I am about to make new cabinets for the kitchen. I am thinking of all
drawers for the bottoms, with the drawer fronts being applied veneer.
Each bank of drawers would come from the same veneer piece with the
grain running vertically so the grain will be continuous. The veneer
will be glued onto the substrate with a vacuum press.
My problem is that I have rather limited experience with veneering and
have a few questions.
What kind of veneer would be appropriate for this? Should I use
paper-backed, 2-Ply veneer or something else? I am thinking that I would
purchase 4x8 veneers.
I will be using glue-backed tape for the edges. Will the paper in the
paper-backed veneer show along the seem with the tape?
Which would be better for the backing - MDF or Birch ply? I think for
doors I would use MDF, but for drawer fronts do I need the extra
strength of ply?
Am I correct in thinking that it would be best to veneer full sheets of
plywood before cutting?
I will also need to veneer some end panels on the cabinets. The carcass
will be made of 3/4 birch. Do I really need to veneer both sides of
Are there any sites you would especially recommend - or books for that
Thanks for the pointers,
In a kitchen use plywood or Extira. Ordinary MDF swells when you just let
it _look_ at water and it's inevitable that stuff in a kitchen will get wet.
Extira should be OK but it costs about the same as Baltic Birch. MDF with a
good veneer job and a good heavy finish _should_ be OK but if it does swell
all your hard work is gone to waste.
Not necessarily. If you cut first you can cut to optimize use of the panel,
then veneer the pieces to get matched grain.
On Tue, 16 Feb 2010 19:52:01 -0500, eclipsme wrote:
I suppose you could use scraps of the substrate positioned to support
the veneer, but you will have to figure out how to keep everything in
place until the vacuum is fully applied, and you will need to put packing
tape or plastic on them to keep glue that is squeezed out from sticking
I've always made the substrate a bit oversize and cut the veneer to
match. After the glue-up is complete, I trim to size. But I haven't
done anything like what you're contemplating.
On Mon, 22 Feb 2010 17:12:55 -0600, Art Greenberg wrote:
One other thing. You can (and should, if the substrate is flat) use a
solid platten on both sides of the assembly. If the platten is thick
enough, and larger than the veneer, you can use veneer that overhangs
the substrate by a small amount.
If the substrate is curved (e.g., you are making bow fronts for
drawers), then you'll be using a "soft" platten, and the veneer really
should not be larger than the substrate.
Thanks Art. That clarifies it for me. I wasn't thinking of the plattens,
but of course!
You sound like you have done this a time or 2. I haven't. Am I about to
go off the deep end with this project? Seems so from what others have
said. I am thinking it might be smarter to start with a smaller project
than an entire kitchen. Thoughts?
On Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:41:46 -0500, eclipsme wrote:
I've done a few veneering projects. My first one was a large, curved
fireplace mantel. I guess you could say I jumped in with both feet ...
have a look at http://www.artg.tv/fireplace-mantel-pix.html
I built the pump setup, and I made the bag using sheet stock and glue.
I guess I should put up a few photos of the completed mantel ...
Before attempting that project, I'd watched every episode of David
Marks' "Wood Works" TV show where he did a laminating or veneering
project at least a few times. That, and reading on the Internet and a
few questions posted here as you are doing, was my entire education in
the process up until that point.
It so happens that I'm very much a hands-on learner. I can read about
stuff like this and watch others do it, but the best way for me to learn
how to do something is to just do it. I figured it wasn't rocket
science, and at the very worst I'd have to do it over until I got it
right at the cost of my time and whatever I'd spent on the materials. It
turned out just fine on the first try, and in the process I did learn a
My advice would be to play if you can, but not too much. Then go for it.
By "play" I mean do a few small glue-ups so you know how to set up a job
for your press, and how to run the press.
If you have a large bag that you're going to use, just try getting a
large set-up (without any glue) into the bag. Then pump down the bag and
see if it holds, and if it does not, fix it (better to do that in a dry
Use the some of the veneer and the glue you intend to use in the kitchen
so you get a feel for how much glue is necessary and how to spread it,
and you can see if you'll need to tape the assembly together to keep the
veneer and platens from sliding around and if the glue squeezes through
the veneer (on highly figured veneer, it probably will).
After a dry run and a few smaller glue-ups, you'll probably feel a lot
more comfortable going forward.
I'm happy to answer your questions here (better than direct email as I'm
sure there might be others who can add to the discussion). If you
prefer, email is fine.
And I hope you'll post some photos of the work in progress and write
about your experience. We all can learn from that, I'm sure!
On Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:41:46 -0500, eclipsme wrote:
One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is the old fashioned method. Hide
glue and a veneer hammer. No clamping required. It does take a bit of
practice and hot hide glue does have a definite odor, but it works fine
and has for centuries. Or use yellow glue and an iron as shown in:
But that doesn't work very well on curved surfaces.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Is there some reason you wouldn't use plywood that already comes with
the appropriate veneer applied. I mean it is pretty much available in
any species you might want.
You are much too cotton pickin logical.
Start with a Google, "plywood distributors florida".
Should keep you busy for a few hours.
After that, finding the hardwood suppliers to go along with the
plywood should be a breeze.
Shouldn't be too hard to find. What wood are you wanting? If you want
plain sawn red oak then just go to home depot. Just look in yellow
pages or online for hardwood lumber and they will likely sell veneered
plywood also. It is the standard in the cabinet industry and that is
Veneer, supplies and info...
Constantine's Wood Center of Florida Inc
1040 E. Oakland Park Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334
Ply, many including...
Hood Distribution in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando & Delray Beach (others
throught the East)
Their domestic ply...
and import ply
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