pplying veneer is like woodwork­ing in reverse. Instead of starting with a board, then cutting and sanding it down to its finished dimensions, veneered pieces are built up a layer at a time. Beginning with a substrate—or base—of solid wood or a manufactured panel, you glue banding to the edges and then wider pieces of veneer to both faces.

With a plywood base, orient the grain of the veneer so that it is perpendicular to the grain of the plywood, and both faces of the plywood must be veneered to prevent cupping. (Never apply veneer over fir plywood, because the grain of the fir can be seen through the veneer.) With a hardwood base, veneer should be applied parallel to the grain.

Furniture-quality particleboard and medium-density fiberboard also make good substrates for veneering. Since these materials have no grain (they are made of
wood particles pressed together with an adhesive), you may arrange the veneer on the panels any way you wish. But the lack of a grain direction is also a disad­vantage: Neither of these products is as strong as plywood, and any joints cut in


Specifically designed for cutting veneer, a veneer saw is usually used in tandem with a guide block or a straightedge to ensure straight cuts.

them must be reinforced with splines made of some other material.

Brittle veneers must be applied over a thicker underlay veneer such as poplar. Always cut the veneer larger than the actual size needed, allowing an overhang of about Vi inch all the way around. The overhang is trimmed off later.

If you are pressing down veneer the traditional way—with a veneer ham­mer—use hide glue, which is reheatable. Otherwise, white glue is your best choice. Whichever adhesive you employ, it will be effective only if the veneer is flat, clean and dry.

As shown in this section, veneer can also be pressed down in a veneer press. Newer commercial vacuum presses fea­ture a pump that sucks the air out of a plastic bag that surrounds the sub­strate and veneer, allowing atmospheric pressure to hold the veneer in place.


Veneer saw

For trimming and cutting veneer; its curved blade, offset handle and thin, sharp-tipped teeth ensure clean cuts


Veneer tape

A thin, strong, perforated tape used for joining pieces of veneer before gluing


Veneer hammer

For pressing veneer down on a substrate panel; pushed along the surface like a squeegee. Features three working surfaces for veneers of varying widths


Hand roller

A hard rubber roller apply edge banding to the edges of substrate panels



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