hot hide glue veneering

It's never too late to learn something new. I needed a plywood back for the hammered dulcimer I'm building. I could have gone out and got some walnut/cherry/etc. plywood, but I had some Baltic birch and a lot of veneer of various sorts I picked up a few years back. The size was too large for my little press I use for box tops and the like, and I have neither the space nor the money to get into vacuum veneering so hammer veneering was the only option.
I have three books on veneering plus all I could learn from online sources. Naturally they disagreed on more than one thing. For example, one book used veneer tape to join the pieces while a second said don't ever do that, the tape comes loose and you have a mess. Of course I followed the first book and the second was right!
Both a book and an online video showed spraying both sides of the veneer with water immediately before use. The book said let it drain for a minute, the video used an iron on it. I tried both. Would you believe veneer expands across the grain about 3/4" per foot when wet? At least the stuff I was using did. One piece actually developed stress cracks in the middle of the sheet after drying.
I don't have a heat gun to warm up the plywood, but I found that using the iron worked just as well.
I didn't have much luck with the "overlap and cut" technique. Jointing the edges by clamping them between pieces of MDF with factory edges and then sanding them straight worked much better.
The first try was a disaster. Not only did I have the aforementioned veneer tape all over the place, the glue was too thick - I followed the wrong book again. Then there was the expansion bit and my inexperience.
I think I'm finally getting the hang of it, although I won't be sending in photos in to Fine Woodworking any time soon. Here's my procedure:
1. A day or two before the actual use, flatten the veneer with water and the iron and keep it pressed flat.
2. Joint it with the mdf/sandpaper.
3. Cut the veneer with about a 1/8" overhang on all edges not jointed - usually the ends.
4. Get the glue pot and iron working. Make sure the glue is thin enough and keep adding water throughout the process to replace that lost.
5. Use the iron to warm the area of the plywood for the first/next sheet of veneer.
6. Spread the glue with the largest appropriate brush.
7. Put down the veneer, carefully butting it against the prior piece if not the first.
8. Use the iron to warm things up again.
9. Hammer the veneer. Why isn't it called a veneer squeegee?
10. Repeat steps 5-9 till done.
I do have one question. I know I can use urea to lengthen the open time of the glue, but the amounts specified seem all over the place. Some folks even make their own liquid hide glue - I sure don't want to go that far.
So if there are any hide glue experts out there, how much urea should be added to half a pound of ground hide glue just to extend the open time by a minute or two? Or would I do better to increase the open time by thinning the glue instead?
BTW, hide glue does *not* stink - there's almost no odor unless you overheat it - then it smells awful.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/2/2012 7:18 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Stephen Shepherd posts on G+ and has even wrote a book, IIRC:
http://www.fullchisel.com/blog/?p !05
Nice guy and more than willing to talk.
--
www.eWoodShop.com
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 02 Jan 2012 20:33:51 -0600, Swingman wrote:

Thanks. I posted a comment on the blog. We'll see if he, or one of his readers, has the answer on the urea.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/3/2012 12:08 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Damn ... my roots are showing!!:
"... has even _wrote_ a book,.."??
Sheeesh, my eighth grade English teacher is spinning in her grave!
--
www.eWoodShop.com
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Heh heh heh. You can take a coonass outta the country...
-- In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. -- Albert Camus
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Blanchard wrote:

I don't understand your problem with the tape. Once the edges are joined, tape them together on the top side; when the tape is dry, bend the joint, put in a smidgeon of glue, bend together again and let dry. I use a few strips of masking tape across the joint on the side opposite the veneer tape to hold the veneer edges firmly together both while taping and while gluing the edges together.
Once all the pieces of veneer are fastened together, glue them to whatever you are veneering and once dry, remove the veneer tape. Tape with holes in it makes removal much easier.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 03 Jan 2012 07:22:44 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

When using hot hide glue, wetting the top with either water or glue results in the tape loosening - then the hammer pulls it off. Your method sounds great for other glues - have you tried it with hot hide glue and a veneer hammer?
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Blanchard wrote:

Nope but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Once the joints are taped and glued and the glue is dry, the tape is pretty much superflous.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Blanchard wrote:

Why are you putting glue on the top?
I could understand water - maybe - but not enough to soften the glue in the tape to the point of being pulled off. And, as I said here, once the veneer pieces are edge glued, the tape id ptryyu much superfluous.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 04 Jan 2012 06:55:15 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

It's a standard practice for lubricating the hammer - check any book on veneering.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wetting the substrate with hot water (your glue pot's water jacket is a convenient source) increases open time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 06 Jan 2012 19:18:44 -0800, Father Haskell wrote:

So does ironing it or using a heat gun (without adding to cupping), but what does that have to do with the lines you quoted?
I was responding to a poster who didn't understand why veneer tape and hot hide glue didn't play well together.
P.S. Apropos of nothing, my glue pot doesn't have a water jacket.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.