Veneer trimming and finishing advice needed.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by George W, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all,

    It's been awhile since I've been able to work on my speakers but I'm back at home for a bit and I'm finally ready to veneer my speakers. I may have asked this before but I have since forgotten so I need to know the common method for doing seamless veneer trimming on edges and corners. I would like to use the router for this task and I thought I could use a flush trim bit for this. I originally thought that I would lay down one side of veneer and then trim the edge with a flush trim bit. Then I'd lay down the next side and go back over the edge from the other side, resulting in a seamless edge. I mentioned it to my Dad though and he seemed to think that I would need to lay down both sides of veneer before I did any trimming, so the width of the veneer wouldn't get subtracted on one edge. He also mentioned that he used to use some sort of a 45 degree router bit when he used to lay laminate and it took and equal amount off of both veneer edges and looked relatively seemless. Anyway I hope that's not too confusing but I was looking for a refresher on how the pros like Eric Jones and Brian Bunge do their edging. Keep in mind that I have no round overs on my speakers so I won't need to do any full wraps, just 90's. Can I just pick up a flush trim bit or do I need a "laminate" trimming bit or is something else advisable. At this point in the game I'd like to stear clear of any bits over $20 as the money is running dry. Also, What is the normal orientation of veneer on the top of the speaker; is it grain running towards the sides to match the sides or is it grain running towards the front/back to match the front? Lastly, after the veneer is glued and trimmed I plan on finishing it with brush on lacquer. I had a lengthy discussion with some helpful individuals on HTT a while back and someone mentioned using a laquer based sealer before applying the actual lacquer. I can't find that discussion now with the search function so If anyone knows the specifics of such a product I would appreciate more details. Thanks for all the help.


    -George
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    George,
    I personally would apply one side, trim it, and then apply the next. I'd say veneer the bottom, back, sides, front, and top in that order, trimming as you go. Then use a sanding block with some 220 grit paper to lightly sand the edges at 45 degrees. This helps to hide the seams.
    Concerning veneer orientation, if the cabinets are deeper than wide, I always run the grain front to back. It just looks better to me. Hank Frankenberg does the same.
    The absolute best bit to use is a laminate trimming spiral downcut bit, but they're around $30-$40. The best bit I've found other than that is a 3 flute bit that Hank and I both bought from MLCS. It's the one at the bottom of this page.
    Brian
     
  3. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    I use a flush trim bit and run the router across the edge backwards. This makes the cutter push into the material instead of pull. If the bit is sharp, you shouldn't have problems either way.

    As you veneer, apply some masking tape at the edges to prevent glue from getting on an adjacent piece.

    Pete
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Pete,

    So you go clockwise around the perimeter of the piece instead of counter-clockwise?
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Nope, you go counter-clockwise. When using a router, no matter what you're cutting, always for safety and control, move the router in the direction that causes the but cut into the wood as Pete said. If you go the other direction, the bit wants to pull the router and could jerk it out of control. Note that this rule requires you to go one way when routing an outside perimeter and the opposite way when routing an inside perimeter.
    Here you go: http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/etipsamplews.html
     
  6. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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  7. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, Pete's right on running the router "backwards" on somthing thin and small like veneer. Backcutting can get a smoother cut with some bits and species that might tear out easily.
     
  8. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I'll just confirm what many others have stated. I'd apply the veneer in the following order: bottom, back, sides, front, top. This way end grain will be least visible but if you sand lightly on the edges to get a softer edge you won't be able to tell anyway. I always use a pattern bit. The spiral type is better but I've been using a 2 flute 1/4" bit and climb cutting. No tear out so far and it works great.

    NOTE: If you are using a lacquer finish then pay particular attention to the type of glue you use to adhere the veneer. Using a contact cement and then finishing with a lacquer based finish could very well cause your veneer to de-laminate. In this case I'd use yellow glue and a roller. Basically, use a quality yellow woodworkers glue, roll a moderate amount over the laminate with a glue roller (cheap wooden roller) and let it set for a while. When the glue is just a bit thicker go ahead and position it over the substrate, then roll it in. You want enough glue to be moist over the whole area but not enough to squish out everywhere. It should feel solid when you roll it on. You will have to keep rolling until it sets, maybe 2-3 minutes per sheet. This isn't set in the "dry" sense, just meaning it will hold the veneer. Repeat!

    Anyway, I did this with my Tempest and it worked great.

    Darren
     
  9. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I think I'll be able to start veneering this afternoon so I will go to Lowes and pickup the best carbide tipped flush trim bit I can find. I did some research through google as well after I posted this and I also saw that tip about running the router in the direction of the spinning bit when trimming veneer. Pete that's an excellent tip about the masking tape, I assume that once you get glue on the finish side of the veneer there's no getting it out. Last night I glued up an edge with two test pieces that will be used for testing veneer application, trimming, and finishing as I go. I had never heard of the problem with adhedsion and lacquer that Darren mentioned. I figured that since the veneer was paperbacked it would keep the solvent based glue from soaking into the wood much where the lacquer could interact with it. Has anyone else heard of this being an issue? Also, any tips on what type of sealer to use? I assume a lacquer based sanding sealer will do the trick but I don't know about number of coats and sanding procedures. Thanks again for the help.
     
  10. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Its not that the glue would penetrate into the veneer, its that the lacquer finish could very possibly penetrate down to the glue and re-activate it which would cause the veneer to release. Wood finishes are designed to penetrate the wood as deep as possible for a nice deep finish although an oil finish would penetrate much deeper. Lacquer dries rather quickly and might not reach the glue so it's kind of a gamble. You might be fine but is it worth the risk?

    Darren
     
  11. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Yea, lacquer can bleed into the veneer and loosen the contact cement bond. The only thing you'll need to do is use a light coat to seal the veneer first. Make sure the contact cement has dried sufficiently, too.

    Pete
     
  12. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys for the help. I will seal the veneer with a light coat and let you know how it goes.
     
  13. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey fellas,

    As usual I found some more things I had to do before I could start veneering but tonight I cut a few test pieces and glued them to an edge so I could test trimming and finishing. The glueing went fine using the "wax paper" method of alignment. I first glued one piece and trimmed it using a router with a flush trim bit. Then I placed masking tape along the edge of my newly trimmed piece (to avoid glue seapage) and glued the other piece of veneer to the adjoining edge. I then trimmed the veneer with the router bit running the wheel bit guide along the masking tape. After this I ran into a few problems. First was the minor issue of overhang due to the masking tape. That wasn't a huge deal because I just hand sanded it down to be even with the other piece of veneer. One aspect I hadn't really considered though is the fact that my veneer, with paper backing, also has a thin layer of foil in it. I suppose this helps seal it from things like lacquer-glue interactions but it also creates problems on the edges. After I had sanded it down to be even with the other veneer I gave it a few swipes with a 45 degree angle and 320 sandpaper. The foil then reared it's ugly head and made a shiny surface that is easy to detect. Needless to say I didn't achieve a seemless edge like I see on many of the pictures around the forum. Has anyone worked with foiled veneer before and found a way around this. Perhaps there is a different technique I could try that would not allow the foil to shine through. I would appreciate any suggestions you guys might have.


    - George
     
  14. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    As you suspected, the foil is there to prevent problems with finishes bleeding thru the veneer. It's usually very good veneer, tho. Nothing you can do to prevent the foil edges from showing that I know of. Perhaps if you don't try to round them over too much would help.

    Pete
     
  15. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I've never used foil sandwith veneer and never had any contact cement loosen, so I'd recommend spending less and buy paper-backed only. I've read posts on a woodworking forum from some of the cabinetmaker/countertop pros saying that contact cement doesn't attain maximum strength for two days, so if you have the luxury of waiting that long, do so.
    I don't like contact cement, but if you do it correctly, you'll have a permanent bond. The new FSV adhesive is promising, but its open time is a little short for me.
    Hang in there - next time it'll be easier [​IMG]
     
  16. Foil veneer is a new one for my. My personal choice is NBL veneer.
    Hank, what is the FSV adhesive? a new thing from 3M? [​IMG]
     
  17. George W

    George W Stunt Coordinator

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    Arg, well I figured there was no way around it. I bought that cherry veneer about a year ago but the guy assured me it was some of the best out there. [​IMG] Thanks for the help anyway and hopefully I can keep it from looking too rediculous.
     
  18. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Tony,
    FSV (flexible sheet veneer) adhesive is applied only to the substrate and you can then lay on the veneer and move it around to get it just in the right position. IIRC, it's pink and does squeeze out at the edges a bit so you'll probably want to tape off adjacent sides. The biggest downside is that it's only got a 5 minute open time so there's no real way that I can use it on rounded corners! [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  19. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Tony, FSV is not a 3M product.
    I used it on a pair of cabinets with rounded corners and it worked fine, but I had to work fast and I put plenty on the roundover since that surface is so porous. It's great stuff and if it had a bit longer open time, it would be perfect. It's so close to being the permanent replacement for that volatile contact cement. Here are some details: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jersing/fsvsite.html
    Here's a quick summary:
    Just to help clarify the distinctions between contact cement and FSV:
    -FSV is single sided application
    -Substrates are brought together before the adhesive dries down, rather than after. The nip or pinch roller, or in your case the veneer scraper or j-roller is used to ensure that the two substrate are brought into intimate contact and remove any bubbles or wrinkles in the veneer
    -substrates are able to be repositioned
    - if there is any telegraphing from particles of wood, etc. the substrates may be pulled apart to remove the contamination, then reapply fsv and start over
    -because the adhesive develops its strength very quickly, it's has a max closed assembly time before the two substrates must be brought into intimate contact (however briefly)
    -FSV has higher heat and water resistance than contact cements
    - no solvents
    - harder glue line, much reduced risk of seasonal creep
    You can order it here: Custom-Pak Adhesives
    Phone: Fax:
    800.454.4583 740.763.2888
    Address: Email:
    11047 Lambs Lane [email protected]
    Newark, Ohio 43055 [email protected]
     
  20. Will Orth

    Will Orth Stunt Coordinator

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    Get a new Bit.. No CHEAPIE-- CARBIDE! OIL that Trimmer Berring---Do a test run make sure Glue Contact cement is Tight and go to town! it helps if you can pretrim your Pieces on a table saw close to 1/8" prior to trimming as it is less router work. just a tip,also never paint near the edge with any oil-laqure based paints as it will cause the glue to seperate your joint.. then you need the glue doctor...


    Will
     

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