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Thread: Need advice about wood movement/cracking

  1. #1

    Need advice about wood movement/cracking

    I am making a door with vertical grain cedar attached to an MDF core (please see photo). Because of the design, there are a number of directions that the wood will expand/contract. I am wondering if there is a better way to attach this wood to the mdf core besides nails or glue, to allow for more movement. If I resaw the cedar down to 1/4" thick or thinner, would this fix any cracking issues? How thin should i go?DOOR.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    South West Ontario
    Even if it is an inside door the cedar movement is a problem. A cedar veneer may stay put but the glue may show through. If it is stuck on and sealed with epoxy it may work. The different grain direction looks great but makes replacing the core material even more difficult. Think of it as an experiment, 1/4 thick on MDF, lots of Matt varnish.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    Keep the skins under 1/8", glue to the substrate, balance the face and back of the panels.

  4. #4
    Check out Lots of information about veneering that you may find useful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Standard Veneering practices should work just fine, whatever you do to one surface needs to be done to the other to counteract the movement and keep the Workpiece from dishing and warping

    If you're really worried about movement adding a Blind Veneer crosswise will further prevent unwanted movement. As Kevin said thickness of about 1/8" or 3mm should be good, Veneers are usually between 0.4 and 3mm thick, wouldn't go any more than 5 or 6 mm thats 1/4" i believe. As for glue usually we're using powdered Veneer glue (Urea Formaldehyde), but regular Woodglue will work as long as it doesnt dry too fast. Take that with a grain of salt though never done any veneering without a heated press before myself.

  6. #6
    Often stated on VacuPress veneering forum that face or show veneer should be no thicker than 1/8" or seasonal expansion and contraction of the wood can be a problem. If multiple grain directions good to have a second, backer layer of veneer perpendicular to predominant direction of face veneer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    New Hill, NC
    The shrinkage percentage of most cedar species is relatively low. For example, Northern White Cedar moves approximately .0023 per inch per 1% change in MC%. Two thousands's of an inch of movement is pretty darn low.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    We might need Myth Busters for this one. A tabletop or a cabinet door may benefit from balancing the construction of both sides, but an outside door does not experience life like an inside object. (I am assuming this is an outside door)

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