What can I apply to a small wooden box with very dry and flaking veneer
to nourish it before I attempt to restore it ? Eventually I hope to
french polish it so it would have to be something compatible with this.
Also I need to reglue fragments of veneeer. What would be the best glue
If you're going to restore it why worry about it flaking? whatever glue you
use will prove to be a bugger to get off eventually.
I've just covred an old french clock case in veneer using a thin layer of
PVA, even though it was thin it still had to be pressed with rubberised
roller to get the excess glue out.
Stuck rather nicely.
Thats why superglue is so good.
On it gees and down goes the veneer in seconds. You will need to sand
all the crap off it anyway if doing a decent restoration job, and the
surplus CA will come with it.
Sorry I beg to differ,when using veneer it requires a medium drying
adhesive so that any fancy work(Inlay) can be positioned into place, SG
dries on contact and if a mistake is made its very hard to put
right,whereas PVA can be wiped of the surface and the intricate work
The case I'm on about had intricate inlay and there was no way I would have
attempted SG on it.
The way I do that is to position dry, pin, and then use thin CA that
wicks in under the piece..its a quick'n'dirty way to do intricate
woodwork. Works for pieces up to about 20mm max dimension - bigger and
it doesn't wick to the center....medium CA works then..you get a couple
of seconds 'shuffle time'..
Bigger than that, yes, a PVA aliphatic is probably better but you must
clamp hard, and it slows you down..at least 10-15 mins to grip..
I don't find it tough at all. Its tougher than balsa wood, yes, so you
need to block sand, but its not much different from a hardwood in
hardness..Its better than PVA which goes rubbery and clogs the sandpaper.
If the piece is old the veneer will almost certainly be fixed with hide
glue. This is bought as 'pearls' and heated, with water, in a special
pot. It has the advantage that it can be reheated to correct mistakes.
Complex parquetry is done by sticking the bits of veneers together first
using special paper tape (it washes off afterwards).
If re-gluing hide glue, you may just need to reheat it with an old iron
There are lots of books on veneering technique, if the piece is valued
you should read one first. All the talk here of Superglue and PVA fills
me with dread.
Hide glue was the only available wood type of glue at the time,there where
no man made glues available.
And as its pointed out elsewhere in this thread Hide glue has a tendancy to
breakdown ie *become brittle* after so long.
Best book (by far) on furniture restoration is Bennett's
"Discovering and Restoring Antique Furniture:"
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
You should track down a copy of this before doing much more.
A few comments
- It's meant to be dry. Dry is good for timber. It's also not that dry
anyway, because it will be in equilibrium with the atmosphere it's kept
in. In an English winter this could be quite damp.
- It certainly doesn't need "nourishing", feeding, oiling, moisturising
or conditioning. It's wood, not Jennifer Aniston's hair.
- Veneer itself doesn't go dry and flake, the adhesive beneath it is
the source of the problem. Now for repair work it's usually a good idea
to use whatever materials were used last time - and that's probably hide
glue, used hot.
I wouldn't use PVA. I wouldn't personally use PVA for veneering anyway,
although used in a hot-press drymount process it's not actually a bad
choice. However I wouldn't use it new on old work, because compatibility
is a problem. It certainly won't be happy used cold and wet over hide
CA is terrible stuff to use because it's so unforgiving of mistakes. You
might achieve good results, but chances are that you won't.
If you're concerned about using hot hide glue, use cold hide glue insted
(Titebond do a decent one).
Shellac is the universal finish for anything you're unsure of. It's
compatible with nearly anything both above and below it. Use decent
quality though - Liberon's, from somewhere with decent turnover.
Axminster can sell you any materials you might need, right down to paper
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