Will veneer get me out of this jam?

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Forum topic by InThatNumber posted 05-25-2018 03:55 PM 780 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2376 days

05-25-2018 03:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question veneering

Frequent reader, rare contributor here looking for some advice on how to salvage a project I’ve been working on for a while and managed to jack up right near the end.

I’m building insulated carriage doors for my workshop more or less based on a Fine Homebuilding project (here), except that I’ve modified them to be dutch doors. That way I can open the tops for ventilation and bringing materials in and out, while treating the bottoms as wall space for rolling cabinets/tools except on the rare occasions I need to open the lower doors.

I’m building the bottoms first using 3/4 red grandis frames with a marine grade mohagony plywood inset on the exterior side, all encasing an insulated core built per the above plan. At least, it was a mahogany inset. I did some small epoxy fills prior to finishing. Went to sand down the epoxy late the other night, tried to rush through the job with far too heavy grit paper, long story short, sanded straight through the mahogany layer of the plywood in a few spots without realizing that’s what I was doing. Let’s just assume that in my frustration I decided it wasn’t salvageable and took the whole mahogany layer off, so what I’ve got now is bare whatever the second layer of the ply is.

Would veneer help me un-ruin my project? I’ve never worked with veneer at all, but I’m thinking if I cut it exactly the size of the inset area, roll down some veneer glue, and put enough evenly distributed weight on it I should be able to reverse my mistake. The edges won’t be under the face frame obviously, but I can life with that. The finish is going to be CPES plus Epifanes. There’s no way to veneer the back of the ply, but there shouldn’t be much moisture getting to it once the finish is on.

For those veneering experts, any tips on what veneer to choose, glue, method, etc., would be appreciated. I don’t want to make this worse forging ahead uninformed.

Before pics, for what they’re worth:

7 replies so far

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2446 posts in 941 days

#1 posted 05-25-2018 04:49 PM

sorry to hear about your dilema. I can’t comment on the veneer salvage.
but ~ the CPES plus Epifanes is one of my favorite exterior finishes
for durability and longevity. it is pretty labor and time intensive as it takes
several (5-18) coats of Epifanes to be really effective against the punishing UV.
looking forward to photos after you get it all said and done.
good luck in your repairs.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1677 days

#2 posted 05-25-2018 05:15 PM

Veneer would work, but then experience, or lack of, can create another whole set of problems.
If you can afford the space, (depth of your reveal)
I would see if I can buy some 1/8” mahogany door skins and glue/pin those into place instead.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4426 days

#3 posted 05-25-2018 05:48 PM

Veneer can be glued down by applying pva
glue to both surfaces, letting it dry, then
reactivating it with a hot iron. Pva does have
drawbacks for veneering but this method is
something you can at least try out with supplies
you already have on hand.

View InThatNumber's profile


8 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 05-25-2018 07:59 PM

Thanks, gents, for the responses/suggestions.

John, I’ll definitely post up some pics when (feels like “if”) I get these things done and hung.

Jbay, your point is well taken. I believe I’ve got a 5/8 inch reveal there. It’s probably much safer given my inexperience with veneers to just glue another sheet of 1/8” mahogany ply over the existing substrate and live with a 1/2” reveal. I’ll look into that option this weekend.

Thanks again—

View enazle's profile


66 posts in 786 days

#5 posted 05-29-2018 04:54 PM

No veneer will not work out very well. Maybe if it was on the interior side but the elements will eventually get under it. I would suggest paint or solid color varnish on thecenter panel. Then cap it off with a wainscot cap mold of some sort.

View shipwright's profile


8562 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 05-30-2018 03:35 AM

Personally I would hammer veneer it with hot hide glue and the thickest veneer I had (which would be 1/16”). However if you only have modern 1/42” veneer and aren’t familiar with HHG you might be better off with the suggested door skins.

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

View Rich's profile


5626 posts in 1367 days

#7 posted 05-30-2018 03:52 AM

When discussing veneer, listen to Paul.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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