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Old 8th Feb 2018, 5:27 pm   #1
Testgear John
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Default Iron-on veneer

I thought I might give the iron-on veneer a try, having found that it can be un-stuck with a little more use of a hot iron.

I read the masterful posts on doing it properly with interest, and found a few useful things along the way. Having attached the veneer and ensured that it was well stuck down, I used a 3 x 1/2 piece of timber as a veneer hammer, didn't see much surplus adhesive, and it's well stuck down, any reticent corners can be re-stuck with a heavy application of the iron again.
Heavy wall papering scissors are fine for trimming the edges roughly, before sanding down.

I'm not after perfection, myself and woodwork of any kind are not the most suited, and I don't have the patience!
It is a Pye G, and a professional quote was £560, but I suspect the chap probably didn't want the job.
Photos of before and after. I have a whole side to do (I couldn't get the old veneer to shift on the remaining side, it would have to be ground off I recon, I had enough trouble with the one side, it yielded in bits and pieces with the application of a hot air gun)

I have had to fill a few dents before tackling the other side tomorrow.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 5:53 pm   #2
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

Looks like Sapele
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 6:11 pm   #3
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

You have done well, when I did an old Murphy TV cabinet I just could not get it flat! You mentioned about getting it well stuck down.... do you mean before ironing?
Peter
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 8:29 pm   #4
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

I have never veneered a Cabinet, but I have always been keen to have a go.
I have recovered old record players with Rexine etc with some success.
Can you give me some tips please.
Cheers
John
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 11:26 pm   #5
Testgear John
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

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Originally Posted by Reelman View Post
You have done well, when I did an old Murphy TV cabinet I just could not get it flat! You mentioned about getting it well stuck down.... do you mean before ironing?
Hi, Peter, the cabinet was at such a height that I could get a lot of weight on the iron, and you need to move it slowly until the glue melts, and you are happy every corner in particular is stuck down, and then rubbed over with the "veneer hammer".
I sanded the wood with 180 grit in an orbital sander, and wiped with a tacky cloth before application.
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 11:38 pm   #6
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

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Originally Posted by John10b View Post
Can you give me some tips please.
hi, John., the instructions I followed stressed not to try and align the covering with any edge, cut 1/4 " 6mm bigger all round, then trim when it's on.
That is important with the iron on stuff as it tends to shrink as water is displaced by the heat.

I got a cheapo steam iron from agros £7.80p, steam not used in this case, high med. to high for sticking down
It does remove veneer easily with steam if it is stuck down with hide glue, but what I found was that someone had repaired the veneer with epoxy I think, and it was a nightmare to remove on the vertical side.I had to resort to a heat gun and scraper, in this case a large chisel.

The veneer cut very well with sharp wallpaper scissors, I cut the original pieces easily and straight with an A3 guillotine (wheel type)

I trimmed it almost to size with the scissors and finished with 180 grit to grind it back to the edge.

I hope that helps
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 11:42 pm   #7
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

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Looks like Sapele

Yes! Mahogany Sapele.

Believe it or not it was the only one I saw that came anywhere near to matching the grain appearance on the one remaining veneered side, which is really stuck fast. It does look a bit like a side cheek of a 70s stereo amp !
I will have to be careful with staining and whatever finish I decide to use.

It looks a damn sight better than the original though!
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 1:17 am   #8
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Many years ago, I used iron-on veneer to cover a white Decca colour TV. It was remarkably easy and the result was very gratifying.

Shortly afterwards, the tube failed...
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 8:30 am   #9
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

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Yes! Mahogany Sapele.
Sapele is not a mahogany. It is used as a mahogany substitute (see below).

I've used Sapele many times. First as the massive underframing of my woodworking bench, and also as the panels in a frame (oak) and panel (sapele) headboard for our bed.

It is a pain to work with because of the interlocking grain. It comes out of a planer-thicknesser looking awful. You can get it smooth in one direction, but the opposite direction tears out. Your only hope is to use a cabinet scraper, or scraper plane. Or belt sander - but I prefer to use a few power tools as possible.

Sapele is surprisingly cheap in solid form - among other things it is used for frames for soft furnishings like sofas. And for big structural work. It is easy to get 24"x 8" boards 15 feet long.

True Honduran mahogany is a CITES protected wood, and is seriously endangered. The main source of mahogany for cabinet making comes from breaking apart old mahogany furniture.

Craig
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 9:58 am   #10
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

I used to find that with iron on veneers, scissors tend to split the grain into the the work piece when trimming the edges especially across the grain. But a laminate trimmer bit in a router makes a very quick and neat job even across the grain.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 10:41 am   #11
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

Thanks for the instructions, next time I’ll know better. BTW where do you get the veneer from these days (eBay, I suppose)? Like so many products difficult to find locally, in actual shops, anymore.

Peter

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Old 9th Feb 2018, 10:42 am   #12
Testgear John
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
Sapele is not a mahogany. It is used as a mahogany substitute
I am only quoting from my supplier, that's what it was called.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot Mariner View Post
I used to find that with iron on veneers, scissors tend to split the grain into the the work piece when trimming the edges especially across the grain. But a laminate trimmer bit in a router makes a very quick and neat job even across the grain.
Not had a split yet, and I don't own a router, but I will be careful.

Quote:
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Thanks for the instructions, next time I’ll know better. BTW where do you get the veneer from these days (eBay, I suppose)? Like so many products difficult to find locally, in actual shops, anymore.
I'll PM you, Peter with the details, but yes Ebay.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 10:56 am   #13
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot Mariner View Post
I used to find that with iron on veneers, scissors tend to split the grain into the the work piece when trimming the edges especially across the grain. But a laminate trimmer bit in a router makes a very quick and neat job even across the grain.
In my experience, a Stanley* knife with a new blade against a steel straight-edge makes a pretty good job of cutting veneer as well as most thin materials.

*Other brands of craft knife are available, but in my humble opinion they're not as good. Stick to the original branded blades too, as some cheap generic copies are actually smaller and lose their sharp edge much more quickly.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 11:14 am   #14
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Thank you TestgearJohn for the tips, one day I will give it a go.
Before I attempt to cover a vintage radio I’ll practice on an old scrap cabinet.
Cheers
John
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 11:55 am   #15
Testgear John
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Default Re: iron-on veneer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ View Post
In my experience, a Stanley* knife with a new blade against a steel straight-edge makes a pretty good job of cutting veneer as well as most thin materials.

*Other brands of craft knife are available, but in my humble opinion they're not as good. Stick to the original branded blades too, as some cheap generic copies are actually smaller and lose their sharp edge much more quickly.
Yes, I have those as well, I'm going to need them if I don't get the shrinkage allowance right where I have to butt to edges together

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10b View Post
Thank you TestgearJohn for the tips, one day I will give it a go.
Before I attempt to cover a vintage radio I’ll practice on an old scrap cabinet.
you're welcome!
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 12:15 pm   #16
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Ref post 15 & 17, yes to initially cut the veneer to size I use a stanley knife, but once applied to the job I use the laminate trimmer. It takes just seconds to get the perfect trim and saves a lot of laborious work and time compared to other methods.

A local family run DIY shop in Burntood sells woodleaf iron on veneer by the roll for £9.50 last time I bought some, but it was a couple of years ago.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 12:47 pm   #17
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Thanks for the advice. 2.5 metre by 250mm was £16 inc post.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 3:18 pm   #18
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Just a quick footnote.. I had to remove both pieces of the iron on veneer and start again, due to contamination with some black paint on the beading detail, around the top of the cabinet, we learn, as we say..
and started again this time with the conventional, which I will report on elsewhere.
There was no problem removing the veneer with a very hot iron and wide scraper, but getting rid of the adhesive was a nightmare!
I had to use a hot air gun, watch it melt then "roll it up" with the scraper, complete pain, so just a word of warning, maybe iron on isn't the easiest way to go!
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 9:48 pm   #19
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Happy for this thread now to be closed, moderators, thanks.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 12:15 am   #20
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Default Re: Iron-on veneer

Continued here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=144152
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