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Old 29th September 2006, 01:16 AM   #1
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Question Veneer Types

For those who have followed my previous posts, I've just completed building the mammoth boxes for Bozak Concert Grands (yesss!). Now, I'm ready to purchase and install the veneer.

I do have plenty of experience in applying paper-backed veneers, but due to the size of the cabinets and my selection of birds-eye maple, the cost of paper-back veneer is extremely prohitive (4 sheets of 4' X 8' !!!).

My question is, how difficult is it to work with raw veneer, or a veneer with NO backing? I do not want to get into a vacuum press, nor do I want to use Elmers. I'm hoping that I can glue both the MDF and veneer surfaces, let dry, then apply, since I still have a gallon left over from another project.

Will the glue "bleed" through the raw veneer? Will it warp or wrinkle? Or, am I just better served to select a paper-backed veneer more in my price range?

If anyone can lend some expert advice I would be greatly appreciative. BTW, I'm not afraid to try my hand at anything, but then again, I don't want to do anything foolish either.
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Old 29th September 2006, 01:25 AM   #2
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My only insight would be to avoid water based contact cement with raw veneer (can crack when dry and curl the veneer when wet, causing logistical problems)

I'm sort of surprised paper backed is more expensive than raw, but then I've never really compared the two on a square foot basis.

Good luck,

Rob
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Old 29th September 2006, 01:46 AM   #3
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Thanks relder. Can you recommend such a glue? Again, I'd like to apply the glue to both surfaces, let dry, then apply.

Any other opinions/tips welcome!
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Old 29th September 2006, 04:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by FrankRoss
Thanks relder. Can you recommend such a glue? Again, I'd like to apply the glue to both surfaces, let dry, then apply.

Any other opinions/tips welcome!
Other than solvent based contact cement, no. After my mini disaster with raw cherry veneer and water based cement, I did the back with regular old-fashioned solvent based contact cement. I guess that's a tip right there, do the back first!. Hide your newby mistakes back there (or even better on some scrap.) The veneer on the back neither cracked nor delaminated after several years.

I have played with a newish glue, pink, designed for veneer. Well, it was newish a few years ago, designed for veneer, it's called 'FSV' (Flexible Sheet Veneer Adhesive) I didn't have a lot of success with it and paper backed walnut. Too dry here in AZ, for big layups (I tried to wrap a sheet around three sides in one shot). What moisture the MDF didn't suck up (especially where the MDF was cut, the rounded edges) the dry AZ air took, leaving me with some air pockets, but for smaller layups or in less dry/cooler environments it probably works pretty well. The small areas of the speaker that needed little time to accomplish worked well with it. I'm not sure if it's designed to deal with raw veneer or not. The pink stuff is hard to find and has a short shelf life. Google 'FSV veneer' for more info.

Rob
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Old 29th September 2006, 05:01 AM   #5
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One other thing you need to watch out for when using raw veneer, is that the stain and/or sealer you use could cause the glue to release. Using paper back helps keep that from happening. I am using a veneer from oakwood veneer that is 22 mil thick and uses multiple layers of paper, some type of plastic and another type wood to create the barrier. Will not leave black lines. Expensive though.
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Old 29th September 2006, 05:09 AM   #6
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Frank,

How wide must your pieces be? Flat cut raw veneer is not usually very wide.

Search here for "a lost method of finishing" looke for my pretty face. Have you tried the PVA and iron method?

Contact cements can be very problematic if your top finish is oil or solvent based. Water based contacts are just junk... "safety sam" stuff for countertops.

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Old 29th September 2006, 06:00 AM   #7
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Have a look at this site, more info than you can poke a stick at.

------>http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/index.php
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Old 29th September 2006, 11:19 AM   #8
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Another good how-to site is www.joewoodworker.com
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Old 29th September 2006, 02:51 PM   #9
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Thanks again everyone - interesting reads.

Overlooking an essential element, the no-back veneer that I was looking at is unfinished grade (#!&*). I've decided to go with a paper-back plain-jane maple veneer that is within my price-range. I figure that as light as the maple is I can stain it (or not) to a nice color, even though it lacks the charm of a burl or birds-eye. Basic black for the base and grill should let the grain stand out, hopefully it will look as nice as some of the projects over at Sound Salk.

I'll posts pics when completed...
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