Simple Veneered box #1: Simple Hammer Veneered box Part 1 - getting started

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Blog entry by lumberjoe posted 04-06-2013 03:12 AM 2453 reads 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Simple Veneered box series Part 2: Trimmed and finished the inside »

Hammer veneering is something I played with recently and enjoyed. Unfortunitely I didn’t put any thought into the finished product and it came out like crap. I accomplished my goal of playing around with the tools and technique. I am kind of bored now and don’t want to start any big projects, so I figured I would make myself a little box.

I got some sequenced matched bubinga veneer from Woodcraft for about 9.00. I also picked up a quarter sheet of 1/2” MDF from home depot. In addition I wanted to see how thin I could resaw with my bandsaw. I got this piece of walnut to a little over 1/32”. I don’t think I will use it for this project as it is a little thick.

I snagged some of my wifes sewing stuff (shhhhh) and cut the veneer.

Next time to lay it out, soak it with water, and iron it flat

Then paint the substrate with some 192g BT&C hot hide glue. 90% of my trail and error last time around was getting the glue mix to the right consistency.

Then I laid my nice ironed veneer on top of the glued surface, and then painted it with glue. I learned this tip from Paul (Shipwright).

Then I peel the piece off, flip it over so the side I applied glue to is down, and apply it. I wet the top a bit then heat it with an Iron until it starts to move around. After I get it where I want it, I went to town with the veneer hammer

I think I may have went a little heavy on the glue. Someone with more experience can tell me. I did a good job of hammering though – lots of squeeze out and a nice solid, bubble-free fit. I cleaned the squeeze out with some really hot water on a rag.

I am by no means a hammer veneer expert, so take all of this with a grain of salt. If it comes out well, I will be happy.


3 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8734 posts in 3959 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 03:44 AM

Looks like you’re getting it done pretty well Joe.
You shouldn’t need the iron unless the glue is cooling too fast on you though.
Cleanup should really be with cold water if it’s done quickly after gluing or hot water the next day.

Anyway you’ll get better as you gain confidence.
Here’s the best video I know of on the subject, although there are a lot of good ones.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3409 days

#2 posted 04-06-2013 01:17 PM

Thanks Paul. My glue is cooling very fast for some reason. I use the hot water to clean up the edges because I like to let the veneer set for a bit. I’ve had issues with the edges coming up if I wipe it off right away.

That video is great! I think I may try doing some kind of inlay.


View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3409 days

#3 posted 04-08-2013 01:07 AM

The box it assembled and I measured for the top and bottom. I veneered the inside – one with bubinga and the other with the walnut I sliced myself. Either thicker veneer is so much easier to hammer, or walnut is easier to work with than bubinga. As with the sides, I taped off the areas that are getting glue and put some finish down.

They are glued onto the top and bottom now. I will sand the outside smooth tomorrow and veneer the outside. I’m not sure if I want the walnut as the bottom of the box, or the bottom of the lid. I have them marked now, but after I sand I may not re-mark them and just let fate decide when I cut the top of the box off.


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