Any way to fix bubbles in veneer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wes Nance, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I did the big piece of veneer on my sub today- sides and top, rounded over the 2 top edges. When I built my sub in the winter, I didn't realize that the way I rounded over would involve bending the veneer against the grain, and it proved to be tough, even over a 3/4" roundover, probably because I used a quarter sawn piece of 10min veneer for the job.

    I ended up with several bubbles, some big, some small. I don't think I had the contact cement coverage as good as I had hoped. It worked fine for the flat pieces, but the roundovers have some gaps on each side.

    Is there any way to repair/improve things after the fact? I'm not super bummed out, as it will probably still look OK, especially from a distance, and it's my first time out, but if I could make things any better, I'm game for it.

    Right now I've got lots of weight on the top to try to get it to stay down, and I'll let that go overnight and see in the morning.

    I have a lot more respect for you veneer guys now, especially the roundover guys like Brian and Hank!

    I think veneering small bookshelf speakers will be easier, just because it's a smaller project, and I was doing it all by myself. I tried to brush the contact cement on, but next time I'll try rolling for a thicker/more uniform coat. I put 4 brush coats of cement on in some places, like the roundovers, but other parts still didn't have enough coverage, I think. . .

    Thanks,

    Wes
     
  2. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I don't work with veneer alot, is it the plastic kind you're using?

    Maybe make some small razor slits where the bubbles are and use a roller where possible.
     
  3. Will Orth

    Will Orth Stunt Coordinator

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    Well i seen this on some DYI TV show, sand down the BUMP and find a matching nail hole filler if it loks like a wood finish as they have many touch uos about 10 or so.

    of get a piece of the original and piece it in and mask it with some magic..


    Will
     
  4. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys, but these are bubbles where the veneer isn't holding contact with the box. I'm not sure I want to cut in and try to glue it down. I might just leave it like this for now, if it doesn't get any worse- it's just going to sit in the corner. I can always make a new enclosure and make the roundovers go the correct way.

    Remember, when you ever veneer, that the roundovers have to go with the grain, not against it. Lesson learned in my case. . .

    Thanks for your replies-

    Wes
     
  5. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    If unfinished, take a household iron on med high heat and that will re-activate the contact cement. Add pressure and/or a pin hole if the bubble won't lay back down.

    If it's got a finish on it, try the clamp method first. If it comes back up, take a blow dryer or heat gun and heat the spot a little (not too much!!!). Apply some pressure to get it to lay down flat. Apply a little more heat. Clamp for a little while.

    Pete
     
  6. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    What Pete said.
     
  7. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Yup,

    Same as Pete said probley your best bet and approach to the bubble problem.

    Also mght try to pick up a doctors needle from a prescriptions medical place and see if you can draw some more cement into it and inject it into the bubble prior to following Petes appraoch. You may have to thin it a bit, the contact cement that is. If you can't draw up the cement try "GEL" super glue in the needle...
     
  8. Steve Estabrooks

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    You may try slitting the material with and exacto knife and cutting the bubble and injecting glue in the slice then weigh it down.
     
  9. jay lemons

    jay lemons Agent

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    Yes, I was just reading where an iron does soften the cement. Be sure to use something like a towel or something between the wood and the iron. Do Not Hold It In One Place For Too Long. It might soften the resen in the veneer. Also you might want to go to a farm supply store and get a needle to inject a little more cement. The horse/cow type needles are a little bigger than what a doctor might use.[​IMG]
     
  10. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks!
    I went after it with the iron a few minutes ago. It made a huge difference! My roundovers will never be perfect, as I don't think I got the veneer pulled totally flush to the cabinet because of the resistance of bending it across the grain. But it's much better.
    I didn't use a towel, and probably kept it in place for too long sometimes! I do notice that I think I can see the paper backing through the veneer a bit more, but that is a trade off I was willing to make! Also a couple of small knots in the veneer (like 1mm or smaller) turned a bit darker, but also an acceptable trade-off.
    Thanks for the help- I'll post some pics when I'm done, from a nice comfortable distance! [​IMG]
    Wes
     
  11. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Also,

    Did anybody see my other thread about contact cement? Hank and Pete, do you guys use a brush or roller- do you throw it away each time, or manage to clean it? I've been trying to use a brush, but obviously I'm not totally happy with the results- I don't think I got an even enough coat. . .

    Thanks,

    Wes
     
  12. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Wes,

    I always use the solvent based cement and a 6" foam roller. Good for only one use. The water based cement doesn't have the same strength as the solvent based stuff.

    Brian
     
  13. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    I use 2" disposable chip brushes. The cheapest place I can find them is Harbor Freight. $13.99 online for 36 of them.
    Harbor Freight 2" Chip Brush
    If you have a Harbor Freight near you, they have them on sale until Sept. 23 for around $7.00 for the case of 36 brushes. That's less than .20 a brush.
    rf
     
  14. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    I use a spray pot set up for contact cement. I have a cabinet shop, so we use it all the time.

    Cheap way to apply:
    Cut strips of closed loop commercial carpet about 4" wide, fold in half, back to back, and use like a brush. You can usually get sample pieces from any place that sells it for free.

    If you want to roll it on, get a stipple roller cover from HD. Ask for a contact cement roller if they don't know what you're talking about.

    Either way, try getting spray grade contact cement. It's thinner and goes on much smoother than the regular stuff.

    Easiest way is buy the spray cans of contact, 3M 90, and don't worry about brushes or rollers.

    Pete
     
  15. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Pete,
    I found a very good, detailed explanation for removing bubbles in veneer- exactly what you suggest, just in great detail. The link is below:
    Removing bubbles in veneer
    Wes
     
  16. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Wes, I use a foam roller on the small roller frame you can buy at Lowes and Home Depot. You can get a small tray to match and the rollers are available in a package of at least 6. The roller is not salvagable after a glueing session. I use solvent-based contact cement also. I've got some new FSV (Flexible Sheet Veneer) adhesive that looks promising to replace the nasty solvent-based contact cement. The new stuff is not solvent based and was developed to replace it. You apply it to the substrate only and then you can immediately apply the veneer, which you can actually move if you've made a mistake[​IMG]
     
  17. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    The downside is that it only has a 5 minute open time. In other words, it my kill my veneer wrap that I love so much! [​IMG]
    "Hank's Shadow"
     
  18. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Grrrrrrrrrrr[​IMG]
    Yes, that new adhesive dries quickly. Brian, I have sent a suggestion to the mfgr to extend the drying time. I don't think they'd change it for DIY speaker builders, since it's intended for the laminate/commercial veneer installer market where time is money.
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,

    That's the only reason I haven't bought any yet. I guess it would still be very useful for laminates though.

    Brian
     
  20. Wes Nance

    Wes Nance Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    While I have you in this thread, could you tell me where you bought a spiral downcut flush trim bit? I don't even see anything of the sort offered on the MLCS website (where I've usually bought all my bits) and don't know what other brand to trust. . .

    Thanks,

    Wes

    Sub is going back together today- I'll try to post pics soon
     

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