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Milzie 24th November 2002 11:29 PM

I hate Veneer!!!!
Well my first project was coming along just wonderful. Cabinets were built from 3/4 MDF and turned out great. Built the crossovers, and they turned out great. Just tried to veneer today using birch, The boxes are now ruined. Along the edges the veneer peeled and cracked in the direction of the grain where it needed to be flushed.

Is this just something common to birch? Do I just have a crappy technique? Is it just a crappy veneer?

I used contact cement, 2 coats on each surface, when dry I attached the veneer to the MDF. First tried using a flush mount router to trim the veneer. Cracked and peeled. Then tried using a razor blade. Cracked and peeled. Then folded over with the Jroller and sanded the edge off. This worked the best, but still cracked and peeled.

In order to save the boxes, I think I will now laminate them with 1/4" oak or something.

Needless to say, my first experience with veneer will most likely be my last.`,

Digi 24th November 2002 11:42 PM

What type of veneer did you use? Can you post a pic?

Milzie 25th November 2002 12:09 AM

It was made by a company called Bennet. It is the stuff available at Home Depot here in Canada.

No digital camera, sorry.

Digi 25th November 2002 12:23 AM

Paper backed or solid sheet?

Rip 25th November 2002 12:38 AM

That's a shame, all the work put into the boxes and a bad finish. I've used veneer before with good results, here's how I do it. Roll out the veneer and pin it to your work table, shellac the back of the veneer and let it dry for a couple of hours. The shellac seals the veneer so no glues can seep though and ruin any finishing. I then roll on some Titebond glue it's a polyaliphatic resin, I get it at Lee Valley, maybe Home Depot has it. Put a coat of glue on the box surface and the back of the veneer and let them both dry. Then all you have to do is place your veneer piece and get your iron, set to cotton and iron on the veneer. It works great the iron helps smooth out the veneer and the bond is great. I use a router with a laminate trim bit to cut off the excess but I have used a razor and a file for smaller work in the past. Then it's up to you how to finish, oil, stain, gel? Hope this helps.

jackinnj 25th November 2002 12:57 AM

Veneer and particle board
with particle board you actually have to veneer twice - once with a substrate at 90 degrees perpendicular to the line of the top layer. <p>
There is a specific saw for veneers -- you have to cut the veneer on a smooth surface. Believe me, a razor or utility knife will not work as the grain will pull it out of line.<p>There is a specific type of roller for veneer, a veneer hammer etc.
<p> with respect to adhesives. I gave up on vinyl contact adhesives about 20 years ago. The best adhesive is plain old glue flakes, but if you don't have a glue pot then try using one of the non-vinyl contact cements from MMM.
<p> since you have a disaster on your hands, why not try a laminate like black formica -- very easy to work with.

FrankDIY 25th November 2002 02:02 AM

I have used the same veneer from Home Depot without any problem. I think you should practice on dummy boxes when you are not really sure of the technic, this is a golden rule of DIY :).

Digi 25th November 2002 02:51 AM

I use a razor blade on paper backed veneer and a veneer saw on solid veneer. When using a razor lay down a thin metal sheet as a spacer, a thin metal ruler works great, slide the razor (very thin, no utility knives) parallel along the thin metal spacer for a great cut. Now all you have to do is sand it flush, it only takes a minute to sand it flush since there is only a 32nd protruding. With a router I use a bullnose trim bit. I put down two layers of masking tape and wax it for the bit to ride on. Trim against the grain first, then while cutting along the grain let the bit climb down the veneer. Don't let the bit cut against the veneer, this causes spliting. Also use a trim router, it's easier to manage for climb cuts. Then sand it flush. I use contact cement on paper backed veneer. It is easy to use and holds great. Use cement with a high solid count, read more expensive.


UrSv 25th November 2002 07:31 AM

I have always used veneer, contact cement and plain old sharp knife. Never had any problems. It should be fine normally.


Kanga 25th November 2002 07:56 AM

Milzie, is the trimming that you are doing across the grain (ie at the top and bottom of the cabinet, assuming you are running the grain vertically)?

There's quite a good article about veneering at where he talks about using contact cement.

I haven't done any myself yet, so its nice to see plenty of suggestions here. I'm planning to use a 1" (25mm) radius on all four corners. Does anyone have any experience with wrapping veneers around this kind of radius, and have any tips? I have thought about using an iron on veneer.


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