so unless the radius between the center section and sides is preformed you would likely have severe buckleing in this area. Keep in mind the kauls are only needed wher the veneer hang over an edge

Seriously look into the PVA and iron method... it is a standard time honored approach. it will also allow to run the grain anyway you wish... an 1/8 to 1/4 raduis perpendicular to grain is not impossible... or even that risky. Your larger radii would be cake.

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Old 19th April 2006, 11:33 PM   #10
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Poobah,

Your method of veneering looks very interesting, Im just not sure about a few things:

- The place I get my veneer from only sells paperback, which will not work with the iron method (I could find a different store I guess)

- The iron, like you say, leaves large burn marks and dents. Unless I missed it, the sanding follow up to your method was left out. You can really sand out dents and burn marks in veneer? Isnt it too thin?

If you say it will work better, then I think I will give it a try. So the basic procedure is as follows:

1. Use iron and steam to somewhat flatten out the ripples
2. Apply water/glue mixture to veneer and MDF, let dry.
3. Iron it on
4. Sand the living crap out of it
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