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honson's picture

1.  On a recent FWW video regarding veneering the expert said, " If you don't get anything else from the video, get this... NEVER USE CONTACT CEMENT when veneering a panel surface!"  This issue was something he called veneer creep.

Is this a serious concern in all climates?  We live in the Arizona desert without much humidity and little change in interior temperatures.  My local veneer supplier (WoodWorkers Source) recommended contact cement for my project and I have seen it recommended in a number of other places.  I would prefer to use it over yellow glue because I don't have the massive table clamps shown and stacking up cement blocks just seems odd.

2.  Is is still necessary to put veneer on both sides of a substrate if the substrate is MDF or masonite and the panel will be affixed to a flat surface?

GLASTARZA's picture

(post #126670, reply #1 of 8)


Thank you for your question.

Hide glue works well with veneering.

You can mix your own or purchase ready-made. Rockler sells it:

A veneer hammer will help you apply the veneer. If you want to remove the veneer, applying heat to the veneer with an iron will allow you to reapply the veneer.

I will do more research about veneering the front and back of mdf. I will ask Gary Rogowski that question.

With plywood, you must veneer both sides to prevent warping. The back veneer need not be the same species, but the grain direction should be the same as the face veneer.

Gerald La Starza
Fine Woodworking

Walt71112's picture

veneering large sheets (post #126670, reply #4 of 8)

I need to apply 4x8 sheets of mahogany veneer to plywood for some bookcases I'm building. I've never done veneering but have laminated countertops.

Would it matter if I used baltic birch or other types of plywood for the substrate? MDF is going to be too heavy for my project.

I understand I should use hide glue, my question is how much would I need for each side of a sheet of plywood - what is the coverage area?

Should I apply it with a roller to even out the glue and does it have to be put on both surfaces - the veneer and substrate on each side? 

Also, I think hide glue has a longer open time, how would you recommend I secure it down after using a J roller on each side? I don't have a veneer press?

Thank you for your help.


Walt Slocombe

cowtown's picture

re large sheet veneering (post #126670, reply #8 of 8)

I had replied to this post, but something triggered the tauntonian spam filters and they wouldn't accept the message.

Too bad.

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GLASTARZA's picture

(post #126670, reply #2 of 8)


Gary Rogowski says that you should always veneer both sides.

Gerald La Starza
Fine Woodworking

honson's picture

(post #126670, reply #3 of 8)

Thanks Guys, for the information and advice!


IdahoDon's picture

Once on an entertainment (post #126670, reply #5 of 8)

Once on an entertainment center that was out in the direct sun for an afternoon the veneer wrinkled up and the joints pulled apart - I wished I hadn't used contact cement.

Having said that, I normally use contact cement since it's easy to use and normally doesn't cause any problems.

I don't believe it's necessary to veneer both sides of a piece of plywood unless you know it's going to shrink a great deal - most objects are only veneered on one side without problems.


Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.

donkondra1's picture

LOL (post #126670, reply #6 of 8)

In order to not offend the spam filter let me just say I strongly disagree with you..

Contact cement is for plastic laminate.

Both sides of plywood panels Need to be veneered in order to balance the laminii.

Disregard this advice at your peril.

Cheers, Don  

Don Kondra – Furniture Designer/Maker

IdahoDon's picture

Many of the projects I've (post #126670, reply #7 of 8)

Many of the projects I've remodeled were put together with contact cement and they've held up fine since they were first built and most of the pieces I've done have been with contact cement without any problems.

Most of the custom doors I've worked around that have a shop added veneer are put on with contact adhesive and I've never seen a problem with them. 

I just don't buy the idea that all pieces have to be veneered on both sides because it's just not done very often.

I can appreciate that with some thin parts it's important to veneer both sides to keep things straight, but that's a far cry from veneering everything.  I'd also concede that veneers used for table tops and other surfaces that get a lot of wear and tear are better applied with adhesives other than contact cement for durability.

 edit:   After thinking about it a bit I think the main reason we have different views of the appropriateness of adhesives is that most veneers I run into are related to finish carpentry rather than furniture.  Looking around the house at furniture items that have veneer I will agree that for 99% of furniture use I'd want an adhesive other than contact cement since it would be more heat resistant and joints would stay tighter.  However, when it comes to items related to finish carpentry I'll continue to use contact cement for most purposes.




Beer was created so carpenters wouldn't rule the world.