UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum

UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum (
-   Cabinet and Chassis Restoration and Refinishing (
-   -   First project with veneer - finishing advice (

PsychMan 17th Oct 2019 12:35 pm

First project with veneer - finishing advice
2 Attachment(s)
Iím building a plinth for a record deck, using the motor board I removed from a radiogram. As the 1950s radiogram was walnut veneer, I thought Iíd use plywood and stick walnut veneer on top. Itís the first time Iíve used veneer. I used standard wood glue and applied to the ply sheets, removed as much excess as I could and clamped in place on top of the veneer.

Unfortunately in some small places I can see a tiny amount of glue has bled through to the surface of the veneer. Not very noticeable, but I imagine this will cause me problems when finishing it with some places taking more stain and varnish than others. I had planned to use some kind of grain filler, stain and use gloss poly varnish, but im wondering if the stain will work consistently now.

Any thoughts on the best way to proceed and what finishes might hide this the best? Iím using some scrap pieces to recreate this and will have a go and see how the stain works.

Clearly Iím using the wrong glue or my veneer is too thin or has gaps in the grain..

Itís hard to capture in the pictures, indeed most of the shiny patches seem present on the veneer to begin with, but there are some obvious patches

Swordfamile 17th Oct 2019 4:13 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice

I've had success veneering substrates by applying PVA glue to the veneer, allowing the glue to dry, then ironing the veneer on to the substrate with an old electric iron. This reactivates the glue but not to a degree that the glue seeps through the veneer.

This doesn't necessarily help you with you current plight but might prove useful in the future. With regards to the glue spots you could try filling the pores of the veneer with a half pva, half water mix. This will raise the grain which require a light sanding. Try it on a scrap piece if you have any spare. This will, most likely, repel any attempts at staining although I'm not a proponent of staining wood - I prefer to choos a light or dark wood where required - although I appreciate this method was much used to provide a deeper effect. I would then wax the item to whatever sheen you require.

If you don't want to go down this route I suggest careful removal of the glue spots with a cabinet scraper followed by a light sanding. I don't think this would impact too badly on the stain/varnish finish but sometimes you just have to suck it and see.


stevehertz 17th Oct 2019 4:37 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
I completely recovered a hifi receiver cabinet a couple of years and gave a complete, detailed review here of how I did it. The process needed for your record deck should be very similar. Note, most of the 'instructional' stuff comes after the first page of the thread, but it's well worth reading all the way through. Hope it helps and best of luck.

PsychMan 18th Oct 2019 1:54 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
Ah, Steve looks like you've used a glue designed for the purpose and a roller to apply. I initially used an old paint brush to try and spread the thick wood glue as thinly as possible. Like you I did manage to get bleed through on the first piece significant enough to stick some of MDF underneath Id used to clamp in place to it. This sanded away fairly easily though.

For the later pieces I have actually used the same glue and a squeegee sponge to held spread it thinly on the ply, this seems to be working better, but next time I might try a better glue. The only wood work ive done up to this point has been more "rough and ready" building a wardrobe, bar for my shed and bookshelves etc. Never anything that looked that pretty or had fancy finishes, just plain paint.

Tony, I think I'll just press on and see how the staining takes. Like I say I have a few scraps left and have glued to ply for testing, so I can see how visible any glue will be. I was more concerned with glue just beneath the surface I suppose, not visible but affecting the finishing process. Perhaps I am overthinking it. Like Steve's this is a slow burn project due to me needing 1 day per piece of veneer due to constraints on space and equipment. It wont be the best job in the world, but if it turns out OK ish that's good enough for me. The only problem is I have tons of ply and a requirement for project boxes, I can see myself making loads of boxes and veneering everyone now!

stevehertz 18th Oct 2019 2:49 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
To disguise such bloopers I use Copic Ciao artist marker pens that come in 380 different shades. They do lots of brown colours, I have quite a few in my collection. If you google 'Copic Ciao' and/or the same plus 'colour chart' you'll see what I mean. I use brown 'E37' quite a lot. You can then lacquer (clear varnish) over the affected area. If I have already finished all my lacquering and there's a chip or something, I melt in a drop or two of wax of the appropriate colour. You can get brown coloured wax sticks for furniture repairs. I just hold the point of the stick above the chip, apply a small 'tight' flame to the stick and allow a few drops of wax to fill in the chip or crack. Then, thin layer at a time, I use a very sharp chisel to remove the excess wax. A light buffing and the 'repair' is virtually invisible.

John10b 18th Oct 2019 3:30 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
Interesting topic, I am in the process of slowly restoring a Pye Blackbox, so far Iíve completed the amp and almost completed the deck, Iím giving some thought to the cabinet, unfortunately part of the veneer has come off so just using Danish Oil etc will not suffice.
Iíve never attempted veneering a Cabinet ( only replaced Rexine ) so I thought I might just try and replace the part thatís worn, and not the whole cabinet.
Iím going to do some studying first, thanks to stevehertz, and others, and maybe have a go.
Any suggestions about best place to get sheets of veneer and what is best match for the bb?

stevehertz 18th Oct 2019 4:28 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
I get my veneer from the Wood Veneer Hub

I use their normal 'wood veneers', not their peel and stick stuff etc.

PsychMan 20th Oct 2019 12:35 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
I got mine on eBay, it came coiled up as it’s flexible and has a paper backer bonded to it. I found it very easy to work with and cost about £16 delivered which has been enough for this project so far

John10b 20th Oct 2019 1:28 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
Thank you both for the information.

Michael.N. 22nd Nov 2019 10:34 pm

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
You could have a go at hammer veneering with animal glue. Bit messy, a learning curve but has certainly stood the test of time. I used to do small scale commercial veneering of hi fi equipment - some indeed were plinths for the old Garrard 301/401 and Thorens decks. . I was advised to stay away from the PVA/heat method (I had tried it) for commercial operations. The experts that I spoke with basically said that it was prone to delaminating (over a period of time) and that it was likely that I would experience some complaints. The heat used just takes advantage of the thermoplastic nature of PVA.
I learnt how to hammer veneer and was pleased that I did.

FStephenMasek 2nd Dec 2019 4:26 am

Re: First project with veneer - finishing advice
Is that a stainable glue? If not, heat would soften that glue, allowing you to use a wet rag or fine brush to clean it from the surface of the veneer.

There is brown wood glue with finely ground nut shells in it which works nicely for veneer.

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:50 am.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.