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 Post subject: Veneering question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:20 pm 
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I'll likely be cutting my own walnut veneer (thick, probably 1/4") for drawer faces on the current chest project. I plan on using 3/4" soft maple for the substrate (don't want to use ply or mdf) . Is this going to cause problems with warping, etc. ? The drawers will be dovetailed together, so will that be sufficient to prevent warp, cup, etc. ?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:34 pm 
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I'm sure you have good reason for using veneer instead of solid Walnut for the drawer fronts but I think you might be better served by going thinner. Making best use of highly figured material for example.

I don't know for sure, but suspect, thinner veneer would react less with seasonal changes. Although I can see where thicker veneer would look nicer.

hmmm.

I wouldn't be too concerned with the Maple cupping/warping, it'll be held in place (didn't want to say check ;) ) by the DTs. But the vertical expansion/contraction against with the Walnut might be an issue.

Although I do suspect that the differences between Maple and Walnut to be negligible.

That's a bit of rambling to say nothing, huh?

:D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:54 pm 
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The reason for the thickness is twofold: My lack of planning and arithmetic skills (1 board short of a full deck :shock: ), and the fronts will be routed to resemble T&G assembly - sort of a beadboard front - so I need the thickness to allow an 1/8" deep "V" cut. On the upside, it will permit me to do some bookmatching, either with or without the "beadboard" design. At least that's the plan at present. I'll be making a test piece to run by the boss first. :wink:

I checked the expansion numbers of walnut vs maple, and not enough of a difference to worry about.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Personally, I would not do it. 1/4" is too thick and will most likely cause you trouble down the road.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:57 pm 
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NewfGuy wrote:
Personally, I would not do it. 1/4" is too thick and will most likely cause you trouble down the road.


Could you be more specific, please? What kind of trouble?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:44 pm 
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The latest Fine Woodworking had a shop notes ,tip, question on thick veneers. Upshot is that the thick reacts differently than the subsrate.

You might have trouble.

Understand your frustration BTDT

Duan

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Clipper wrote:
The latest Fine Woodworking had a shop notes ,tip, question on thick veneers. Upshot is that the thick reacts differently than the subsrate.

You might have trouble.

Understand your frustration BTDT

Duan


Agree, if I were using ply or mdf which doesn't move. But with the substrate having the same expansion/contraction characteristics as the veneer (as would be the case with this), it seems logical that it would not be an issue. Suppose I veneered both sides of the maple with walnut? That should equalize everything right?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Gene

Hate to point out the obvious but if you veneer 1/4 on both sides plus saw kerfs for the cutting won't you be able to use solid walnut?

Duan

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Clipper wrote:
Gene

Hate to point out the obvious but if you veneer 1/4 on both sides plus saw kerfs for the cutting won't you be able to use solid walnut?

Duan


This goes back to my 1 board short comment. I have plenty of maple, but am short on walnut. And I can't afford to buy more at the moment. Plans call for 7/8" thick drawer fronts, but even if I thinned to 3/4" I still wouldn't have enough to complete the remainder of the chest. So I'm kinda grasping at straws here.

PS: Looking back at this I guess I haven't really explained the problem. I have enough walnut to make all the fronts, but then would not have enough to make the top for the upper case. Or I could do the top, but then would not have enough to make all the drawer fronts unless I slice the remaining walnut for veneer for the fronts. Does that make more sense? It boils down to length and width rather than thickness. Part of the reason is due to more waste than I expected because I'm being pretty picky about appearance on this.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Thick veneers act just like solid wood. So, you'll have to take that into account (which it appears you did by comparing the expansion properties of both species). Using thick veneers means you don't HAVE to veneer both sides. It's just a rub joint on 2 faces to make a thicker board. Simple to do.

I'd make sure that your DT's weren't so tall that they butt up against the backside of the veneer planks. Any thickness shrinkage could pop them loose at the edge.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:20 pm 
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As long as you don't use waterproof glue and the veneer runs the same direction as the drawer front you won't have any problems as long as the veneer and substrate are both at the same moisture comtent.

Thick veneer behaves like solid wood so with species with similar movement rates everything is stable. Just don't glue flat sawn to quarter sawn. Personally, I would recommend liquid hide glue for the joint.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:50 pm 
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R. Peterson wrote:
Thick veneers act just like solid wood. So, you'll have to take that into account (which it appears you did by comparing the expansion properties of both species). Using thick veneers means you don't HAVE to veneer both sides. It's just a rub joint on 2 faces to make a thicker board. Simple to do.

I'd make sure that your DT's weren't so tall that they butt up against the backside of the veneer planks. Any thickness shrinkage could pop them loose at the edge.


That's what I was thinking, but got all wrapped around the axle in the details.

Won't be a problem with the DT's - half blind, then rabbeted for some molding around the edges of the fronts.

rw, thanks for the 2nd. Already have hide glue in the plan.

Everyone, thanks for your pro's and con's, and I'll proceed as I'd planned. As soon as the weather warms up and the snow melts. :-D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:01 pm 
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rwdare wrote:
As long as you don't use waterproof glue and the veneer runs the same direction as the drawer front you won't have any problems as long as the veneer and substrate are both at the same moisture comtent.

Thick veneer behaves like solid wood so with species with similar movement rates everything is stable. Just don't glue flat sawn to quarter sawn. Personally, I would recommend liquid hide glue for the joint.


I wouldn't use the liquid hide glue (or even hide glue at all) here. Hide glue is water based and it does tend to crystalize when it ages. Plus, the liquid stuff takes forever to dry in wide joints if it ever does.

I'd use a good epoxy instead. That will NEVER let go.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:21 pm 
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've done it with curly maple over maple (one side only) over 10 yrs ago and no problems yet I do no think it will. They were glued to gather with carpenters glue.
I'm working on completing a ladies writing desk that will have extremely figured cherry on a cherry substrate the veneer will be about 3/16" thick on the top of corner posts and book matched drawer fronts with extremely dark walnut edge banding.

I have seen it on peaces that are older than i am with mixed woods.

If you have lesser grade walnut there is no reason for any problems.

I have used mixed woods and will do it again, I have only been bitten once the backing was to thin the problem was immediately apparent, oops.

In any case make sure that it is well sealed.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:26 pm 
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I agree that the 1/4 thick veneer will not cause any problem if you were to glue it to the maple, but how much more wood would you really need to buy? And how much $ are we talking?

This process is a bit more work than if you had the solid walnut. Maybe you should reconsider the purchase of a couple more boards to save you these extra steps.

Just a suggestion,
Darryl


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:47 pm 
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R. Peterson wrote:
rwdare wrote:
As long as you don't use waterproof glue and the veneer runs the same direction as the drawer front you won't have any problems as long as the veneer and substrate are both at the same moisture comtent.

Thick veneer behaves like solid wood so with species with similar movement rates everything is stable. Just don't glue flat sawn to quarter sawn. Personally, I would recommend liquid hide glue for the joint.


I wouldn't use the liquid hide glue (or even hide glue at all) here. Hide glue is water based and it does tend to crystalize when it ages. Plus, the liquid stuff takes forever to dry in wide joints if it ever does.

I'd use a good epoxy instead. That will NEVER let go.


Ok, lets talk glues. :) I'd always heard that hide was the way to go with veneer, but you forced me to go look at joewoodworker.com and his discussion of various glues for veneering. He sells a type of PVA made specifically for veneering - "Better Bond Cold Press", that is supposed to overcome the difficulties of hide glue or yellow glue. Have you ever used it?

Epoxy, is pricey for the sqft I need to cover and short working life once mixed.

That said, his focus is on thin veneer so maybe his advise doesn't totally apply to my application.

Some others he discusses also: http://www.joewoodworker.com/veneering/glues.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:01 pm 
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DDD wrote:
I agree that the 1/4 thick veneer will not cause any problem if you were to glue it to the maple, but how much more wood would you really need to buy? And how much $ are we talking?

This process is a bit more work than if you had the solid walnut. Maybe you should reconsider the purchase of a couple more boards to save you these extra steps.

Just a suggestion,
Darryl


Darryl, I'm retired and have far more time than money. :) But I'd need about 10bf of clear walnut. Nearest available is a 300mile round trip and would cost around $10/bf for S2S, not counting gas. Occasionally I can find rough sawn closer (and cheaper ), but not lately. I should have gotten a couple more from Yanks buddy last fall when I went down, but there's that planning thing again. :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:27 pm 
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I can't imagine a problem with regular PVA glue for a 1/4" veneer. I did that some years back on some drawers for a nightstand I built for my son. I took someone's advice and did regular dovetails on the drawers then glued on the "veneer" so they appear to be half blind dovetails. Worked great and looks good.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:34 pm 
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GENE:
I wish I had my lumber down here now, I could send you some walnut for the cost of shipping. When I moved to Arkansas from Wisconsin I didn't have the room on the truck to bring it down with me. My son is going to bring it down in the spring, unfortunately you need it now. I have some that I had milled quite a few years ago and it is very flat and well seasoned. Some is as wide as 15" and about 9' long. At the time I had it milled it cost me .35 a board foot cut and kiln dried.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:17 am 
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Gene wrote:
R. Peterson wrote:
rwdare wrote:
As long as you don't use waterproof glue and the veneer runs the same direction as the drawer front you won't have any problems as long as the veneer and substrate are both at the same moisture comtent.

Thick veneer behaves like solid wood so with species with similar movement rates everything is stable. Just don't glue flat sawn to quarter sawn. Personally, I would recommend liquid hide glue for the joint.


I wouldn't use the liquid hide glue (or even hide glue at all) here. Hide glue is water based and it does tend to crystalize when it ages. Plus, the liquid stuff takes forever to dry in wide joints if it ever does.

I'd use a good epoxy instead. That will NEVER let go.


Ok, lets talk glues. :) I'd always heard that hide was the way to go with veneer, but you forced me to go look at joewoodworker.com and his discussion of various glues for veneering. He sells a type of PVA made specifically for veneering - "Better Bond Cold Press", that is supposed to overcome the difficulties of hide glue or yellow glue. Have you ever used it?

Epoxy, is pricey for the sqft I need to cover and short working life once mixed.

That said, his focus is on thin veneer so maybe his advise doesn't totally apply to my application.

Some others he discusses also: http://www.joewoodworker.com/veneering/glues.htm


The problem with PVA glues is creep. Creep is where the glue lines become little ridges as the wood swells or shrinks. PVA glues are also water soluble so IF the piece were to get wet, or be exposed to high humidity the veneers could "pop" loose. Using a "cold press" glue won't help. And, with the 1/4" thick pieces we're not really talking about "veneer" here anyway.

What we're really talking about is bonding 2 pieces of wood together face-to-face. You don't want to worry that cupping could cause the glue to let go. You don't want to worry that the moisture in the glue will cause cupping in the thinner pieces. And, believe me, when you start talking "thin" you'd better be thinking about moisture.

Epoxy is cheap. It has no moisture, will not creep, machines and scrapes easily, will set across a wide joint where air can't reach, and is structurally so it fills voids. You can even use the 90 minute stuff from the auto parts store. < $5 per syringe. 1 syringe will cover about 4 sq ft if you're careful and don't spread it too thick.

Depending on how much sq footage we're talking about here, it just might be cheaper to buy a board or 2 over the internet and have them shipped to you.


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