How to Replace Veneer?

How to Replace Veneer?

How do you replace damaged veneer on an existing piece of furniture? You can’t very well put the chest of drawers into a veneer press, so what can you do?

Ian Kirby: The problem is: how to get pressure in the center of a piece of furniture in order to glue down an area of replaced veneer. To add to the complexity, you also need to get pressure in the center of the patch first, then spread it to the edges as the pressure increases. In other words, you have to avoid pressing the edges first and drifting the glue into the center of the patch, which would result in a thick pad of glue in the middle of the patch and create washboard effect.

Make a caul to fit over the patch, a piece of 3/4″ plywood waxed on one side and buffed to act as a release will do fine. Make some long battens that reach to the edge of the piece of furniture so you can get a C clamps on the battens and the piece at each end (2×4 studs work OK as battens). To achieve center pressure, tape some strips of veneer onto the edge of the batten which sits on the caul so they are centered over the veneer patch. First put on a 4″ long strip, then put a 6″ strip over that and finally an 8″ strip over that. All this has the effect of curving the bottom edge of the batten. Try the whole rig dry and don’t over clamp or you may bend the furniture ? check for distortion with a straight edge.

Michael Dresdner: Henry, what should we do? The chest is losing its veneer!

Have no fear. This sounds like a job for Hammer Veneer Man. He can soar through the room applying veneer quickly to any surface or shape in minutes with just some hide glue and a veneer hammer ? and not a press, vacuum bag, or clamp in sight.

Sigh. My hero.

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