How do I Veneer and adjacent 90deg. edge with the same veneer I used on the face?

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Forum topic by stefang posted 05-12-2013 12:08 PM 19231 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17040 posts in 4670 days

05-12-2013 12:08 PM

I have googled veneering techniques and find that usually an edge tape with natural wood which matches the face veneer is normally used for edges. I would rather use the same veneer to do the edges as I used for the face. This means I won’t have to try buying matching tapes and I will get a better match. I am mainly concerned about getting a nice match at the seam. Does this require a mitered edge or is a butt joint good enough?

I did a small test piece with a butt joint , I wound up with some small gaps so I filled the seam with a little glue/sawdust mixture. It looked good when finished, but I still don’t like the idea of it. Is there a better way or do I just have to be more careful to match the edges at the seam?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

10 replies so far

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 5003 days

#1 posted 05-12-2013 12:24 PM

The way I learned to do veneered corners is to cut a 1/8×1/8 groove down the corner.

Glue in a piece of solid wood, same species as veneer.

Make sure the hardwood corner is flush to both planes of the substrate.

Then veneer the two sides. Lightliy sand the corner, any gaps will be invisible.

Learned that from Lynn Sweet when I was studying at UK.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27254 posts in 4441 days

#2 posted 05-12-2013 12:31 PM

I don’t know if it would be easy to angle the edge for overlap, but that would lesson the seam if there was a change due to expansion and contraction. But it would have to be perfect, because any difference in that angle cut will result in a gap for sure. One thing to consider is the expansion of the substrate vs. the veneer. That could be a problem down the road. What you have looks pretty good. How wide will that top surface be. If is were many strips wide, it will looked striped because of the “sameness” of the grain in the edgebanding..
One different way to go would be to buy a big sheet of veneer for the top surface and cut narrow strips for the sides!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4670 days

#3 posted 05-12-2013 12:56 PM

Rhett Your method is very good, but when using exotic veneers I wouldn’t be able to get solid woods that match them, especially here in Norway.

Jim I won’t be using edge banding, just a strip of the same veneer I’m using on the top. Again, finding edge banding for exotics would be hard to find and no doubt costly too, providing they were even available. I was thinking that matching edges both at 45deg. would be ideal, but I doubt it is practical on thin veneers. If by ‘overlapping’ you are thinking that the face veneer should extend out over the edge veneer flush with it’s outer edge, that might work well, especially if the edge veneering is done first.

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions. I realize that there may be no ideal solution, but I am thinking that if edge banding is just butt joined, then I would guess that regular veneer could be butt joined or overlapped as mentioned above.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6879 posts in 5315 days

#4 posted 05-12-2013 01:46 PM

Hi Mike;

On my projects, we do the edges first in instances where there isn’t too much grain pattern to try to match. Woods like swiss pear. On other woods with a distinct grain pattern, like ebony, we do the surface first, and the edge last.

In either case, the edge veneer is done using Tite Bond 2 yellow glue, applied to both edges and allowed to dry We do two coats of the glue. Then, using a hot edge banding iron, iron it on.

This has worked very well for us.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4670 days

#5 posted 05-12-2013 02:03 PM

Thanks Lee. Does the width of the veneer, either face or edge cover the edge of the corresponding veneer? I’ll be using hot hide glue for my veneering.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8781 posts in 4133 days

#6 posted 05-12-2013 03:21 PM

The general rule is the smaller first and the larger over. In most cases the edge will be the smaller so it goes first and yes,it’s an overlap.
The only time I ever miter is in a box kind of situation, where I veneer slightly oversize pieces first and then miter the sides to size.
Lee’s distinction about grain is interesting.
It would seem to me that on highly figured woods you wouldn’t want a non-matching line facing up at the edge.

Maybe he could expand on it ….... Lee???

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

View justoneofme's profile


862 posts in 3815 days

#7 posted 05-12-2013 03:41 PM

Hi Mike: You will be fine doing the butt edging using the hide glue. The way to look at your veneering project is to determine what surface should be veneered first … what are you going to look at full on? Of course there are always exceptions to the rule!

With Nouveau Gal, because she was more important to place first, then line up the other panels for a good match, I glued that front panel first. Normally what you see as the front piece should be placed last, so that the face veneer covers the side veneer’s edges. I just realized another point I should have mentioned in the blog!! I wouldn’t be too concerned about that unless there’s contrasting veneers … such as the front panel veneer being vertical and the side horizontal. Then the front panel definitely goes on last, otherwise the side edge veneer is very visible.

Banding with a strip of your own veneer is definitely the best way to go, because the iron-on type doesn’t come in exotic veneers anyway. There again … where is the edging? If on the top edge of a box (for example the wine box) it’s best to do edging first … especially like around the spigot hole. That edge would have been very visible otherwise. If you’re looking down at the veneered surface of … say, a low un-lidded box, then edge last because the lip is the most visual surface when finished and on display … edging first for a lidded box.

It’s impossible to miter such thin veneers … but somehow I have a feeling you are going to try it anyway!! LOL! A good tip to fill gaps (small ones!) after all is said and done and the finish is on … wax sticks, found at your local hardware store in all kinds of colors! They can be melted into, or used cold with excess easily rubbed away. When hardened and buffed clean, gaps disappear like magic! Good luck on your corners Mike!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6879 posts in 5315 days

#8 posted 05-12-2013 04:40 PM

Hi Paul,

Most of the time, the edge does get done first.

Take a Demilune table that has an ebony border, or maybe figured satinwood…anything with a pronounced grain.

We’ll do the top first. Then we do the edge, using veneers that match the grain of the top. We want it to appear to go across the top and down the edge.

If we did the edge first, then did the top, we’d never get the grain to line up and appear to be a solid piece of wood.

Keep in mind, the explanation above assumes we’ll be doing a glue up in a vacuum bag, with a caul hiding the veneer.

If we’re working on something using hot hide glue, the edge is done first. The border veneer can be aligned so the grain is continuous down the edge.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4670 days

#9 posted 05-12-2013 04:48 PM

All good info. Thank you Paul and Elaine very much. Now I have the answers that works best for me. Lee’s comment on strong grain is very good too. I will make sure to match the grain at those seams when I’m using wavy grained veneers. BTW, I got my Herdin electric glue pot. Way too much money, but very well made and compact enough to easily move around the shop wherever I want it.

I need this info now, as it looks like it will be raining all next week giving me an opportunity to be in the shop, although my wife is now talking about gardening in the rain!! Norwegian women can be a little stubborn at times (big understatement). We lost a lot of evergreen ground cover plants, mostly juniper this year and she is pretty disheartened by it all, and so am I. I’m sure that many others experienced the same and not just in Norway. It could be a great opportunity to find even nicer and hardier plants. The yew plants did very well, so that might be the solution.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View merlin777's profile


1 post in 1221 days

#10 posted 09-18-2018 10:18 PM

I realise this is well old but I just came across it while browsing for veneering tips.

Many moons ago I did some veneering of small boxes and i had the same issue as you. As I remember it the answer was to use a sanding block with fine paper.

It worked like this. veneer the edge and trim/sand it flush with the top edge. Veneer the top surface so it slightly overlaps the edge and its veneer. Use a hard sanding block and fine paper and gently stroke it along the edge at 45 degrees. This will effectively cut the top surface veneer off at the edge and simultaneously sand the edge of both veneers to a neat matching 45 degrees. Always worked for me.

Probably waaaay too late for you!

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