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View Dima's profile

Please help with veneering dinner table

by Dima
posted 02-01-2017 01:47 PM


36 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2421 posts in 2275 days


#1 posted 02-01-2017 02:41 PM

Isn’t the plywood already veneered with red oak?If so then you are adding a second layer.
I think the problem your going to have is the plywood cupping soon after you add to one side.
I do realize your question is about glue but I think it’s the least of your problems.
Good luck.

Aj

-- Aj

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8356 posts in 3275 days


#2 posted 02-01-2017 03:21 PM

First of all if I were veneering the top of a dining room table I would use the thickest veneer I could find and certainly not the ultra-thin paper backed stuff.
As for glueing without any form of clamping, the best method is hammer veneering with hot hide glue.
The best glues for veneering are hard drying glues that won’t “creep”. That pretty much means UF glues or hide glues but my best advice is to get some real veneer. .... really.

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

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#3 posted 02-01-2017 03:47 PM

I ordered my veneer from oakwood. Prior to ordering, I called them and asked for recommendations gor a dining table. This is what the guys recommended…spent $250 for it…

1. Isnt a plywood a good substrate for a veneer?

2. What is a “real veneer”?

3. Hide glue comes apart if heat is applied.
Would not work for my purposes.

Thank you

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1801 posts in 3337 days


#4 posted 02-01-2017 04:28 PM

Dima,

Shipwright is giving you good advise. Paul knows what he’s talking about in this area more than 99.999% of the users here at LJ.

The seller may have made their recommendations based on what they had available to sell, rather that what is actually best for your project.

Hot hide glue has been used to veneer tables for hundreds of years. You wouldn’t expect the table to be directly exposed to hot dishes since most people would use trivets to protect the surface from truly hot dishes.

The standard veneering technique when using plywood or other sheet goods as subtrates is to apply veneer to both surfaces to minimize warpage due to unequal movement. Typically the back side is coated with an less expensive veneer than the show surfaces.

Good luck with your project.

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4803 posts in 1067 days


#5 posted 02-01-2017 04:41 PM

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to veneer only the top of the table. Yes, the plywood has veneer, but you’re changing the balance of the board and I believe you will risk having it warp on you, as Aj pointed out. Yes, the veneer on the underside might be oak, but it won’t behave differently than any other piece of plywood.

I’d also be less concerned about heat. You really shouldn’t place things like casserole dishes right out of the oven on any table, even if it’s solid wood. You need to use trivets for that. I assume you also use placemats, so they will protect it from heated dinner plates as well.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8356 posts in 3275 days


#6 posted 02-01-2017 05:11 PM

Heat alone will not damage hide glue, at least not until it gets very hot. Unless you are planning to place a frying pan right off the stove on your table I wouldn’t worry. Heat and moisture together will reverse hide glue but that’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.
By “real veneer” I meant not paper backed veneer. The actual wood on that stuff is generally much thinner than even thin commercially sliced raw veneer.

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

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#7 posted 02-01-2017 08:31 PM

I really appreciate everyone’s expert advice.

I wish I have asked you guys prior to spending all this money on the veneer.

Since I am now stuck with this paperback red oak veneer. I guess I have no choice but just to use it. Otherwise it would be wasted $250. and I have no other use for it. Also, now I guess I will need to buy more paper back veneer for the underside of the table top.
My whole reason of not building the top out of solid lumber was that I read that solid lumber table tops are very prone to warping. Now, using 3/4 thick plywood I am facing the similar problem :o)

I will post some photos of my project so far, and will welcome any suggestions of how to improve it or any other additional stuff I should watch out for. BTW the edging wood is solid red oak. I just glued it with Titebond II and clamps.
The base is solid red oak. I plan to stain this table dark espresso and finish it with oil based polyurethane.

Thank you again for all your advice.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4803 posts in 1067 days


#8 posted 02-01-2017 08:48 PM



Also, now I guess I will need to buy more paper back veneer for the underside of the table top.

They sell backer veneers which are intended for that purpose and less expensive than the premium stuff.

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2421 posts in 2275 days


#9 posted 02-01-2017 09:02 PM

I see what you did there very cleaver.The veneer also has a good character to it.
Nice work.

Aj

-- Aj

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12883 posts in 2857 days


#10 posted 02-02-2017 01:39 AM

Red oak veneer on red oak plywood is a waste of time and effort. Put the red oak on the bottom and something better on top, white oak at least.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#11 posted 02-02-2017 02:26 AM

Rick M,

I plan on staining the table dark espresso.
what is wrong with having red oak on top?

The base of the table, the pedestal base is made out of solid red oak, shouldn’t I match the wood?

Is white oak superior to red?

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#12 posted 02-02-2017 03:10 PM

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4803 posts in 1067 days


#13 posted 02-02-2017 03:18 PM

Don’t confuse finishing both sides with veneering both sides. Perhaps that wasn’t your intent, but just making sure.

http://www.joewoodworker.com/veneering/backer-veneer.htm

-- There's no such thing as a careless electrician

View Robert's profile

Robert

3514 posts in 1958 days


#14 posted 02-02-2017 04:22 PM

No expert on veneer but I recently finished a project which I experimented gluing 4 different ways:

1. Cold press veneer glue.
2. TB hide glue (what a mess & yes, you need to warm it up!)
3. PVA glue + iron heat.
4. OBG glue + hammer veneer.

My conclusion was in the future I will use hot hide glue although I have to say the glue/hot iron technique worked extremely well. This won’t be applicable for a large sheet of veneer, tho.

Thinking about the issues involved in clamping & unless you want to get a vacuum bag, personally, I would go with hot hide glue. If you’ve never done it, its no big deal. I would keep it simple: Old Brown Glue and any thermostat controlled cooker or crockpot can be adapted so long as you make sure you have a thermometer at all times. Do some test pieces first to get your feet wet.

If you go the HHG route, I would cut the veneer in 8-10” strips and apply one at a time (you may even decide to do a pattern or border).

The reason you’re getting comments about the oak ply is that any quality ply will + you’re covering oak veneer with oak veneer (?).

The commercially available veneer is too thin for a top IMO it needs to be at least 1/16 – 3/32 and that is not real easy to find. Fior this reason lots of guys resaw their own veneer.

BTW, I’ve seen people use contact cement with paper backed veneer. I don’t know what it looks like 10 years down the road, tho.


My whole reason of not building the top out of solid lumber was that I read that solid lumber table tops are very prone to warping. Now, using 3/4 thick plywood I am facing the similar problem :o)
- Dima
I would never be afraid to use solid lumber so long as it is dry & acclimated. Very important to secure the top using methods to allow for movement. Breadboard ends can also help.

Matter of fact, my next project is a dining trestle table. It will be of quarter sawn white oak with a solid top.

You’ll do fine. Be sure to post some pics when you’re done.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#15 posted 02-02-2017 06:27 PM

rwe2156,

it seems like most of the pros here prefer hide glue. I understand why.
I have never used it before and am scared to screw up my table…I am still considering it.

How come you would not use PVA + hot iron to glue a large veneer sheet, like 50”x50” in my case (one for each top panel)?

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2661 days


#16 posted 02-02-2017 09:26 PM

So, two things. There is no need to re-veneer the top of the red oak plywood panels, since they already have a red oak veneer on top of them, as rwe2156 sez. It’s very likely that the plywood’s face has a thicker veneer than the paper-backed one you want to add. Plus the glue in the plywood is stronger and more water resistant than PVA glue, so you’re much less likely to have problems using the plywood as is.

Second thing: if you’re staining the table a dark espresso, there’s REALLY no need to add the additional veneer.

The table looks great, very nice modern lines. Save the veneer for another project.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8551 posts in 2627 days


#17 posted 02-02-2017 09:32 PM



rwe2156,

it seems like most of the pros here prefer hide glue. I understand why.
I have never used it before and am scared to screw up my table…I am still considering it.

- Dima

If you are scared to screw it up, Hide Glue is exactly what you should use. PVA glue isn’t going to be reversible if you mess up. Hide glue is. If you mess it up, use an iron and a rag to steam it, and the veneer will come off no issues.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3871 posts in 1865 days


#18 posted 02-02-2017 10:58 PM



rwe2156,

it seems like most of the pros here prefer hide glue. I understand why.
I have never used it before and am scared to screw up my table…I am still considering it.

How come you would not use PVA + hot iron to glue a large veneer sheet, like 50”x50” in my case (one for each top panel)?

- Dima

Dima, I finished a mirror project, with advice from Shipwright, with veneer a couple of months ago. This was my first attempt at using hot hide glue and frankly, would have been almost impossible with any other method of applying the veneer. Shipwright has some good tutorials in his blog that helped me get the confidence to do this. The greatest thing about the hide glue is how forgiving it is. It allows you to move the veneer around to get it in place before you “hammer it down”. And if for some reason you don’t like where it is, you can apply a little heat and moisture to release it to try again. Not sure how big your pieces of veneer are but as a beginner, I highly recommend working with smaller pieces. I would also practice something smaller. In the future, I would definitely use thicker veneer than the stuff I could get locally. Also note that doing hot hide glue during cold weather in a cold shop adds an extra level of difficulty.

Like others, I am a little confused why you need veneer in the first place since you started with Red Oak plywood. Is there something wrong with the veneer that is already on it?

Another thing that you may not have thought about is that if the edge boards that you have already attached are perfectly even with the surface of the plywood now, realize that the veneer will protrude above that and it will get snagged and chipped very quickly with use. Are you sure that you cannot just finish the plywood as it is?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8356 posts in 3275 days


#19 posted 02-03-2017 12:26 AM



No expert on veneer but I recently finished a project which I experimented gluing 4 different ways:

1. Cold press veneer glue.
2. TB hide glue (what a mess & yes, you need to warm it up!)
3. PVA glue + iron heat.
4. OBG glue + hammer veneer.

.

- rwe2156

You can’t hammer veneer with OBG. It can only be done with hot hide glue. OBG is a fine glue but it is a liquid hide glue and as such cures almost entirely by drying. It lacks the fast initial tack from cooling that HHG has that is essential to hammer veneering.

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

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#20 posted 02-03-2017 04:49 PM

Lazyman and other guys,

Beautiful mirror! wow

Thank you for your tips.

I initially was planning to just build a modern espresso dining table using an existing red oak plywood top with some nice edge banding. Most of the tables sold in stores in $2000-3000 range are either ply or MDF covered with veneer or laminate.
I am not talking about rustic style tables with a slab top, I am talking about very polished modern tables that you see in Macy’s or other furniture stores.

So, I went to a nice lumber store around here in Seattle, and purchased cabinet grade 4×8 sheet 3.4 thick red oak ply. My initial thought was that if the original plywood would have a “nice” veneer, then I will be all set!

However, when I cut the ply with my saw at home, some chipping of the veneer occurred at the edges (see the pic), and leaving it as is would not look “professional”. Plus, the tables that we really liked in the store had a fully veneered seamless top. (Ash veneer) And, I really did not want to see the edge banding.

So, since I already build the whole base out of solid red oak, I decided to veneer the top and sides of my table top to hide the “chipped plywood” and the wood joints on the site ( I unfortunately did not miter the edge wood). I just want to have a nice, clean, modern finished look. My wife wants a dark espresso and I will cover it with several coats of poly.

I did some “research”, and then found out about oakwood veneer. I called them and explained to them my situation, and they recommended that I purchase a 5×10 sheet (my table is 50” wide) of 22.2 mil BFV Red Oak veneer. They said that its a thick and durable veneer.
And in fact, when compared to the veneer that was originally on my plywood, this veneer does seem like its a thicker veneer (see the pic).
I am hesitant about cutting the veneer into strips to glue it…

So this is why I am placing a red oak veneer on the red oak plywood…

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8551 posts in 2627 days


#21 posted 02-03-2017 04:52 PM

Did you buy that at Crosscut? That doesn’t look any better than the red oak ply you can find at Home Depot to me. The plys are way too thick and the top veneer is so thin.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#22 posted 02-03-2017 04:59 PM

I bought it at Dunn Lumber.
I am an amateur…sorry man

I was not aware that a “better: plywood is available

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8551 posts in 2627 days


#23 posted 02-03-2017 05:15 PM

In the future, go to Crosscut on 1st ave S of Seattle. The plywood prices can get quite high, but it is vastly superior stuff. Red Oak ply would be in the $80-100ish/sheet range I believe. I bought a bunch of Walnut ply for the entertainment center I built for a friend (in my projects page) for $135/sheet. Not cheap at all, but way better to use. And it’s pre-sanded so you only need to start at 150 or 180 grit for finish sanding.

It can also help if you make 2 cuts. One being just a scoring cut (<1 /> deep) and the second one going all the way through. Or you can use a zero clearance insert which will help with chipout as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3871 posts in 1865 days


#24 posted 02-03-2017 05:28 PM

Let me preface this by saying that I have not done this before. This is based upon my earlier and recent research and I am sure that the experts will chime in if I lead you off into the weeds.

Based upon what I have read and based upon your level of experience, liquid hide glue (I like Old Brown Glue) may be your best bet at this point, unless you want to try hammer veneering with hot hide glue. With contact cement you get one shot at it. As soon as the 2 surfaces touch, you are pretty much done which could be very heartbreaking with $250 worth of veneer. LHG has most of the advantages of HHG but you will have to find a way to clamp it down across the entire surface to get uniform clamping pressure until the glue sets. Since you obviously do not have a vacuum or a large veneer press, you will need to make several cauls that can reach all the way across. Here is a good tutorial on making some. You may also find other tutorials for making cauls like this on a jointer if you have one. Personally, I would make them from 2×2 (2×4 ripped in half) instead of 2×4. Basically, they are simply boards that are very slightly wider in the middle than near the ends. As you clamp down from the ends, the caul flexes to apply pressure at both the center and the edges of the piece. You would want to lay a piece of plywood between the cauls and the veneer to further distribution the clamping pressure but make sure you lay some craft paper (or even plastic sheeting ?) between the PW and the veneer just in case you get some glue penetration or oozing. You do not want to glue the PW to the veneer.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3871 posts in 1865 days


#25 posted 02-03-2017 05:42 PM

I just had another thought about a way to fix the existing veneer on the plywood…

You might consider using a router to cut a groove along the joint between the edging and the oak plywood that is wide enough to remove all of the chipped out veneer and inlay a strip of a darker, contrasting wood. This would not only remove the damage but also add an interesting detail that will look great. You probably want to experiment on some scraps of PW and edging glued up to make sure that works without further chipping and that your router bit is up to the task of cutting a clean groove.

Might be a more manageable solution and perhaps you can return the veneer you bought and cut your losses. That’s probably what a lazy man would do. ;-)

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#26 posted 02-03-2017 05:54 PM

Can’t return the veneer. It came as a5×10 sheet
I cut it into sections. I am sure they won’t take it back.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8356 posts in 3275 days


#27 posted 02-03-2017 11:30 PM

You are in a tough situation. I can’t believe I’m recommending this but I think your best bet is the pva glue and iron method. I don’t do it but there are people whose veneer work I respect that have. Here’s one http://lumberjocks.com/projects/1855
If you were working with raw veneer I would say HHG and hammer technique but this is paper backed veneer and cutting it up would be silly. With your level of experience and the kind of material you are working with I yhink pva may be your best bet.

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

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2661 days


#28 posted 02-04-2017 01:23 AM

Ok, that makes sense.

The only other thing I’d add is that you’re going to want to veneer the sides after the top to keep the top veneer from pulling up.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1377 days


#29 posted 02-04-2017 01:28 AM


Ok, that makes sense.

The only other thing I d add is that you re going to want to veneer the sides after the top to keep the top veneer from pulling up.

- shampeon

My advise would be to do the sides first.
But I think he already has hardwood on the edge.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

997 posts in 3560 days


#30 posted 02-04-2017 01:37 AM

Save the veneer for another project and make the top out of solid. What you’re trying to do, at the scale you’re trying to do it at, without the proper glues and equipment, will more than likely end up in a very short term disaster, or a long term failure. Jmo.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#31 posted 02-04-2017 03:53 AM

Shipwright,
I will try PVA + Iron
I practiced yesterday and got good results, so we’ll see.

This is where I got my idea from.

This is NOT a solid top
I wonder if they just used a plain plywood with edgebanding
The table looks nice (for a modern table). I tried to replicate that, but unfortunately my plywood got a little chopped and have to go to plan B

If you look at the last two photos, this table is completely covered with veneer, and looks really nice and clean. no seams, etc.
So this is what I am trying to do.

To make a solid wood top measuring 50×117 inches…will probably be crazy expensive. I would not even know where to start to get the wood…

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8356 posts in 3275 days


#32 posted 02-04-2017 04:59 AM

I say go ahead and try it. At worst you will learn something and be in a position to make better decisions and plans next time. Maybe your biggest mistake here was being too ambitious relative to your experience but you will learn more this way than you will from “baby steps” in my opinion.

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

View Dima's profile

Dima

11 posts in 958 days


#33 posted 02-14-2017 04:44 PM

hi guys,

I am in the process of veneering my table with PVA + hot Iron. so far so good.

I have another question.

My table is composed of two large table top pieces and one leaf.
For interconnection I initially was planning to use METAL table pins. The ones that have a male pin and then a metal female sleeve. I installed them, but my drilling was just slightly off, and the pieces are not connecting smoothly. I of course tried to make the holes for sleeves slightly bigger, then reorienting sleeves with glue around them, then closing the table to see if that would SET the sleeves in the correct position. It worked somewhat, but I don’t like the result.

I was thinking about this:
1. REMOVE ALL METAL PINS AND SLEEVES
2. PLACE ALL WOODED PINS, and cover the ends with petroleum jelly
3. In the holes where my sleeves USED to be, instead, place wood putty, then close the table together, and that will hopefully give me the perfect IMPRINT and then the table will close without problems.

The table will be dark Espresso, and hopefully the putty portion will not be as noticeable.

what do you guys think ?

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3871 posts in 1865 days


#34 posted 02-15-2017 11:38 PM

May be easier to just get larger pins and sand them down until they fit the holes you already have?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1377 days


#35 posted 02-16-2017 12:00 AM

Leave the sleeves and pull the metal pins.
Re drill the holes to fit a larger dowel that you can use to plug the holes with.

Find a set of these centering pins to make new center marks that you can use to re drill your metal pins.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3514 posts in 1958 days


#36 posted 02-16-2017 04:06 PM


- rwe2156

You can t hammer veneer with OBG. It can only be done with hot hide glue. OBG is a fine glue but it is a liquid hide glue and as such cures almost entirely by drying. It lacks the fast initial tack from cooling that HHG has that is essential to hammer veneering.

- shipwright

Thanks (that also explains why I had to use clamps ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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