Veneering Question for Brian Bunge or Anyone else

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Andrew Lin, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Andrew Lin

    Andrew Lin Extra

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    I am about to start on some AV1 enclosures and I have never veneered before. I pretty much understand the process to veneer the AV1 enclosures but the veneer wrap for the horizontal sides still baffle me.

    Do you cut the veneer to length and then wrap it around? Will that give you a good seam? Brian, you spoke in an other thread about knowing how to do the back seam better now that you have finished your cabinets, could you please share your experience? Thanks!!
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Damn, I'm famous! [​IMG] It's amazing how people spell your name right when you're famous! Now if they can just learn how to pronounce it...
    Anyway, are you talking about doing what I call a "full wrap" where it's one piece wrapped around the front, sides and pieced together in the back? If so, make sure you have someone to help you as I really consider this a two person job. One person can do it, but I really like having help.
    What I do is this: First use a tape measure to wrap around the entire enclosure to measure the perimeter (do this after you've rounded over the vertical edges). You will have to overlap the veneer in the back and cut it so I like to cut it approximately 2" longer than the actual measured value. Since the cabinets are 12" high I like to cut the height of the veneer so that it extends 1/4"-1/2" on each end. So cut it around 12.5"-13" high.
    Use a tape measure and pencil to mark the center of the veneer at the top and bottom. Also, draw a line from front to back on top and bottom of the cabinet. Since the cabinet is 8" wide the center will be at the 4" mark (just saying this for clarification).
    Now apply the contact cement to the entire piece of veneer and the front and sides of the enclosure. NOTE: DO NOT APPLY CONTACT CEMENT PAST THE ROUNDED EDGES ON THE BACK!!! IN OTHER WORDS, LEAVE THE FLAT PART OF THE BACK BARE AT THIS TIME!!! I normally apply two coats of contact cement to the cabinet and one to the veneer.
    Once the second coat of contact cement is dry, lay the veneer out flat so that the back side is up. With someone helping you, line up the top and bottom of the enclosure with the lines on the veneer with the enclosure facing downward. You'll want to lay one end down and then the other, making sure that you've left plenty of veneer overhang so that you can trim it flush later.
    Then flip the enclosure over with one of you holding both ends of the veneer. Use a scrap piece of MDF or wood to scrape downward on the veneer so that you squeeze out any air bubbles. Then carefully wrap the veneer around one of the vertical edges and down the side of the enclosure. Again, use your scraper on the side. Then flip the enclosure so the side you just veneered is down on the table and carefully wrap the veneer around the other vertical corner and down the other side. Scrape again.
    Now the real fun begins! Place the enclosure face down so that the back of the enclosure is up. You'll now apply two coats of contact cement to the back. Once it's dry you'll want to place a piece of wax paper on the back of the cabinet. You'll only want to cover the flat part of the cabinet and you'll want to make sure that it only extends approximately 1/2" past the top and bottom of the cabinet.
    Now carefully wrap one end of the veneer across the back. The contact cement on the rounded corners will hold the veneer down so that it doesn't try to roll back on you. Once you have that side down nice and tight wrap the second end over the first.
    Keep the two pieces tight so that they are rolling back away from each other. Remember those lines you drew on the top and bottom of the enclosure? You'll use them to "eyeball" the straight edge to keep it straight and in the middle of the back of the cabinet. Holding it down tightly, one of you will need to use a utility knife to cut through both pieces of overlapped veneer. Don't be afraid to apply some pressure, but don't try to cut through them in one single pass either.
    Once you've cut through both pieces, remove the straight edge and the cut pieces of veneer. Unfold the two sides and remove the piece of wax paper. Fold down one side nice and tight and then the other. You may have a slight lip sticking up where the seam is but don't worry. First use your scrap piece of wood to scrape down the middle of the back. This should help push the seam edges down. After you're finished veneering the entire cabinet you can sand the seam with some 220 paper and if you've done things correctly you'll have a virtually invisible seam.
    Next, trim the veneer around the top and bottom. Apply your contact cement to the top and bottom of the enclosure (2 coats again) and to the top and bottom pieces of veneer. Once it's dry, apply the top and bottom and trim them as well.
    Once that's done, you're ready to sand the entire enclosure and finish as desired.
    So is that clear as mud? My hands are tired! [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  3. Andrew Lin

    Andrew Lin Extra

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    Thanks for the GREAT explanation. I really appreciate it! I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on the process and hopefully post some pics.
     
  4. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Hey Brian,
    How do you apply the contact cement?
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    [​IMG] Shessh! On no - he probably can't put his cap on now with the big head he's got. Easy on the compliments, folks - Brian has already got a 'tude[​IMG]
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Joey,
    We use a 6" foam roller.
    Hank,
    Nope. No caps for me. I'd like to keep my hair as long as possible.[​IMG]
     
  7. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    OK .
    I took it one step past Brians.
    I coat the cabinet all side with contact as well as the veneer 100%.
    Not going to work correct.
    Just follow.
    I line the veneer up with markes on the veneer as well as the cabinet and start at the front and wrap the veneer on the sides.STOP.Do not go to the back.cut up a few pieces of WAX PAPER.
    Yes Wax Paper.to the height of the cabinet as well as the width.
    Place one on the back to cover under one side of the veneer as well as wrap around this veneer edge .So the one side has wax paper on the contact side as well as the veneer side.
    Then take a piece of WAX PAPER and just place it down on the contact cement on the other side of the back.
    Now book the 2 pieces of veneer.If you do this corrrectly you will have no contact to the back 2 pieces of veneer as you will have wax paper on the contact side as well as the veneer side.

    OK now over lap them.
    Nothing will stick at this point.
    Now use a straight edge and cut a seam down the veneer.
    Pull back the top piece the wax paper, as well as thew second piece as well as the wax paper.
    Lay them down and a seam that is done in one shot.
    Just my 2 cents.


    Al
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,

    Actually, that's the same way we do it now. Except I don't wrap the wax paper around the edge of one of the veneer ends. We just lay it down flat on the back and let the two pieces of veneer overlap one another.
     
  9. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Yes .
    But Brian try it all at once like I said a lot faster .Makes it a true 2 step.Wrap then top,bottom.
     
  10. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Al,
    Are you saying you put contact cement on the entire cabinet at once including the top and bottom? If so, the only reason I don't do this is I've had too much trouble with the contact cement gumming up the trim bit on the laminate trimmer. If that's not what you mean, then I'm completely lost. [​IMG]
     
  11. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    No Brian I do contact all the way around the sides front and back.Not the top and bottom.Then contact cement the veneer piece as well all of it.Then install as you do and with the wax paper under the oneside as well as folded around , then place wax paper under the other side and book the 2 pieces over each other.Cut then and remove the paper and fit is clean and smooth.
    Trim and sand the veneer then contact up the top and bottom And finish in 2 steps.

    Once I do the Diluceos I think I will post a few pictures on my method on this line.Will not be till Wed of this week.
    Just too much to get ready for the NW DIY event.
     
  12. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    OK, so what I said is basically the same as your way. We know apply contact cement all the way around the cabinet and on the veneer. We put down the front and then sides. Then we lay a single piece of wax paper on the back of the cabinet. We fold down one side, and then the other. Grab a straight edge and a razor knife and cut through both pieces. After that, peel them up, take out the piece of wax paper and lay down your two veneer edges. Trim and then you're ready to glue the tops and bottoms.
    It's slightly different, but accomplishes the same results in the same amount of steps.[​IMG]
     
  13. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Whew! Pics, please Alan. I'm in the minority here, probably wrong, but I just finished rosewood veneering a pair of A/V-3's. That rosewood is indescribably beautiful. I just stared at the sheet the other night when I got it out of the closet. It's about 4 years old - bought a couple of sheets then. It's breathtaking. Back on my point: I don't "waste" veneer on the back of cabinets. I laminate WilsonArt black laminate ($40 for a 4' x 8' sheet at HD or L) on the back. Haven't had a customer say a word about lack of veneer on the back. I do admit that veneer all way 'round looks elegant.
     
  14. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    One more question. How do you prepare mdf for contact cement? Should it be sanded smooth or left a little rough or does it make any difference as long as it's flat?
    This is a great thread for me. I'm about to veneer my AV3 fronts and center speakers. I did my AV1 surrounds with preglued iron-on veneer from Lowes. It was fairly easy and turned out great but to do those towers and center with iron-on was going to cost too much. So I've ordered a couple of 4x8 sheets veneer and with help I've received from this forum I'm good to go!
    Thanks to all.
     
  15. AllanRW

    AllanRW Second Unit

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    Yes I use a 60gritt on the cabinets first to give a surface for the glue and veneer to bond well.To.If it makes a difference I do not know, but I do it this way.

    Try something safe for veneer.
    glue up the sides all 4 side as well as the veneer.Let the contact dry.I do this as I am normally doing a few cabinets at a time and just works out this way.
    .Another words if the contact is 100% dry that is fine.

    I line up the center of the cabinet with the veneer move them around if you need to.(if the contact is 100% dry this will work,I recommend this way for 1st time veneer jobs)

    Then pull out a iron and use a clean cloth under the iron set to high temp , move around the front of the cabinet, over the clean cloth around the corners on the front and the heat gets the glue contact moving again.And bonds fast as well.

    I do it this way as at times have 4 sets of cabinets or more at the go.
     
  16. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I use 80-grit on my PC orbital sander and go over all MDF surfaces to be laminated/veneered. Pro cabinet builders' advice, BTW. Clean the MDF with vacuum and wipe with mineral spirits to get all the dust off.
     

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