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  • Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

    Anyone?

    I did a wood-backed veneer project 2 years ago with the iron-on method and it was pathetic. Like old wallpaper, it was just hanging on by a thread. I pulled it off the other day; it was way too easy :(

    Anyway, I still have a good deal of this wood-backed veneer left--and it's beautiful. So what do you think the best application method would be? (I am willing to give the iron-on method a try again, but only with the specialized stuff like heatlok, or with more coats of titebond and a hotter iron.

    Anyone who saw the Swope HT at Dayton could see that I CAN do veneer now (those were paper-backed, by the way. The TMs were done with iron-on, and the MTMs and Center were done with non-flammable contact cement, which I thought had much better adhesion.)

    Anyway, aside from vacuum press, I'm open to suggestions.
    Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

    Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
    Twitter: @undefinition1

  • #2
    Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

    Paul, I've never tried the iron-on method so I can't reply negatively about it. I use 2-ply veneers and contact cement for all of my projects, It's easy and quick with excellent results. The only time I had a problem was when I tried to stain one cab the same day after veneering, a corner lifted slightly but I was able to rebond it easily. Now I wait a couple of days for the glue to setup. I use tape on the edges of the pieces I applied previously to keep the glue I'm applying for the next piece off the face of the veneer. IMO once you've tried this you'll be glad you did.

    Later
    Dan

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    • #3
      Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

      what is the wood backed veneer? is it veneer cross grain laminated to another veneer? if so, what's the adhesive between them?
      Also, Paul, were you the guy who was applying glue on one side rather the both for iron on?
      http://www.diy-ny.com/

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      • #4
        Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

        You can also give Titebond Cold Press for Veneer (http://www.titebond.com/IntroPageTB.....asp?prodcat=3) a try. It's a less nasty alternative to contact cement.
        I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
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        Econowave and Audio Nirvana AN10 fullrange http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=216841
        Imperial Russian Stouts http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...=1#post1840444
        LECBOS. http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...ghlight=lecbos

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        • #5
          Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

          If it's NBL or cross-ply, either contact cement or Heatlock ought to work fine. The biggest problem I've had with Heatlock & iron on, is not getting enough of it on to make the bond. Two coats maybe three EVEN coats for the "B" side of the veneer ought to work out. If the backer veneer is luan or a little rough, hand sand it with 220 to smooth it out a bit, blow all the dust out with a compressor.
          Lou's Speaker Site [speakers.lonesaguaro.com]
          "Different" is objective, "better" is subjective. Taste is not a provable fact.
          Where are you John Galt? I may not be worthy, but I'm ready.

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          • #6
            Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

            All right. So I still have some non-flammable contact cement left over and I decided to try it on a test piece. It was very strange; it like instantly "dried" (turned white) and started peeling off like a latex glove. It seems to me as though the wood backing was soaking up the water in the contact cement, causing immediate drying... and not really proper drying, as it's supposed to dry clear. So, what exactly does one do then? The instructions say that when using it on wood, 2 coats are needed. But do I just put the 2nd coat on top of the white stuff?

            Would the solvent-based contact cement have the same results?

            Also, every time I've done the iron-on method, I've rolled the glue onto both the subtrate and the veneer (so I'm not the one who just put it on one side).
            Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

            Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
            Twitter: @undefinition1

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            • #7
              Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

              Sounds like your glue is bad maybe?
              It shouldn't dry like that, nor should it not stick.

              Try applying some to a clean, non-porous surface and see if it exhibits the same behavior. That will rule out substrate issues.


              I suspect the poor results ironing that veneer on with yellow glue are due to the extra thickness of the wood backer. It is usually very thick ime.
              It probably prevented the glue from getting hot enough to melt. If that's the case I doubt heatlock would work either. You might find that getting enough heat will scorch the surface.


              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
              All right. So I still have some non-flammable contact cement left over and I decided to try it on a test piece. It was very strange; it like instantly "dried" (turned white) and started peeling off like a latex glove. It seems to me as though the wood backing was soaking up the water in the contact cement, causing immediate drying... and not really proper drying, as it's supposed to dry clear. So, what exactly does one do then? The instructions say that when using it on wood, 2 coats are needed. But do I just put the 2nd coat on top of the white stuff?

              Would the solvent-based contact cement have the same results?
              ...
              ~99%
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              • #8
                Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                Originally posted by bobbarkto View Post
                I suspect the poor results ironing that veneer on with yellow glue are due to the extra thickness of the wood backer. It is usually very thick ime.
                It probably prevented the glue from getting hot enough to melt. If that's the case I doubt heatlock would work either. You might find that getting enough heat will scorch the surface.
                Yeah, that was my concern. I came close to scorching the veneer when ironing it. Probably should have used more coats of PVA glue.

                Anyway, I'm gonna spend a bit more time with the contact cement and see if I can figure it out. Maybe try the regular [explosive] stuff. I just hate to see these cabinets (and this pretty veneer) go to waste.
                Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                Twitter: @undefinition1

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                • #9
                  Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                  I refinished a set of Blue Ridge HR1's not too long ago that had wood veneer applied with a spray adhesive along the lines of 3M! It was applied in rather copious amounts!! When new they may have looked fine, but after awhile the adhesive started to bleed through the oak veneer, staining it and the edges were lifting off from the edges of the cabs and some surface bubbling in several places. It was a horrid mess to clean up for a vinyl laminate application. My observations are if you use some kind of spray adhesive, be judicious in it's use!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                    I like the Titan DX contact cement. I brushed it on with a foam brush. Sometimes had to go over it again; it should dry to a sheen if there's enough. Very easy, non smelly, so far holds beautifully. So easy I can't imagine trying any other method.

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                      Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                      All right. So I still have some non-flammable contact cement left over and I decided to try it on a test piece. It was very strange; it like instantly "dried" (turned white) and started peeling off like a latex glove. It seems to me as though the wood backing was soaking up the water in the contact cement, causing immediate drying... and not really proper drying, as it's supposed to dry clear. So, what exactly does one do then? The instructions say that when using it on wood, 2 coats are needed. But do I just put the 2nd coat on top of the white stuff?

                      Would the solvent-based contact cement have the same results?

                      Also, every time I've done the iron-on method, I've rolled the glue onto both the subtrate and the veneer (so I'm not the one who just put it on one side).
                      I've always used the solvent based stuff with wood backed veneer. The waterbase is probably better with phenolic or paper back, but it might curl the wood backed. The solvent based stuff seems thicker too.
                      Lou's Speaker Site [speakers.lonesaguaro.com]
                      "Different" is objective, "better" is subjective. Taste is not a provable fact.
                      Where are you John Galt? I may not be worthy, but I'm ready.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                        The solvent based contact cement needs multiple coats on porous surfaces. Apply a coat, wait 20 minutes, apply more coats until it is glossy after it dries. Water based is probably the same?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                          I use raw veneer, paper backed, and wood backed. They all they their own issues, but every time I've used wood backed, I used titebond II and the iron on method. I've never had any issues. Bond strength is fantastic. Thickness has never been a problem for me (20 mil). My veneers have been backed with luan, okume, and more recently bass wood. I'm not a fan of contact cement, though I have used it with reasonable results. The vacuum press is more appropriate for raw veneers.

                          In some instances I've had to lightly mist the veneer with clean water and place a cloth between the iron and the veneer to get results I liked.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                            Originally posted by ocdSCHACK View Post
                            The solvent based contact cement needs multiple coats on porous surfaces. Apply a coat, wait 20 minutes, apply more coats until it is glossy after it dries. Water based is probably the same?
                            I tried the water-based with 2 coats this time. However, after I stuck the veneer to the substrate, I could tell the bond was weak. So I pulled it off, and the contact cement peeled from the wood backed veneer like a latex glove, in one big sheet.

                            So I thought, "The hell with this," and got the contact cement off the substrate (MUCH more diffiult) with lots and lots of "rubbing and pilling" (think rubber cement when you were a kid). Anyway, the substrate is clean, so is the veneer. Ready for take... what are we on, 5 or 6 now? :rolleyes:

                            I think my next approach will be a return to the PVA/iron. I have a big jug of Titebond original. I'll do 2 coats undiluted on both surfaces, and put the iron on its hottest setting. (In the past I used to dilute with water a bit, and I think this was part of my adhesion problem)
                            Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                            Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                            Twitter: @undefinition1

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best adhesive for wood-backed veneer?

                              Hey Paul - how did things turn out?

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