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Thread: Timber veneers

  1. #1
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    Default Timber veneers

    G'day All, I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm posting this in the right place.
    I'm looking to purchase some timber veneers but am struggling to find a supplier, I was hoping I might get some suggestions for reputable suppliers please.

    I'm making a backgammon set for my daughter for Christmas and intend to build the box from Ply or MDF and veneer the playing surface and box.
    I'm looking for three contrasting woods, 1 dark, 1 light and a neutral mid tone and would welcome suggestions of timber types.
    I'll make my own inlay banding and striping.

    I'm a novice so any advice is also welcomed.

    Appreciate your help

    Cheers

    Basso

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  3. #2
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    Welcome to the forum Basso.

    I have only purchased veneer once and it was from Top Veneer. The veneers were good and well packaged. There are photos of the available species on their web site:

    Top Veneer – The Australian Online Veneer Shop
    Cheers, Bob the labrat

    Measure once and.... the phone rings!

  4. #3
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    Jun 2018
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    Melbourne
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    Welcome Basso

  5. #4
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    Thanks Bob appreciate your advice, I don't like online shopping, you never know who your dealing with, so it's reassuring when others recommend a reliable company. Cheers mate

  6. #5
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    How much you after? Sizes?
    I seem to have a surplus of veneer. I'm not sure I have anything 'real light' depending on how light you want.
    But I'm happy to send you some if you want to pm me your address.

  7. #6
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    Thanks mate I thought I sent you a PM but it seems to have been lost?

  8. #7
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    G'day all, I made my first attempt at using hide glue tonight

    After many hours cutting the veneers and joining them all with veneer tape to create the box lid and bottom, I tonight attempted to glue the veneer to the plywood substrate with hide glue.
    On my first attempt the glue went tacky, almost jelly like before I applied glued to the veneer, I gave up on that attempt and turned the board over for a second try on the other side. (I’ll remove the hide glue later)
    Although the glue was runny, almost a good enamel paint consistency, I thinned it a little more for the second attempt thinking perhaps I had the glue a bit too viscous and made sure it was (I thought) hot enough.

    I used my grandfather’s cast double boiler glue pot, I had the induction cooktop set at 90o, though I think it was hotter than that because it kept boiling the water. (Boiled over a couple of times.)
    On the second attempt I at least got the glue on both substrate and veneer and got the two together and into my home made clamp.
    The glue still went very tacky as I very quickly brought the two together.
    I reckon I took barely a minute to paint the glue on both surfaces.

    The box lid is sitting in the clamps overnight, so I guess I’ll know in the morning if I’m starting over.

    I was hoping those of you with far more experience than I might be able to tell me where I went wrong please, or perhaps a hint on where to look for the problem.

    Thanks in advance

  9. #8
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    Hi Basso.
    There is basically three ways you can glue veneer down with hide glue . You either get the glue on and veneer down and clamped with paper and a board (caul) in 30 seconds . Heating the whole room helps with this . Its limited to small sized stuff . 300 x 300 or less roughly . 600 x 300 or larger is asking for trouble . Specially in a cold room .

    So the next way is putting the glue down and then the veneer , then running over the whole piece re heating with a hot iron . We use the old cast iron type heated on a hot plate nearby . No electricity powered irons for larger messy work normally . I do use one for smaller work though. Then with some glue on top for lube and sealing the top you squeeze the heated HG out with a veneer hammer . You have to run through this cycle a few times making sure all the excess glue is pushed out.
    This method only works with one piece sheets of veneer though . Not built up patterns taped together. Also this method needs some practice . Heating moist veneer with an iron and not getting the iron stuck to the veneer, pulling the thing to pieces is a balancing act that you have to get right on things that don't matter . Not something you may have spent hours preparing .

    And the other way is putting glue down . Placing the prepared piece in place so it cant move (veneer pins = cut off brad nails ) You could quickly run an iron over it then a heated caul is placed over and clamped . A bit of sheet steel 4mm thick would be good . Or heated timber . As used to be used in the 1850s . A hot piece of Plywood could be used . Ive heated such things over a cut off 20 liter drum with 10mm of metho poured in the bottom . Throw in a match and have the caul resting higher and constantly flip it. I'm wearing a welding glove on one hand for this . And the drum has to have been used this way before to burn off any paint . My drum used to take the chill out of the small workshop air on the coldest winter mornings with some metho in the bottom so was well used .

    Rob

  10. #9
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    Hi Basso
    Quote Originally Posted by Basso View Post
    I'm making a backgammon set for my daughter for Christmas and intend to build the box from Ply or MDF and veneer the playing surface and box.

    I'm a novice so any advice is also welcomed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Basso View Post
    G'day all, I made my first attempt at using hide glue tonight

    After many hours cutting the veneers and joining them all with veneer tape to create the box lid and bottom, I tonight attempted to glue the veneer to the plywood substrate with hide glue.
    On my first attempt the glue went tacky, almost jelly like before I applied glued to the veneer, I gave up on that attempt and turned the board over for a second try on the other side. (I’ll remove the hide glue later)
    Although the glue was runny, almost a good enamel paint consistency, I thinned it a little more for the second attempt thinking perhaps I had the glue a bit too viscous and made sure it was (I thought) hot enough.

    I used my grandfather’s cast double boiler glue pot, I had the induction cooktop set at 90o, though I think it was hotter than that because it kept boiling the water. (Boiled over a couple of times.)
    On the second attempt I at least got the glue on both substrate and veneer and got the two together and into my home made clamp.
    The glue still went very tacky as I very quickly brought the two together.
    I reckon I took barely a minute to paint the glue on both surfaces.

    The box lid is sitting in the clamps overnight, so I guess I’ll know in the morning if I’m starting over.

    I was hoping those of you with far more experience than I might be able to tell me where I went wrong please, or perhaps a hint on where to look for the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by auscab View Post
    Hi Basso.
    There is basically three ways you can glue veneer down with hide glue . [rest of Bob's post is somewhat edited]

    1). You get the glue on and veneer down and clamped with paper and a board (caul) in 30 seconds . Heating the whole room helps with this . Its limited to small sized stuff . 300 x 300 or less roughly . 600 x 300 or larger is asking for trouble . Specially in a cold room .

    2). the next way is putting the glue down and then the veneer , then running over the whole piece re heating with a hot iron . We use the old cast iron type heated on a hot plate nearby . No electricity powered irons for larger messy work normally . I do use one for smaller work though. Then with some glue on top for lube and sealing the top you squeeze the heated HG out with a veneer hammer . You have to run through this cycle a few times making sure all the excess glue is pushed out.
    This method only works with one piece sheets of veneer though . Not built up patterns taped together. Also this method needs some practice . Heating moist veneer with an iron and not getting the iron stuck to the veneer, pulling the thing to pieces is a balancing act that you have to get right on things that don't matter . Not something you may have spent hours preparing .

    3). And the other way is putting glue down . Placing the prepared piece in place so it cant move (veneer pins = cut off brad nails ) You could quickly run an iron over it then a heated caul is placed over and clamped . A bit of sheet steel 4mm thick would be good . Or heated timber . As used to be used in the 1850s . A hot piece of Plywood could be used . Ive heated such things over a cut off 20 liter drum with 10mm of metho poured in the bottom . Throw in a match and have the caul resting higher and constantly flip it. I'm wearing a welding glove on one hand for this . And the drum has to have been used this way before to burn off any paint . My drum used to take the chill out of the small workshop air on the coldest winter mornings with some metho in the bottom so was well used .

    Rob
    Rob has the various hide glue methods down pat.
    Given that you admit to being a novice, may I suggest that if you are committed to using hide glue, you consider using Rob's method #3.


    The other option for gluing the veneer down is to use "regular" PVA glue. There is a specific type of PVA suitable for veneering, but
    1. I don't recall the specific number of the PVA; and
    2. In my limited experience, Titebond Type 1 is a good substitute for hide glue.

    The main advantage of using PVA is the longer open time -- measured in minutes rather than seconds

    The main disadvantage of PVA is that the glue surfaces will readily slip out of alignment, especially when clamping pressure is applied.
    Misalignment can be countered by veneering a panel larger than the desired finished size and then trimming the panel to size.


    Remember to veneer both sides of your box panels.
    regards from Sydney

    ian

  11. #10
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    Thanks Rob, I used the clamped caul method to get it down initially this got it down in one piece and I have since removed the veneer tape to leave a better than expected result. I had carpet tile top and bottom and baking paper to stop it sticking to the carpet. ( took up the slight variance in veneer thickness) Mildly pleased for a first attempt. My cold shed didn't help so I was thinking of perhaps running the iron over the substrate and veneer before applying the glue to give me a fraction more working time on the next one I thought I might also heat the finished piece with an iron and run over it with a veneer hammer but will heed your advice about the many pieces that can move and the nightmare that might create. I'll hunt around the op shops for an old cast iron, that sounds like good advice to avoid mixing electricity with water and glue. Thank you for you wisdom, I'll keep you/forum posted and upload a few pics once finished. Cheers Basso

  12. #11
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    Ian I'm definitely a novice, the box will have a veneer outside and veneer playing surface inside.
    I've committed to hide glue for now and since I've started with it will persist for time being.
    thanks for your advice, appreciate the time you took to reply cheers Basso

  13. #12
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    ooorrrr one could use two-part epoxy or Titebond2.

    A million times easier.

    Here Mr Hawthorne, a fabulous box maker, talks over his entire process of fine box making.

    This video series is exhausting in its detail. In this one he discusses glue, veneers and the process of getting them together FLAT.


  14. #13
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    Thanks mate, there is some much misinformation on youtube it's difficult to sort the genuine information from the infomercials, Top Veneer put me onto a good couple of videos which were very helpful. I also purchased a book from U-beaut Polishes which is a fabulous read not a lot about the veneers but lots of useful information about how to finish wood and a great read for a technical book. I have modified my technique by applying water to the substrate and then "ironing" the wood to create a little warmth in the wood before applying any hide glue, this has lengthened the working time and I've achieved a reasonable result for a novice. I now have two faces down and have started refining the finish ready to polish before fitting to the box. The decorative panels, including my home made inlays are down also. I'm just fitting the outer edges of these and then the process of finishing and polishing can begin. I was thinking of shellac with a couple of coats wax to give the playing surface some durability when sliding the playing pieces about. I've asked a mate (he owns a lathe, I don't, yet) if he can teach me turn the playing pieces. Any and all recommendations welcomed, I'll post a photo or two when it's done. Cheers Basso

  15. #14
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    Apr 2014
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    Hi Basso,

    if you want to get very thorough information on veneering I highly recommend the book “The Craft of Veneering” by Craig Thibodeau. He goes through the process in easy to understand language terms and also covers the different types of glues e.g. hide, plastic resin/urea formaldehyde, epoxy, PVA and polyurethane. This book improved my veneering more than anything else I can think of other than lots of practise. I bought it online but perhaps the local library may have it?

    I’ve bought veneer from Thomas at Top Veneer and it has been good. For more exotic stuff for boxes I also use Rita and Peter’s Etsy store in Hungary. They have some excellent and unusual veneers, delivery has been good and the product has always been exactly as described. They are currently away according to their Etsy site, but here’s the link:
    theveneershop | Etsy



    Regards,

    Brian

  16. #15
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    Tis the night before Christmas and we made it, Game is finished! Thank you to all of you who offered advice and more. Special thanks to those who sent me some of their veneer, your generosity is very much appreciated. I've added a couple of photos so you might share in the joy, Merry Christmas, Basso
    Attached Images Attached Images

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