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Thread: Veneer questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    West Central Mn

    Veneer questions

    I want to veneer the faces of 6 drawers that measure 2"X18" with crotch figure walnut. I have never done any veneer work before. Should I purchase a bag (I already have a vac pump) or is a veneer hammer a viable option for this project? What other tips can you with more experience along these lines provide to a newbie? Are there recommended sources for veneer and supplies? TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    SE Michigan
    Hi Wayne,
    If you are going to do a good amount of veneer work in the future, a bag would probably be the best way to go, since you already have the pump. I do small veneer work (like your drawer fronts) and use the cold press method.

    What you will need is two pieces of 3/4” plywood cut oversize for your drawer fronts...say 4” x 20”, a number of clamps, some titebond cold press glue and some wax paper. You should also do a “balance veneer” on the inside of the drawer to keep it from warping. So cut another piece of the veneer you are using for the face, or a plain something veneer. Cut the veneer (for both sides) a bit oversize. To keep things simple, I do one side at a time. Spread a thin layer of glue onto your drawer fronts (even amount, but can still see the wood substrate through the glue), apply the veneer, put it between the two pieces of plywood with wax paper on both sides, and clamp it up for an hour. Then undo the clamps, trim the excess veneer, and then repeat the process for the balance piece.

    I’ve done this dozens of times and it works very well.

    I’ll add that this works best with somewhat flattened veneer. If your crotch wood is all wonky, you should get some veneer softener (Joe Woodworker has some really good stuff), and use the above plywood cauls to first soften/flatten the veneer).

    By the way, I have tried the glue and hot iron method as well, but with crotch wood, it’s a disaster...the veneer shrinks and cracks and makes for a lengthy repair process.
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 09-09-2019 at 7:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Seattle Wa
    For drawer fronts you may want to consider hot hide glue. Fast, easy and has stood the test of time. There is an English guy who posted excellent how to videos YouTube, search scotch glue.

    Here are are a few burl veneered drawers, 5 years so far and no problems so far
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Los Angeles, California
    Practice with test panels. Practice flattening. Practice making your own flattening solution. Practice with various hide glues both pre-made and home-made crystals. Watch some YouTube videos.

    I will say this that bags are pretty foolproof and forgiving.

  5. #5
    Get a copy of Craig Thibodeau's "The Craft of Veneering" -- it is the most complete text on the subject, will provide the best advice, and, frankly, will inspire your design and construction process.


  6. #6
    Iíve done a small amount of veneering and bought it from Rosebud. Cheapest prices I could find and very good service over the phone. As mentioned before Joe Woodworker is a good source of supplies and information.
    Last edited by Mark Daily; 09-13-2019 at 12:18 PM.

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