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Veneering with Hot Melt Adhesive Sheets

FredofSanJose's picture

Need opinions on veneering small jewelery box lid panels using hot melt adhesive sheets . I believe this sheet adhesive comes from General Electric and is typically applied with an iron. I purchased it from MacBeath's hardwoods. Does anybody have experience with this product type?

I actually use a 12" X 12" heated dry mount press that is used to apply decals to t-shirts. It's quick, not messy and flat. I'm applying wood veneer to both MDF and baltic birch plywood substrates (both sides for balance). Results so far are good. Also planning to rewaw my own veneers to 1/16th thickness, applying via this hot melt sheet material and, smoothing with my drum sander.

Will the hot melt sheets work with my shop made veneers that are 2-3 times thicker than the 1/32" - 1/40" purchased wood veneers? How about potential delamination over time and compatibility with various finishes/solvents (laquer, shellac, etc)?

Would appreciate +/- opinions on this approach. I also have a vacuum bag. However, if there is nothing inherently wrong with this thin sheet adhesive, it seems to be the ticket for effortlessness.

Thanks for the input.

Fred of San Jose

douglas2cats's picture

(post #74686, reply #1 of 2)

I've used some of the sheet stuff in the past with pretty good results. It was bonding paper-backed veneer to Baltic Birch ply. I was just using a std clothes iron, then using a J-roller, then clamping between MDF plattens in a press frame. The only slight issue was needing to do some spot re-heating/re-melting in a few areas then repeating. None of it has delaminated after 5-6 years though. It's definitely a neater and quicker way to go and I wouldn't hesitate to use it again for store-bought veneer. But without having any experience to base this on, something in the back of my mind thinks that it's not the better choice for homemade thick veneer. I'm just wondering whether you'd have to scorch the face before you reached a point where enough heat was transferred through the veneer to activate the glue.

Waddaya mean it wont fit through the door?

If you build it he will come.

FredofSanJose's picture

(post #74686, reply #2 of 2)


Thanks a bunch for the quick response.

Regarding the use of thicker shop made veneer, your point of possibly scorching the wood due to longer dwell time in the hot press is well taken. When I experiment with this, one option might be to preheat the substrate in the press and afterwards place the hot melt sheet and thicker veneer for pressing as a two-step process.

Hopefully, with the substrate preheated, the equivalent dwell time will be shorter with the thicker veneer. Also, the fellow I purchased the used heated press from gave me a thin silicon sheet that they use between the material and the heated platen. This helps to prevent scorching of T-shirts. I use it to prevent scorching as well as protecting the heated platen from any glue that might squeeze through the veneer

Just got a very nice Laguna bandsaw (14SE) with their ReSaw King blade. I can get down to very thin slices of veneer and might target 3/64th of an inch in thickness so as to minimize the potential scorching problem you raised.

Again, thanks for the input.

Fred of San Jose