Quick Veneer Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Garret_O, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. Garret_O

    Garret_O Agent

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    Hey all-

    Well I've finally gotten around to nearly completing my Thunder 12.3 box. (Outer side panels glue tonight)

    Now I need to think about the finish. I was searching through the threads here and it looks like one of the best places to shop is tapeease.com.

    Ok, so I'm looking at the 4'x8' maple 10ml paper-backed sheets. But some also mention NBL Wood backed. Since I am a veneer beginner and this is my first box, would you recommend I start out with the 10ml paper-backed?

    I'll most likely have to round the edges of my sub, 3/4" (the lines aren't exactly straight damn circ saw, damn measuring).

    I'll search for more tips but I was wondering if you all thought 10ml would be fine, even for rounded edges.

    Lastly, how does tapeease ship a 4'x8' 10ml sheet? It is 1/32" thick- uhh UPS would crack that thing! Think I should check Home Depot?
    THanks
    Garret
     
  2. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    The substrate has to be damn near perfect to get 10 mil veneer to look good. The NBL is much more forgiving and probably easier to work with for the beginner. It'll wrap easily over a 3/4" rounded corner.

    The veneer will come rolled up in a 4' high box. I've never had a problem.

    Pete
     
  3. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I actually prefer 10mil for a lot of uses. It is thinner so you don't see the edge lines nearly as much which results in a solid wood appearance. The 10 mil is much easier to bend around a 3/4" radius also. With the NBL you have to be very careful on a 3/4" radius as it is at the limits of the NBL capability and it can crack rather easily.

    I don't agree that the NBL is more forgiving. I find just the opposite. Although a good point it made in that you can't have a lumpy surface when laminating with the thinner 10 mil material.

    The one big difference is amount of material IE thickness of the veneer wood. With NBL you get a bit more material which means you can sand it a bit more without going through the pretty wood. With 10 mil you have to be much more careful but you really don't need to sand a ton. Just a little to get the fuzzies off.

    Personally, I prefer 10 mil since it is very forgiving while laminating on a radius. I also like the minimal seam on the edges.
     
  4. Cameron_Peck

    Cameron_Peck Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I have to agree with Pete on this one and say NBL all the way. I've used paperbacked veneer and I've had problems with it most of the time. While it is easier to wrap, the fact that I've had quite a few issues with it bubbling up on me has made it just not worth fooling with.

    Also, in every single case, the facing on the NBL veneers I've used have been of much higher quality than the paperbacked veneers.
     
  6. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    And I have to agree with Darren. I've used 10-mil paper-backed for years. Brian, you saw my rosewood veneer towers. Substrate is a non-issue for us. After all we're using MDF and how much flatter surface can you get than MDF?
    I had the traveling A/V-2's at my house recently and I could see the dark line of the NBL side and top intersection and I didn't like it.
    Oh well, not to argue - to each his own. That's the DIY life - try every method and stick with what works for you. [​IMG]
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I've only veneered once with 10mill veneer (over MDF as well) with good results.
     
  8. Garret_O

    Garret_O Agent

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Sounds like I'll give the 10ml paper backed a try this time around. It is a sub, and it will be in the corner so if I mess up, it'll be ok.

    I think I'll try the nbl option on my next project.

    Again, thanks for the input. I understand that each person will have their own 'favorite' and I should just try them out and see what I like. Fair enough and good to know that there has been success with both options. Now I just need to get in that category.

    Later,
    G
     
  9. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,

    Believe me, I'd much prefer to use the paperbacked stuff, but the quality of the veneer faces has not been the same most of the time (not always) and the problems with bubbling ended up making it a not very cost effective approach. It's a shame though becuase it's about half the price of the NBL.

    I'm not sure what we're doing wrong that has caused it to be such a pain for us but work so well for you. If you've got any tips just email me offline. I'm all ears! [​IMG]

    BTW, if anyone is in the Austin area and has a chance, you gotta go see Hank's rosewood towers. They are a thing of beauty! [​IMG]
     
  10. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Hmmm... I'm not sure why you experienced the bubbling with the 10mil Brian. I also find it interesting that you don't seem to get the same quality with 10mil. I haven't seen a difference in quality myself. I'm sure the bubbling is due to the method used to adhere the veneer but can't imagine what could have gone wrong. I use the same method for both types myself. Interesting to hear that though. Something to ponder.

    I prefer using NBL on flat surfaces where a visible edge isn't an issue as it is nice to work with and is a bit more forgiving on a flat surface as it doesn't adhere to every little nook and cranny but with MDF it isn't a problem unless one does a lot of sanding and introduces some variance.

    Good to hear of others experiences with the different veneers though. Very educational [​IMG]

    Darren
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Darren,

    The only things I can come up with are possibly not allowing the glue to dry well enough (my dad puts it on a bit heavy sometimes) and then it bubbles a day or two later. Or it's fine until we use some dye on the veneer and then it bubbles. The maple and cherry haven't been too bad, but the oak has just been horrid concerning the faces.

    I've still got some scraps of paperbacked oak and a little over half a sheet of figured cherry in paperbacked so maybe I'll have to try some experimenting and see what happens. I can tell you that John Janowitz at Stryke has had similar problems and has chosen to switch over to the NBL stuff as well.

    Maybe I should use the NBL for wrapping and use paperbacked on the ends to help hide the edges! [​IMG]
     
  12. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Brian,

    I do know that using too much contact adhesive will cause the adhesive to reactivate turning back to liquid form in areas which will release the bond. If you don't have an even coat or if you have a couple of spots with build up it can do this. In this case you can let it dry for 48 hours minimum so that spot is no longer wet underneath, then take an iron and iron the surface where this spot is. This will re-activate the now dry adhesive and allow it to bond.

    Give that a whirl in your tests. The main thing is getting the radius to adhere extremely well since any bubbles will be very noticeable there.

    Oh, also, when you apply the dye this will reveal any of these spots which have released but aren't visible because wetting the veneer will cause it to expand then shrink which results in a slight ripple in areas that aren't adhered.
     
  13. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Brian, thanks for the compliment. I don't have any "secrets", but do have a couple of tips. I think you may be on to your #1 bubble cause by not letting the contact cement dry enough. Here's my method:
    1. Clean the MDF very well (tack rag or alcohol rag wipe).
    2. Roll a coat of CC on the MDF.
    3. Roll a coat of CC on the back of the veneer.
    4. Roll another coat of CC on the MDF, getting good coverage on those roundover corners - they're extra porous.
    5. Let dry (time depends on ambient humidity), maybe 30 - 45 minutes, maybe an hour. If you don't let it dry enough, the solvent will still be outgassing after you apply your veneer and you'll get bubbles.
    6. Rub the veneer down HARD!! Do not use a rubber J-roller - those are for countertop plastic laminate work. You must use a hard edge backed up by lots of weight. A veneer "hammer" works, but I've never used one. And don't be misled by the name - you use the broad edge of the blade end to rub down the veneer. I use an oak board and rub one of its edges over the veneer, with the grain. I put the cabinet on the floor on a rubber mat so I can get most of my weight into the board's edge that rubs the veneer. Only lots of p.s.i. pressure will bond the contact cement surfaces permanently. I've said it before: if you don't have tired arm/shoulder muscles and a sweat-soaked shirt after rubbing down your veneer, you have not done it correctly!
    Another tip: the contact cement doesn't get to maximum strength for a couple of days (according to a professional's post I read), so don't apply any oil finish or solvent-based finish for at least two days.

    Brian, your veneer work is beautiful, so if you've found your groove with NBL, just "stick" with it.[​IMG] I have noticed you say that the quality of the veneer wood is better on NBL than you've seen on paper-backed. I don't know if that's a proven rule of thumb. Maybe at Tape-Ease, but i'd guess that veneer quality varies from batch to batch and supplier to supplier as much as per what backing material, but I have no data to back that up. I'd suggest that if you have a good veneer supplier you trust, that each time you order, ask about the current grain quality in stock for each backing type.

    That's all I know. Each one of you who found this helpful, just send me a bottle of tequila (not the bottom-shelf stuff in the plastic bottle).[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Thanks guys. I knew you'd have some other helpful hints![​IMG]

    Hank, we've gotten to where we always let the contact cement dry at least 30 minutes before applying the veneer. Even when we are using the NBL. So maybe that's the key to the paperbacked stuff as well. I just know that I don't want to risk it on some nice cabinets yet! Oh, and I always apply 2 coats of CC and always use a scraper. [​IMG]
     
  15. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Rolling on solvent based contact cement is tricky at best. You almost always wind up with lumps and bumps in the veneer. If you can find spray grade CC it will roll on better as it's thinner.

    There are now decent water based CCs on the market. Not sure if they're available to the consumer, but we've tried some that are pretty good. They roll on much easier/flatter and if you can spare the time or add some heat, they work very well. We've used those foam rollers and have had good success using 2 coats on the substrate and 1 on the veneer.

    Pete
     
  16. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Pete, for two cabinets at a time, and non-professional use, I won't invest in spray equipment and exhaust booth, but I do recognize and appreciate your comment. Regarding rollers, I only use the foam ones, not regula nap rollers, which do tend to put CC down unevenly. I alos really like the new FSV adhesive, which was developed specifically for veneer. It's only drawback is a very short open time, but that's okay for small cabinet work.
    Damn, I don't see any tequila offers.[​IMG] Okay, anybody want my opinion on interconects?[​IMG]
     
  17. Garret_O

    Garret_O Agent

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    ANy tips/tricks RE: Titebond iron technique? My yard has way too many trees and with the seasons changing crap is in the air. Using the titebond method would allow me to work inside without the fumes (tuckunder garage- fumes get everywhere).

    Or do you all think I should just try and deal with the fumes?

    I wonder how the titebond iron tech. works on rounded edges.

    Let me know,
    Thanks
     
  18. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    As an alternative to contact cement, try ironing on with yellow glue.
    1. Cut veneer 1/2"-1" oversize.
    2. Prep substrate (should be perfectly flat and clean).
    3. With a foam roller cover, apply coat of yellow glue mixed with a little water (to let it roll on easier) to the substrate (I usually just pour a little glue on the suface and roll it around)
    4. Roll on a coat to back of veneer using push-pins or tape to hold it down flat. Make sure no glue gets on face of veneer!
    5. Substrate may need second coat, especially edges. You want the material to be built up on the
    surface.
    6. Let dry
    7. Position veneer on substrate (it will not adhere without heat).
    8. Using household iron set at high, proceed to iron on the veneer, starting at center and working out. Keep the iron moving slowly so as not to burn the veneer. (trial piece good idea to get the feel for it). Use edge of wood block to keep pressure on it as you iron.
    9. Trim as usual.
    10. Before glueing adjacent sides, apply masking tape to the edge of the veneered side where it
    meets the raw face that will be getting glue next. Again, make sure no glue gets on the face of any of the veneer!!! (this applies to using contact cement also)

    A couple of big advantages are:
    Bond strength.
    Ability to position veneer.
    Surface will be FLAT when you're done. Contact cement is much more difficult to control, and really
    isn't recommended for unbacked veneer.

    Pete
     
  19. Garret_O

    Garret_O Agent

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    Thanks Pete!

    Have you done roundovers this way? Lata.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Garret,

    Here's a repost of what I posted in the other veneering thread:

    FYI: If you want to see how the glue-and-iron-on veneer method is implemented, please check out my Speaker Finish webpage.

    It shows what Pete describes.
     

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