To best protect the fragile veneer edge, glue the face veneers, then apply solid-wood banding.
Rip or joint edge flush before gluing banding.
Biscuit for alignment.
Biscuit for alignment.
in. apart. Put the bottom platen on next, and you have an open press, ready to use. Set the panel to be veneered on the platen temporarily and adjust caul spacing so that the two outside cauls extend beyond the ends of the veneer panel by l/4 in. or so.
Working on your bench, spread the glue on one side of the substrate and lay the appropriate veneer on top, tape side up. Then flip the package over and repeat the procedure. Next, put a piece of masking tape or a tiny brad at the center of each end to keep the veneers from shifting during pressing. Caurion: Don't try to fasten the long grain edges of the vcnccr or it will buckle when it expands from the glue. With the veneer in place, position the panel on the press and lay the top platen over the panel.
Next, add the top cauls, placing them curved side down in line with the bottom cauls. Begin applying clamping pressure from the centcr of the panel out to the ends. This allows the glue to spread out and not get trapped. Clamp the cauls evenly from each side but don't use too much force yet.
After all the clamps arc on, allow a minute or two for the glue to squeeze out, then go back and tighten all the clamps. Leave the panel in the press for at least four hours if using yellow glue— overnight is usually ideal—longer for other adhesives. (Check the manufacturer's recommendations.)
After removing the panel from the press, trim any overhanging vcnccr with a chisel or a router equipped with a flush-trimming bit. For more difficult woods, run the router backwards for the cleanest possible cut. The panels should be stood as vertically as possible on edge with enough space all around for air to circulate so the panels can finish drying without warping.
Once the panel is dry, the vcnccr tape can be removed by wetting it with a sponge and peeling it off. If it resists peeling by hand, a scraper will complete the job.
Run your fingertips over the whole panel to check for air pockcts, or dry patchcs where the vcnccr isn't glued down. If air bubbles arc ignored they will often expand later, and their fragility makes them prone to cracking. You can find loose pockcts by listening for a whispering sound as your fingers pass over the panel. l ap the vcnccr to find the spot, then mark its outline with a pencil. Slit the bubble with the grain using a razor blade or an artists' knife such as an X-acto. Pry up the vcnccr with the knife and injcct fresh glue under the vcnccr with a small artist's palette knife or a glue syringe (available from Woodworker's Supply, 800-645-9292). After you've spread the glue, place a piece of waxed paper over the pocket and clamp a wood block to the surface until the glue sets.
Once you've inspected and repaired any and all surface flaws, you'll need to smooth the surfacc of the vcnccr before finish sanding. You can use either a hand or cabinct scraper to level the tape joints and bumps quickly and easily, as well as remove the roughness that can usually be found on many commercial types of veneers. In my shop I use a stroke sandcr to do the job. A random-orbit sandcr will also work nicely if you use a light touch while keeping the sanding pad flat. ▲
KAM GHAFFARI designs, builds and writes about furniture at his studio in Rhode Island.
Was this article helpful?
Wood finishing can be tricky and after spending hours on building your project you want to be sure that you get the best outcome possible. In The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing you will learn how to get beautiful, professional results no matter what your project is, even if you have never tried your hand at wood finishing before. You will learn about every step in the wood finishing process from a professional wood finisher with years of experience.