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How to apply veneer that has a large cutout?

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Forum topic by Pageplayer posted 07-14-2018 02:36 PM 668 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


07-14-2018 02:36 PM

I spent 3 days getting a piece of veneer made up for applying to the top of an old stereo receiver. Then it went to hell in a hand basket in seconds.

I joined 2 pieces of veneer to make 1 large piece. It came out great! Can barely see the seam.
Then I had to cut out a large rectangular hole for the top vent. Basically took a bunch of measurements to center the grill on top of the veneer, traced around it, then meticulously cut around the inside line, and that came out great too!
Before applying the glue and applying the veneer to the top, I spent another hour making sure it fit like a glove. It was perfect, and I was ready.

First I took a water bottle and lightly misted the top of the unit because I didn’t want the glue to dry before I had it spread evenly.
Once the glue was spread just right, I laid the veneer down and started making sure it was lined up just right. But..

Right away I could see that cutout for the grill was not lining up at all with the hole already in the cabinet. In fact, if I lined up the front inside line, the back inside line was off as far as 3/16 and and visi-versa. I tried for minutes trying to get the veneer lined up but it was like a completely different piece all of a sudden. And now it’s ruined.

I assume the mist of water I laid down is where I went wrong.
What is the best way to approach this?


23 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#1 posted 07-14-2018 03:02 PM

you don’t have room in the hole for a pattern bit in the router ?
I guess the first questions that will pop up is what kind of glue did you use.

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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


#2 posted 07-14-2018 03:08 PM

Here’s a photo of the cabinet, ready for new veneer..
As for glue, I just used the Elmers wood glue shown in the photo.
I’m not sure if there is a router bit shallow enough for the recess for the grill.
but How would you do this?

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GR8HUNTER

6218 posts in 1132 days


#3 posted 07-14-2018 03:20 PM

I would put it on solid with only a say 1 inch hole in center then with pattern bit in router just follow the cutout then it will be perfect fit :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#4 posted 07-14-2018 03:21 PM

That was a bad choice of glue in my opinion. A plastic resin glue like DAP Weldwood gives you much more open time. You also need to cut a caul for clamping. A piece of 3/4” MDF works well. You don’t need to cut out the opening in it, just make sure it fits side-to side and covers front-to-back.

A much easier approach is using something like Scotch 77 spray contact cement. For that you coat the top of the case and the underside of the veneer and let it get tacky for several minutes. The secret to aligning it is to use sticks to keep the veneer from coming into contact with the case. Get it where you want it and pull out one of the sticks and press down the veneer. Continue to remove sticks and press until it’s completely attached. Then use a J roller or even a brayer to press it out, starting in the middle areas and working out to squeeze any air bubbles out. If you do get an air bubble, poke it with a needle and then roll over the area.

Also, you generally shouldn’t cut the opening to be exact, but rather leave a quarter inch or so. That way you can trim it to be exact once it’s glued on. You won’t need a router, just a sharp utility knife or chisel.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#5 posted 07-14-2018 03:22 PM

were you able to salvage the veneer ??
20 different people will give you 24 different ways of doing that one.

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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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000

2859 posts in 1319 days


#6 posted 07-14-2018 03:35 PM


were you able to salvate the veneer ??

- John Smith

Won’t that make it gueey?
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.
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The problem I see is that the wood isn’t thick enough for a bearing to ride on when you cut out the hole.
First thing I would do would be to use some good double stick tape
(carpet tape is the normal recommended tape here) and tape some cleats around all 4 sides of the hole, flush with the edges.

Then I would cut the veneer to size and leave the veneer a full piece. Don’t cut out the hole.
I would use the contact cement (I like the 3M spray 90)
then carefully stick the piece (because it doesn’t move once it’s touched)

After you roll the piece down, I would use a flush trim router bit to make the hole. The bearing on the bit would ride on the cleats you put on.

Then I would get a rabbet bit for the recess, in which the bearing would also ride on the cleats you added.

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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


#7 posted 07-14-2018 03:38 PM

When I was trying to align the veneer the glue got pretty tacky and the edges of the veneer started curling all over the place, it cracked and, well, I got upset. It no longer exists.
I have more pieces to make another.
I also bought a palm router and bit for the project. The salesman at the woodworking store said I’d need to make a template, but I don’t think I have the skills or tools for that.
Good tips so far.

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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


#8 posted 07-14-2018 03:40 PM

umm.. jbay, Whats are cleats? Pictures would help me

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1319 days


#9 posted 07-14-2018 04:05 PM



umm.. jbay, Whats are cleats? Pictures would help me

- Pageplayer


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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


#10 posted 07-14-2018 04:10 PM

Jbay,
WOW! A 3D drawing of my cabinet!
I like and understand what you’re saying with the bits.
If I understand correctly. flush trim the inner cut, then use the rabbit bit for the recess.
My concern is the distance between the edge of the inner cut and the outer edge (Shoulder?) of the recess.
My measurements indicate that distance to be 12mm.
Will a 12mm rabbit bit give me the corner recesses radius also?

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000

2859 posts in 1319 days


#11 posted 07-14-2018 04:38 PM


Jbay,

WOW! A 3D drawing of my cabinet!
My concern is the distance between the edge of the inner cut and the outer edge (Shoulder?) of the recess.
My measurements indicate that distance to be 12mm.
Will a 12mm rabbit bit give me the corner recesses radius also?

- Pageplayer

Well, you did ask for a picture….lol

This is where you have to make sure you have the right bit and bearing set up. You should be able to use a small bearing to get the 12mm and the radius will be that also. Also the rabbet bit may not fit into a palm router. The hole in the plate may be too small.

Options would be to cut the hole bigger or get a bigger router.
I’m a dare devil, If I need a bigger hole I lower the base over the bit and let the bit cut the new hole, but this is dangerous if your going to try that, be very careful.

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Andybb

1932 posts in 1023 days


#12 posted 07-14-2018 05:27 PM


The salesman at the woodworking store said I d need to make a template, but I don t think I have the skills or tools for that.
- Pageplayer

I think you do have the skills and tools to make the template.
Here is a basic youtube search of many techniques on how to do it depending on what you want to end up with. With the right template it seems like you could even use a straight bit to cut the recess. Thinking about it, that might be my first step. Cut the shallow recess to size around the entire hole then use a guide bushing or a spacer to cut the big hole.

I always have a special feeling of accomplishment when I drop something perfectly into a templated hole.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#13 posted 07-14-2018 05:39 PM

I’m still stuck with “Won’t that make it gueey?”

.

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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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000

2859 posts in 1319 days


#14 posted 07-14-2018 05:48 PM



I m still stuck with “Won’t that make it gueey?”
- John Smith

No worries John, I still have to explain my jokes to my wife also. :)

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Pageplayer

14 posts in 371 days


#15 posted 07-14-2018 05:59 PM

This is the router I picked up last weekend… Need to get the bits tho.

The larger base has a nice size opening for a bit.
My choices for picking up a bit today are Lowe’s, Home Depot or Harbor Fright.

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