Veneer - wood glue/ironing method

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mattak, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    For the wood glue ironing method of veneering, how thick of veneer is too thick? Is it going to work well with 1/32" thick veneer (white birch if that matters)?

    Also, how thickly should glue be applied to the enclosure and veneer?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. John E Janowitz

    John E Janowitz Second Unit

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    I'd really suggest staying away from this method if possible. It can be done, but the ironing does permanently weaken the bond.

    The best stuff I've found for veneer that is relatively inexpensive is the 3M Fastband 30NF. Water based contact cement, very high solids. Sticks like no other contact cement can. It won't bubble with heat or humidity. It also won't loosen up and bubble if you put your finish coat on too heavy. Solvent based contact cements have a problem with that.

    I got a quart sample and it did several cabinets for me. Should be about $15 a quart.

    John
     
  3. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm, well I had already applied glue to one side before your post, so I guess I'm going to try it...

    One other thing - I cut and flush mount recessed my driver holes a while ago. Perhaps this was a mistake, since now after veneering I can't really use a router to trim the veneer there because the recesses are too shallow to use a flush trim bit. Is it normal to wait until after veneering to recess the speaker holes, or is there some way of cleanly trimming the veneer short of using a sharp knife?
     
  4. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, it's not working as well as I'd hoped. Perhaps I didn't put on enough glue, but I thought I layed it on pretty thick. Either way, it doesn't seem like there's enough glue to really fuse together well.
     
  5. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

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    I have had excellent luck with wood glue and veneer. I pour some glue on the wood and the box and then scrape most of it off with a auto body plastic scraper thingy. I let it get tacky, then iron it on. I haven't had any bubbling or cracking peeling etc.

    The only other way to do the recess that I know of is to just slap on a new front baffle and recess after the veneer is on.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    You could try a rabbeting bit to trim the veneer, of course that will only give perfect results if you originally cut the recess with a rabbeting bit or the recess happens to be the same depth as one of your rabbeting bits. If not you may be able to get one that will fit perfectly.
     
  7. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    The iron on method is perfect if you follow the proper instructions. First, you need to use yellow glue, not white glue. White glue has a higher bonding temperature. Next, you need to water down the glue slightly and apply and let dry at least two coats to the veneer and the piece. Finally, I believe you need to stick with the thicker raw wood stocks.

    Works perfectly for me except that seems are somewhat difficult because the wood shrinks as it is ironed. If you take this into account you can get it just right. Finally, you need a veneer saw for trimming.

    Brian
     
  8. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian: Yes, I used yellow elmers carpenters wood glue. Yes, I probably didn't use enough. I used it straight from the jug and it went on pretty evenly, but just not as thick as I probably needed using only one coat on each surface. I am also using thicker (1/32") raw veneer. I have a router and flush trim bits for trimming.

    Today I got some DAP Weldbond original contact cement and it is 10x easier IMO and worked perfectly. One of the things I don't like about using elmers is that it's water based and warps the veneer. Yes, this can be offset by spraying the other side of the veneer with water, but that's not perfect either and is a pain to do. For me this was especially problematic because I'm using quarter stitched veneer with 4" sections so it makes a wavy pattern instead of all curling in one direction. John above recommended water based contact cement, but I really wanted to stay away from anything waterbased because of the warping issues. So, it seems the only issue I have with contact cement is trying to lay it down perfectly straight (really only an issue because I'm using quarter stitched veneer and I want the seems to line up as well as possible). Otherwise, I was able to put down one side with contact cement and it seems to have worked great with no air pockets - I used a block of MDF to work from the middle outwards to smooth it down.

    [​IMG]
     

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