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Shop Made Veneers for Drawer Fronts

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Forum topic by seanmoore posted 12-06-2019 08:09 PM 359 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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seanmoore

2 posts in 234 days


12-06-2019 08:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: veneer drawer fronts

I am going to be building a new dresser for some friends of mine out of solid walnut. 6 drawers, 3 on each side. I would like to have the drawer fronts have matching grain, so I am thinking of finding some 8/4 walnut with some really nice figure, and resawing my own 1/8” veneer to be used as drawer fronts. The veneer would be placed over MDF, with walnut in the back as well for stabilization. I have several questions since i’ve never attempted any sort of veneering before.

1) Since I dont have a drum sander, have other people had good success with running 1/8” thick shop sawn veneer through the planer?

2)I dont have a vacuum press. I do however have alot of sandbags (im a photographer so use them to hold lights). Will sandwiching the glue ups between two platens and putting sandbags on top be adequate to glue it up, or should I plan on using clamps and cauls?

3)What is the best way to have a solid wood edging? I dont want to use iron on edge banding. Ive seen some instances where people glue on solid wood edging to the mdf substrate before placing the veneer orn so the veneer is covering solid wood edges. Has anybody else done this, and have any tips how to keep everything aligned?

Thanks in advance!


7 replies so far

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bilyo

960 posts in 1709 days


#1 posted 12-07-2019 03:40 PM

My first attempt at making my own veneer was pretty crude but, it worked out OK. I first made sure that the board I was cutting the veneer from was smooth both sides. I then cut the extra thick (maybe 3/16” on average) veneer from both faces. In my case, the saw cut ended up pretty rough. I then glued the smooth face down to the substrate. I was able to get it weighted down securely. Once the glue was cured, I ran the veneered surface through the planer taking multiple very shallow cuts until smooth. I ended up with veneer thickness of just under 1/8”.
In your case, if your band saw cuts are less than smooth, your sand bags will probably be a good way to weight the veneer down during glue-up.
For edging, I would rip strips from your veneer material making them as thin as you are comfortable with on the table saw. Glue the strips onto your substrate edges and then, when dry, rip them down to final thickness.

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splintergroup

3207 posts in 1829 days


#2 posted 12-07-2019 03:41 PM

For the edging, I like to apply the sides first (over width) then use a flush trim bit to level the sides to the front/back. The same process is then used for the faces.

How tall are the drawers? 1/8” could expand/contract enough to crack. Best bet is to plane them as thin as practical after attaching (assuming that tearout isn’t an issue). This is where a drum sander shines, but you should shoot for 1/16” if possible. As for gluing, maximum distributed pressure is your goal. I have a vacuum bag and use that for everything since it is so easy and fast, but in the past I have used bags-’o-concrete with success.

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shipwright

8453 posts in 3405 days


#3 posted 12-07-2019 04:07 PM

Save yourself a lot of time trouble and expense. Certainly wood sells 1/16” walnut veneer that is exactly what you need and will cost you substantially less. Order pieces in sequence and they will match better than anything you can cut because they are sliced so no saw kerf.
https://www.certainlywood.com/results-woodmenu.php?name=WALNUT,%20AMERICAN&menu=1/16%20in.

Then, check out this blog about hammer veneering. You don’t need a press, vacuum bag, clamps or cauls to veneer drawer fronts.
https://www.lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/36014

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

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bondogaposis

5605 posts in 2958 days


#4 posted 12-07-2019 04:23 PM

I have not had much luck running 1/8” veneer through my planer.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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bilyo

960 posts in 1709 days


#5 posted 12-07-2019 07:12 PM



I have not had much luck running 1/8” veneer through my planer.

- bondogaposis


Nor have I if I try to run it through by itself unsupported. My only success has been by gluing the over thick veneer to the substrate first and then, after the glue is dry, run it through to smooth and thickness the veneer. Even then, it takes care.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1372 posts in 1102 days


#6 posted 12-08-2019 12:48 PM



Save yourself a lot of time trouble and expense. Certainly wood sells 1/16” walnut veneer that is exactly what you need and will cost you substantially less. Order pieces in sequence and they will match better than anything you can cut because they are sliced so no saw kerf.
https://www.certainlywood.com/results-woodmenu.php?name=WALNUT,%20AMERICAN&menu=1/16%20in.

Then, check out this blog about hammer veneering. You don’t need a press, vacuum bag, clamps or cauls to veneer drawer fronts.
https://www.lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/36014

- shipwright


I agree with everything Paul mentions above.

I cut shop sawn veneer for my last table build and it was a lot of extra work, If I were doing it again I would buy 1/16 veneer from Certainly Woods and be done with it. That’s how I’m handling the sideboard I’m building right now with just one exception- I did resaw a few pieces for the two doors from the same board I used to make the drawer front, but that was only to assure color and grain match. For your project a few sequential matched veneers will work perfectly.

Hammer veneering would be a good option for this project since the parts are relatively small. I did not have good luck veneering until I invested in a vacuum press, but my parts have all been much larger than drawer fronts.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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bilyo

960 posts in 1709 days


#7 posted 12-08-2019 05:41 PM

I think there is a time and place for doing either. The only time that I have used shop cut veneer is when I came across some wood with very unique color and grain that, I thought, was deserving of display to the greatest extent possible. On other occasions, like trying to match some existing grain, I have purchased veneer. No doubt, cutting your own veneer is extra work. Sometimes it might be worth it; sometimes not.

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